Do game designers have their work cut out for them?

Elizabeth Gallagher is an artist working from home, who is also lucky enough to have a business – TRU Graphic Solutions Ltd - in the social simulation called Second Life (which has such an immersive community, it’s not unknown for people to spend more time in SL then in the real world itself).

In her latest post on her blog Absolute Filth (which – in her words – is a minor miracle), Elizabeth talks about how she ended up on a games designer course, even though she wanted to do one that was art-based. What followed was Elizabeth trying to get accustomed to the world of designers but finding it didn’t click with her, due to not being a “game player" in the true hard core sense of the word”.

Elizabeth wondered if it was harder to find work as a game designer, with the task of pitching your game to developers with examples of work provided by artists/animators and developers, in hopes of being hired or invited to join a studio.

She has a point, since designers not only have to be creative, but they have to be good at presentations. I’ll be the first to tell you that I can’t do presentations to save my life, due to nervousness. Of course, thinking about an idea that is exciting, if not unique, is a task in itself as well, where as artists and animators “just” have to show they can draw and use art programs well and developers “just” have to show that they can code well.

Elizabeth points out that some of the most successful designers were those who worked in another industry, which may be an indirect hindrance for those who are staring the designer course and have not done any kind of writing or briefing.

Of course, this is an assumption. Anyone on Train2Game who does art/animation or developing may tell me that it’s just as hard for them to get a job in the video game industry as it is for a designer and the “just” is a loose term. And those on the designer course may find that it’s not that tough to pitch your games or come up with ideas.

Elizabeth’s blog post ends on a happy note, with the Train2Game design queen(tm) successfully managing to shift from the Train2Game designer course to the Train2Game art course and, as expected, she’s loving it.

“I now I feel at last on the correct path and feel once I am qualified in Game Art finding work would be much easier. I would rather be hired by an existing game developer for an existing game concept and asked to create models and textures of a certain theme than be the one who has to not only come up with that concept but then try to pitch it to a developer in hopes that it will be taken on and produce profit.

Plus, art is what I love. It's not a job to me, it's a hobby and passion and I feel very lucky indeed to be paid for something I truly love.”

Check out Elizabeth’s blog here -