Submitted by: Wisd Ooi
You love games and you play them every time you have the chance. You are so passionate about it that you want to be a game designer in the future. As a result you are looking for a game design degree course to have a proper game design education. However is it really needed?
From my personal experience having a game design degree helps but not absolutely a must. When you work in a game studio you will realize that most people there does not really have a degree specialize on games. The reason is because the game industry is very skill orientated and as long as you have the desired ability that they are looking for you will have a good chance of being hired. As a result the value of a game design degree cert had less value compare to people with the right skill set. You will be surprise that certain master degree holder can be earning less money comparing to someone that have no formal education but is excellent in what he/she does. You will also be surprise to meet some people that have an education background that is totally out of the game design field like marketing or finance.
To be honest there are a fair number of modders (people that create mods for games) get hired as game designers regardless of their background education. This is because their skill is shown in the mods they made. The mod itself will show how well the user can use the game editor and how fun is the game. If the game studio likes what they had done, they will be hired.
However taking a game design degree course does have its own advantages. Since the course is tailored to produces future game designers, it can help improve your skills quickly and make sure you are ready once you graduate. But like any other education it really depends on you and how much you are willing to learn. If you are lazy and keep skipping classes then surely you will learn nothing, though wasting your money. However if you take the initiative to learn and practise those skills then you will be the gem that the game industry needs.
Another advantage of taking the game design degree course is the opportunity to meet like minded people. Not only is it fun to study together but any of these friends can be an important person in the future and that will help your career a lot. If there is one secret to have a successful career, that will be the people you know that can get you in and hopefully you have the required skill to hold on to that position. So don’t be a lone ranger and ignore this opportunity.
In conclusion having a game design degree does helps but it really depends on how you receive you game design education. After all it is you skill to produce fun and rewarding games that counts and if you have that, you will be a wanted person in the industry.
About the Author: Wisd ooi, a passionate game designer had been working in the game industry for several years ranging from big company like EA to smaller start up companies. You can read more of his opinion on game design education at his website at