6 Essential Steps to Land Your Dream Game Design Job
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 8 min read


  1. Build a solid portfolio
  2. Network with industry professionals
  3. Apply to game design internships
  4. Keep up with industry trends
  5. Tailor your application to each company
  6. Prepare for your interview

Have you ever found yourself lost in an immersive world of a video game and wished you could be the one behind it? If yes, welcome aboard! This is your step-by-step guide to understand how to get a job in game design. Let's dive into the journey of transforming your passion for gaming into an exciting career.

Build a solid portfolio

When it comes to landing your dream job in game design, creating a strong portfolio is your golden ticket. It's the tangible proof of your skills and creativity, presenting you as a serious contender in the gaming industry. Here's how you can build a portfolio that stands out:

Showcase Your Original Work

Nothing speaks louder than originality. Show off your unique game designs, not just as shiny end products, but also include the process: sketches, storyboards, character designs, and scripts. This not only demonstrates your creativity, but it also shows your ability to carry a project from inception to completion.

Include Collaborative Projects

Game design is a team sport. Including projects where you've worked with others—be it fellow students, a local gaming club, or an online group—shows you can play well with others. Highlight your role in these projects, and make sure to discuss what you learned from the experience.

Highlight Your Different Skills

In game design, a wide skill set is a huge plus. Can you code? Illustrate? Write compelling storylines? Great! Your portfolio should show off all these skills. Even if you specialize in one area, proving that you can wear multiple hats makes you more valuable to a game design team.

Keep it Updated

As you improve and learn new things, so should your portfolio. An updated portfolio shows you're not resting on your laurels, but constantly striving to level up — just like in the games you want to design.

Remember, your portfolio is more than just a collection of your work; it's the story of your journey in game design. Make sure it reflects not just what you've done, but also who you are and where you want to go. That's the key on how to get a job in game design.

Network with Industry Professionals

Now that you've got a killer portfolio, it's time to get it in front of the right people. How, you ask? Networking. It's not as scary as it sounds. Here's how to network your way into the game design industry:

Start with Who You Know

Chances are, you already know someone who knows someone in the gaming industry. Reach out to them — family, friends, teachers, mentors — and let them know you're interested in game design. They might be able to point you in the right direction or even introduce you to industry professionals.

Join Online Communities and Forums

The game design community is vast and vibrant. Participating in online forums and communities can provide opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals, learn from their experiences, and even collaborate on projects. Sites like Gamasutra, IGDA, and Polycount are treasure troves of wisdom and connections.

Attend Industry Events and Conferences

Whether it's a local meetup or a big conference like E3 or GDC, these events are full of people who share your passion for game design. Here, you can learn about the latest industry trends, hear from industry innovators, and most importantly, meet potential employers. Don't be shy — introduce yourself, show your passion, and ask thoughtful questions.

Use Social Media

Platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram can be powerful networking tools. Follow game design companies, join discussions, and share your own work. It's a great way to get your name out there and keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.

Remember, networking isn't just about what you can get from others, but what you can offer as well. Be helpful, be genuine, and be respectful. After all, these are your future colleagues. So, start building those connections and get one step closer to your dream job in game design.

Apply to Game Design Internships

With a solid portfolio and a budding network, you're now ready to take a leap into the industry. And one of the best ways to do that is through internships. Here's your guide on how to secure that coveted game design internship:

Find the Right Internship

There's a wide array of internships in game design, each focusing on different aspects like art, programming, or level design. Find ones that align with your skills and interests. Websites like InternMatch and GameDevJobs can be a good starting point. Also, keep an eye on the career pages of your favorite game design companies.

Perfect Your Application

Your application is your first impression. Make it count. Highlight your relevant skills, experiences, and, of course, your passion for game design. Include a link to your portfolio. This is your chance to show them what you can do. Remember, it's not just about what you've done, but also what you can bring to their team.

Cast a Wide Net

Don't limit yourself to a few companies. Apply to as many internships as you can. This not only increases your chances of landing an internship, but also gives you a taste of the different roles and companies in the industry.

Follow Up

Applying is just the first step. Don't forget to follow up. Send a polite email to express your continued interest and inquire about the status of your application. This shows your initiative and keeps your name fresh in their minds.

Securing an internship is a significant step towards getting a job in game design. It provides hands-on experience, industry insights, and valuable connections. So gear up, put your best foot forward, and dive into the world of game design internships!

The game design industry is dynamic, constantly changing and evolving. If you want to know how to get a job in game design, you can't just be good at what you do, you need to be a step ahead. Here's how to stay on top of the game:

Play Games

This might seem obvious, but playing a wide variety of games is one of the best ways to understand current trends. Pay attention to what's popular, what's not, and why. Consider each game as a learning tool — what does it do well and where does it fall short?

Read Industry News and Blogs

Information is power. Websites like Gamasutra, Polygon, and IGN are filled with game reviews, industry trends, and interviews with professionals. It's like having a backstage pass to the game design world. Reading widely will keep you updated and give you a broader perspective on where the industry is heading.

Participate in Forums

Join forums like Reddit's r/gamedesign or the GameDev.net community. You'll find discussions on everything from game mechanics to the latest trends. It's a great way to learn, share your opinions, and engage with other game design enthusiasts like yourself.

Attend Conferences and Webinars

Events like the Game Developers Conference (GDC) or webinars organized by Unity or Unreal Engine provide valuable insights from industry leaders. They also offer a sneak peek into upcoming trends and technologies.

Staying in tune with industry trends doesn't just make you a better game designer, it makes you a more attractive candidate. Employers appreciate someone with an understanding of the broader industry context, as it shows a deep interest and commitment to game design. So, play, read, discuss, and learn your way to your dream game design job.

Tailor Your Application to Each Company

One size doesn't fit all, especially when applying for jobs in game design. Every studio has its own culture, style, and requirements, so a generic application won't cut it. Here are a few tips on how to tailor your application for each company:

Research the Company

Before you even start writing your application, do your homework. What types of games does the studio produce? What's their design philosophy? What skills are they looking for in their job ads? The more you know about the company, the better you can align your application with their needs and culture.

Highlight Relevant Skills and Experience

Remember, your application is not an autobiography. It's a highlight reel of your most relevant skills and experiences. If the studio develops first-person shooters, emphasize your experience with FPS game design. If they're known for their storytelling, showcase your narrative design skills. Don't just list these skills, provide concrete examples from your portfolio or previous jobs.

Speak Their Language

Every studio has its own lingo. Maybe they refer to their employees as "team members" or "creatives". Maybe they have a particular way of describing their games. Use similar language in your application to show that you understand their culture and would fit in well.

Show Enthusiasm

Show them you're not just looking for any game design job, but you want to work specifically for them. Explain why you're drawn to their studio and what you hope to contribute. Genuine enthusiasm can make a big difference.

Tailoring your application to each company takes time and effort, but it's well worth it. It shows your commitment and increases your chances of landing your dream job in game design. So, put in the work, do your research, and let each application showcase the best you have to offer.

Prepare for Your Interview

So you've got an interview lined up at your dream game design company? Congratulations! But don't start celebrating just yet. A lot rides on how well you perform during this crucial conversation. Here are a few practical ways to prepare:

Practice Common Interview Questions

While every interview is different, some questions pop up more often than not. Things like "What's your favorite game and why?" or "Tell us about a time when you solved a tricky design problem." Practice answering these questions succinctly and confidently. Remember, it's not just about what you say, but how you say it.

Know Your Portfolio Inside Out

During your interview, you'll likely be asked to talk about your portfolio. Be ready to discuss what you did, why you did it, and what you learned from each project. Don't just talk about your successes—talk about your failures too. Showing you can learn from your mistakes is a valuable trait in game design.

Research the Interviewers

If you know who will be interviewing you, do some research. What games have they worked on? What's their role in the company? Knowing more about them can help you tailor your responses and ask insightful questions.

Be Ready to Show Your Thinking Process

Game design is all about solving problems creatively. Be prepared to explain how you approach design challenges and back it up with examples from your work. This can really set you apart from other candidates.

Remember, an interview is not just about them evaluating you—it's also about you evaluating them. Is this a place where you would want to work? Do you feel like you'd fit in? So while you're preparing, think about what questions you want to ask them, too.

With preparation and practice, you can walk into your game design interview confident and ready to impress. Good luck!

If you're passionate about game design and want to further develop your skills, check out the workshop 'How To Become A Film Production Designer' by Jessy Moussallem. Although focused on film production, the principles and creative processes taught in this workshop can also be applied to game design. This workshop will provide you with valuable insights on design, collaboration, and creativity that can help you land your dream game design job.