Game Designer (Multimedia)

Game designers invent, build, produce and promote computer games. Game design is like being the film director, but for a computer simulation (imitates the appearance of reality). They are limited only by their own imagination and the customer’s budget.

Game designers are the creative thinkers in the development of a game, and they become the story-tellers in how the game is to be played. They produce the game design document and develop games for educational, entertainment or computer platforms. There are different styles of computer games:

simulation - where the player takes on a real-world simulation
strategy - where the player takes on opponents using strategic and tactical moves
role-playing - where the player controls characters in fantasy or science-fiction environments
action - where the player needs a quick eye and reactions to make his moves against a character.

The degree of programming is dependent on the type of game. In small projects, game designers do the design and most of the programming, whereas in larger projects, they may do the design only and the programming will be done by other people. They work with a team of programmers, developers and animators.

Personal Requirements

  • highly creative and dynamic
  • computer-literate and technically minded
  • able to work under pressure
  • prepared to work long, irregular hours
  • analytical, skilled at solving problems

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

Compulsory Subjects: Art or a related subjects is highly recommended
Recommended subjects: Art, Design Studies, Engineering and Graphic Design


  • An art portfolio is required to demonstrate your creativity, abilities and commitment.
  • If you intend studying towards a degree in Fine Art at university, you will need to a Bachelor's pass in matric. If you intend studying a diploma in an art-related field, then you will need a Diploma pass in matric.
  • Meet the admission requirements (APS) set by the university or requirements set by the college.

What to Study

Computer Science related degree for programmers, Art qualification for game artists.

Most tertiary institutions offer computer courses in programming. Examples of places to study:

Degree: BSc Software Development - RU 
BSc Information Technology: Computer Games Design - UCT, BIS Multimedia - UP

Diploma: NDip Information Technology - UJ, NMMU

Degree: The BA (Fine Arts) is offered at most universities. The duration of the course is 4 years of full-time study. 

The University of the Witwatersrand offer a BA Digital Arts degree for students interested in game graphics and animation, narrative, and character design. This is a 4-year professional degree.  

Diploma: N.Dip: Graphic Design. The duration of the course is 3 years, and it includes specific training in advertising campaigns and design for corporate image - CUT, CPUT, DUT, TUT, NMMU, VUT. 

Various private colleges, also offer Graphic Design Diplomas. 


  • computer software companies
  • advertising agencies
  • game developing companies
  • self-employed, with appropriate experience

Further Information

The following websites:

Getting Started

  • develop your computer skills
  • speak to game designers about this career and ask permission to observe them at work

Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations

Study Game Design at the University of the Witwatersrand

Game Designer

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