A video game designer is a professional who actually makes a game. He/she is the one who brings the idea into a game format. A game designer makes script, plot, puzzle, difficulty levels, movements of characters, scoring of the game and others. In addition to that a video game designer has to work for the documentation of the game, identification problems, trouble-shoot problems, game designs and debug solutions. The pay-scale of a video game designer varies according to experience and qualification. A video game designer has to be very creative, self-confident, enthusiastic and good communicator.
A game designer can earn about $45,000 per year to start and if he/she is experienced enough to lead a project then can earn about $70,000 and well into six figures in some cases. In 2009 industry standards reported that video game designers have average video game designer salary of $60,000 a year. According to Game Developer Magazine’s annual video game designer salary survey, a video game designer can make about $73,000 per year.
The sub-category of video game designer is lead designer or creative directors. The lead designers or the creative directors can make about $80,000 to $100,000 a year. It is reported that the highest video game designer salary ever paid to any lead designer is $180,000 a year but as its constantly changing I am sure this figure is now surpassed.
According to the video game designing specialization, there are a few more categories like game designing artist, game designing programmer and project manager. Game designer artists make the foundation of game design with their artistic skills and they can make about $50,000 to $60,000 a year.
A game designing programmer is a specialist who does coding for the game and he can expect $50,000 to $65,000 a year on average. A project manager is the one who is a specialist in programming and leads a team of programmers for the game and he can be paid a video game designer salary ranging from $80,000 to $150,000 depending on the size of the firm or the project.
The video game designer salary varies according to regions. Some area’s are hot beds for this type of industry. In New York a video game designer can expect to have a salary of $70,000. In Pennsylvania they are being paid about $60,000. In New Mexico the salary is $50,000. In Arizona a designer can expect to have $55,000. In Louisiana the salary is $43,000. Some of the discrepancy can be for cost of living reasons. A talented video game designer with good creativity skills and experience can in many cases name his/her own salary package.