Gameplay Designer

A Gameplay Designer is responsible for the look, feel and experience of the levels within a game. Designers can work on a range of areas like gameplay map and levels, storytelling and dialogue, objectives, modes of play,

Ancient Market design by Mikel Iriberri

What is a Gameplay Designer?

A Gameplay Designer is responsible for the look, feel and experience of the levels within a game. Designers can work on a range of areas like gameplay map and levels, storytelling and dialogue, objectives, and modes of play. The Game Designer will work closely with the Art department and Programmers to define the structure of the game - consider them the Architects of Gameplay. The Game Designer will also work closely with the QA and Testing Departments to make sure the game delivers on the most important aspect of making games.

Entry Level Skills & Capabilities

The following information outlines the exact skills you need to demonstrate as a Certified Digital Artist. You must be proficient and capable of completing all these skills and capabilities.

Important! The following list of skills is used by our assessment team to verify if you qualify for a Certified Digital Artist (CDA) accreditation. The word "Bonus" indicates skills that are highly desirable, but not required to be certified. Think of them as a bonus skill that will impress.

1. Communication skills

  • Strong communication skills to describe and present your work with confidence
  • Willing to show progress frequently and able to receive and discern feedback objectively

2. Reference Gathering

  • Understanding the reference given to you and gathering the right reference to get started with, is an opportunity to set yourself up for success.
  • Understanding of target audiences for specific game types.
  • Understanding of Economies and the best strategy for your game.
  • Gathering and analyzing real-world photographic and video reference
  • High level of proficiency in finding and identifying good references.

3. Meta Game Design

  • Create documents showcasing math skills and explanations on how systems work and pertain to the game they are creating, and theories about their balancing.
  • Developing gameplay, rules and the scoring system.
  • Bonus: Designing Game Economies: Understanding of a variety of mobile monetisation models in order to effectively create revenue earning content.

4. Gameplay Design

  • Ability to determine the level of difficulty of a game for all players
  • Building interfaces and environments to engage players
  • Level and world design: Build upon Design systems to continue advancing experiences to the next level
  • Create wireframes, storyboards, user flows, and prototypes to effectively communicate gameplay and design ideas
  • Demonstrate your instincts as a game designer to change the balance in the game until it “feels right” to you.
  • Bonus: Use math to create transitive or intransitive relationships in your game, and make sure that everything is in line with the cost.

Game design by Jasmin Habezai-Fekri

Software Proficiencies

Ability to use on or more of the following software packages:

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Autodesk Maya
  • Autodesk 3dsMax
  • Unreal Engine
  • Unity


These skills are equally important in terms of your understanding and ability to do this role. Although they are not skills or knowledge that is officially certified, it will be obvious to recruiters and Certified Digital Artist(CDA) reviewers if you have knowledge in these areas.


  • Understand different levels of game design like systems and level design.
  • Have some knowledge and insights in other disciplines: understanding of what art, code, animation and sound does and how they work.
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills.
  • Game knowledge: Have a strong and wide-ranging interest in PC, Console and Mobile Games.

Art Fundamentals

  • Perspective
  • Lighting
  • Composition
  • Anatomy
  • Colour Theory
  • Form

Life Skills & Communication

  • Thinking Critically
  • Communication Skills
  • Conflict Management
  • Taking initiative
  • Collaboration
  • Time Management
Game Design by Carolina Elvelin

Portfolio Projects

Roles in Creative Media & Entertainment industries are quite different to traditional roles. As a Digital Artist, you need to prove your creative and technical abilities which requires an online portfolio filled with projects that showcase your work. One of more of the following projects should be included in your digital portfolio to demonstrate your skills and abilities to perform the required skills of this role.

  • Complete designs of different types of games ranging from first-person shooters, puzzle games and games with complex environments
  • Review existing games and offer insight into how to improve them from a gameplay perspective, using visual examples.

Apply for your Certified Digital Artist (CDA) Accreditation

Demonstrate your ability to complete entry level tasks required by Creative Media & Entertainment industries.

Not ready yet?

Read our Beginner's Guide to Gameplay Designer

Inside you will find everything you need from where to study, what books you should read, how much money you can earn, amazing companies you could work with, and answers to all your other questions.