By this point it should be obvious what a game designer does: he determines what the nature of the gameplay is by creating the game s design. The terms game designer and game design have been used in such a wide variety of contexts for so long that their meanings have become diluted and hard to pin down. Some seem to refer to game design as being synonymous with game development. These people refer to anyone working on a computer game, whether artist, programmer, or producer, as a game designer. I prefer a more specific definition, as I have outlined above: the game designer is the person who designs the game, who thereby establishes the shape and nature of the gameplay.
It is important to note some tasks in which the game designer may be involved. The game designer may do some concept sketches or create some of the art assets that are used in the game, but he does not have to do so. A game designer may write the script containing all of the dialog spoken by the characters in the game, but he does not have to do so. A game designer may contribute to the programming of the game or even be the lead programmer, but he does not have to do so. The game designer may design some or all of the game-world itself, building the levels of the game (if the project in question has levels to be built), but he does not have to do so. The game designer might be taking care of the project from a management and production standpoint, keeping a careful watch on the members of the team to see that they are all performing their tasks effectively and efficiently , but he does not have to do so. All someone needs to do in order to justifiably be called the game s designer is to establish the form of the game s gameplay. Indeed, many game designers perform a wide variety of tasks on a project, but their central concern should always be the game design and the gameplay.