TopHow We Make GamesWho's on the TeamGame Graphic Designer

Who's on the Team

Game Graphic DesignerDesigning every detail of the visible game world

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Graphics Tablet
Using a large graphics tablet lets you draw using your computer in a way that feels like drawing by hand.

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Dual Wide-screen Monitors
I use multiple tools at the same time, so using dual wide-screen monitors ups my productivity.

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Sketchbook
It all goes in my sketchbook–ideas for characters, notes, things that suddenly pop into my head, you name it.

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Eraser and Duster
I use a pencil while sketching, erase a little, and sketch some more. The feather duster brushes away the mess.

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Materials (Art Books, etc.)
Not just company books, but many of my own, too. You can tell a designer’s taste in one glance.

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A game graphic designer’s job...

Game graphic designers are responsible for visual expression in a game, from character and background design to 3D modeling, motion production, and camera work. After gaining a complete grasp on the game ideas and specifications envisioned by the directors, as well as the world-view constructed by the art director, we create richly original visuals through the addition of concepts and suggestions uniquely our own. We also approach establishing new visual expressions, environment production, and tool building from a technical standpoint.

What’s important to me as a game graphic designer

I was the person in charge of the UI for various projects, such as Boxboy! for the Nintendo 3DS, Kirby Star Allies for the Nintendo Switch, and more.

A UI designer's job is to gather and understand elements that the director wants conveyed to the players, and implementing them into the game. In doing so, I think it's really important to communicate clearly, be aware of what the other team members are looking to accomplish, and to think about the UI you make from the player's perspective.
No matter how amazing the contents of a game may be, a non-user friendly UI could make playing it a pain. Essentially, we want to convey necessary information in a way that feels intuitive, so that the player has a good time when playing. We work day to day ensuring that things like design and movement in a game are enhanced by the UI and even add a little "wow" factor here and there.
(Itoh; joined in 2008)

A day in the life of a game graphic designer (working at the Yamanashi office)
7:30
Wake Up

Lately I've been awoken by my kids instead of an alarm clock. I take them to preschool and then head for work by car.

10:00
Work Starts

After the morning meeting with everyone in the department, each section gathers for their own meetings. Announcements are made about work done the previous day and about the day's schedule. Since everyone needs to get a chance to speak, names are drawn every day to decide who will preside over the morning meeting.

10:15
Morning Work

I create data and draft up designs for UI. Other than that, since I'm the UI section leader I allocate tasks, consult with other section leaders, and carry out design-related supervisory work.

12:30
Lunch Break

After eating lunch, I spend the remaining time going out to shop, or I'll return to the booth to chat.

13:30
Afternoon Work

In the afternoon, I continue on with the work started in the morning. Depending on the day, I'll participate in meetings and report on what all the designers are doing.
Rather than silently working at the booth, I end up spending a fair amount of time walking about talking with different people.

15:00
Radio Calisthenics

Once three o'clock rolls around, radio calisthenics begins in the development section. I follow along with the exercises and adjust my frame of mind to get back to work.
Even in the midst of serious discussions, it's funny to see the talks come to an abrupt end with someone asking "time for calisthenics?" as it starts.

15:15
Afternoon Work

I continue with design creation work. Once evening approaches, I start thinking about planning for work that's to come.

17:00
Leaving Work

Since the hours for my current position are short, this is when I leave work for the day. After leaving work, I pick my kids up from preschool, go shopping, prepare dinner, and get them into bed. I then spend some alone time playing games or drawing.

What a game graphic designer deals with
Visual Design
User Interface Design