Can You Be a Game Designer If You Can’t Draw? Complete Guide

do you need to draw to design video games?

Becoming a Game Designer When You Can’t Draw

As an aspiring game designer, you may be wondering if you have the talents and skills it takes to be successful in this competitive field. Since video games rely so heavily on visual elements it seems as if drawing would be a necessary skill for a game designer to possess.

Can you be a game designer if you can’t draw? ​You can indeed become a game designer without being able to draw. In fact, few game designers would claim to have any type of artistic ability. While the ability to draw is not essential to success in the field of game design, it can be a useful skill to develop as you progress through your career.

In this post, we will discuss the role of a game designer in greater detail and share the many ways in which basic drawing skills can aid in your long-term success.

Is Drawing Necessary for a Game Designer? art team at a video game company

The process of creating a video game is complex, requiring many unique skills and abilities. One common theme that runs through every successful video game is high-quality visual elements. However, the final artwork that is seen in a video game is normally done by a professional artist.

In most cases, game artists are classically trained. Because of this, they are able to create realistic shapes and movements. Since game artists are responsible for the final art that is seen in a video game, you may not think that knowing how to draw is a necessary skill for a game designer to develop. Let’s take a deeper look into the role of a game designer in the creation of a video game.

What Exactly Do Game Designers Do?

Unless you are self-producing a video game, a game designer will work with a team of creatives and programmers to achieve a finished product. The role of a game designer in the project is to manage the team, ensuring that the game is balanced, fun, and exciting.

In many ways, a game designer resembles a builder or architect who provides the initial idea and layout for a project and then steps back as the team finishes the work. Because the game designer is often the brains behind the project, creating the layout of the levels and writing the storyline, they need to be able to effectively communicate the vision they have in their head.

Although there are systems for this process, many game designers find that the ability to complete basic sketches can help them communicate their ideas more thoroughly.

Advantages of Knowing How to Draw As a Game Designer example video game art

The ability to draw does not come naturally to most of us. However, it is a skill that you can most certainly develop over time. So, how does the ability to draw benefit your career as a game designer? Here are just a few of the reasons why successful game designers work to grow in this area.

Communicate Your Vision More Effectively

As discussed previously, your role as a game designer will require that you pass on your vision to the other members of your team. Especially when it comes to the visual elements of a video game, it can be helpful to sketch your ideas.

In the later stages of your project, you will find yourself working with the game artists to finetune the visual elements of the game. Having a basic knowledge of artistic techniques and design, as well as the ability to draw, will allow you to communicate the changes you wish to make effectively and efficiently.

More Marketable As a Game Designer

Game design is one of the fastest-growing careers. Although there is a great demand, it is also one of the most competitive career fields. The allure of creating and designing video games inspires many individuals to follow this career path. Simply put, there are more aspiring game designers than there are positions with game design studios.

The best way to land your dream job as a game designer with a studio is to make yourself more marketable as a member of their studio. By developing skills that aid in game design, such as programming and drawing, you make yourself a greater asset to their design team.

Allows You to Work in Other Roles

While larger video game design studios consist of large teams, each with individuals who focus on specific areas, smaller studios often work together to accomplish projects. When you have the ability to draw, you are able to work in other roles of game creation and design. This can not only make you more attractive as a job candidate but can also provide opportunities for both personal and professional growth.


Create Your Own Games

If producing your own video game is a dream of yours, knowing how to draw can limit the amount of assistance you need from others. Having the ability to design the visual elements of your own game provides you with the opportunity to create something that is truly unique to you.

Alternatives to Drawing For Game Designers do you need to draw to design video games?

Luckily, there are numerous ways you can be successful as a game designer even without the ability to draw a stick figure.

Work On a Game Design Team

As a game designer, you will likely find yourself working on a team of other professionals. By surrounding yourself with other like-minded experts, you can each focus on your unique talents while working together to create a top-notch video game. Leaving the artist aspects of game design to the artists will allow you to focus on the areas of the field in which you truly excel.

Become a Game Developer

While game designers do not need to have the ability to draw, they do need to have a creative mindset and the ability to see things from a visual perspective. If you do not have this skill or desire, you may want to consider other areas of video game creation such as a game developer.

Game developers, sometimes called programmers, are responsible for building the video game and work more with the technical aspects of video games. This can be a great fit for individuals who have a passion for video game creation but lack creative abilities.

Improve Your Communication Skills

One of the reasons why having the ability to draw is so advantageous for a game designer is that it allows them to communicate more effectively. Of course, this is something that can be done without the ability to draw. If you lack creative skills, consider working on your communication style.

Clear, concise communication will allow you to communicate with the other experts on your team, resulting in a more pleasant work environment and a better quality game.

Develop Your Ability to Draw

Although some individuals are born with more artistic abilities, drawing is like many other skills. With proper training, dedication, and lots of practice, you can learn basic drawing skills. As you

progress through your career as a game designer, you may find that the ability to draw would help you to be more effective in your position.

Many game designers choose to develop their drawing ability through a class or by watching online tutorials. In addition to aiding you in your professional life, you may acquire a new skill that you truly enjoy.

Learn to Use Photoshop

Because game design relies so heavily on the use of technology, many game designers learn how to use photoshop instead of learning how to draw. By using photoshop, they are able to clearly communicate their visions and contribute to the visual elements of their latest game.

Becoming a Game Designer Without Drawing

Whether you possess the ability to draw or struggle drawing a stick figure, game design can be a rewarding and intriguing career choice. With an increasing demand that doesn’t show signs of coming to a halt, becoming a game designer can be a financially lucrative choice.

It is important to note that although game design sounds like a “fun” job, it does require great sacrifice and years of hard work. In fact, many successful game designers share that it takes at least five years to begin to make money in this field. For this reason, it is imperative that you only pursue the position of a game designer if you are truly passionate about game design and everything the job entails.

One of the best ways to have success as a game designer is to develop expertise in certain areas of the field. If drawing is not your specialty, you may consider pursuing programming, music, mathematics, logic, or computer science. These skills will allow you to promote yourself more effectively as you look to find your dream job.

On your road to becoming a game designer, you may encounter obstacles, such as an inability to draw or limited knowledge of programming. Do not let these obstacles become roadblocks. There are many successful game designers, each with their own set of skills and talents. By focusing on the areas of game design in which you truly excel, you will find success in this rewarding field.


Hello there! My name is Collin. I’ve spent hours studying game design via podcasts, articles, and videos. This is where I share the helpful information I’ve learned about creating and marketing great games.

Recent Posts