Besides a typical “game tester” job, there’s also a job that you may not have heard of yet called an “SDET” (pronounced “ESS-det”). That stands for “software design/development engineer in test.” It’s a cool job that’s basically a tester that writes computer code – code that tests the game in an automated way. So it’s like a testing job, but the salary is much higher since it requires programming skills. A programming degree or some programming classes would be really helpful for landing a job as an SDET.
Initially, the lead designer works with a small core team, defining the artistic approach for the game. The lead artist will supervise, if not undertake, the production of concept art which indicates the visual atmosphere and graphic design. They also research and test out different modeling, texturing, animation, rendering and lighting techniques and tools. The lead designer then manages the art and animation team (including outsourced staff), specifying what needs to be produced, ensuring deadlines and budgets and are met, and planning for any contingencies. Lead designers are employed by development studios, both independent and publisher-owned.