Originally Posted by Derfel Cadarn
1. I would want to do the job of a designer,
2. juggling with all sorts of stuff.
3. In my understanding, then, a diverse portfolio is advantageous for a designer. Is that correct? I mean, within the boundaries of reason, I don't mean stuff that is extremely hard to relate to most games like the culinary arts or something like that.
4. I'd also be curious to know if companies look favourably upon academic writings. Like an article on contemporary game paradigms or the sort of sociological stuff that Anita Sarkeesian does or even psychology?
1. "Designer" is the single most sought-after job title. Everybody wants to be the designer. You have a LOT of competition.
2. You lost me there. You need to do more research on what a designer does, and you need to get experience developing games (so you fully understand the limitations and possibilities of the job) before anyone will hire you as a designer. I recommend these:
After you've read those, you need to get involved in some projects. Read the Classifieds at gamedev.net, participate in discussions with other people (not only me).
3. To a certain extent, yes. A game designer needs to be able to write game designs, illustrate them to some extent, make presentations, and demonstrate knowledge of games, movies, literature, music, and popular culture.
4. Do not assume that "companies" are all alike, that "companies" have opinions. You'll be interviewed by people, not companies. And people are individuals, each one with different likes, dislikes, opinions, and tastes. A designer does need to understand psychology - psychology of players, programmers, artists, musicians, producers, marketers, and game publisher executives. Just having written an article isn't much, but if it got a lot of attention, like Jane McGonigal's TED talk (http://www.npr.org/2012/05/25/153235...ve-real-issues
), that's worthy. But would it get you a job... as a game designer... if you had never actually worked on a game? Doubtful.