Skip to content
August 20, 2013 / KingsIsle Entertainment

A Day in the Life of a Game Designer

My name is Sara Jensen Schubert and I’m the design lead of Pirate101.  That means that I manage all of our talented world, systems, and UI designers.  I allocate tasks and bug fixes, and keep the team informed.  I’m also the primary contact for people from other departments when they have questions.  I make many small decisions every day!

My typical day at KingsIsle goes something like this:

9:30 AM

  • Arrive at the office.
  • Check my email to see if any problems have arisen, or any other issues that deserve a reply.
  • Check our bug tracking program to see if any design bugs have cropped up.  If they have, I make sure they’re valid design issues and route them to the appropriate designers.

10:00 AM

  • I drop by the designers to see how they’re doing.
  • A producer comes by to ask about the design team’s tasks for the week.

10:30

  • Throughout the rest of the day, there’s more email and more bugs.  It’s the same procedure as before – keep an eye out for emails that need a response, and review incoming bugs to be sure they’re valid before assigning them out to the right people.
  • I read the forums to look for interesting conversations and bug reports.

Pirate 2012-04-25 14-28-42-42

11:30

  • One of our UI designers calls me over to review a feature he’s prototyping.  It looks good!  We discuss options for improvement and he gets back to work.  We take a screenshot to send to the management team to make sure we’re on the right track.

12:00

  • Lunch time!

12:30

  • Return to yet more email and bugs.
  • One particular email is from a designer who’s having trouble redesigning a boss fight in game. I play the fight and offer suggestions.  We exchange a few ideas and settle on a solution.
  • Another email is from a designer with a game design document.  I read it and offer my feedback.

2:30

  • A designer comes to me with a great idea for the next update, but it requires new art.  We discuss it with the art lead, and it turns out we have time to do it!  It’s officially on the schedule now.  A good idea goes from a thought in somebody’s head to a real task in the space of an hour.  I love it when stuff like that happens – it demonstrates how much we value individual creativity here on the P101 team.

3:00

  • A design document is ready to go to art and tech for implementation, and I revise it to ensure it includes all the information it needs.
  • A programmer drops by my office to ask a question about a feature he’s implementing.  It turns out it’s a bigger problem than we thought, so we rope in a few other people and turn it into a mini-meeting.  After getting everyone’s input, the problem gets solved.

Picture 2012-08-10 14-40-20

4:00

  • A designer drops by with a question about a bug fix.

4:30

  •  A few bugs arrive that I can fix!  I update my game editor and get to work.

5:30

  • Email, bugs, and office visits start to slow down, so I get a chance to play the game!

6:00

  • Time to go home.

My days are busy, but satisfying.  It’s fun to keep the team running well and to manage so much information.  And it’s great to be a part of the effort towards making a fun game better!

Sara Jensen Schubert
Design Lead (Game Systems)

42 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. simon / Aug 20 2013 1:33 pm

    when i am older i want to be a game designer

    • Allyn Collins / Aug 20 2013 1:58 pm

      Sounds like a busy day, but when you’re doing what you love how bad can it be? For those of us older players, we appreciate all that has and still does go on at KingsIsle!! Thank You!

      • Anonymous / Aug 27 2013 4:57 pm

        its a great time of your day playing I don’t want to get off

  2. Sky Pirate / Aug 20 2013 2:06 pm

    Cool! I used to think a designer only made textures and stuff, but it turns out it’s a lot more! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Mark DeathMask / Aug 20 2013 2:08 pm

    I’ve got some ideas for revamping animations for spells in Wizard101, Krokotillian and Krokomummy.

  4. Emma Pearlflower / Aug 20 2013 2:48 pm

    Read your blog, seems like a lot of work for a Game Designer! I would like to be a Game Designer also if I have good ideas. 🙂 Best of luck with your other ideas–Emma PearlFlower from Wizard101. PS: I have played pirate101 before.

  5. lindaberkowitz / Aug 20 2013 3:50 pm

    I assume you are the people who designed the new Class Houses? Fantastic job! I love them all. Much nicer than anything that wiz has now. I have a request for smaller rooms though. I know, everyone else wants more space. but I like to decorate them as real rooms in real houses. Super job! Thanks!

  6. Chris Dragoncoin / Aug 20 2013 4:04 pm

    Wow!, one day i’d love to be a Game Designer like you!

  7. Wow, I didn’t know you guys worked so hard on Wizard101! Thanks for working so hard for my favorite game! 😀

  8. fatima / Aug 20 2013 5:09 pm

    wow your life is awesome i wanna be like you someday!

  9. marissa / Aug 20 2013 5:12 pm

    wow your job is cool when i read it in the news i thought you were the person to draw some stuff like dorms and mounts in wizard101 but your job is cool i love to draw i thought i was horrible but i drew a realistic drawing if it was 3d it would be so scary. plz reply

    • jessica / Aug 20 2013 5:31 pm

      scary is awesome and I bet u r awesome at drawing soo don’t stop 🙂 one day u would be the best of the best 🙂

  10. Anonymous / Aug 20 2013 5:14 pm

    this game is awesome and I love the designs

  11. jessica / Aug 20 2013 5:29 pm

    when i am older I wanna be a game designer for games to come!! 🙂

    • fred halyard / Aug 21 2013 2:13 am

      me too but i dont think ill be that great at designing my brother teached be stuff but thats it for me to computers

  12. Evan / Aug 20 2013 6:24 pm

    i want to be a game designer

  13. Jake / Aug 20 2013 6:28 pm

    Cool designing most of it is about bug fixes and stuff. If you like designing that goes to everyone you should play ROBLOX, at ROBLOX.com. It’s a fun game where you get to design your own games and visit other people’s games and creations. I might be a designer when I get older.

  14. Alicia IceBlossom / Aug 20 2013 6:36 pm

    wow! being a game designer is so cool! i think i might be one when i grow up.

  15. LouisaCB / Aug 20 2013 6:40 pm

    I am young but someday can I be a game designer just like you? 😀 It sounds fun and amazing 🙂 maybe e mail me?

  16. Amber JadeStone / Aug 20 2013 6:40 pm

    i love how in wizard101, and also pirate101, everything is so detailed. i fell like exploring everything there is because there are so many interesting things. your days must be really hard because you have to discuss so many things and check e-mails every so often.

  17. Anonymous / Aug 20 2013 7:08 pm

    wow, I love all that you do for kingslsle!! I love wizard101 my fav. game! and your job is pretty busy and also very cool. thank you!

  18. Anonymous / Aug 20 2013 7:45 pm

    wow! thank you guys so much! This is my #1 favorite game! 🙂

  19. Morgan spirit / Aug 20 2013 7:47 pm

    wow! Thank you guys for creating this awesome game! this is totally my #1 favorite game! 🙂

  20. Shane carden / Aug 20 2013 7:52 pm

    i apreesiate your work and how hard you work to make kids happy i want to become a game designer when i grow up

  21. Mary Ann / Aug 20 2013 9:20 pm

    Thank you for all your hard work and the wonderful game design. As an IT/Ops member of a top-drawer satellite provider, I can truly appreciate the effort!

  22. Anonymous / Aug 20 2013 9:34 pm

    wow so much work but it’s worth it i wish i can grow up to be like you sara

  23. Alex Zarate / Aug 21 2013 1:31 am

    tht is my dream job: to design videogames

  24. Anonymous / Aug 21 2013 2:20 am

    I want to ask, do you actually get to play at home?

    • Sara Jensen Schubert / Aug 21 2013 2:55 pm

      Yes, I play at home sometimes! Especially if I have a long encounter to play through and I don’t have enough uninterrupted time at work.

  25. tarek / Aug 21 2013 6:39 am

    ay lvl 90 ice ay a member

  26. Anonymous / Aug 21 2013 9:29 am

    Wow, your day seems very busy! I would love to be a game designer like you one day. I really appreciate all the hard work Kingsisle puts into these games.

  27. Tanner Spellriver / Aug 21 2013 9:37 am

    Nice Job on the details and graphics or just the game in general! Best of luck to designing both games!

  28. Joy Lapray / Aug 21 2013 10:43 am

    Hello, I just wanted to say that I love playing Wizard101. The graphics are wonderful and creative and most people are a pleasure to battle with (or against haha). I had an idea for a mount that i thought you might like. How about a polymorphic cloud that can turn into other mounts for a short time but keep its cloud like appearance. It would give the players a chance to try variouse mounts and may improve sales in that area. It would also be fun if you could make the mount storm or rain when you wanted. You can charge gold or crowns for the change, like for the transformations in the shop. I think it would also make a good pet. If you like this idea please let me know.
    Thank You

  29. thunder she-wolf / Aug 22 2013 11:03 am

    Wow, it’s seem like a lot of work to be a game designer! I wanted to be one when I grew up and I still do. I also had some ideas for Wizard101. A sky place. I’m not talking about floating land, cause that’s what all of these places are. I was thinking a cloud place. Perhaps a villain is making a cloud land above wizard city. Perhaps the storm teacher gives you the quest.

  30. brandon / Aug 22 2013 3:07 pm

    hello my name is Brandon and I really like your games I like wizard101 the most and would like to ask you what do I have to study/ do in life to be able to be where you are some day in the future

  31. Anonymous / Aug 22 2013 6:24 pm

    Sup i’m Dakota and i LOVE making games they rock i will hopefully make a game as good as yours some day.=)

  32. Anonymous / Aug 23 2013 5:14 pm

    I do a little bit of programming myself. Nothing like what kingsilse must do! Thanks for all your efforts. I want to become a computer programmer one day.

  33. neisha / Aug 28 2013 4:36 pm

    its fun

  34. Autumn / Oct 22 2013 1:55 pm

    I didn’t know how much work it is being a designer for games but i reallllllyyyyy love the game wizard101 it’s the best game ever i hop you make a new world to!

  35. Anonymous / Dec 8 2013 4:54 pm

    I want to be a computer programmer, and I know most of the basics for programming, like C++, JAVA, and Easy C. I don’t know what kind of university or college to go to and some colleges I feel like only want your money. Any help?

  36. Anonymous / Dec 9 2013 12:14 pm

    I looked at this site while doing a school project for career choices, i’ve always loved video games and really want to become a game designer.

Trackbacks

  1. A Day in the Life of a Game Designer | Blainyful Followings

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: