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How to understand the difference between Game Design & Game Art

How to understand the difference between Game Design & Game Art


The difference between game design and game art is essential to know; however, they work closely together. Game designers are responsible for creating the game’s content, and game artists do the drawings and animations of a game.

When starting to create a game, there are two main questions:

  1. What will the game be about?
  2. How will the game be played?

The answer to the first question determines what the game artist should do; the second answer defines what the game designer should do. 

Let’s unpack the differences between game design services and game art services.

What is Game Design?

Game designers create a game and inspire a vision for the game. In game production, analyzing the user interface, game engagement, and testing is up to game designers. Finding and fixing bugs is one of their responsibilities. They focus on how the game will be played to design that picture and decide what the player can or cannot do in the game.

Technical, creative, and gaming skills are the keys to this field. The game designer is a line between an artist & a writer to convert an idea into a concept. This stage includes computer programming, creative writing, and graphic design.

If you are interested in

  • Writing and structuring stories
  • Analyzing games when you play them
  • Designing board games or card games
  • Making new scenarios or levels in games
  • Organizing and coordinating projects


This position probably suits you.

Coming up with a great game idea 🙂

What is Game Art?

Game art is visual elements you see while playing a game to tell the story. Here the game artist is the one who comes up with the sketches and creates the feel of the game. This field is so detailed-oriented and needs deep interest and artistic training.

The game artist does the sketching, drawing, painting, modeling, and animating characters/environments/props using software like Maya, 3D Max, Photoshop, etc. They focus on how the game will look.

If you are interested in the above items and creating artwork, you can be a talented game artist.

the difference between game design and game art
Game art design by Pixune studio

Types of Game Artists & Game Designers

According to the studio size, the number of artists may vary.

Here are some of the game artists:

  • Concept Artists
  • 2D/3D Artists
  • Environment Artists
  • Lighting Artists 
  • Visual Effects Artists
  • Riggers
  • Animators
Game Art

Different types of game designers:

  • Lead Designers
  • Content Designers
  • System Designers
  • Technical Designers
  • UI/UX Designers
  • Level Designers
  • Game Director

Can an Artist Become a Game Designer?

Yes, it is achievable for an artist to design games. In fact, the field of game design can place great value on creative abilities. While many other disciplines are involved in game design, such as programming, level design, and gameplay mechanics, creative talent matters in developing a game’s visual aspects.
Additionally, having an excellent creative background can give game designers a unique point of view and an eye for beauty. They can design visually stunning and engaging game experiences by applying their knowledge of color theory, composition, and visual communication.
While becoming a game designer needs to master designing skills outside of art over time.
Finally, working as a game designer might result in a combination of artistic talent and a passion for designing games. Many well-known game designers began their professional lives as artists before developing games.

Game Design Vs. Game Art

Game art is the look and feel of the game. Artists create the art behind the games and decide where to put art assets into the game. Some of them create the storyboard, and some develop the concept. 

However, game design is creating a gameplay that is developed into a game (how to play). The way that different parts work together, the rules, and the fun of the game is up to the designers.   

Without game artists, the game would be nothing more than an idea in designers’ heads. This is the most obvious different between game art and game design.

Let's Wrap Up

Imagine that you have your game idea, so go for details. If you do not have the game concept, you can ask the concept artist to develop it for you.

Game designers are here to bring your idea to life. They focus on the way of working each part together and write the structures of them. They will define the rules and gameplay.

Now the sketches are ready for painting, modeling, and animating by artists. Game artists determine where to put these assets to look fabulous.

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