This is the first of a two-part series about the field of game design. This first article talks about how to break the wall and get into game design. The second part will detail a bit about how design works from the inside.
At one point or another, most people who play games have probably at least entertained the thought of getting into game design professionally. Game design isn't like law or medicine though - there's no bar or exam to pass, so how exactly does one break into the field?
The most important thing to realize about breaking into game design is that it is very much subject to the laws of supply and demand. There are very few game design jobs of any sort available, and there are a whole lot of people who want to be designers. And many of the people applying for the few open game design positions are not strangers to the industry, either. In addition to people in areas like QA or CSR, it is not uncommon to see programmers or artists want to switch fields.
Different developers will have different biases and be looking for different things, but there are ways you can better position yourself to dramatically improve your chances of breaking in to the industry.