From conceptualizing innovative game mechanics to delivering immersive storylines, game designers have many challenges that require careful planning, consistent effort, and continual learning.
But amidst the hustle and bustle of creating the next big hit, game designers must set achievable goals that align with their career aspirations. And this is where SMART goals come in.
SMART provides a structured way for game designers to navigate their creative journey. In this guide, we’ll explore 12 examples of SMART goals for game designers to produce captivating gaming experiences.
What is a SMART Goal?
The SMART system is an excellent tool to help game designers set practical goals to enhance their skills and creativity. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.
Still wondering how it works? Let’s delve into each aspect of SMART:
You must have specific goals to improve your craft. Instead of saying, “I want to design better games,” specify what aspect you want to improve, such as “I want to create more engaging game narratives.” That helps create a clear path to success.
Measurability is essential in the world of game design. You need to keep track of your progress to ensure you’re moving forward. For instance, if your goal is to increase the number of levels in your game, determine how many levels you can create in a week and strive to improve that number.
When working towards a significant goal, start with smaller tasks. If your current objective is to master a new game development software, try not to tackle it all at once.
Divide the process into more manageable steps, like familiarizing yourself with the software’s basic features before delving into the more complex functionalities.
Developing relevant goals is a crucial step in your career progression. Say you dream of creating a groundbreaking RPG game; then your goals should reflect this ambition.
You might need to learn about narrative structures, character development, or unique game mechanics. Relevancy is essential as they transform into meaningful steps toward becoming a successful game designer.
Game design mastery does not happen overnight; it requires patience and persistence. Having a robust time frame can significantly aid this journey by keeping you motivated. It serves as a roadmap, guiding you through each phase of your learning process.
12 SMART Goals Examples for Game Designers
1. Increase User Retention
“I plan to increase user retention by 15% within the next four months by creating in-game rewards for daily logins. This way, players will be incentivized to log in every day and be more engaged with the game.”
Specific: The SMART statement is to increase user retention by 15% within four months.
Measurable: Track the number of active daily players before and after implementing the in-game rewards for daily logins.
Attainable: Using in-game rewards for daily logins is a feasible solution in other games.
Relevant: User retention is crucial for the success of a game, as it indicates how engaged and satisfied players are with the game.
Time-based: Success should be anticipated after four whole months.
2. Release a Successful Mobile Game
“I want to release an original mobile game that attracts at least 50,000 downloads within two months of launch. I’ll focus on creating a unique concept with high-quality graphics, engaging gameplay mechanics, and strategic marketing campaigns targeted towards my desired audience.”
Specific: Release a mobile game targeting 50,000 downloads in two months.
Measurable: You could count the number of downloads on a weekly basis.
Attainable: This is possible if you invest enough time in creating and promoting the game.
Relevant: As a game designer, releasing successful games is crucial for career growth and recognition.
Time-based: Two months provides a clear time frame to accomplish the goal.
3. Improve Game Design Skills
“Within 9 months, I will design games with at least one unique and innovative feature that sets them apart from other games in the market. I’ll do this by taking a relevant course, participating in game jams, and collaborating with experienced game designers.”
Specific: You have a well-defined goal in mind—to strengthen your game design skills.
Measurable: Count the unique and innovative features you add to your games.
Attainable: Various resources are listed to help improve your skills, such as courses, game jams, and collaborations.
Relevant: Enhancing your game design skills is directly related to your profession.
Time-based: You have established a deadline of 9 months to reach excellence.
4. Implement In-Game Events and Promotions
“I will organize a major in-game event for my game at least once every 6 months. I’ll measure its success by tracking the increase in active players during and after the event and aim for a 10% increase.”
Specific: The designer knows what to do (organize a huge in-game event) and when (once every 6 months).
Measurable: The event’s success will be measured by tracking active players and aiming for a specific increase.
Attainable: Assuming you have enough resources, organizing a major in-game event every 6 months should be doable.
Relevant: An event that aligns with player interests will keep them engaged and playing the game.
Time-based: This is an ongoing effort; organize events twice a year.
5. Create Strong Characters and Storyline
“Within three months, I want to develop a strong storyline and characters for my new game specific to my target audience. This includes creating detailed backstories for each character, as well as incorporating themes and conflicts that are relevant to the players.”
Specific: The game designer strives to develop a strong storyline and characters.
Measurable: Ensure the end product has detailed backstories for each character, as well as incorporate relevant themes and conflicts.
Attainable: You have three months to complete this task, a feasible timeline for creating a compelling storyline and characters.
Relevant: Strong characters and storylines are crucial elements of a successful game that resonates with the target audience.
Time-based: Your goal statement must be met over the three months ahead.
6. Boost Monetization Through Microtransactions
“I plan to increase the average amount of microtransactions per user by 20% within the next quarter by implementing a new system that rewards players with in-game currency for completing daily challenges and achievements.”
Specific: The goal mentions the target metric, the average number of microtransactions per user.
Measurable: A quantifiable increase of 20% in the stated metric to evaluate progress.
Attainable: Plenty of games have successfully implemented similar systems, making it a realistic goal.
Relevant: Boosting microtransactions can generate more revenue for the game and improve overall monetization.
Time-based: You have one quarter to achieve the desired result.
7. Collaborate With Influencers for Marketing
“I understand the importance of marketing in order to promote my games and reach a wider audience. That’s why I plan to collaborate with influencers to showcase my games and attract potential players for 8 months.”
Specific: You have explicit action available: collaborate with influencers to market your games.
Measurable: Assess the number of players who are influenced by the collaboration.
Attainable: Collaborating with influencers is feasible for game designers, especially with social media platforms and influencer marketing agencies.
Relevant: Collaborations allow game designers to tap into the audience of content creators and leverage their influence to generate interest.
Time-based: Goal completion is anticipated by the end of 8 months.
8. Enhance Graphics and Visuals
“Whether it’s the stunning landscapes of an open-world game or the intricate details of a character’s armor, my games should have visually appealing graphics that leave players in awe. I’ll utilize new technologies, like ray tracing for realistic lighting and shadows, within a year.”
Specific: There is a clear focus on enhancing the graphics and visuals of the games.
Measurable: Success can be measured by using new technologies and the overall improvement in graphics.
Attainable: New technologies may be expensive and require certain skill sets, but with proper research, this goal is possible.
Relevant: In the gaming industry, graphics and visuals are crucial for immersing players in the game world and creating a memorable experience.
Time-based: You have a one-year window to accomplish the SMART goal.
9. Introduce Multiplayer Features
“I’ll add multiplayer features to my game within the next 6 months, allowing players to connect and play together online. This should increase player engagement and create a more social gaming experience.”
Specific: This is well-defined, stating the addition of multiplayer features in 6 months.
Measurable: Check if the multiplayer features are on track to being added before the deadline.
Attainable: With the right resources and team, adding multiplayer features is doable.
Relevant: Multiplayer features are highly sought after and can increase player engagement.
Time-based: Six months is the time frame to meet this particular goal.
10. Optimize Game Performance
“I want to improve the performance of my game by optimizing code and decreasing load times for three months. That way, players can enjoy the game without distractions or interruptions.”
Specific: The game designer knows what must be done (optimizing code and decreasing load times).
Measurable: You can quantify the improvement through decreased load times and improved performance metrics.
Attainable: Any competent game designer can boost the performance of a game.
Relevant: Improving performance pertains to the success of any game, as it ensures an enjoyable experience for players.
Time-based: Goal attainment is expected over the three months ahead.
11. Expand to New Platforms
“I want to create a game that can be played on multiple platforms, including mobile devices and gaming consoles, over the following 18 months. It should have the same core gameplay and features but optimized for each platform’s unique capabilities.”
Specific: You have detailed what platforms you want to target—mobile, console, PC, or all.
Measurable: Define the number of platforms and how much time you have to work on them.
Attainable: Assuming team size and budget aren’t a problem, it’s possible to build a game for other platforms within the provided time frame.
Relevant: With the rise of mobile gaming and the dominance of consoles, expanding to new platforms can significantly increase your game’s reach.
Time-based: You have an 18-month end date to complete this goal.
12. Improve Player Engagement
“For three months, I’m going to hyper-focus on improving player engagement in my game. I’ll do this by introducing new gameplay features, hosting in-game events, and creating a community on social media.”
Specific: The goal explains the objective, what will be done to reach it, and when.
Measurable: Track the increase in player activity and event participation over time.
Attainable: Not overwhelming, as the tasks are feasible within the provided time frame.
Relevant: This aligns with boosting player engagement, a key aspect of successful game design.
Time-based: A three-month window is set to attain the SMART statement.
Following these examples, you can elevate your game design skills and take your projects to new heights. Keep pushing yourself and never stop striving for improvement in the ever-evolving world of game design.
After all, the more you challenge yourself, the better your games will become. So use these SMART goals as a guide, but don’t be afraid to add your personal touch and tailor them to your aspirations.
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