Companies want team players. In other words, they want somebody who possesses strong social skills - not somebody that sits in front of a computer in a basement playing Counter-Strike all day, memorizing every radio hotkey religiously.

The most important aspect to this craft is demonstrating that you can articulate your ideas tangibly through words. This characteristic is shown through well-written résumés and well-polished portfolios that include comprehensive game documentation and analysis.

Math Skills
Training starts even before picking a college and involves various general math-related courses. If going into programming, one would be wise to take trigonometry, physics and calculus. If already prepared in these courses, then one will have more time to devote to game programming. Thus, it’s in an individual’s best interest to take care of these things sooner rather than later. It will save money, time and, in the long run, effort.

Art Skills
If planning to be an artist, there are some things with which one should try to familiarize him or herself with beforehand. If you can pick up a program such as Macromedia Flash or Adobe Photoshop, play around and learn how they work. Make something, even if it’s only something simple or if it’s something that’s not even good. If you figure this out ahead of time through this trial-and-error process, you can cruise through some basic classes in colleges and jump right into the advanced material. This will help you build up an impressive portfolio and résumé, a goal to be considered one of your first priorities. Companies don’t hire beginners.

Well-Rounded Qualities and Traits
Beyond the skills listed above, it’s important that you have the right mindset. One cannot expect to play video games all the time in learning how to design and develop them. Playing games doesn’t qualify one to make them - it takes is a mixture of knowledge, dedication, and the ability to work as part of a team.

Team players
• Whatever you can do, and however well you can do it, someone else can do it better. Don’t become so cocky that nobody can stand to be around you - chances are that you’ll be left behind for someone who doesn’t drive everyone crazy. Confidence is great, but there’s a line you should be careful not to cross.
• Communication is very important. Although games have classically been one-man project, modern day productions require the work of many individuals. Interact with the team, cooperate with them, and realize that sometimes your idea may not be used. This is okay. The project is more important than any one person’s ego. Be a team player. Being a lone wolf is all well and good if you’re a superhero, but you’re a game designer.

Practice, get some ability, keep your ego in check, and stay focused on your goal. If you can manage all that, game design is for you.