Originally Posted by tsloper
There is an exception to every rule (even this one). Frontier Developments' hiring practices are an exception, not the rule. The rule stands: those who aspire to game designer jobs are still best advised to get a degree. In most of the industry, game design is not an entry-level position. Level design and associated technical design roles have junior entry-level positions more than game design does.
If your goal is to break in through game design, a degree is advised, and you need a breaking-in pathway.
You need to stop separating game design and level design. To be a good designer, you need to be good at both. I'd expect any level designer to be able to contribute to the "game" design; just like I'd expect any "game" designer to be able to contribute to the level design team if need be. Yes; some people are better at designing systems than they are levels, but a good designer needs to understand and be able to contribute to both aspects.
Getting a degree is not the only way into design and as I said before; in a lot of cases I bet it doesn't even factor into a decision.
Out of interest, what was the last project you actually worked on Tom?