The art director has a lot of duties and responsibilities, seeing as they are in charge of the whole art department. They are in charge of maintaining the overall look of the game. Below them would be an art manager and the the (take one out) rest of the artists. The director would work closely with the artists passing on their ideas and experience to help maintain visual consistency. They would also work closely with the projects art manager to ensure that the projects are manageable within the overall project budget and schedule. These are just a few of the many aspects to art directing.
The role of an art director in the games industry seems to have many things in common with that of one in the film industry. Both are responsible for a creative outcome that has been worked on by many people. I see this as one of the unique problems they both face compared to any other form of direction. Most of the other duties are based around time management or people management and is common place in most industries. The creativity required for the role is enormous, not only does the art director have to communicate the concept to the team of artist, but they also have to constantly review and refine the work produced by the rest of the team.
If I wanted to become an art director I'd have to develop a lot of skills, not just my artistic ones. My time management would be the biggest, as I would not just be in charge of my deadlines but those of the whole team. This being said I'm not all too sure I'd actually want the position, at least not until I'd had many years of just plain old art work. I do however remember that people from Blitz Games mentioned a position called ‘guru’, this person would not have to manage people but still have more acknowledgement of their skills and ability to impart their knowledge to others through mentored.