People say everywhere that "the idea person" can't be just that.. He has to do some other work AS WELL such as programming or art or sound etc etc.
If I understand correct Game Designer is the person who has the idea of the game, the vision what it will be and all the features and mechanics.
The 'person who has the idea of the game' sounds a lot like the fabled 'Idea Man' - a role which has no place in the games industry. The simple fact is, everyone has ideas, and the vast majority of those people think their ideas are better than anyone else's.
The Programmer has Ideas, and likes his own ideas more than he likes anyone else's. The Artist has Ideas, which he values more than anyone else's. Together, they can make a successful game and share the profit between two people - so why would they hire an Ideas Guy who does nothing but come up with ideas (which they will both like less than their own) while they're actually creating the product?
In order to be worth his salt, a Game Designer has to be able to demonstrate that his input on the project is going to result in a sufficiently better product to compensate for whatever sacrifices the team must make to include him - and by sacrifices, I don't just mean money. Creative input tends to be important to everyone on the team, doubly so if they are doing it on an unpaid basis. For that reason alone, no Game Designer can afford to be some kind of creatively monopolistic Ideas Guy - rather, he takes creative input from the entire team, fills in any gaps with his own ideas and collates it into something coherent and fun.
Fun is the key of course - that's the where the value of the Game Designer ultimately comes from. Not from his ability to write colossal design bibles that nobody reads. Not even in his ability to have Cool New ideas for Awesome New Features. The skill of the Game Designer is in his ability to identify gameplay issues, fix or even cut features that don't work, add features that do work, and create gameplay that is engaging for the target audience.
All of this is an iterative process. The notion of the Game Designer who locks himself away for months before delivering a giant, perfect, and final Game Design Document is complete fiction. It's incredibly difficult to design a fun game entirely on paper, so difficult in fact that no-one actually attempts to do this. All game design documents are evolving documents which are written largely concurrently with the rest of the game. As new features are implemented the Game Designer has to try them out, see how well they work. Maybe, they aren't actually much fun. Maybe an unexpected issue arises between two features, and the Designer has to make a decision as to how to resolve them. All without stamping all over the feet of everyone who has contributed ideas to the project.
Ultimately, as I think several people in this thread have already said, indie Game Designers are respected - once they have proven themselves. But then we're back in the same sort of chicken and egg situation that wannabe Game Designers face everywhere - you can't prove yourself unless someone will take you on, and no-one will take you on until you've proven yourself.
Unless of course, you can add something more tangible to the project, such as programming/art assets..
You obviously didn't read the thread or even the OP.
Idea is just the 1% of the game designers process.
So what if the programmer has ideas too, You can't build a game efficiently on just an idea.. if you do then it can turn out to be anything.
You also don't understand the value of a game designer still.
Personally I would rather have a great game designer instead of a great artist in my team.
The game designer creates great gameplay while the artist just creates... eye candy.. makes the game more pleasant to look at.
And programmer? Well obviously it gets preferred over the designer since there's no game without a programmer.
But a programmer just puts the blocks ontop of each other.. builds code.
It's the designers job to tell him where to place the blocks so it becomes a great and fun game.
Just do yourself the favor and read the thread.