Your best bet is to go full-indie while having a skill of your own, whether it's art or programming, maybe both. If you're lacking in either of these areas, then you might as well forget it, because you're not going to have the cred you need to be a designer. However, if you are a decent artist and can program enough to make a game of your own, you can spend a year or three doing this driven by your own passion and vision and then you'll have something that says, "Hey, I am serious about this kind of thing."
But even with that, it still may not be enough.
At the studio I work for, the design stuff is a collaborative effort between a bunch of people. The auteur method is seldom seen in the West, and probably no longer seen in the East anymore, either.
Oh, and as for school, don't waste your time... At least not with a degree in art or design. If you do, avoid the Art Institute chain/scam at all costs. Like Pierog said, it's not a skill that can be taught but is cultivated with practice. In the game industry, having a degree is irrelevant; it's all about your portfolio and who you know.
What? I think degrees for games design are becoming more relevant (and besides, even as an artist my coworkers were shocked that I didn't have a degree) and in other areas degrees are near essential.
I mean, if the OP is interested in college, they might as well go for it.
(Just like everyone else says, make sure to make some games too! And as always be careful about choosing your college, etc. etc. Go to some game jams also to get a boost from other game makers.)