Advances in visual technologies as well as the development of more powerful computing systems have generally resulted in greater interest in video games. Not only are video game design studios creating new titles to entertain gamers, companies across multiple industries are integrating games or gaming aspects into their products and websites. Also, schools are looking to new gaming software that makes education more enjoyable and helps students retain information. A game design school may help you program a new career.
The First Level for Game Design
Colleges that offer training in game design usually provide two-year and four-year degrees. To join a program, you will typically need to have a high school diploma or GED and submit standardized test scores like the SAT and/or ACT. You might take game design courses like game design and planning, digital media, project management, 3D animation, and digital audio. During your program, you will likely have the opportunity to work on a variety of projects where you will apply what you have learned in class. This will typically help you in your future job search as employers tend to prefer applicants who have demonstrated their skills on actual projects.
Along with your coursework, creativity and attention to detail might be advantageous for designing and coding new games. Game designers tend to work as part of a larger team. Therefore, excellent interpersonal skills may be useful for communicating ideas to other team members and integrating feedback for design changes during the project.
The Role of a Game Designer
Designing a video game typically begins with a basic idea of the type and style of the game. Video game designers work as a team with other development professionals on the story, characters, levels, and music for the game. This collaborative effort helps the designers create a cohesive environment for game play.
After the designers have a clear overall picture of game, they will either begin programming the game or work with dedicated programmers. They may use libraries to integrate certain functions into the game or write new code for unique aspects, such as a particular character. Finally, the designer will test the program to ensure that the game works according to their vision.
Put Your Game Design Degree in Action
The Breuer of Labor Statistics does not report data for game designers and developers separately. Software developer positions, in general, are expected to grow much faster than average through 2020, whereas graphic design positions are expected to grow about as fast as average. Demand for new games that integrate the latest technologies and the desire to add gaming features to websites and mobile application will likely spur this growth. The median annual salary for graphic designers as a whole in 2010 was $43,500 and was $87,790 for computer software developers.
The enjoyment of game playing generally means that companies will want to include games or game-like aspects into the software that runs their products. Also, there will likely be a continued market for free online games where companies generate revenue from advertisements as well as paid online gaming communities for players who seek games that use cutting-edge gaming technologies. Read about game design schools to discover how to join the ranks of professionals who develop the gaming platforms for products and websites.