Guest Post: A Career in the Games Industry
December 11, 2010
The game industry is a steadily growing market. If you are a gamer, pursuing a job in video game design could be a great way to turn your hobby into a substantial money making career. If you know a little about the process of designing a game. You may know that a team of individuals with different groups of skill sets work together to design and develop a game. Developing a video game, from start to finish, can take anywhere from one to four years. There are many jobs in the game developing industry, and many online game development schools offering degree programs in different areas of the game life cycle. The schooling you will need will be dependent upon the specific job in the game design process that interests you. However, there are online schools offering degree plans with a general focus in game development. If you are unsure, a program like that may help you decide what specific skill set you want to hone in on. Maybe you’re interested in more than one specific job in the development process. Whatever you may be looking for there is an online school with a program that will fit your needs. Here is a short list of online schools offering programs in game development.
1. Westwood college- Bachelor’s degree in game development. Course includes:
2. The Art Institute- Game Art and Design Program. Course includes:
Creating Characters and Environments
Scene and Set Design
3. ITT Technical Institute- Bachelors in Digital Entertainment and Game Design. Course Includes:
Digital Game Design
Game Design Process
These three schools offer programs focusing on the general development of a video game. Take your time looking through the courses from online game development schools to find the one that is right for you. There are many different paths you could take when deciding the job role that you would like to fill in the development of a video game. There are many, many jobs within the cycle of creating a game. The different jobs include, but are not limited to:
CONCEPT ARTISTS. Concept artists create the initial look of the game. Drawing the characters, clothes, cars and other elements. The concept artist is the inspiration for the design process that follows. There are few concept art positions making this a competitive job path to pursue. Taking courses that specialize in this style of art could be really beneficial, however, having experience and skill are most important. Designing a portfolio with a collection of your best works will aid you in getting a job as a concept/storyboard artist.
CHARACTER ARTISTS and ANIMATORS. These artists begin the process of making the characters come to life in 3D. As an animator you will need a strong artistic background and knowledge of the latest computer animation technology. Most positions for animators require a bachelors in something like fine arts or media. Most courses in video game design will be backed by some form of animation training.
PROGRAMMERS. Programmers are the brains behind it all. Not to be confused with a game designer the programmers work on what make the video game run. Programming a video game is a very complex job. There are more than one type of programmer each specializing in a specific type of programming. There are game engine programmers, physics engine programmers, graphics engine programmers, artificial intelligence programmers, sound programmers, etc. Most programming jobs will require a bachelors in math, physics or computer science.
PROFESSIONAL TESTERS. This is the dream job. To get paid to play video games. Although it seems easy there are technical aspects to this job as well. The people that get hired as testers also have guidelines, deadlines and specific feedback that needs to be provided to the game publishers in a timely manner. Although you are having fun you have to keep in mind that you are working and stay on track. Game testing jobs aren’t easy to find make sure to let publishers know who you are and keep up your search until you find the job you’ve been looking for. Making a resume aimed at getting this job is a good idea. Experience is key.
There are many more jobs in the game design and developing industry. Making major league gaming a career choice, and a broad one at that. I hope the information I have provided aided you in your search for an exciting career in video game developing. Never give up on your dream job, this industry is growing fast. Explore your options and get gaming!