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How to Become a Video Game Designer in Spokane, Washington

Written by ACR StaffFebruary 14, 2012
Video Game Designer in Spokane, Washington
Did You Know.....Full Sail University offers online degree programs in computer animation, game art, and game design? Learn more about Full Sail University's online programs.
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These days, video gamers all over in Spokane, Washington are transforming their passion into exciting careers in animation and video game design.  With a population well over 200,000, Spokane is an ideal location for qualified professionals pursuing high-tech employment.  More than one out of ten U.S. video game design jobs is located in Washington.  Most of them are in Seattle, but many are right here in Spokane.

Spokane Schools and Training Programs for Video Game Design

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A number of colleges in Spokane, Washington offer degree programs in animation and video game design.  Some aspiring designers major in computer science, perhaps with emphasis on digital media.  Others might choose programming and animation, or math with emphasis on game theory.  Some even design their own degree programs. 

Residents of Spokane earning degrees in interactive game design typically attend Spokane Community College.  Other schools offer similar professional training and degree programs online.  Among the largest online schools for video game designers are University of Phoenix, ITT Tech, DeVry and The Art Institutes.

Working as a Video Game Designer in Spokane

The standard pay for a video game designer varies depending on experience, effort, performance, productivity, networking and geographic location, among many other things.  In 2010, the average reported annual salary for animators and video game designers across the nation is about $63,000, ranging anywhere from about $35,000 to more than $200,000 per year.  However, this data fails to account for the unreported incomes of countless self-employed individuals.  In any case, animators and video game designers in Spokane, Washington can potentially earn top salaries doing work they enjoy. 

Spokane businesses hiring video game designers include software publishers, mobile phone service providers, colleges, graphic design firms and animation studios.  Some Spokane designers work for top local advertising agencies like Kelly Brady, Magner Sanborn, Purple Turtle or Quisenberry.  Other local designers work for Spokane movie producers like Blue Room Design, Corner Booth Pictures, ILF Media and North by Northwest Productions.     

Entry level positions in video game design generally require a degree and background experience.  Qualified designers who are self starters don't always work for a firm, thanks to the huge assortment of internet start-ups wanting to feature their own video games.  Animators and video game designers are often freelance professionals, arranging their own schedules, setting their own pace and telecommuting.  They find work as independent contractors for companies.  Some design and sell  games independently.  Some build game-related websites.

Recommended Skills for Video Game Designers

An animator renders images for a video game.  The video game designer creates a game with rules and a plausible scoring system, then enhances the game by programming a time limit and adding increasingly difficult challenges aimed at keeping the players engaged.  The designer sometimes creates the artwork, but often consults with professional animators to capture a visual style most suitable to the game. 

Professional video game designers study math, communications, engineering, computer science, digital media, game theory, story lines, character development and many other subjects in an effort to create enormously popular, action-packed interactive products.  A video game designer's highest score is mass market appeal.