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How to Become a Video Game Designer in Tacoma, Washington

Written by ACR StaffFebruary 13, 2012
Video Game Designer in Tacoma, 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, interactive gamers all over Tacoma, Washington seek exciting careers in animation and video game design.  With a population that exceeds 200,000, Tacoma is an ideal place for qualified local high-tech professionals to land high paying positions.  More than one out of ten U.S. video game design jobs is located in the state of Washington.  Quite a lot of these jobs are in Tacoma.

Tacoma Schools and Training Programs for Video Game Design

Several colleges in Tacoma, Washington offer degree programs in animation and video game design.  Some aspiring designers major in computer science or, more specifically, digital media.  Others choose programming majors with special interest in animation, or math with a minor in game theory.  Some even design their own degree programs. 

Residents of Tacoma, Washington earning degrees in interactive game design typically attend Bates Technical College or Tacoma Community College.  Some schools offer similar professional training and degree programs online.  Among the largest of these are University of Phoenix, ITT Tech, DeVry and The Art Institutes.

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Working as a Video Game Designer in Tacoma, Washington

The standard pay for almost any video game designer is based on education, experience, performance, productivity, networking and geographic location, among many other things.  According to a recent employment study, the average reported annual salary for U.S. animators and video game designers is about $63,000, with individual salaries 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 Tacoma, Washington can potentially earn top salaries doing jobs they like. 

Companies in Tacoma, Washington hiring video game designers include software publishers, mobile phone service providers, colleges, graphic design firms and animation studios.  Some Tacoma designers work for top local advertising agencies like GI Conference, Inform Puget Sound or Jacobson Ray Mclaughlin & Fill.  Other local designers work for Tacoma-based movie producers like American Video, Cre8TV, Dead Gentlemen Productions or Edit-1 Media.     

Video game design jobs generally require a degree and related experience.  However, qualified designers don't always work for a firm, thanks to the astounding number of internet start-ups in need of interactive design features.  Animators and video game designers often work as freelance professionals, breezily telecommuting from cozy home offices.  Some of these designers contract with companies.  Some design and sell games independently.  Some build game-related websites.

Recommended Skills for Video Game Designers

An animator is someone who creates and manipulates images for video games or other media.  A video game designer is someone who outlines the plot of a game, then programs a set of rules and a plausible scoring system.  The designer also programs a time limit, as well as added enhancements like 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 appropriate to the game. 

Animators and 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 super popular, action-packed virtual experiences.  Every designer's arrow is aimed at mass market appeal.