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Animation. Graphic Design. Game Art.

Info on Working as a Video Game Designer in New York City

Written by ACR StaffJanuary 26, 2012
Video Game Designer in New York City
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Teens and twenty-somethings around the world are showing an increasing interest in Animation and Video Game Design.  The skills involved appeal especially to competitive tech-savvy types, as well as artists who can finally make a living at their art.  Thousands of New York companies hire Video Game Designers.  In fact, roughly six percent of all U.S. jobs available to Video Game Designers and Animators are located in New York City. 

New York City Schools and Training Programs for Video Game Design

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Numerous local colleges and Universities offer professional degrees in Animation and Video Game Design.  Some students interested in pursuing this career major in computer science with special focus on digital graphics.   Others earn a degree in programming or math with emphasis on game design and animation.  Local educational options for degrees Animation and Interactive Game Design include the Cooper Union, NYU, Brooklyn College and the Fashion Institute of Technology.  If you can't get into one of these top schools, no worries.  Many lesser known schools throughout the area offer similar training programs. 

Working as a Video Game Designer in New YorkCity

Professional Animators and Video Game Designers are often passionate gamers themselves, earning handsome salaries doing what they enjoy most.  As you might expect, their salaries vary depending on experience, effort, talent, ability, personality, networking and geographic location.  The average annual salary for an Animator or Video Game Designer in New York State is around $63,000.  The average for Game Designers in New York City tops $80,000.  However, keep in mind that this statistical data does not include the salaries of self-employed individuals. 

New York City businesses employ many thousand Animators and Video Game Designers.  Local companies hiring for these positions include software publishers, mobile phone service providers, colleges, universities, graphic design firms and top advertising agencies like Omnicom, Interpublic, and Monster Worldwide.  The best of the best work for major corporate players like New Line Cinema, Fine Line Features, Artisan Entertainment or Miramax Pictures. 

Employers frequently require a degree and several years of design experience for entry level positions in Animation and Video Game Design.  But you don't necessarily have to work for a firm, considering the multitudes of independent businesses and websites featuring (or wanting to feature) their own video games.  Professional Animators and Video Game Designers often do freelance consulting work, securing gigs as independent contractors, often employed by several companies at the same time. 

Recommended Skills for Video Game Designers

Basically, a Video Game Designer makes up the rules of the game, decides on a scoring system and develops a series of puzzles and exciting challenges to keep the players intrigued.  Then the designer either creates the artwork or consults with professional Animators and other graphic artists to capture the visual style most appropriate to the nature of the game.  Professional Video Game Designers study math, computer science, graphics, game theory, story lines and character development, in hopes of creating realistic, action-packed interactive games downloaded by millions of gamers.