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Tips on Becoming a Video Game Designer in New Jersey
An increasing number of young entrepreneurs are taking a serious interest in Animation and Video Game Design. The skills involved are well suited for competitive tech-savvy types, as well as for artists who can finally make a living at their art. New Jersey has quite a few companies who hire Video Game Designers, but the coolest thing about being a Video Game Designer living in New Jersey is being easily able to work in New York. Roughly six percent of all U.S. jobs available to Video Game Designers and Animators are located in New York City, which is easily accessible from New Jersey via public transportation.
New Jersey Schools and Training Programs for video Game Design
Quite a few local colleges and Universities offer professional degrees in Animation and Video Game Design. Students interested in pursuing this career sometimes 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. Top local schools offering degrees Animation and Interactive Game Design include the Rutgers campuses in Newark, New Brunswick and Camden, the College of New Jersey, Bloomfield College, Brooklyn College and New York's Fashion Institute of Technology. Many lesser known schools throughout both states also offer similar training programs.
Working as a Video Game Designer in New Jersey
Professional animation specialists and video game designers are usually avid gamers earning handy annual sums doing what they know they do best. As you might expect, their salaries depend mainly on experience, effort, talent, ability, networking and geographic location. The average annual salary for an Animator or Video Game Designer working in New Jersey is about $60,000. In New York City, the average tops $80,000. However, keep in mind that these averages do not account for the salaries of self-employed individuals.
Businesses in New York and New Jersey 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 ad agencies like Omnicom, Interpublic, and Monster Worldwide. Elite design talents who have what it takes might even 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 experience for entry level positions in Animation and Video Game Design. But you don't necessarily have to work for a firm, considering the countless 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, sometimes working for several companies simultaneously.
Recommended Skills for Video Game Designers
Professional Video Game Designers study math and computer science, as well as graphics, game theory, story lines and character development in order to create the most realistic, action-packed interactive experiences. Basically, the designer makes up the rules of the game, decides on a scoring system and presents puzzles or exciting challenges to entice the players. 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.