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Animation? Design? Game Art?
What You Need to Know to Be a Video Game Designer in Grand Rapids, Michigan
In today's high-tech workforce, qualified applicants all over Grand Rapids, Michigan are landing high paying jobs as animators and video game designers. With a population near 190,000, Grand Rapids is ideal for skilled professional designers seeking careers in this field. Companies throughout the state of Michigan hire video game design experts. Many of these opportunities are found in Grand Rapids.
Grand Rapids Schools and Training Programs for Video Game Design
Michigan colleges and Universities offer various degree programs in animation and video game design. People pursuing this line of work often become computer science majors, perhaps with special focus on digital graphics. Some earn programming or math degrees with emphasis on game theory or animation. Some design their own degree programs.
Schools in Grand Rapids, Michigan offering degrees in interactive game design include Calvin College and Davenport University. Other schools offer similar training and degree programs online. Among the most prolific of these are University of Phoenix, DeVry, ITT Tech and The Art Institutes.
Working as a Video Game Designer in Grand Rapids
Video game design pros in Grand Rapids, Michigan can make a lot of money doing what they like. However, the pay rate for this type of work varies depending on education, experience, effort, talent, performance, productivity, networking and geographic location, among other things. According to a recent report, the salary for an animator or video game designer in the United States ranges from about $35,000 to more than $200,000 per year. However, this data fails to account for the unreported incomes of self-employed individuals.
Businesses in Grand Rapids, Michigan that hire for these positions include software publishers, mobile phone service providers, colleges, graphic design firms and animation studios. Some Grand Rapids designers are employed by top local ad agencies like Alexander Marketing, DDM Communications, O&O Advertising and Structure Interactive. Other local designers work for Grand Rapids movie producers like 1041 East, Azkoul Productions, Gorilla Pictures and West Coast Media.
Even entry level jobs in animation and video game design often require a degree and previous related experience. However, not all designers work for a firm, thanks to the tremendous wealth of private companies needing interactive game features for their websites. Animators and video game designers often work as freelance professionals.
Recommended Skills for Video Game Designers
While animators render moving images, video game designers outline and program the rules of a game and create a playable scoring system. The designer then programs enhancing features like increasingly difficult challenges. These may include mazes, maps, puzzles, traps and many other clever surprises. The designer also creates the artwork and/or consults with professional animators to capture a visual style appropriate to the elements of the game.
Professional video game designers study engineering, math, communications, computer science, game art, story lines, character development and other disciplines. They do this in an effort to create popular, action-packed interactive products. Video game designers strive for mass market appeal.
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