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What You Need to Know to Be a Video Game Designer in Indiana
These days, the worldwide workforce explodes with Animators and Video Game Designers. The skills involved in this increasingly popular profession appeal as much to tech-savvy entrepreneurs as to artists who can finally make a living at their craft. Indiana companies employ thousands of specialists in interactive video game design. Most of these available jobs are centered in or near Indianapolis. However, similar opportunities exist throughout the state, not to mention neighboring states like Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Illinois.
Indiana Schools and Training Programs for Video Game Design
Quite a few reputable Indiana colleges and Universities offer degree programs in Animation and Video Game Design. Passionate gamers pursuing this career often become computer science majors with emphasis on digital graphics. Others might choose to major in programming with a special focus on animation, or perhaps math with emphasis game theory.
Indiana schools offering degrees interactive game design include the University of Indianapolis, Purdue University in Fort Wayne, Indiana State in Terra Haute and Indiana University, which has campuses in Bloomington, New Albany and Kokomo. Training programs in Animation and Video Game Design are also available online.
Working as a Video Game Designer in Indiana
Animators and Video Game Designers dedicated to their craft can earn big money doing what they like. As you might expect, the pay rate for this type of work varies drastically. Starting salaries depend on various factors like experience, effort, talent, ability, productivity, networking and geographic location. The average annual salary for Animators and Video Game Designers in the United States is about $60,000, with salaries ranging anywhere from about $35,000 to more than $200,000 per year. Game Designers in Indiana can reasonably expect to earn, on average, about $40,000 annually. However, this data fails to account for the wages of those of us who are self-employed.
Indiana companies that hire Video Game Designers include software publishers, mobile phone service providers, colleges, universities, graphic design firms and animation studios. Some designers join local advertising agencies like Ameritech, AT&T and Advertising Solutions in Indianapolis, Insight and Optimedia in Lafayette or Sweetwater Sound in Fort Wayne, to name a few. Other designers work for local movie producers like Shoemaker, IMS, Sensory Tech and Creative Street Media.
A typical entry level position in Animation Video Game Design often requires an Associate's or Bachelor's degree, along with a some kind of solid background in video game design. But you don't necessarily have to work for a firm, considering the flood of private companies and websites featuring (or wanting to feature) their own video games. Video Game Designers often work as freelance professionals, deciding their own schedules and telecommuting from home. In some cases, they secure gigs as independent contractors for companies and private businesses. Some design and sell their own games independently. Some build their own game-related websites.
Recommended Skills for Video Game Designers
The tasks of a Video Game Designer are creating a game with understandable rules and a plausible scoring system, then enhancing the game with interesting puzzles, tricks, traps and other irresistible challenges. The designer then creates the artwork and/or consults with professional Animators to capture a visual style suitable to the particulars of the game. The designer also conducts play-testing sessions featuring enough players to give some idea of the game's potential for commercial success.
Professional Video Game Designers study Math, Computer Science, Fine Arts, Digital Graphics, Communications, Game Theory, Story Lines, Character Development, Marketing, Promotion and many other subjects in an effort to create realistic, action-packed, innovative products. The ultimate goal of a Video Game Designer is mass market appeal.