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What You Need to Know to Be a Video Game Designer in Lexington, Kentucky
More and more job hunters in Lexington, Kentucky are seeking careers in animation and video game design. Home to about 300,000 people, Lexington is ripe with employment opportunities in this lucrative, high-tech field. A great many Kentucky jobs for video game designers are in Lexington.
Lexington Schools and Training Programs for Video Game Design
Colleges in Lexington, Kentucky that offer degree programs related to interactive game design include Spencerian College and the University of Kentucky. Many more training options are available online. The most prolific colleges with online degree programs for video game designers are The Art Institutes, University of Phoenix, ITT Tech and DeVry.
Some aspiring video game designers major in communications with special focus on digital media. Others might study programming with emphasis on animation. Some are math majors, minoring in game theory. Some video game design professionals are even self-taught.
Working as a Video Game Designer in Lexington
The pay scale for animators and video game designers in Lexington, Kentucky depends on factors such as experience, effort, talent, ability, performance, productivity, networking and geographic location, to name a handful. According to one statistic, the yearly income for an animator or video game designer in the United States is, on average, somewhere between $35,000 and more than $200,000 per year. But the study that came up with this result failed to factor the unreported incomes of countless self-employed individuals.
Lexington businesses hiring animators and video game designers may include software publishers, mobile phone service providers, colleges, graphic design firms and animation studios. Some designers work for top local ad agencies like Cornett, Insight Media, Right Place or Super Media. Others team up with Lexington movie producers like Hammond Communications, Media Vision, Track-16 and World Audio Visual.
Companies invest time and money in selecting design talent from an ever-expanding pool of qualified applicants. Most employers require a degree and some related experience, even for entry level positions. However, employers do hire self-taught professionals and gifted, highly motivated beginners. Self-starters can be their own bosses, thanks to a continuous supply of start-up companies and websites seeking interactive design features. Video game designers often accept freelance positions so they can follow their own schedules and telecommute. Some contract with corporations and private businesses. Some design and sell games independently. Some build their own game-related websites.
Recommended Skills for Video Game Designers
A video game designer is expected to sketch out an idea for a video game, then create a set of rules and implement a scoring system. The designer then enhances the gaming experience with sounds, special effects and quirky challenges. These might include puzzles, mazes, traps, maps, detours, obstacle courses and other surprising twists. Designers usually program a game with a time limit and increasing difficulty levels.
The designer also creates the artwork (or consults with professional animators) to capture the right look and feel. Finally, the designer chooses a color scheme and visual style appropriate for the theme of the game.
Mechanical engineers manufacture a prototype of the completed design, so the game can be presented to investors and potential buyers at corporate meetings. Designers also use the prototypes in play-testing sessions to help determine a game's potential for commercial success.
Serious professional animators and video game designers may study at least a little bit of math, computer science, engineering, fine arts, digital media, communications, game theory, character development and other relevant topics. The prime objective is to create realistic, fun-filled, action-packed best-sellers, gleaming with mass market appeal.