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What You Need to Know to Be a Video Game Designer in Mesa, Arizona

Written by ACR StaffFebruary 12, 2012
Video Game Designer in Mesa, Arizona
Did You Know.....Full Sail University offers online degree programs in computer animation, game art, and game design? Learn more about Full Sail University's online programs.
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Career seekers all over Mesa, Arizona pursue employment in animation and video game design.  With a population of well over 400,000, the city offers numerous high-tech employment opportunities.  Companies throughout the state of Arizona hire specialists in video game design.  Many of these businesses are in located Mesa.  What's more, Mesa is only about twenty miles from Phoenix, the sixth largest city in America. 

Mesa Schools and Training Programs for Video Game Design

There are many ways in Mesa to earn a degree in video game design.  Some future professionals major in computer science with emphasis on digital graphics.  Others learn programming with a special focus on animation, or perhaps math with emphasis game theory. 

Colleges in Mesa (and Phoenix) offering degree programs in interactive game design include Collins College, The Art Institutes and University of Phoenix.  Many additional training and degree programs are available online.

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Working as a Video Game Designer in Mesa

Animators and Video Game Designers can often draw generous paychecks doing what they like to do.  The pay rate for this type of work varies.  Starting salaries depend on 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 individual salaries ranging anywhere from about $35,000 to more than $200,000 per year.  Video Game Designers in Phoenix can reasonably expect to earn, on average, about $45,000 annually.  However, this data fails to account for the wages of the millions of self-employed residents among us. 

Mesa, Arizona businesses that hire video game designers include software publishers, mobile phone service providers, colleges, graphic design firms and animation studios.  Some designers work for top Mesa advertising agencies like Canyon Communications, Larry John Wright or SWB.  Other designers team up with local movie producers like Liquid Productions, Papertrails Productions and Legacy Media Productions.     

Even entry level positions for Animators and Video Game Designers often require a degree and video game design experience.  But you don't necessarily have to work for a firm, thanks to millions of start-up companies and websites featuring (or wanting to feature) their own video games.  Video game designers often work as freelance professionals, setting their own schedules and working from home.  They 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 creates the rules of a game and a plausible scoring system, then enhances the game with intriguing puzzles, tricks, traps and other compelling challenges.  The designer then creates the artwork and/or consults with professional Animators and graphic designers to achieve an appropriate visual style for the game.  The designer also conducts play-testing sessions featuring enough players to give some idea of the game's potential for commercial success. 

Video game design experts study Math, Computer Science, Fine Arts, Digital Graphics, Communications, Game Theory, Story Lines, Character Development, Marketing, Promotion and numerous other subjects.  The aim is to create realistic, action-packed interactive products.  The most coveted achievement of a video game designer is mass market appeal.