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What You Need to Know to Be a Video Game Designer in Omaha, Nebraska

Written by ACR StaffFebruary 12, 2012
Video Game Designer in Omaha, Nebraska
Did you know... Historically, The Digital Animation & Visual Effects School (DAVE School at Universal Studios Orlando) has placed a fair number of its graduates in the gaming industry, but now they have a new program specifically designed for careers in gaming. The program was designed and is overseen by a senior production supervisor who led teams on Ghostbusters and Kinect Star Wars. Learn more at www.DaveSchool.com.
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Lately, job hunters everywhere in Omaha seek careers in animation and video game design.  With a population of well over 400,000, the city is ripe with opportunities in the field.  Companies throughout the state of Nebraska hire video game design experts.  Most of these businesses are in based in Omaha.

Omaha Schools and Training Programs for Video Game Design

Omaha colleges and Universities offer different types of degree programs to accommodate the pressing need for talented animators and skilled video game designers.  Some are communications majors with special focus on digital design.  Others are programmers, perhaps with emphasis on animation.  Some major in math with a minor in game theory. 

Omaha residents wishing to obtain degrees relevant to interactive game design might try ITT Tech or University of Phoenix.  Similar training and degree programs are also available online. 

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Working as a Video Game Designer in Omaha

The rate of pay for this type of work varies with factors like experience, effort, talent, ability, performance, productivity, networking and geographic location.  The average reported annual salary for an video game design expert in the United States ranges from about $35,000 to more than $200,000 per year.  However, these figures do not include the unreported incomes of many million self-employed Americans.  In any case, animators and video game designers can often earn hefty paychecks doing something they enjoy doing. 

Omaha businesses hiring animators and video game designers may include software companies, mobile phone service providers, colleges, graphic design firms and animation studios.  Some designers work for top local ad agencies like Skar, Bozell or Ervin & Smith.  Others team up with Omaha movie producers like Great Plains Motion Pictures, O2-TV Studio, Editech Post Productions and the National Film Service of Omaha, to name a few. 

There's more to successful video game design than earning high game scores.  Employers scouting talent often require a degree and related experience, even for basic entry level positions in the field.  However, rules have exceptions, and companies do sometimes hire gifted, dedicated, highly motivated beginners. 

Self-starters don't necessarily have to work for a firm, thanks to the throbbing hoards of well funded start-ups with websites featuring (or wishing to feature) their own interactive animation.  Video game designers often do freelance work so they can set their own schedules and telecommute.  Some are independent contractors for corporations and private businesses.  Some design and sell games independently.  Others build their own game-related websites. 

Recommended Skills for Video Game Designers

A video game designer gets a video game idea.  The designer then develops rules and a scoring system, usually programming the game with enhancements like puzzles, tricks, booby traps, obstacle courses and other unexpected challenges.  The game is usually programmed so the difficulty level increases with each successive challenge.  This often involves a time limit.  The designer also creates the artwork (and/or hires professional animators) to capture the motion and visual style most appropriate to the game's elements.  When the prototype is completed, the designer play-tests the game to help determine its potential for commercial success. 

Most video game designers study math, computer science, fine arts, digital graphics, communications and engineering, as well as game theory, story lines, character development, commercial trends and all kinds of other useful topics.  The prime objective is to develop realistic, high-intensity, action-packed interactive products.  The true aim of the video game designer is mass market appeal.