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Animation. Graphic Design. Game Art.

What You Need to Know to Be a Video Game Designer in Rochester, New York

Written by ACR StaffFebruary 15, 2012
Video Game Designer in Rochester, New York
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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In recent times, job hunters by the thousands in Rochester, New York have found high-paying positions as animators and video game designers.  With a population of well over 200,000, the city offers numerous high-tech employment opportunities.  Companies throughout the state of New York hire video game designers.  Most of these companies are based in New York City, but many are right here in Rochester.

Rochester Schools and Training Programs for Video Game Design

Animators and video game designers earning degrees often major in computer science with special focus on digital graphics.  Others learn programming with emphasis on animation.  Some are math majors, perhaps with a minor in game theory. 

Some Rochester residents seeking degrees related to interactive game design attend the Rochester Institute of Technology.  Others enroll in one of many training and degree programs available online.  Nationwide schools with online degree programs in video game design include University of Phoenix, DeVry, ITT Tech and The Art Institutes

Working as a Video Game Designer in Rochester

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The reported average annual salary for an animator or video game designer in the state of New York is around $63,000.  Typical New York state annual salaries for this type of work range from as low as $25,000 up to about $90,000.  However, this data fails to account for the salaries of self-employed individuals.  In any case, professional animators and video game designers can earn attractive incomes doing jobs they like.  However, their salaries vary with experience, effort, talent, ability, performance, productivity, networking and geographic location, among other things. 

All sorts of businesses in Rochester, New York employ animators and video game designers.  Local companies hiring for these positions include software publishers, mobile phone service providers, colleges and graphic design firms.  Some designers work for top local advertising agencies like Berry, Idea Connections, Jae & Associates, Partners Plus or Roberts Communications.  Other designers team up with Rochester motion picture producers like Cinemark Movies, CMI Communications, Post Central or Rip and Tear Productions. 

Employers generally expect a degree and previous design experience, even for entry level positions in animation and video game design.  But designers do not have to work for a firm, thanks to many million independent businesses with websites featuring (or wanting to feature) their own video games.  Professional animators and video game designers can work as freelance professionals, often securing consulting work as independent contractors.  Some build game-related websites.  Some design and sell their own games to retailers and online consumers. 

Recommended Skills for Video Game Designers

A video game designer makes up game rules, decides on a scoring system and includes a series of tricks, traps, maps, mazes, puzzles and other exciting challenges to keep the players actively engaged.  Then the designer either creates the artwork or consults with professional animators to capture the visual style most appropriate to the game.  Professional video game designers study math, communications, computer science, graphics, engineering, game theory, story lines, character development and many other topics.  The goal is the development of realistic, action-packed interactive games with genuine mainstream appeal.