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Animation. Graphic Design. Game Art.

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

Written by ACR StaffFebruary 11, 2012
Video Game Designer in Tucson, 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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Countless career seekers in Tucson, Arizona seek careers in animation and video game design.  With a resident population of more than half a million, the city features ample job offerings in this popular, high-tech field.  Many local jobs available to Arizona animators and video game designers are located in Tucson. 

Tucson Schools and Training Programs for Video Game Design

Aspiring animation and video game design specialists sometimes major in communications with special focus on digital media.  Others learn programming languages with emphasis on animation.  Some are math majors with a minor in game theory.  Many more are self-taught wonders. 

Colleges in Tucson featuring degree programs in Animation and Video Game Design include Art Center Design College and University of Phoenix.  More training options are available online.  The most prolific online colleges with degree programs for video game designers are University of Phoenix, ITT Tech and DeVry.

Working as a Video Game Designer in Tucson

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The annual salary of an animator or video game designer varies depending on the experience, effort, talent, ability, performance, productivity, networking and geographic location of the designer, among other things.  One recent employment statistic claims that animators and video game designers in the United States earn anywhere from $35,000 to more than $200,000 per year.  Unfortunately, the study that came up with this result failed to account for the incomes of self-employed designers. 

Tucson 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 local ad agencies like Tucson Shopper.  Others team up with local motion picture producers like Med Films.

A competent video game designer increases a company's revenue by developing successful, high quality, innovative products.  Business owners invest time and money in choosing designers from a growing pool of qualified applicants.  Although employers like to see a degree and related experience on your resume, they do occasionally hire self-taught professionals and gifted, highly motivated beginners.

Self-starters can be their own bosses, thanks to an infinite stream of start-up companies and websites seeking interactive game features.  Video game designers often secure work as freelance professionals, setting their own pace from home.  Some sign contracts with corporations worldwide.  Some design and sell games independently.  Some build game-related websites. 

Recommended Skills for Video Game Designers

The primary role of the video game designer is to create a set of rules, devise a playable scoring system and enhance the game with sounds, visual effects, unique challenges and other special features.  These might include puzzles, mazes, traps, maps, detours, obstacle courses and more.  Designers often program a time limit and ever-increasing difficulty levels, along with specifying the speed and motion of the images. 

The designer also creates the artwork (or gets a professional animator to do it), then chooses a color scheme and visual style appropriate for the game.  Mechanical Engineers build prototypes of  completed designs, which can then be used in presentations to potential investors.  The designer uses prototypes for play-testing sessions, to help determine a game's potential for commercial success. 

Serious animators and video game designers may study math, computer science, fine arts, digital media, communications, game theory, character development, commercial trends and many other relevant topics.  The aim is to create top-quality, fun-filled, action-packed best-sellers, alive with mass market appeal.