Animation and Video Game Design are among the most promising career choices in today's global economy. The skills involved in this increasingly popular profession appeal as much to mathletes and competitive techno-gamers as to fine artists who can finally make a living at their craft. Many Arkansas businesses hire Animators and Video Game Designers. Most available jobs are located around Little Rock, but similar employment opportunities exist throughout the state, not to mention in neighboring states like Texas, Missouri and Tennessee.
Arkansas Schools and Training Programs for Video Game Design
Colleges and Universities in Arkansas offer different types of degree programs for Animators and Video Game Designers. Up and coming game designers are often Computer Science majors with special focus on Digital Graphics. Some study Programming with emphasis on Animation. Others major in Math with a minor in Game Theory. Schools in Arkansas offering degrees relevant to Interactive Game Design include Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, University of Phoenix with campuses in Rogers and Little Rock, as well as ITT Tech campus locations in Pulaski, Little Rock and Memphis, Tennessee. Training opportunities and degree programs are also available online.
Working as a Video Game Designer in Arkansas
Serious Game Designers and Animators can earn handy salaries doing what they like to do. As you might expect, 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 annual salary for an Animator or Video Game Designer in the United States reportedly ranges from about $35,000 to more than $200,000 per year. However, this data fails to account for the unreported incomes of many million self-employed Americans.
Businesses in Arkansas hiring Animators and Game Designers may include software publishers, mobile phone service providers, colleges, universities, graphic design firms and animation studios. Some designers work for local ad agencies like CJRW, AT&T Advertising Solutions or Satchi & Satchi Worldwide. Others work for local motion picture producers like Ozark Film Productions in Springdale or Paramount Pictures, which has a satellite office in Rogers.
Successful Video Game Designers do a lot more than achieving high game scores, and employers hiring for these competitive positions are not playing games. A degree and professional experience are often required, even for entry level positions in the field. Employers do occasionally hire dedicated, highly motivated beginners, but talented self-starters don't have to work for a firm, thanks to the teeming multitudes of private businesses and websites featuring (or wanting to feature) their own interactive animation. Video Game Designers often work as freelancers, setting their own speed from the telecommuting comfort of home. They land gigs as independent contractors for corporations and private businesses, or design and sell games independently. Some even build their own game-related websites.
Recommended Skills for Video Game Designers
A Video Game Designer has an original idea for a video game, or an idea for a new game based on an existing game. The designer devises the rules and calculates a plausible scoring system, then enhances the game with compelling puzzles, sneaky tricks, booby traps, obstacle courses and other unexpected challenges. The game is usually programmed so the difficulty level increases with each successive challenge. A time limit is sometimes involved. Then the designer creates the artwork (and/or consults with professional Animators) to capture the motion and visual style most appropriate for the game. When the prototype is completed, the designer conducts play-testing and feedback sessions featuring enough players to give some idea of the game's potential for commercial success.
Video Game Designers study Math, Computer Science, Fine Arts, Digital Graphics, Communications, Game Theory, Story Lines, Character Development, Marketing, Promotion and other useful topics aimed at developing realistic, high-quality, action-packed interactive products. The Video Game Designer's biggest wish is for mass market appeal.