Employment seekers all over Atlanta, Georgia are pursuing careers in animation and video game design. With a population of well over 400,000, the city offers a wealth of opportunities in this exciting, high-tech field. Companies throughout the state of Georgia hire video game designers. Most of these jobs are in based in Atlanta.
Atlanta Schools and Training Programs for Video Game Design
Many Atlanta colleges feature degree programs in animation and video game design. Some aspiring professional designers become computer science majors with emphasis on digital media. Others earn programming or math degrees with emphasis on game theory or animation. Atlanta area schools offering degrees in interactive Game Design include Westwood College, American Intercontinental University, the Portfolio Center and The Art Institute, to name just a few.
Working as a Video Game Designer in Atlanta
The pay rate for this type of work varies depending on experience, effort, talent, ability, productivity, networking and geographic location. The average annual salary for an Animator or Video Game Designer in the United States ranges from about $35,000 to more than $200,000 per year. In Atlanta, they start at about $50,000 per year. However, this data fails to account for the mysterious salaries of countless self-employed individuals. In any case, animators and video game designers can earn impressive annual salaries working at something they actually enjoy.
Atlanta area businesses hiring video game designers include software publishers, mobile phone service providers, colleges, graphic design firms and animation studios. Some designers hook up with top local advertising agencies like Rubin Postaer, Eyewonder, J. Walter Thompson and West-Wayne. Others work for Atlanta-based motion picture producers like Associated Press, Encompass, Tyler Perry, Tsunami Films and Riot, to name a few. In fact, Georgia is among the top five states in film production.
Entry level positions in video game design often require a degree and professional-level game design experience, despite occasional exceptions to the rule. However, self-starters don't have to work for a firm, considering the wealth of well-funded start-ups and websites featuring (or wanting to feature) their own video games. Professional animators and video game designers are often freelancers who create their own schedules and telecommute. They can land gigs as independent contractors for companies and private businesses, or design and sell games independently, or build their own game-related websites.
Recommended Skills for Video Game Designers
A video game designer has to invent the rules for a video game, create a plausible scoring system and enhance the player experience with puzzles, booby traps and other clever challenges aimed at keeping players mystified. The designer either creates the artwork or consults with professional animators and other graphic artists to capture a visual style appropriate to the elements of the game. A designer also conducts play-testing sessions with enough player feedback to help determine the game's potential for commercial success.
Professional animators and video game designers study math, computer science, graphics, game theory, story lines, character development, marketing, promotion, commercial trends and many other topics. They focus their best efforts on the creation of realistic, top-quality, action-packed interactive products. Video game designers strive for universal appeal hoping, of course, that their games will sell millions.