Video Game Design and Digital Graphics are among the hottest options in today's job market. The skills involved in this popular field appeal as much to competitive tech-savvy types as to artists who can finally make a living at their craft. Florida is one of the better states to find an exciting career in Animation or Video Game Design. Businesses throughout the state employ thousands of designers for jobs of this kind.
Florida Schools and Training Programs for Video Game Design
Many local colleges and Universities are meeting this demand by offering professional-level degrees in Animation and Video Game Design. Students interested in pursuing this type of career can major in computer science with emphasis on digital graphics. Others might major in programming or math with emphasis on game design and animation. The best schools in Florida with degree programs in Animation and Interactive Game Design include University of Miami, University of Tampa, Digital Media Arts College in Boca Raton and the International Academy of Design and Technology in Orlando. If you can't get into one of these top schools, no worries. Other Universities and many lesser known schools throughout the state offer similar training programs.
Working as a Video game Designer in Florida
Avid gamers often become professional Animators and Video Game Designers, earning noteworthy livings doing something they like. As you might expect, salaries for these jobs vary depending on experience, effort, talent, ability, personality, networking and geographic location. A Video Game Designer working in the United States can expect to make anywhere from about $35,000 to $72,000 annually. Unfortunately, this statistic is not too precise, nor does it account for the salaries of self-employed individuals.
Florida businesses hiring for these positions include software publishers, mobile phone service providers, colleges, universities, graphic design firms and top advertising agencies like Zimmerman in Fort Lauderdale, BFW in Boca Raton, Starmark in Orlando and McKay in Tampa. Some of the best designers work for corporate mega giants like MGM and Disney in Orlando, or for local movie producers like Triad Pictures, Animation World and Miami Film Studios.
A degree is required by many employers, along with several years of experience for entry level positions in Animation and Video Game Design. But you don't necessarily have to work for a firm, considering the seemingly endless supply of independent businesses and websites featuring (or wanting to feature) their own video games. Professional Animators and Video Game Designers often do freelance consulting work, securing gigs as independent contractors, employed by different companies on a temporary basis. These designers often work from home, make their own schedules and sometimes earn more money than their corporate contemporaries.
Recommended Skills for a Video Game Designer
Video Game Designers make up the rules of the game, calculate a plausible scoring system and develop a series of logic puzzles and unique challenges designed to keep the players begging for more. Then the designer either creates the artwork or consults with professional Animators and other graphic artists to capture the visual style most appropriate to the nature of the game. Professional Video Game Designers study math, computer science, graphics, game theory, story lines, character development and other related subjects to create realistic, action-packed interactive games. The best of these strike a collective chord among gaming enthusiasts, and are downloaded by the millions.