Today, thousands of job hunters in Louisville, Kentucky seek careers in animation and video game design. Home to nearly three quarters of a million people, Louisville offers ample employment opportunities in this lucrative high-tech field. Most jobs available to Kentucky-based animators and video game designers are located in Louisville or the nearby city of Lexington. Louisville is also a feasible commute to Cincinnati.
Louisville Schools and Training Programs for Video Game Design
A fair number of aspiring professional animators and video game designers major in Communications with special focus on Digital Media. Others might study Programming with emphasis on Animation. Some are Math majors with a minor in Game Theory. Some are even self-taught.
Louisville area colleges offering degree programs in Animation and Video Game Design include Spencerian College in Lexington and Sullivan College in Louisville. Many more training options are available online. The most prolific colleges with online degree programs for video game designers are University of Phoenix, ITT Tech and DeVry.
Working as a Video Game Designer in Louisville
The pay scale for animators and video game designers varies depending on the experience, effort, talent, ability, performance, productivity, networking and geographic location of the designer, among other things. According to a recent employment statistic, the average income for an Animator or Video Game Designer in the United States is between $35,000 and more than $200,000 per year. But the study that came up with this result failed to factor the salaries of those who are self-employed.
Louisville area businesses hiring animators and video 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 Berry or Creative Alliance. Others team up with Louisville-based motion picture producers like Hammond Communications and World Audio Visual.
Video design professionals are expected to increase a company's revenue by developing successful, high quality interactive games. Companies invest time and money in scouting design talent from an ever-expanding pool of qualified applicants. Most employers require a degree and some related experience, even for entry level positions. However, employers also hire self-taught professionals and gifted, highly motivated beginners.
Self-starters can be their own bosses, thanks to an infinite stockpile of start-up companies and websites seeking interactive design. Video game designers often take freelance gigs, setting their own schedules and telecommuting. Some contract with corporations and private businesses. Some design and sell games independently. Some build their own game-related websites.
Recommended Skills for Video Game Designers
A video game designer makes the rules, calculates a scoring system and enhances the gaming experience with sounds, special effects and unique challenges. These might include puzzles, mazes, traps, maps, detours, obstacle courses and other surprising twists. Designers usually program a game with a time limit and ever-increasing difficulty levels, along with specifying the speed and motion of the images.
The designer also creates the artwork (and/or consults with professional Animators) to choose a color scheme and visual style appropriate for the game. Mechanical Engineers manufacture a prototype of the completed design, so the game can be presented to investors or potential buyers. Designers use the prototypes in play-testing scenarios to determine a game's potential for commercial success.
Serious professional animators and video game designers may study Math, Computer Science, Fine Arts, Digital Graphics, Communications, Business, Marketing, Game Theory, Character Development and other relevant topics. The aim is to create realistic, fun-filled, action-packed best-sellers, bursting with mass market appeal.