Lately, more and more high-tech job hunters seek professional careers in animation and video game design. These increasingly popular professions appeal as much to competitive gamers as to fine artists who can finally make a living at their craft. Many Oklahoma companies hire Animators and Video Game Designers, with the majority of available jobs in Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma City Schools and Training Programs for Video Game Design
Several colleges in Oklahoma City feature degree programs for video game specialists. Some aspiring game designers are communications majors with special focus on digital graphics. Some study programming with emphasis on animation. Others major in math, perhaps with a minor in game theory.
Oklahoma City schools offering degrees relevant to Interactive Game Design include Oklahoma State, ITT Tech and University of Phoenix. Similar training opportunities and degree programs are also available online.
Working as a Video Game Designer in Oklahoma City
The rate of pay for this type of work varies with factors like experience, effort, talent, ability, performance, productivity, networking and geographic location. According to one statistic, 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. However, this estimate ignores the unreported incomes of self-employed individuals. In any case, serious professional animators and video game designers often land high paying jobs they like.
Commercial businesses in Oklahoma City 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 Auto Trader and Yellow Book. Others work for local movie companies like Every Tribe Entertainment.
Professionals in the field know that there's more to success than high game scores. Employers scouting local design talent have no time for games. Typically, entry level positions require a degree and professional experience. Nonetheless, companies do occasionally hire self-taught professionals and dedicated, highly motivated beginners
Talented self-starters don't have to work for a firm, thanks to many million private businesses and websites featuring (or wanting to feature) their own interactive animation. Video game designers often work as freelancers, setting their own pace and telecommuting from home. Some land gigs as independent contractors for corporations and private businesses. Some design and sell games independently. Others build their own game-related websites.
Recommended Skills for Video Game Designers
The primary purpose of a video game designer is to present an original idea for a video game, or an idea for a new game based on an existing game. The designer devises a set of rules and calculates a 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 often added. Then the designer creates the artwork (and/or consults with professional Animators) to capture the motion and visual style most appropriate to the elements of the game. When the prototype is built, the designer conducts play-testing sessions to get some idea of the game's potential for commercial success.
Video game designers study subjects such as Math, Computer Science, Fine Arts, Digital Graphics, Communications, Game Theory, Story Lines, Character Development, Marketing, Promotion and any other topics aimed at developing realistic, action-packed interactive products. The dream every video game designer is mass market appeal.