In today's high-tech employment industry, teeming masses of gaming enthusiasts and entrepreneurs seek exciting careers in Animation and Video Game Design. The skills required for this profession appeal as much to mathletes and competitive techno-gamers as to fine artists who can finally make a living at their craft. The demand is high. Businesses in every state hire Animators and Video Game Designers, and Utah is no exception. Additionally, designers living in southwestern Utah can easily commute to Las Vegas, where many more jobs in the field are up for grabs.
Utah Schools and Training Programs for Video Game Design
Some people pursuing careers in video game design are Communications majors with special focus on Digital Media. Others might study Programming with emphasis on Animation. Some major in Math with a minor in Game Theory. A number of excellent Utah colleges and Universities offer training programs in Animation and Video Game Design. These include Brigham Young in Provo, ITT Tech in Murray and Salt Lake City, and University of Phoenix with six campuses throughout the state. Professional training and degree programs are also available online.
Working as a Video Game Designer in Utah
Professional Animators and Video Game Designers can potentially make a whole lot of money doing what they like. Of course, the pay scale for these jobs varies depending on factors like experience, effort, talent, ability, performance, productivity, networking and geographic location, to name just a few. According to a 2010 statistic, the average income for an Animator or Video Game Designer in the United States ranged from about $35,000 to more than $200,000 per year. However, that study did not account for the salaries of self-employed Animators and Video Game Designers.
Utah businesses hiring for this line of work may include software publishers, mobile phone service providers, colleges, universities, graphic design firms and animation studios. Video Game Designers also work for local ad agencies like Studio Interactive or Summit Group Communications. Some designers team up with local motion picture producers like Utah Jazz Productions, The School Improvement Network or one of many movie companies in Las Vegas.
Professional Animators and Video Game Designers are expected to increase a company's revenue by developing a winning product. Businesses invest time and money in scouting design talent from an increasingly large pool of applicants. Most employers require a degree and related experience, even for entry level positions in the field. However, certain individuals will sometimes hire gifted, dedicated, highly motivated beginners.
Self-starters with an entrepreneurial spirit don't necessarily have to work for a firm, thanks to a never-ending influx of private businesses and websites that feature (or would like to feature) their own interactive animation. Video Game Designers often score freelance gigs, set their own schedules and telecommute to work. Some of them are independent contractors for 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 develops an idea for a video game by creating a set of rules, devising a scoring system and enhancing the gaming experience with special features like puzzles, quizzes, tricks, traps, obstacle courses and other uniquely challenging tasks. Most video games are programmed with a set time limit and increasingly difficult challenges.
The designer also creates the artwork (and/or consults with professional Animators) to capture the motion and visual style best suited to the game's main features. Once the prototype is manufactured, the designer directs play-testing sessions and requests feedback, hoping to get some idea of the game's potential for commercial success.
Animators and Video Game Designers study Math, Computer Science, Fine Arts, Digital Graphics, Game Theory, Story Lines and Character Development, as well as Communications, Business, Marketing, Promotion and all kinds of other useful topics. The key idea is to develop realistic, action-packed interactive products that make players want to keep playing. The Video Game Designer strives for mass market appeal.