Animation and Video Game Design are the hottest topic in today's job market. Thanks to the Internet, aspiring designers now have ample access to jobs in this field, regardless of physical location. Still, Video Game Designers in Connecticut enjoy job opportunities throughout the state, and Connecticut is also an easy commute to major cities like Boston, Springfield and New York.
Connecticut Schools and Trainging Programs for Video Game Design
Animators and video game designers training for careers sometimes study Communications with special focus on Digital Media. Others learn Programming with emphasis on Animation. Some major in Math with a minor in Game Theory. There's more than one way to learn the skills needed for employment in the video game design industry.
Accessible colleges with degree programs related to video game design include University of Phoenix in Norwalk, as well as Boston area schools like Salem State, Northeastern University, Mount Ida College and the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. Other professional training and degree programs are available online.
Working as a Video Game Designer in Connecticut
Animators and Video Game Designers who focus and persist can sometimes earn elite incomes doing what they like. But there's more to Video Game Design than video games. Employers invest time, effort and money into selecting design professionals from an ever-increasing pool of qualified applicants. Many employers require a degree and some related field experience, even for basic entry level positions. There are, of course, exceptions to the rule. Bosses are known to hire self-taught designers and gifted, highly motivated beginners.
Generally, 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. According to a 2010 statistic, the income for a Video Game Designer living in the United States ranges from about $35,000 to well over $200,000 per year. But this data fails to factor in the unknown salaries of many million self-employed residents.
Connecticut area businesses hiring Video Game Designers include software publishers, mobile phone service providers, colleges, universities, graphic design firms and animation studios. Some designers work for local ad agencies like Octagon, Asco, J. Brown and Tracy Locke. Others work for regional motion picture producers like Ascent Media, Blue Sky Studios and World Wrestling Entertainment.
Highly organized self-starters do not necessarily have to work for a firm, thanks a continuous avalanche of start-up businesses and websites featuring (or wanting to feature) their own interactive animation. Video Game Designers often work as freelance professionals in order to set their own schedules and telecommute to work. Some contract with corporations and private companies. Some invent and sell their own games. Some build game-related websites.
Recommended Skills for Video Game Designers
The primary role of a Video Game Designer is conceiving and communicating an original idea for a video game, then creating rules, devising a scoring system and enhancing the game with audio-visual special effects and unique challenges. These might include puzzles, mazes, traps, detours, obstacle courses and other surprising twists. Most video games are programmed with a set time limit and ever-increasing difficulty levels. Also programmed in are the speed and motion of the game's characters. The designer then creates the artwork (and/or consults with professional Animators) to capture the visual style most suitable for the game. When the game is designed, a Mechanical Engineer manufactures a prototype. This enables the designer to play-test the game and get some idea of its potential for commercial success.
Animators and Video Game Designers study Math, Computer Science, Fine Arts, Digital Graphics, Communications, Business, Marketing, Game Theory, Character Development and other relevant topics. The goal is to create realistic, fun-filled, action-packed best-sellers. The highest ideal of the Video Game Designer is mass market appeal.