Many high-tech job seekers in Minneapolis, Minnesota land high-paying positions as animators and video game designers. With the resident population nearing 400,000, Minneapolis, along with its fraternal twin St. Paul, is an ideal location in which to seek an exciting career in video game design.
Minneapolis Schools and Training Programs for Video Game Design
Several Minneapolis colleges and Universities offer degree programs in animation and video game design. Some aspiring professionals major in computer science with special focus on digital media. Others learn programming with emphasis on animation. Some major in math, perhaps with emphasis on game theory. Minneapolis area schools offering degrees in interactive game design include The Art Institute, Rasmussen College and Globe University, which has campuses in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Similar training opportunities and degree programs are available online. The most successful schools with online degree programs in video game design are University of Phoenix, ITT Tech and DeVry.
Working as a Video Game Designer in Minneapolis
The pay scale for this type of work varies depending on experience, effort, talent, ability, productivity, networking and geographic location, among other things. 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 data fails to account for the unreported incomes of many million self-employed individuals. In any case, a great many animators and video game designers earn top pay doing what they like to do.
Companies in Minneapolis hiring video game design experts include software publishers, mobile phone service providers, colleges, graphic design firms and animation studios. Some Minneapolis designers work with top local advertising agencies like Parachute Design, Mobium, Kraus-Anderson and Fallon Worldwide. Others work for local motion picture producers like Hoffman Communications, Media Loft and Flying Freeload Productions.
Entry level positions in video game design usually require a degree and experience in the field. However, employers will sometimes hire dedicated, talented beginners. Additionally, you don't have to work for a firm, thanks to a virtual universe of well funded start-up companies with websites featuring (or wanting to feature) their own interactive animation. Video game designers often work as freelance professionals, setting their own schedules and telecommuting. Some are independent contractors for corporations and private businesses. Some create and sell games independently. Some build game-related websites.
Recommended Skills for Video Game Designers
A Video Game Designer is someone who conceives the idea for a game, works out the rules and calculates a plausible scoring system. The designer then enhances the game with puzzles, sneaky tricks, unique traps and other clever challenges. The game is usually programmed with a time limit and increasing difficulty levels. The designer then creates the artwork and/or consults with professional animators to capture a visual style appropriate to the elements of the game. The designer also conducts play-testing sessions to get some idea of the game's potential for commercial success.
Most professional video game designers study math, computer science, engineering, fine arts, digital media, communications, game theory, story lines, character development, commercial trends and more. The aim is to create high-quality, realistic, action-packed interactive products. The apex of success for a video game designer is mass market appeal.