All around Colorado Springs, gaming enthusiasts are pursuing careers in animation and video game design. With a population of well over 400,000, the city offers ample opportunities in the field. Companies throughout the state of Colorado hire all kinds of video game design experts. Many of these companies are in based in Colorado Springs, which is also an easy commute to the major city of Denver.
Colorado Springs Schools and Training Programs for Video Game Design
Numerous colleges in Colorado Springs carry degree programs in animation and video game design. Some game designers major in computer science with focus on digital media. Others earn programming degrees with emphasis on animation. Some major in math with and minor in Game Theory.
Schools in Colorado Springs offering degrees related to interactive game design include College of America and DeVry. Similar degree programs are also available online, the most successful of these being University of Phoenix, ITT Tech and DeVry.
Working as a Video Game Designer in Colorado Springs
The pay scale for animators and video game designers varies with experience, effort, talent, ability, productivity, networking and geographic location, among other factors. 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 professionals. The fact remains that animators and video game designers often earn high annual sums doing what they like to do.
Companies in Colorado Springs hiring for these high-tech positions include software publishers, mobile phone service providers, colleges, graphic design firms and animation studios. Some resident designers work for top local ad agencies like Protocol Integrated, Vladimir Jones or Graham Advertising. Others work for Colorado Springs motion picture producers like Windstar Studios, IMS Productions and U.S. Olympic Entertainment.
Those who hire of animators and video game designers usually require a degree, proven skills and some experience in the field. However, employers also hire self-taught professionals and dedicated, highly motivated beginners. In any case, you don't have to work for a firm, thanks to the virtual jackpot of well funded start-ups with websites featuring (or wanting to feature) their own interactive animation. Many video game design professionals prefer freelance work, creating their own schedules and telecommuting from comfy-cozy home offices. They often land gigs as independent contractors for corporations and private businesses. Some design and sell their own games. Some build game-related websites.
Recommended Skills for Video Game Designers
A Video Game Designer first gets an idea for a video game. The designer then makes up a common-sense set of rules and calculates a playable scoring system, then enhances the game with puzzles, sneaky tricks, booby traps and other surprising challenges. The game is usually programmed with increasing difficulty levels and a time limit. The designer also creates the artwork and/or consults with professional animators to customize the visual style. The designer also runs play-testing groups to help determine a game's potential for commercial success.
Animators and video game designers study math, computer science, fine arts, digital graphics, mechanical and electrical engineering, communications, game theory, story lines, character development, commercial trends and all sorts of related topics to create realistic, action-packed interactive products of the highest attainable quality. The video game designer strives for mass market popularity.