Career opportunists throughout Richmond,Virginia are landing high paying jobs as animators and video game designers. With a population topping 200,000, Richmond has a lot to offer in terms of high-tech employment. Businesses all over Virginia hire video game professionals. Many of these businesses are right here in Richmond.
Richmond Schools and Training Programs for Video Game Design
Residents of Richmond, Virginia have numerous creative educational options in the fields of animation and video game design. Some aspiring professionals are computer science majors with emphasis on digital graphics. Others study programming with special focus on animation. Some are math majors minoring in game theory.
Richmond locals earning degrees in interactive game design typically attend ECPI Technical College, ITT Tech or Virginia Commonwealth University. Similar training and degree programs are also available online. The largest schools featuring online degree programs in animation and video game design are University of Phoenix, The Art Institutes, ITT Tech and DeVry.
Working as a Video Game Designer in Richmond
Animators and video game designers in Richmond, Virginia can earn good money doing work they enjoy. However, their salaries often depend on education, experience, effort, performance, productivity, networking and geographic location, among other factors. In 2010, the reported median annual salary for an animator or video game designer in the United States fell somewhere between $35,000 and more than $200,000. This figure does not account for the unreported incomes of self-employed designers.
Employers in Richmond, Virginia hiring animators and video game designers can include software publishers, mobile phone service providers, colleges, graphic design firms and animation studios. Some designers work for top local ad agencies like Martin, Media General, Rightminds and Royall. Other designers ink deals with Richmond motion picture producers like Aesthetic Vision, Jon Nelson, Metro Productions and Vodium.
Entry level positions in animation and video game design typically require a degree and related experience, despite occasional exceptions. Many video game designers don't accept full time positions at all, thanks to the never ending windfall of internet start-ups in need of interactive animation. Thousands of video game designers are freelance professionals, contracting gigs independently. Some of them design games for companies. Some invent and sell their own games. Some build interactive websites.
Recommended Skills for Video Game Designers
The basic role of a video game designer is to create a game with rules and a scoring system, then spice it up with special effects, time limits and increasingly difficult challenges. These may include puzzles, mazes, maps, booby traps and other clever surprises. The designer also either creates the artwork or hires a professional animator to do it, then selects color schemes and visual styles appropriate for the game.
Professional animators and video game designers study communications, math, computer science, engineering, graphics, game theory, story lines, character development and many other topics. Their sights are trained on developing terrifically popular, action-packed virtual products with magical mainstream appeal.