Job hunters of ever-increasing numbers are pursuing careers in digital animation and video game design. Thanks to the Internet, these jobs are accessible to designers worldwide, even in regions as remote as the state of Alaska. The skills required for video game design appeal as much to competitive gamers as to fine artists who can finally make a living at their craft. Companies throughout the state of Alaska hire Animators and Video Game Designers, with many more options online.
Alaska Schools and Training Programs for Video Game Design
Aspiring animators and video game designers are sometimes Communications majors with special focus on Digital Media. Others study Computer Programming with emphasis on Animation. Some are Math majors with a minor in Game Theory. At this time, not too many colleges and Universities in Alaska offer degree programs in Animation and Video Game Design. Alaska residents who want to study video game design usually enroll in online degree programs.
Working as a Video Game Designer in Alaska
Thanks to the Internet, professional animators and video game designers can accumulate fair wealth from almost any location. The pay rate varies depending on experience, effort, talent, ability, performance, productivity, networking and geographic location, among other things. According to a recent employment statistic, the median income for an Animator or Video Game Designer in the United States lies somewhere between $35,000 and more than $200,000 per year. However, this data is not especially useful, and fails to account for the unreported incomes of self-employed designers.
Alaska-based businesses hiring animators and video game designers may include software publishers, mobile phone service providers, colleges, universities, graphic design firms and animation studios. Some designers work for local ad agencies like Berry, Bradley-Reid or Marketing Solutions. Others team up with motion picture producers like Regal, Crossroads and Pacific Century Productions.
Video game designers tend to work in high-pressure situations with tight deadlines and massive commercial competition. They are expected to increase a company's revenue by producing successful, innovative products. Business owners invest considerable time and money into the selection of talented designers from a bounty of qualified applicants. Employers typically require a degree and related field experience, even for entry level positions. Nevertheless, self-taught professionals and gifted, highly motivated beginners often get hired.
Self-starters do not necessarily have to work for a firm, thanks to millions of start-up companies and websites seeking interactive design features. Animators and video game designers often accept freelance gigs, setting their own schedules and telecommuting from home. Some fill positions as 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
First, a video game designer gets an idea. Then the designer devises a set of rules, calculates a playable scoring system and adds cool enhancements like sound effects, optical illusions and various unique challenges. These might include puzzles, mazes, traps, maps, detours, obstacle courses and other surprising twists. The designer also programs a time limit and increasing difficulty levels, as well as the speed and motion of the game's visual elements.
Then the designer either creates the artwork or hires an animator to do it, and chooses a color scheme and visual style appropriate for the game. Mechanical Engineers manufacture a prototype of the completed design. The game is then ready to play, and is often used in corporate presentations to investors. Prototypes are also used in play-testing sessions in an effort to determine a game's potential for commercial success.
Math, Computer Science, Fine Arts, Digital Graphics, Communications, Business Management, Marketing, Game Theory and Character Development are just a few topics of interest to animators and video game designers. Their collective aim is to create realistic, fun-filled, action-packed best-sellers. Their collective aspiration is mass market appeal.