Animation and Video Game Design are among the most popular careers in today's high tech world. The skills involved in this type of work appeal as much to tech-savvy gamers as to artists finally able to earn a living at their craft. Tennessee businesses employ thousands of interactive video game specialists. Many of these businesses are in Memphis.
Memphis Schools and Training Programs for Video Game Design
Colleges are meeting a fast-growing demand by offering degree programs in Animation, Video Game Design and related fields. Those who choose this career could major in computer science with emphasis on digital graphics, or programming with special focus on animation, or even math with emphasis game theory.
Schools in the Memphis area offering degree programs related to interactive game design include ITT Tech and DeVry. Numerous training and degree programs in Animation and Video Game Design are also available online.
Working as a Video Game Designer in Memphis
Animators and Video Game Designers who really mean business can live the sweet life doing what they like for a living. As you might expect, the pay rate for this type of work varies drastically depending on experience, effort, talent, ability, productivity, networking, geographic location and other factors. The average annual salary for an Animator or Video Game Designer in the United States is (very roughly) about $60,000, with individual salaries ranging anywhere from about $35,000 to more than $200,000 per year. However, this data is not too reliable, as it fails to account for the unreported incomes of self-employed individuals.
Memphis area businesses hiring Video Game Designers include software publishers, mobile phone service providers, colleges, universities, graphic design firms and animation studios, as well as top local advertising agencies like AT&T Advertising Solutions. Some locals work for Memphis-based movie companies like Graceworks.
Typical employers hiring entry level employees in the field generally require a degree and a solid background in video game design. However, you don't necessarily have to work for a firm, due to mountains of private companies and websites featuring (or wanting to feature) their own video games. Freelance Animators and Video Game Designers are not unusual. They work remotely for various companies, setting their own schedules and telecommuting. Some secure gigs as independent contractors. Some design and sell games independently. Some build their own game-related websites.
Recommended Skills for Video Game Design
A Video Game Designer invents a game by coming up with the initial idea, then creating a set of rules and calculating a plausible scoring system. The designer then enhances the game with intriguing puzzles, tricks, traps and other clever challenges. Typically, the difficulty level increases with each successive challenge. The designer then creates the artwork and/or hires an Animator to capture the visual style most appropriate to the elements of the game. The designer also conducts play-testing sessions to determine the game's potential for commercial success.
Video Game Design professionals study Math, Computer Science, Fine Arts, Digital Graphics, Communications, Game Theory, Story Lines, Character Development, Marketing and Promotion (among other topics) to create realistic, action-packed innovative products. The ultimate goal of a Video Game Designer is mass market appeal.