Animators and Video Game Designers by the millions hope to carve out careers in one of the most coveted professions of today's high-tech world. The qualifications needed for Video Game Design appeal as much to mathletes and competitive techno-gamers as to fine artists who can finally make a living at their craft. Businesses in every state hire Animators and Video Game Designers. Residents of northeastern South Dakota can also commute to Minneapolis. Video design careers are more feasible than ever before in sparsely populated states like South Dakota, due to the many online options available.
South Dakota Schoola and Training Programs for Video Game Design
Not too many colleges in South Dakota offer training programs for aspiring Video Game Designers. However, many training and degree programs are available online. These include University of Phoenix, DeVry and ITT Tech.
Some up-and-coming video game designers become Communications majors with special focus on Digital Media. Others might study Programming with emphasis on Animation. Some major in Math with a minor in Game Theory.
Working as a Video Game Designer in South Dakota
Hard working, talented professionals in the field can earn great pay doing what they like. Obviously, the pay scale for this kind of employment varies depending on factors like experience, effort, talent, ability, performance, productivity, networking and geographic location, to name a few. According to a 2010 study, the average income 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 study did not include the mysterious incomes of self-employed Animators and Video Game Designers.
South Dakota-based companies hiring for this line of work may include software publishers, mobile phone service providers, colleges, universities, graphic design firms and animation studios. Resident Video Game Designers also work for local ad agencies like American News, K.A. Enterprises, Paulsen Marketing and Full Motion Media. Some designers team up with state-based motion picture producers like Outsound, Etten, PDS and Black Hills Pioneer.
Much is expected from well paid Animators and Video Game Designers. Employers invest time and money in scouting design talent from a large pool of applicants. Most employers require a degree and related experience, even for entry level positions in the field. However, businesses sometimes hire gifted, dedicated, highly motivated beginners.
Self-starters with an entrepreneurial spirit don't necessarily have to work for a firm, thanks to an overwhelmingly large assortment of private businesses and websites that feature (or would like to feature) their own interactive animation. Video Game Designers often score freelance gigs, set their own schedules and telecommute to work. Some of them work 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
The basic job description of a Video Game Designer is to develop an idea for a video game, create a set of rules, devise a scoring system and enhance the game with special features like puzzles, tricks, quizzes, booby traps, obstacle courses and other unique and unexpected tasks. Most video games are programmed with a set time limit and increasingly difficult challenges.
The designer also creates the artwork (and/or consults with professional Animators) to capture the motion and visual style most appropriate to the game's main themes. When the prototype is manufactured, the designer directs play-testing tournaments and requests feedback in trying to determine the game's potential for commercial success.
Animators and Video Game Designers study Math, Computer Science, Fine Arts, Digital Graphics, Communications, Game Theory, Story Lines, Character Development, Marketing, Promotion and all kinds of other useful topics. The big picture is to develop realistic, action-packed interactive products. The grandest hope of a Video Game Designer is mass market appeal.