This just in: Career opportunists all over Norfolk,Virginia are landing high paying jobs as animators and video game designers. With a population fast reaching the quarter-million mark, the city has a lot to offer in high-tech employment opportunities. Businesses throughout Virginia hire video game professionals. A great many of these businesses are in Norfolk.
Norfolk Schools and Training Programs for Video Game Design
Residents of Norfolk, Virginia have a number of options in the fields of animation and video game design. Some aspiring professionals are computer science majors with emphasis on digital graphics. Others can earn programming degrees with special focus on animation. Some are math majors minoring in game theory. Whatever the case may be, Norfolk locals earning degrees in interactive game design can attend Norfolk State University or Tidewater Community College, among others. 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 Norfolk
Animators and video game designers in Norfolk, Virginia can make a ton of money doing work they really like. However, the pay rate varies depending on experience, effort, ability, performance, productivity, networking and geographic location, among other factors. In 2010, the reported annual salary for an animator or video game designer in the United States ranged from about $35,000 to more than $200,000 per year, although this figure did not account for the unreported incomes of self-employed designers.
Employers in Norfolk, 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 Auto Guide, Otto Design and Marketing, Pilot Online or Primm. Other designers team up with Norfolk motion picture producers like Klass Productions, Leo Productions, Production House or RYS Media.
Even for basic entry level positions, animation and video game design jobs typically require a degree and related experience, despite frequent exceptions. Many video game designers don't accept full time positions, thanks to the limitless supply of internet start-ups featuring (or wanting to feature) their own video games. Animators and video game designers can work as freelance professionals, setting their own pace and telecommuting from wherever they may be. Some contract independently with corporations. Some invent and sell their own games. Some design interactive websites.
Recommended Skills for Video Game Designers
The video game designer creates a game with logical rules and a plausible scoring system, then enhances it with increasingly difficult challenges. These may include puzzles, mazes, maps, booby traps and other clever surprises. The designer either creates the artwork or hires a professional animator to do it, then selects color schemes and visual styles appropriate for the game. A designer also runs play-testing groups. Having a game play tested can sometimes help measure its potential for commercial success.
Professional animators and video game designers everywhere study communications, math, computer science, engineering, graphics, game theory, story lines, character development and many other topics. They are focused on developing hugely popular, action-packed interactive products infused with mainstream appeal.