These days, millions of gaming enthusiasts are pursuing careers animation and video game design. The skills required appeal as much to competitive gamers as to fine artists who can finally make a living at their craft. Businesses throughout Oregon hire Animators and Video Game Designers, with the vast majority of these jobs located in Portland.
Portland Schools and TrainingProgramd for Video Game Design
Aspiring animators and video game designers might major in Communications with focus on digital media. Others might study programming with emphasis on animation. Some major in Math with a minor in Game Theory. Portland colleges offering degree programs in Animation and Video Game Design include Portland State, Pacific Northwest College of Art and University of Phoenix. Similar professional training and degree programs are available online.
Working as a Video Game Designer in Portland
Animators and video game designers can earn enviable salaries doing what they like, no matter where they live. Naturally, the pay scale for these positions varies with the experience, effort, talent, ability, performance, productivity, networking and geographic location of the designer. The average income for an Animator or Video Game Designer in the United States runs from about $35,000 to more than $200,000 per year. However, the study that came up with this result did not consider the salaries of those who are self-employed.
Portland companies hiring animators and video game designers may include software publishers, mobile phone service providers, colleges, graphic design firms and animation studios. Some designers work for local ad agencies like Gard, Vertis and White Horse Productions. Others team up with Portland-based motion picture producers like Laika in Portland or Fox 12 in Beaverton.
Professional designers are expected to increase a company's revenue by developing successful products. Businesses invest time and money into the selection of raw design talent from an increasingly large pool of qualified applicants. Many employers will only hire designers who have a degree and related experience, even for entry level positions. However, employers will occasionally hire self-taught professionals and gifted, highly motivated beginners.
Self-starters need not necessarily work for a firm, thanks to a continuing rush of start-up companies and websites needing interactive animation. Video Game Designers often do freelance work, set their own schedules and telecommute. Some are 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
A typical Video Game Designer develops an idea for a video game. The designer makes up the rules, devises a scoring system and enhances the game with sounds, special effects and unique challenges. These challenges might include puzzles, mazes, traps, maps, detours, obstacle courses and other surprising twists and turns. Most video games are programmed with a set time limit and ever-increasing difficulty levels. The designer then creates the artwork (or hires the help of an animator) to capture the color scheme and visual style appropriate for the particular game. Mechanical Engineers manufacture a prototype of the completed design, so the game can be used for presentations. Designers also use prototypes to host play-testing sessions that help determine a game's potential for commercial success.
Video game design experts study Math, Computer Science, Fine Arts, Digital Graphics, Communications, Business, Marketing, Game Theory, Character Development and many more relevant topics. Their aim is to create realistic, fun-filled, action-packed best-sellers. Video Game Designers always have their eye on the prize - mass market appeal.