Video Game Occupations
There is generally one lead designer in charge of a working group that includes artists, narrators, and animators. The team generally stays together from inception through the production of the project. Salaries of game designers vary from $35,000 for those newly employed to more than $200,000 for an experienced designer with a very popular game under his or her belt.
Video Game Programmers
No game hits production without a great group of programmers. There is often a need for up to 15 different programmers for the more complex games. A degree is required to be seriously considered. Most earn about $80,000 when hired.
Video Game Narrators
Are you a strong writer with an amazing imagination? That, coupled with a degree in English or writing, can gain you admission into the world of game play narration. The narrators write the script for every character, place, and history of the game’s universe. In the U.S., narrators can often make $65,000.
Artists are used to draw the game figures and to animate movement. Great talent and a thriving imagination, together with an art education, is a winning combination. You will need to study 3D programs and learn to create many of the figures and landscapes in the games.
Video game companies now hire researchers who have PhDs in psychology to uncover potential connections between violent video games and those who commit violent crimes. Playing it safe, many companies aren’t waiting to face state or federal regulation and are instead investigating how they might modify their games and the best way to do so to avoid potential liability. A skilled PhD research graduate can earn $60,000 to $80,000.
Video Game Education Available in Alaska
Attending one of the state’s colleges or universities is a wise choice if you are planning for a career in game design. If you like the cultural and recreational pursuits of a larger city pursue your degree in Anchorage.
- Full Sail University – Full Sail offers courses in Game Design. With more than a decade of experience in the industry, Full Sail delivers a highly specialized education that blends the art, technology, and storytelling needed to create a successful game.
- University of Alaska – The University of Alaska in Fairbanks offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Game Production and online programs.
- Devry University – DeVry University offers programming and design courses with a specialized degree in Multimedia Design and Development in Web Game Programming. Coursework includes Game Development, Interactive Web Page Scripting, Multiplayer Online Game Development, Programming Multimedia for the Web and more.
- The Art Institutes – The Art Institute offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in Game Art & Design, Media Arts & Animation, Visual & Game Programming, and in Visual Effects & Motion Graphics.
Places to Intern
Upper One Games, Alaska’s sole video game developer and publisher, is distinguished not only by being the first and only video game developer in Alaska, but also by being the first owned by an indigenous people. Located in Anchorage, Upper One’s name is in reference to Alaska’s status as the state above the lower 48 of the continental USA. The company is an initiative of the federal tribal non-profit Cook Inlet Tribal Council through its publishing and development partner, New York’s E-Line Media. This partnership helps fund programs and services in education and workforce development benefiting Native American people residing in Alaska’s largest urban region. Upper One’s first game is slated to be released in the fall of 2014.