Occupations Available in the Video Game Industry
Video Game Designers
The story and plot — the very beginning of a new game — is conceived and supervised by the video game designer. The designer works with a team that includes specialists in art, narration and others. The designer makes sure the departments all work together smoothly. Salaries for video game designers in Mississippi range from $54,000 to more than $135,000 per year.
Video Game Programmers
A programmer with nearly any educational or professional background can work with video game developers. More than a dozen specialties are needed for the more complicated projects. Programmers must have at least a Bachelor of Science degree. Programming languages required are C or C++, Perl, Assembly and Lua. The U.S. average salaries are $77,000 for a recent graduate to more than $125,000 for more than six years’ experience.
Video Game Narrators
Narrators are the professional writers for the world of video games. They work with the design team to literally put words in characters’ mouths. Sometimes they help develop an entirely new “language” for the game’s fantasy world. The average wage in the U.S. for video game narrators is $65,000.
Video Game Artists and Animators
Artists are extremely important to the salability, acceptance and popularity of the project’s video game. Characters and settings must be interesting and strike a balance between familiarity and fantasy. Part of the design team, they start a project with pencil and paper. Once the game is developed enough, they move ahead quickly to using advanced art software. Animators work mainly with 3D software. Game Developer Magazine stated that animators and artists make an average salary of more than $70,000.
“Work for Play, careers in video game development,” is a paper written and produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. http://www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2011/fall/art01.pdf This paper gives a very good overview of the careers available in the field of video games.
Video Game Education Available in Mississippi
There are no schools in Mississippi that offer specific game development and production educational programs. The closest institutions are located in Louisiana.
Louisiana State University – Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge offers Bachelor’s degree, Digital Media Minor (DMART) Art minor; Bachelor’s degree, Digital Media Minor (DMTEC) – Software design and programming minor. There are two career tracks available. The minor in the Digital Media LSU’s AVATAR initiative helps students develop careers in digital media arts through the College of Art & Design. The Digital Media minor offers related technology programs through the College of Engineering. Students in both programs will take foundation courses in the arts and computer programming. Full-time, nonresident cost is a little more than $12,000 per semester.
The Academy of Interactive Entertainment – The Academy of Interactive Entertainment in Lafayette, Louisiana offers Advanced Diploma in Professional Game Development-Art Major; Advanced Diploma in Professional Game Development-Software Development Major. This private institution is based in Canberra, Australia with satellite campuses in Seattle, Washington and Lafayette, Louisiana. The degree’s art major receives training to become an artist or an animator for video game companies. The game development/software engineering program prepares
Full Sail University – Full Sail University offers full-time, online study on courses such as Bachelor’s degree, Game Design; Bachelor’s degree, Game Art. This is a private, for-profit online school, you can study level design, development analysis, game mechanics and production among other courses in the field. At the end of the game design program, the student will have a video game prototype, ready to show employers or investors. Coursework for the bachelor’s degree can be finished in as little as 32 months. Tuition is more than $7,000 per semester.
Online schools such as deVry, The Art Institutes and The Art Academy offer several courses of related study.