Occupations Available in the Video Game Industry
Video Game Designers
The video game designer is responsible for conceiving the plot and storyline — everything comprising an excellent video game. The designer supervises a team of professionals who are involved in the game’s production from start to finish. Salaries in the U.S. range from $35,000 to more than $200,000. Bachelor degrees in video game design are necessary to be hired for an entry-level position.
Video Game Programmers
Programmers enter the field of video game production with a strong academic background in C or C++, Lua, Assembly and Perl. A bachelor’s degree is necessary for an entry-level position. Whether you enjoy networking or artificial intelligence programming, there is probably a place for your specialized skills and talents. Average salaries in the U.S. are $77,000 for a beginning programmer to more than $125,000 for those with six or more years of experience.
Video Game Narrators
Do you ever wonder who comes up with those strange character names or languages or place names? Video game narrators are professional writers who use their literary experience and language arts skills in every game. They can dream up languages never spoken and places never built. Narrators work as part of the design team and, in the U.S., make about $65,000 a year.
Video Game Artists and Animators
Video game publishers count on the skill of artists and animators to make their new game appealing to customers. Designing an heroic space explorer, a suitably vicious space alien or an awesome city of the emperors can sell a game to thousands. Game Developer Magazine reports that animators and artists make more than $70,000 on average in the U.S.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics produced a paper titled “Work for Play, careers in video game development,” http://www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2011/fall/art01.pdf The guide will give you a very good overview of the field, its requirements and its promise.
Video Game Education Available in Missouri
Each year, in Missouri, an average of 108 students graduate with credentials in video game design. The schools offering these degrees range from state universities to private for-profit schools
Missouri State University – Missouri State University in West Plains, MO offers: Bachelor of Science, Computer Graphics and Programming (CGP) — Game Development emphasis. The Computer Graphics and Programming degree has three core areas: Game Design, Asset Creation and Game Programming. Students study general education courses, computer programming, Flash animation, digital graphics and mobile application development.
Associates of Applied Science — Computer Graphics and Programming (CGP) – Game Development emphasis
Artists and animators who wish to work in the video game field need education far beyond basic art skills. To create the perfect blend of realism and fantasy, they must develop skills in Adobe® Photoshop,® Unity3D, ®Autodesk®’s 3DS Max® and Filmbox® (FBX). This associate’s degree will prepare the artist to work in an entry-level position or transfer to a bachelor’s program. The cost at MSU is $3,304; $107 per credit hour for residents.
Kansas City Art Institute – Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City offers Bachelor of Fine Arts, Animation Major. The major will enable the artist to work for advertising companies, on feature film and television productions, teaching, corporate media departments or animation studios. This private institution costs $33,112 per year for students attending full time. Scholarships and financial aid are used by 98 percent of the student body.
ITT Tech – ITT Tech has campuses in Earth City and Arnold that offer Bachelor of Science, Digital Entertainment and Game Design. This 15-quarter hour Bachelor of Science degree program in these two locations will give the student first general education courses. Education in the foundation of digital game design follows. The study continues in game technology, animation, level design and the game design process. The cost for these schools is $493 per credit hour.
There are other private, for-profit online schools that offer study in the many video game design fields. These include deVry, Full Sail, the Art Institute and Westwood College among others.