Occupations Growing in Game Development
The game development field employs a wide array of artists, writers, designers and programmers. Whether you are an artist, enjoy programming or supervise and manage others well, there is probably a job in game development that will suit you.
Designers dream up the video game’s concept, everything from the story, characters and maps to the flow of the game. They work with artists and programmers to bring that dream to reality.
Writers work as part of the design team. They create the context and dialog for the game. More writers are needed for role-playing games and fewer for games such as puzzles.
There are myriad types of programmers involved in game development, from specialties in artificial intelligence to graphics to physics. Programmers must be highly skilled in C or C++. They may also need other languages, such as Perl, Assembly or Lua.
Artists design the game’s visual style, including all the artwork from characters to environments. They may also create marketing materials and design the packaging.
Available Education in Nebraska
Students interested in the many facets of video game design and development come from different backgrounds and interests. As a college student, no matter what your major interest, you will also study computer languages and applications specific to the field of game development and design.
If you want to stay near home to pursue your education, there are several schools to consider. As an on-campus college student, you will have the advantage of learning to work with teams of other students, taking on roles that mirror real-world working conditions.
If you choose a state college and you are a Pell Grant-eligible first-time freshman, you are qualified for the Nebraska State College System Advantage grant. That grant covers any tuition you still owe after your Pell Grant is used.
ITT Technical Institute – Omaha – ITT Technical Institute – Omaha is the only shool here that offers a degree in game design, rather than graphics or programming.
Tuition was $17,148 per year in 2012. The school offers distance learning, remedial coaching and placement services.
Peru State College – Peru – Peru State College – Peru offers degrees in Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Fine Arts with Graphic Design Option.
The tuition for the 2012 year was $3,246 for in-state and out-of-state students. Fees were $1,070 for 2012.
University of Nebraska – Omaha – University of Nebraska – Omaha offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts Studio Arts with classes in graphic design, intermedia, independent game design and visual technology.
Tuition was $4,092 for residents and $12,060 for nonresidents for 2012. Annual fees were $623 in 2012.
University of Nebraska – Kearney – University of Nebraska – Kearney offers Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication and Design is offered at this school.
Annual costs in 2012 were $4,038, with out-of-state students paying $8,280. Fees were $1,151 that year.
Chadron State College – Chadron – Chadron State College – Chadron offers Bachelor of Arts degree with a graphic design option.
In 2012, resident’s tuition was $4,328 per year; nonresidents paid $7,576.
Wayne State College – Wayne – Wayne State College – Wayne offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design.
The tuition in 2012 was $3,246 for resident undergraduates and $6,492 for nonresidents. Annual fees were $1,182.
Union College – Lincoln – Union College – Lincoln has Bachelor of Science degrees in graphic design and computing with graphic design and web design emphasis. The cost was $18,120 plus $660 in annual fees in 2012. Union College is affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church and requires worship attendance. The school is unique in that graduates can return to the college two years after graduation for a second degree at no cost.
There are several distance-learning schools that offer relevant courses for the budding game developer. Some schools offering relevant degrees include Full Sail, the Art Institutes, Art Academy and deVry.
If you are interested in a career in video game design, read “Work for Play, careers in video game development,” produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for an in-depth overview of the field and its requirements at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2011/fall/art01.pdf.