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Is a Video Game Design Career for You?

Is a Video Game Design Career for You?

Steve Berman | ArtBistro

If you’re looking for a career that combines artistic creativity with technical know-how, all in an environment that actually encourages hours upon hours of game play, a career in video game design is definitely for you. As the video game market has exploded into a multi-billion dollar industry, opportunities for talented designers have become abundant as the leading video game firms compete for the top talent.

The array of careers available in the gaming industry is as diverse as the types of games one can play these days, but the heart of any good game is the design team. Designers create the actual world that exists within a game. That includes the characters, story and the environments where the story unfolds. To be a designer one must have a creative vision and the know-how to make it happen. In effect, designers are the people who make video games fun, interesting and unique.

Many break into the industry as game testers, but those with technical degrees can move quickly through the ranks. Writers create the game’s story, dialogue and other areas of the game where unique content is needed. Animators and 3-D illustrators, in collaboration with programmers and artists, bring video game characters to life.

Designers can work on anything from a game’s mechanics, flow, guidelines, buildings and terrain, as well as a game’s artificial intelligence. Employers often desire candidates with knowledge of programming languages, such as Java or Python.

The types of game publishers one can work for vary greatly. Large firms like Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive and THQ work on a wide variety of games across platforms, while some smaller firms pool all their resources into making one or two games they hope will become classics. Like most relatively new industries, the landscape changes all the time. But with the right skills and a passion for gaming, the opportunity exists to have a successful, fulfilling career.

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