If you’ve ever spent a lost weekend playing Halo, Assassin’s Creed or even the Sims, chances are you have wondered what it would take to become a video game designer. Video games are hugely popular. Seventy-two percent of all American households enjoy playing video games on a regular basis. The video game industry generated close to $19 billion in sales in 2009, and employed 32,000 people in 34 states.
Video game creation requires a team with many different types of players. To some degree, however, they are all actualizing the dream of the video game designer.
Educational Requirements for Video Game Designers
Many colleges and universities offer video game design courses these days as adjuncts to their computer science degrees. A video game design career track is also becoming an increasingly popular option in commercial art schools and technology institutes. However, there are no hard and fast educational requirements for video game designers.
Video game designers need to have some background in computer programming, so they know what’s possible and what is not in terms of actualizing the scenarios they come up with. They need a solid background in scripting languages like Lua and Python. They are also frequently called upon to use 3D design programs to modulate graphics.
According to Game Developer magazine, the average video game designer makes between $68,000 and $85,000 a year.
Video Game Designer Degrees
According to the Princeton Review, the ten top schools for degrees in video game design are:
• University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA): The Video Game Design and Management minor is given through USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.
• Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA): MIT offers a master’s degree in Interactive Technology in Digital Game Development.
• University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT): The University of Utah offers an interdisciplinary program called the Entertainment Arts and Engineering Program that offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees.
• DigiPen Institute of Technology (Redmond, WA): The DigiPen Institute of Technology offers degree programs in video game design.
• The Art Institute of Vancouver (Vancouver, BC): The Art Institute of Vancouver offers a two-year diploma degree in game art and design.
• Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY): The Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Interactive Games & Media offers prospective students several options for pursuing a career in video game design.
Get information on game design degrees using the form on this page. School representatives will guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have about the various programs that are available to help you earn your game design degree.
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