If you have any interest in the gaming industry and/or acquiring a degree in game design, you must wonder what the purpose of your degree really is. You may have heard stories about indie developers making it big on their own or of big developers who skipped out on school. Those are the rare exceptions to the rule. What follows is a list of three of the biggest myths surrounding the acquisition of a degree in game design.
1. You don’t need a degree, you can just make your own game easily. FALSE
Gamers play games often. That’s a fact. They play them endlessly and become familiar with certain mechanics and even certain trends that developers work with. Gamers find it easy to critique the games and soon feel like they can make a game themselves. Without training. Or specific software. You couldn’t be more wrong.
Game development requires a number of technical tools to be taken seriously and most of those you can’t just download for free. There are a number of rules behind game design. There are layers upon layers of code that you must know to help craft your game. Creating a game of any level is about as difficult as filming a feature-length movie. While you CAN make the basic frame for a game without technical knowledge, there is no way you can flesh out that game without a degree in game design.
2. Game developers play games all day! FALSE
One of the most common tropes that follows anyone in the gaming industry is that they spend 90% of their time playing games. The simple truth is, no they don’t. There isn’t enough time for playing games. Game design students are working on their projects and developers are working around the clock to push out a full product within a few months. There may be some small playtesting of the game they are making, but it’s far from a glamorous job.
A game developer just has too much to do. Gaming sessions just lose importance in a developer’s life when they are busy creating games that others can lose hours to. That isn’t to say there is no fun to be had creating games, but there is less gaming involved with game making than you may realize.
3. There aren’t enough jobs in the gaming industry for me to pursue a degree. FALSE
One of the biggest myths on this list. The gaming industry is growing with the rise of technology. While there have been some big companies downsizing and losing money, there has also been a noticeable rise in independent companies. These companies are started by graduates of game design who band together after finishing school and quickly become big names themselves.
After acquiring the tools and knowledge they need to develop a big name title, game design students are going on to establish entire companies on their own. And they are usually profitable. Even with that, there are still a number of jobs available AT the big companies as well. It is just about where you look. The world of software development itself will see a 30% job increase between now and 2020 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Definitely more than enough jobs out there.
The world of game design comes with many crazy myths, but any prospective game design student should not worry. Take the leap and start your career in game design today.
Get information on 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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