Do you like video games? Do you beat video games after playing once? Do you feel like the games are too easy? Well, it sounds like you have a passion for these things then you should go where your heart leads you.
If you at the point where you are thinking about your career, I suggest that you do what you love to do. You should consider a different course of action: majoring in something you TRULY enjoy… something you could do hours on end without feeling like you are working at all. And if you are like many people, this ‘something’ would be playing video games.
That’s right! You can actually get a job creating and/or playing video games. Below is a list of some of the careers available for those with a video game degree.
Video Game Programmer
Gameinformer Magazine mentions that, video game programmers are the "heart and soul" of the industry. They are the ones responsible for creating the code necessary for getting video games to function. And contrary to popular belief, their jobs aren’t always easy. Video game programming often involves creating complex functions and algorithms often times more challenging than programs created in Corporate America.
Indeed, game programming may not be the appropriate course for everyone seeking a video game career, but if you were deciding to go into the computer field anyway, which job would be more enjoyable… coding the next Halo, or working on a boring, hum-drum piece of no-name software?
Video Game Tester
As a video game tester it is a position in which you truly would get paid for playing video games. According to current game tester Doug D. from Electronic Arts, he say’s as a game tester you would "go over different components of a game and look for things that just don’t make sense." You would also "break the game," meaning you would "do things a normal user would do and accidentally see something go wrong."
Doug Powell further adds that video game testing is a good place to start for young people who want to "break into the industry." To get such a position in it is best to have a "passion for gaming" and some educational background. Doug recommends a degree, or some form of higher-level education.
Video Game Animator
Animators are in charge for coordinating the movement of video game characters. Accomplishing requires more than drawing something on a piece of paper, which according to Alex Jones, an established game animator, occurs after a lot of "brainstorming, chilling, playing, planning and testing" with the programmer. But when the busy work is done, the video game animator will finally get a chance to do what he or she does best… animate. Alex Drouin says the thing he liked best about his job was "being able to come there late in the morning, sit behind his computer, put on a great CD, and then create crazy animation that will end up in a game that will be seen all around the world by gamers." With a video game degree it is certainly possible!
Sound designers are responsible for creating the music and sound effects of video games. Video game music is created either from digital sources or real-life stimulation. As video game consoles become more advanced, many sound designers favor the latter when deciding on what type of music they want in the games they are working on. Creating appropriate sound effects, on the other hand, sometimes requires more creative experimentation.
To be successful at designing video game sounds it is best to:
- have an interest in both music and sound,
- possess knowledge of recording equipment and
- be familiar with the types of music and sound used in today’s most popular video games. A video game degree will help develop these talents and skills.
Video game designers are responsible for creating the ‘experience’ of a particular game. Charles Perry, a video game designer, sums it up by saying "the main tasks of the designer is to make sure the game is fun."
Wells further adds that video game designers are responsible for macro and micro level design. Macro level design involves "figuring out the core mechanics of the game; the variety of level looks, power-ups, etc." Micro-design involves creating the "actual levels and the moment-to-moment gameplay within those levels… the enemies, the objects, and the particular way you encounter those enemies and objects."
Good game designers should obviously have an interest in video games along with some drawing and programming skills.