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If you’re a dedicated gamer, you’ve probably said more than once, ‘I should go into video game design, I could make stuff even cooler than this!’ In fact, there is currently a great demand for individuals in the video game industry, but not everyone who loves to play games can successfully design them. There is a big gap between knowing what makes a great game and being able to actually design a game that fits those criteria.
The current demand for video game design experts is why more colleges than ever are offering courses in computer game design and computer animation studies under various titles. The best courses offer a degree that thoroughly covers everything from the basics of computer animation to game script development.
Education Plus Personality Equals Success in Video Game Design
Today’s game design companies are looking for a combination of talents and knowledge that can only come from experience and education with a good dash of the right kind of personality as well. Some people are avid gamers but simply don’t have the dedication and attention to detail that is necessary to become a designer, while others have the creative personality, attention to detail and striking concepts but have never bothered to get the educational background required to hit the ground running. There are several things that are key to success in video game design, including:
A background in computer animation and game design
This is where a solid college education comes in. Because the industry is constantly changing, you need a degree from an accredited university that keeps up with changes in the industry and has experienced professionals teaching the courses. You need to understand and be able to execute the steps of animation and design from the inside out to be successful.
Discipline and attention to detail
There is so much more to video game design than just having a great concept. You need to be able to develop detailed, precise flow charts for different levels and possible outcomes and be able to precisely structure the theme and mission of a game concept. Continuity, clean execution and flawless design are all the result of discipline and attention to detail.
Understanding of character and story development
In other words, you can’t just be all action oriented. A good college course will have courses that help you develop story structure and individualize characters so that they aren’t simply ‘cardboard stereotypes.’ The uniqueness of each character and story can make or break a video game design, so be sure you’ve learned these skills.
You can design the action, but you must also tell the story. If you are going to get a degree that relates to video game design and/or computer animation (both excellent choices), check out the curriculum to be sure you will learn script writing. Additionally, it may be a good idea to take a course or two in creative writing to further hone your skills. It also helps if you’re an avid reader who enjoys fantasy and adventure.
If you have the personal characteristics you can attend a good college that teaches you the right skills. Look for one that offers a good range of animation and gaming courses and includes the development of a complete portfolio. The portfolio is an indication that you will leave being able to complete a gaming project and that you will have a concrete example of your work for prospective employers to review. From there, your career in video game design will take flight.