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Video Game Design Careers - Where To Start

May 22, 2008
It's getting to that time in your life when you have to start considering exactly what you'll be doing with your career and video games look like a solid field. You're good with numbers, you know a little programming code, or you're a fairly decent artist.

Any of these are good reasons to consider the industry, so where do you go for video game design career information? You'll need to be proactive, getting out there and putting forth the effort to make the most of your interest. Here's how to start.

First off is schooling.

For any video game design career, you'll need to get a two to four year degree in the field you're interested in first. Devry, ITT Technical Institute, and many of the Art Institutes all offer programs that will prepare you for the video game design field as well as offering you tons of video game design career information through their programs.

There are other more traditional schools, such as The Digital Media Arts College in Florida, which offers extensive Bachelors Degree programs in video game design, as well as Collins College in Arizona. Almost anywhere in the nation though you'll find a program that will help you get the video game design career information you need.

Know The Industry

But, just getting a degree is not necessarily enough. Many careers require some level of experience or knowledge of the industry, possibly even just a few contacts from within. Regardless, you should be familiar with the various game design companies.

Not only should you know which companies you'd like to work with when it comes time to apply for jobs, you should know what they produce, familiarizing yourself with their output.

You should know that EA has multiple studios that produce Sports games, action games, and movie license among many others. You should know that if you want to work for a Japanese publisher, you might need to know a little Japanese.

Get Out There and Network

Once you've familiarized yourself with the industry and are on your way to having a degree, you should look for video game design career information in the most information packed places of all, the trade shows and publications.

You can find endless amounts of information at these shows, with every major publisher out in full force. Though E3 has changed its format this year to a smaller invite only summit, other major shows such as the Tokyo Game Show (once again, Japanese helps), or the Game Developers Conference offer plenty of chances to step in and grab information or meet and greet with designers.

And if you can get invites to any industry events, either through school or press credentials or through networking with industry insiders, you can find yourself in a position to land a great job designing video games.

The real key to finding good video game design career information is to step out of the box and take real initiative. You had better have a keen eye and a willingness to get your foot in the door and meet lots of people. There are hundreds of opportunities out there if you're willing to make the effort in exploiting them.
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