Making a game of it in Denver
Perhaps it is the thin, crisp, clean air of Denver, Colorado. Perhaps it is the majestic scenery of the great Rocky Mountains that inspires a sense of divine design and artistic passion. Whatever it is, Denver is the new hotbed for the creative as game design schools make their presence in the mile high city.
Long considered a field resident to the micro-chip centered Silicon Valley, the presence of new programs in Game Design have been emerging across the country. The generation that was practically born with a joystick in their hands is now entering schools of advanced learning and brings with them a whole new concept of what gaming is, and what it should be.
From Westwood College—with campuses in North and South Denver—to The Art Institute of Colorado, sci-fi, adventure, and fantasy designers are finding the right school and classes to unleash their creative passion while also developing the skills they will need to carve their path in the real world of Game Design for likes of Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, and the hundreds of other developers throughout the world.
Typical courses for the thriving designer include those one would expect of a technical nature including: digital color, 3D design, multiple levels of programming; and also those that might be a little less expected including classes in: Science fiction and Fantasy, Mythology, Animation history, and Basic & Advanced Drawing classes. Perhaps a bit of Art History too!
Upon completion of the programs, graduates will have the confidence to apply their talents in the real world (or would it be better to say the fantasy world)! Their skill sets, including digital animation, 2D and 3D art design, and overall game development production, will prepare them to travel the world in working with the very best game designers while earning an entry level salary of approximately $40k-$50K/year according to Payscale.com and animationarena.com. In fact, recent graduates are being hired at a faster than normal rate during this sluggish economy. As more and more families are conserving their money and staying home, they are looking for inexpensive ways to keep everyone entertained, and video games are just the right solution.
As a further avenue of exploration, gaming has continued to grow as a source of Hollywood inspiration. Movies based on games include the Lara Croft franchise, Resident Evil, and the much anticipated 2010 release of Clock Tower. Schools of game design may soon be known as second tier film schools. Watch out AFI!
And as if the thrill of gaming, the prospect of movie making, or the thought of an in-demand career were not enough, then think about some of the best skiing and “brew central” activities that abound in the mile-high city. Hey, all of that inspiration doesn’t just develop on its own!
So, while Denver, CO, may be home to the NFL Broncos, NBA Nuggets, MLB Rockies, and NHL Avalanche, they may soon be boasting of the prestige brought on by the next gaming frenzy and Hollywood blockbuster. It may just be the game that this city needs.