Unlike many industries that are facing the perils of downsizing, outsourcing and cutbacks, the video game design industry appears to be poised for growth. Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, alone, boasts over 10 million players and is still growing, showing that the gaming industry doesn’t look like it will be slowing down any time soon.
As gamers demand new and increasingly challenging gaming experiences, the need for game designers is on the rise. However, while the demand for game designers grows, so does the competition for this much-coveted title. Thus, the education and experience that prospective game designers bring to the table is paramount to their successful entry into the gaming industry.
Ideal candidates are creative, tech-savvy gaming enthusiasts with at least an Associate’s Degree – but preferably a Bachelor’s – in a related field. Degrees in computer programming, graphic design, animation, digital arts and, of course, game design all offer a solid foundation for building a career as a game designer.
Developing enticing gaming environments with exceptional gameplay takes more than just basic programming skills and personal experience with gaming. Successful game designers must be able to collaborate, show leadership and teamwork skills, maintain an intrinsic and current understanding of gaming and computer technology and display a high amount of creativity.
Part of building a resume that will showcase your technological skills as well your ability to learn, collaborate, meet deadlines and focus on goals is selecting the right school for your game design education.
The first step in selecting the right school for you is to determine if the gaming industry is right for you and which aspect of game design you are most drawn to. Gamedev.net offers general information and basic instruction on game design, as well as a forum where would-be game designers can check out different aspects of game design and ask professional game designers and programmers questions about the gaming industry.
When selecting a game design school, reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration, as well as housing opportunities, the availability of financial aid, internship opportunities and what the school’s location has to offer.
Living, learning and working in a diverse, culturally-rich environment can enhance your game design education in ways you may not have considered. While a strong technology background is paramount to a game design career, art, history, mythology and culture all play an important role in creating rich game environments that appeal to a wide range of gamers.
This is one of the many reasons that obtaining your game design education in Miami, Florida might be the best move for your gaming career. Of course, the Sunshine State offers year-round sun, beaches, a multitude of recreational opportunities and an unparalleled nightlife. However, Miami has much more to offer than fun in the sun.
Miami, Florida and the surrounding areas offer a wide range of housing opportunities for students, as well as employment opportunities for those who need to earn an income while continuing their education. Home to many multinational corporations, employment opportunities in the fields related to computer programming and game design will help you build your resume even before obtaining your degree.
Other benefits of studying game design in Miami are the cultural, historical and artistic elements that will surround you each day. You will undoubtedly find the cross-cultural experiences, rich history and diverse artwork to be invaluable tools when designing and developing game environments that are richly textured and appealing to a wide array of gamers.
In addition to these benefits, the state of Florida provides abundant, easily accessible information for prospective students, including information on financial assistance. Those in need of financial assistance will find information and applications for loans, grants and scholarships on the Office of Student Financial Assistance website, floridastudentfinancialaid.org. General information regarding continuing your education in Florida is available from the Florida Department of Education at fldoe.org.
Here are three game design schools in Miami that you should consider:
Miami International University of Art & Design (part of the nationwide network of The Art Institute) offers a number of programs in the media arts including design, animation, graphics and a Master’s Degree in Computer Animation. For information on specific courses, programs and degrees visit their website at floridaartinstitutes.com.
The College of Business & Technology (www.cbt.edu) offers accredited 2-year programs focusing on digital arts, graphic design, animation and game design.
Miami Ad School offers a graphic design program, game design courses and several international internship opportunities. Program details are available at miamiadschool.com.