3 Important Questions to Ask About a Career in Game Design
Video game design is one of the most popular fields in the entertainment industry. The Entertainment Software Association of Canada estimates that 59% of Canadians play video games.* And this number is expected to continue to expand, so if you're looking for a career you can grow with, video game design may be for you. It's full of opportunities to not only keep your work life exciting, but also to learn something new each day.
What Background do I Need?
Playing video games is definitely going to help someone who is thinking about entering the industry. However, this field requires hard work and proven expertise in video game design and computer science. Some employers will require you to have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in computer science, software engineering, video game design, or another related degree program.
Video game designers must be able to tell a story and be creative. And it helps if they can think outside of the box. Having experience working in art or video programming is often helpful. It is a very technical industry, so having a firm understanding of various software programs, programming languages, and 2D and 3D modeling programs can help you get further recognized.
What Can I Expect From Schooling?
Art and technology schools generally offer more specialized programs, while traditional colleges may offer more broad courses and programs—every school is different. However, most programs in the area of interactive media design will give you the opportunity to choose from several concentrations.
Two of the most popular and basic concentrations are game design and game programming. Game design is likely to be a better fit for those who are more artistically inclined, while game programming may be a better fit for those who are intrigued by the technology that makes it all work.
Any program you choose will likely focus heavily on industry-current technology including 3D design software and video capturing programs. And some programs will allow you to focus in on really specific areas of programming or design, like 2D and 3D modeling, digital art, or animation.
Does the Industry Offer a Promising Future?
As of 2013, there were 329 entertainment studios in Canada, and 40% of these companies are projecting a growth of 25% through 2015. There were 16,500 full time employees in this industry in 2011, and this number is expected to keep growing.
In addition to a good job outlook, video game design and development offer the potential to make a solid wage. In fact, the average annual salary for a video game professional in Canada in 2012 was $72,500.* Some of the popular Canadian companies that employ video game design professionals include:
- EA Canada
- Gameloft Montreal
Popular career paths include becoming a video game programmer, video game producer, mobile game designer, game network programmer, or quality assurance tester.
Take Control of Your Career Path Right Now
Now is the time for you to get in on the action. Use the postal-code based search tool or select a school from the listings on this page to request information from the video game design schools you're interested in. You're one step closer to a promising future in a fun and dynamic industry!
*Entertainment Software Association of Canada, Canada's Video Game Industry in 2013, website last accessed on July 10, 2014.
Service Canada, website last accessed July 10, 2014.