Game Design – A Fascinating World of its Own
How often would you sit in front of your gaming console and go about shooting bad guys and fire-breathing dragons? Or race the fastest cars negotiating the stunning race tracks of Monte Carlo or grind your teeth and annihilate zombies? Accept it, however childish though it may sound, we have all enjoyed playing video and computer games. Kids from a generation gone by had hand-held devices which had Tetris, Car-racing, and tennis-themed games, then came the 8-bit cartridge based games, that were connected to the television set, Nintendo, X-Box, Sony all the big names came up with various devices and suddenly gaming became a massive industry. To add to the variety on offer the last decade has seen the growth of the mobile phone as a multi-layered instrument and mobile gaming is a full-fledged industry in its own right.
If you have a creative mind and love playing video/computer games, then you should consider completing a degree in Game Design.
Gaming with the Best – Top Schools to Study Game Design
Did you know that Abertay University in Dundee in Scotland was the world’s first university to offer a full-fledged degree programme in Game Design? As per a recent survey conducted by the Forbes Magazine, the top five institutions to earn a postgraduate degree in Game Design are:
- University of Utah
- University of Central Florida
- Southern Methodist University
- University of Southern California
- DigiPen Institute of Technology
What does game design involve?
Apart from knowledge of designing games, a Game Designer is expected to have understanding of Art / Aesthetics, Programming, Project Management, Culture, Languages, Sound Design / Music, Storyboarding and Character Development. It is indeed an exciting role that requires designers to ‘think out of the box’ on a day-to-day basis. In India, the industry is growing by leaps and bounds with every major American VFX and Gaming studio contracting out major projects to smaller design agencies in cities like Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi.
Creativity, coding, patience and a zest for life are some factors that are very important for aspiring game designers. Months of hard work can all go to waste, if the end product looks sloppy, or if there is disappointing feedback from clients! The trick is to work smart and treat every day afresh and learn something new to keep oneself motivated and succeed as a game designer.
The MS in Game Design and Development is the most common postgraduate programme on offer in this exciting field. This is offered usually as a two-year programme by most institutions. The degree is intended specifically for students that aspire to hold careers within the professional games industry or a related field such as simulation, edutainment, e-learning or visualisation. Most programmes incorporate a work-internship, which gives students the chance to work at a gaming or animation studio. Additionally, as part of their learning, students are required to create game demo clips as well. This plays a key role in the student finding a job on graduating. The ‘portfolio’ of a designer is the designer’s passport to success and financial freedom.
A number of institutions also offer the MFA in Game Design as well. This traditionally focuses more on the design and layout in terms of where the games are set, how the characters and moulded and what story arc the game needs to follow. It is in a way a bigger focus on the visual elements rather than the Physics involved in the game. Now the difference seems to be blurring and the MFA offered by some institutions incorporates modules in coding as well.
Certified and skilled game designers can make in excess of INR 15 to 20 lakhs a year in leading studios. For a fresher out of college, an annual package of INR 3 to 4 lakhs is the industry average in India. As always an international degree and a job in game design abroad in a leading firm offers a substantially bigger salary.
Let us help you
Are you keen on a career in gaming design and development? Or do you wish to venture into animation and visual effects? Then you should consider applying to study a degree programme that prepares you for your career. Get in touch with us for assistance in joining the perfect Game Design programme.
Image - virtualworlddesigner