Jobs - Types
A programmer can work on the game engine, the Artificial Intelligence features, the tools, hardware and network. Salaries can range, for those with 1-2 years of experience, from $55,000 to $70,000. Programmers are often in high demand in the industry, especially those who are flexible and can perceive the “big picture.”
A designer – or artists – can be an animator, 3D artist/modeler or 2D artist/texturer. Salaries range quite widely, and that doesn’t necessarily depend on experience. The reason: some designers just have the right look that is highly sought-after at that moment. Studios will pay big bucks to entice those designers, regardless of their background and experience.
Though it sounds similar and uses some of the same skills as a designer, Level Design is a job unto itself. This involves placing and organizing the structures that make the game world, a feat which is much easier said than done. To create a design that looks natural but striking, a great amount of general knowledge is required. Level Designers need to have some art proficiency, but must also have good spatial awareness, organizational skills, lightning effects knowledge, and even some familiarity with architecture. This position can often pay quite well.
Producer/Production Personnel Production
Ensures that the job gets done in the end, on budget and on time. Production workers can be anywhere from the producers who conceive and oversee the entire project time to the office administrators. With project budgets in the multiple millions of dollars and involving dozens of programmers and designers, simply organizing the project can be an incredible challenge. This can involve writing the documentation, tracking the work and checking the final product for errors.
An audio artist is in charge of doing the audio engineering, sound effects design and musical composition. An audio artist could also work with the production team in recording and editing voice-overs.
Game development teams rely on other departments within their company, as well as other, smaller firms, to handle the tasks of getting the games out to the public. That can include marketing, customer support and packaging. Finally, the gambling industry needs creative and technical people to create and maintain arcade games, online gambling features and casino games.
This is a growing position in the game community. As average team sizes grow, studio managers realize the need for quality communication skills. Documentation is a necessary part of any software creation, and games are certainly no exception. Aside from documentation itself, there is the manual to write, the story behind the game to design and narrate in an interesting way. Every speaking character must have a script. As more writers join the game industry, game plots become more detailed and entertaining, causing the industry to be taken more seriously as an art and entertainment form.
Jobs - Industries
A degree in game development doesn't necessarily mean a career with video games. With training in multimedia, art and programming, a game developer can easily succeed in other fields.
The academic field and publishers of educational software and games are seeking creative types who are comfortable with multimedia software. Publishers of educational materials need people to design, program and come up with the concepts for CD-ROM games to help Johnny learn to read and write.
Corporate publishing firms need people to create training and simulation software to teach their workers. For example: airlines use flight-simulation packages to keep their pilot skills up to date. Military defense contractors need software to educate their technicians on how to operate satellites, telescopes and other hardware.
Gaming / Gambling Industry
The game industry needs creative and technical people to create and maintain arcade games, online gambling features and casino games. The gambling industry needs people who can design and maintain games that are fun, but based largely on luck. As the Internet gambling industry expands, online casinos are looking for more thrilling games to attract gamblers.
As Internet advertising expands, companies are looking for better ways to attract people to their websites. Interactive ads are becoming a popular way of doing that. Similarly, companies include fun, interactive content on their sites to draw traffic and enforce brand loyalty.
your own creativity...