It used to be when financial times were tough, people would dress up, put on a smile and splurge at the movies to forget all their worries. Today, people are skipping the movies (and the dressing up) and spending their money on video games. The gaming industry continues to grow, and the need for new Game Design and Development professionals grows with it. Game Design and Development majors obviously learn the skills necessary to put together such masterpieces as Halo, Call of Duty and, a personal favorite, Lego Batman.
It’s fair to say that all Game Design and Development majors like video games; if they don’t, they sure do a good job faking it. They enjoy working with computers and like seeing their ideas come alive (and then sometimes get shot or pushed off a cliff, as often happens in video games).
Computer skills are a must. Math skills are a help. Perhaps one of the hardest attributes to come by is restraint – the ability to work on games all day without just playing. Considering most Game Design and Development majors consider the work side fun, though, that’s not always such a problem.
It’s OK to be retro. It’s not OK to think that all games are still played with an Atari joystick and two-dimensional graphics.
There are plenty of tricky elements involved in Game Design and Development. 3D graphics is one of them. You’ll take courses in 3D design and art as well as in math and math applications. A lot of your coursework will be hands-on working and experimenting.
While a video game is often the brainchild of one or two individuals, entire teams work to put the games together. And with all the different gaming systems out there in addition to computer gamers, there’s plenty of different places to send your resume to.
Get good grades in your high school math classes. Most of your colleges won’t have a specific degree for this program, so look around at specialty schools and see what their requirements are. You may have to do some college work first – you may not.
While you can’t become a recluse, you should spend a fair chunk of your spare time experimenting with graphics and designing principles. Just like you become a better shot each time you play that alien sniper game, you’ll become a better Game Design and Development major with every snippet you work on.