Video Game Engineering & Product Development Careers for Artists and Storytellers

Video Game Engineering & Product Development: Career Paths for Artists and Storytellers

Since the ’70s, video games and video game design have taken the world by storm. These days, nearly everyone on the planet has played a favorite video game of some kind, be it The Legend of Zelda series from Nintendo, Final Fantasy for Sony Playstation, Sonic the Hedgehog from Sega, or Pokemon Go! for smart phones. Video games are a source of entertainment and storytelling that inspire people to play, and perhaps one day come up with their own stories for people to love.

Because video games are a source of enjoyment for so many people, the field is also lucrative. Designers, developers, artists, storytellers, and many others have found great joy in creating masterpiece games either independently or through a known franchise that people will buy.

One of the biggest career paths a gamer can go into is business and management. Sounds a little dull, but also high-paying at an average of $101,000.00+ per year for franchise-based games. This career path is basically all about the monetary side of developing a game; this includes figuring out what will sell best about an idea, to gathering funds from investors, to marketing and financing the game franchise itself.

The next high-paying career for gamers is to become an audio professional. This career has more of an artistic nature, as this person or team of people is creating the sound world of the game (this includes music). This is obviously important; think of how many franchise and even non-franchise games have recognizable music. What sounds and music pieces do you associate with Pokemon? Super Mario Bros.? GT4? Mortal Kombat? These games have not only music to work with, but any sounds that a character makes when they move, speak, collect coins, or fight another character. The average salary for an audio professional is around $95,000.00 per year.

Programmers are exceedingly important to the development of a game, as these are the folks who develop all of the internal components of a game in order for it to work properly. The characters move the directions the user wants them to move, the user chooses the power-ups and attacks they the character to use on another, etc. All of this is done through the use of powerful software and the expertise of programmers and software developers. Programmers make an average of $93,000.00 per year.

Artists and animators are the folks who, much like the audio professionals, help develop the world of the game, this time on the visual end of development. They create memorable characters, backdrops, animations for the moves, and move the storytelling along. This is generally done through digital means, and can be done in 2D and 3D depending on the needs for the game. Artists and animators in game development earn an average of $74,000.00 per year.

These four paths mentioned above just barely scratch the surface as to all of the folks involved in developing a game. The bottom line is that the video game industry is hot and the opportunities are everywhere to be a part of something big. Just take a look around!

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