Game Design Training for Video Game Consoles

Game Design Training for Video Game Consoles

Becoming a video game designer seems like a dream job for many young people, and an increasing demand in the fast-paced market has made it a viable career option for those with the talent and dedication to acquire the requisite education. Gaming can no longer be considered a frivolous market, as the video and computer game industry generated $9.5 billion in the U.S. in 2007.

Designing for video game consoles is less complex than designing for computer games due to software interaction issues, but with the advent of online gaming services such as Xbox Live for the Microsoft Xbox, designers now must offer support and upgrades for their software, something they could not do in the past. This adds a new dimension, and with it new headaches, to the role of the console video game designer. The design team is now responsible for unforeseen pitfalls in the game design that surface only after release.

Where would you fit on the design team?

Game designing requires an in-depth knowledge of a wide variety of subjects including game theory, game mechanics, visual arts, programming, and multimedia. Games are usually designed by a team of experts, so a student may choose a field of expertise and follow it, with some complementary education thrown in for flavor. Game designers often study liberal arts and behavioral sciences along with computer skills. In order to create realistic characters, one must understand both the characters and their motivations. To facilitate believable interactions, study of subjects like sociology, history, psychology and behavioral science make a designer more attractive to potential employers and often offer a considerable bump in salary.

While every member of the team contributes to gameplay, game designers are primarily responsible for the overall look and feel of the game. The bottom line is simple to state and difficult to achieve; a game designer must figure out how to make the game appealing on every level. It must have visual appeal to an increasingly demanding audience. It must be realistic and at the same time have a deep level of fantasy, enough to draw the player into another world and hold them there. Challenges must be difficult, even maddening, but not impossible. If they are too easy, the game is boring. Word will spread and your game will flop. If they are too difficult you lose all but the hardcore gamers, a market too small to be economically sustainable.

The ability to take an idea and use it to create a multi-dimensional world can rocket a designer into a relative super star arena inhabited by names familiar to gamers the world over. A game that fires the imagination of a generation is the Holy Grail of the gaming industry. Every game designer dreams of designing the next groundbreaking addiction…tomorrow's Pong.

Here are some of the recommended types of courses to get started on a career as a video game designer:

Latest Game Design Articles & News

Detroit holds first annual design festival
Detroit will be hosting its first-ever design festival in order to promote designers in all fields in the area, according to The Detroit News.

National Design Award ceremony takes place next Tuesday
The finalists and winners of this year's National Design Awards will be having their annual ceremony a little late this year.

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