Overview With superb software available at your fingertips, a whole lot of sophisticated smart consoles and gadgets being manufactured at a furious pace, not to mention a growing number of people who are crazy about video games, there is a wonderful career field out there for tech-savvy people to design games.
Superheroes and villains, fairies and elves, wizards and witches, flora and fauna and even static scenery of hills & pretty houses are all brought to life with animated motions. From a handful of pencil or pen sketches on paper to the computer screen, the video game designer creates a source of endless entertainment for those passionate about gaming.
What does a game designer do? A game designer combines art with technology to create something interesting and unique. Basically you are creating fun!
Games are created to be played on a computer, a smart phone or a gaming console, sometimes made in a manner that it can be played across all types of technological devices. To put it briefly, you either begin right from the start, with conceptualization on a storyboard, or work on a basic blueprint given to you. The initial foundation involves first creating characters in 2D or 3D format, using special software and then building on the movements of the characters, inserting imaginative obstacles and strategies, developing it with different levels too in order to retain the interest of the gaming addict.
What are the general skills of a game designer? An instinctive artistic understanding is as crucial as being technically sound to becoming an expert game designer. It involves hours and hours of work, covering the minutest details of a game. Hence, you will need to do thorough research to make the game really authentic. For example, if you are creating a game of golf, you would need to consider not just the playing surface of the putting green, with its water hazards, sand bunkers, etc but also the different types of golf clubs and the dimples in the golf ball.
It is important to have the ability to work not just individually but also with a team since more often than not the eventual product will be a work of multiple people. Ego issues should not come in the way of creating a quality game.
What are the educational qualifications required? In order to create graphics that are visually appealing, it helps to study visual communication in fine arts . It is advisable to pursue this either at the undergraduate or at the Master's level. However, not all companies will insist on having a degree or diploma qualification. You can even take up a short term certificate program in the field.
What is important when joining a course, whether long term or short term, is to ensure that it incorporates hands-on learning of the latest graphics software which will enable you to express your ideas on a digital platform. This would include animation, imaging, geometric patterns, 3D modeling, colour and texture coordination, designing of characters and the like. Through the course you should acquire knowledge of how to use Adobe imaging software such as Photoshop, Maya, Illustrator, Flash, etc. If you are aiming to become a game designer in a particular niche, such as 3D models, then what you pursue at the learning stage should ensure that the software tools you are getting trained on and the knowledge you acquire is in that field specifically.
Also, note that although quite often there is a seamless blend between game designing, game programming and being a game artist, the background requirements will likely differ for each individual career path. For example, a gaming programmer may require having a degree in software engineering wherein gaming is the focus of study, along with in-depth knowledge of Java, C and C++. In the case of a career of a game artist, you can even have a traditional art school qualification in the academic part of your C.V. with sketching / cartooning skills. For a game designer, the requirement will not necessarily include merely designing the game, but also the ability to write content creatively, have expertise in storytelling via a story board and manage the game design project as a whole.
Game designing job scope and salary As a game designer you need not restrict yourself to designing games for fun & games to be played on a gaming device, say a Sony Playstation or via a mobile app. You can look for opportunities to design games which are educational in nature, with interactive games which will make learning activities for children enjoyable.
It would be good to pursue a course which offers internships as this could well be the opening for your future job. Check if the institute has a placement cell to assist you in landing you a dream job with a TV production house, a film studio, an advertising agency, a corporate house, etc.
As for salary, you can get an entry level salary of approximately 6 lakhs per year. With more experience as you go along, you can get nearly 18 lakhs per annum at the senior level.
Where to start Acquiring the requisite knowledge and educational qualification is the start of any career. Given below is a list of a few popular institutes in India which offer courses in the field of gaming. Some courses may be separate for programming and for designing while others may impart education in both fields over different semesters. So understand what is being taught in the curriculum to suit your own field of interest.
It is also advisable to check out reviews of the institute, try and meet alumni and know if job placements are offered by these institutes. Compare the curriculum and fees as well before applying for admission.
List of institutes in India offering game design courses
Indian Institute of Digital Art & Animation (IIDAA) Courses offered:
Contact address: 97, BJ Block, Sector – II, Salt Lake City, Kolkata – 700091, West Bengal.
Contact Ph.: +91-332-321 2001 / +91-332-321 2011 / +91-8981552392
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org (for general queries) / email@example.com (for admission)
Asian Institute of Gaming and Animation (AIGA) Courses offered:
Contact address: No. 41/1, Murugeshpalya, Old Airport Road, opp. Kempfort Mall, Bangalore – 560017, Karnataka.
Contact Ph.: +91 -80-40480900
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Indian School of Gaming (ISOG) Courses offered:
Contact address: Sri Sai Towers, Plot No 9/a & 9/b Behind Westin, Raheja IT Park, Vittal Rao Nagar, Madhapur, Hyderabad - 500 081
Contact email: OUTREACH@ISOG.IN
ICAT Design & Media CollegeCourses offered:
(i) ICAT Design & Media College - 153, Santhome High Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004.
Contact Ph: 044-4293 4293 / +91-95001-28555.
(ii) ICAT Design & Media College - 424, Bommanahalli, Hosur Main Road, Bangalore - 560 068. Contact Ph: 080-4110 7755 / +91-96111 73607.
(iii) ICAT Design & Media College - 11-9-45/2, Vishal Towers, Kothapet Cross Roads, near Kothapet Fruit Market, beside OMNI Hospital, Kothapet, Hyderabad - 500 035.
Contact Ph: 040-4221 7755 / +91-88862 33334.
FX School Courses offered: 12-month Diploma in Game Design & Development and a 6-month Unity Certified Developer course.
Contact address: 105 Morya Landmark I, opp. Infiniti Mall, New Link Road, Andheri (W), Mumbai-400053.
Contact Ph: +91-022-4235 4235.
Website: FX School
DSK International Campus (DSKIC)The curriculum is designed in France, since the institute has a collaboration with Rubika (see official website for more details.)
Courses offered: 3 year Program in Video Game Art / Program in Game Design. EligibilitY: 12th pass from arts, commerce or science stream or Diploma / degree in basic design courses (though entry level is at first year only). You should also be fluent in English and have a good portfolio showcasing your skills and creative talent.
Contact address: DSK Dream City, Pune-Solapur Highway, Pune-412308, Maharashtra.
Contact Ph: Board no.: 020-6678 4310 / For registration/admissions/entrance exam queries: +91-20-6689-9322.
Contact Email: email@example.com
Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics (MAAC) Course offered: DGDI course in Gaming of 12 months duration. Check out also the short term courses in 3D modeling, digital sculpting, composing & editing etc.
Contact address: MAAC has centres all over India. Check the one nearest to your location at their website.
Website: MAAC India
Suggestion for optional courses in game designing: You can also check out courses in graphics and multimedia, VFX and visual media / visual arts which include learning modules on how to use digital software tools for designing games.
So are you going to create the next global hit in the field of exciting, fantasy games? Start on that goal right now!
Vandana is based in India with over 15 years experience as a freelance writer. Writing, no doubt, is her primary passion! Having learned the art of blogging from ISC, Vandana is enjoying the thrills of blogging, taking pleasure in sharing information & getting good pageviews at her various blogs.
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