Game design masters degree programs are a viable way of earning credentials to gain entry or advance in the field of game software development within the computer science field. Video games have quickly become the hottest entertainment item. The sales of video games have now overtaken the previous dominant formats of movie DVDs and music CDs. If you are interested in developing a long and rewarding career in this field, you should explore the option of enrolling for a game design masters program.
Game Design Education and Training
Many established and accredited institutions now offer higher degrees in this subject. To be accepted onto a master’s degree program in game design, applicants should have earned a bachelors degree in a related field. There may be a requirement to provide samples of past work or projects that have involved the creation of video games or computer animation, though the need to submit scores from standardized tests may not be necessary.
The coursework in the game design masters degree program would depend upon whether you choose to enroll on an Master of Science or Master of Fine Arts degree, there may also be the option of choosing various management related electives. If you would like to focus on the technical side of video games, you can study modules such as the mechanics of design, production techniques, storyboards, shading rigging, texturing, 3D modeling and motion capture editing. The masters degree in game design considers both the graphics and programming side of game development.
If the specialization of the degree is in programming, topics covered can include engine development, memory management, and the porting of games onto different platforms. A master’s degree focused on production would allow students to develop skills relating to managing teams, creating new ideas, building marketing campaigns, and dealing with logistics.
Team leadership and collaborative design would likely be integral modules in the game design masters degree program. There is every likelihood that projects such as the creation of a new game would need to be completed before the master’s honor is bestowed.
Game Design Careers
As the world of video gaming is constantly evolving and developing, earning a master’s degree in this field can help in gaining a strong foothold in an extremely competitive business. There is a constant demand for experts to to take up positions in this industry, with a higher degree you would have the pick of jobs.
Examples of the type of profiles that would be available post graduation include design leader, lead programmer, creative director, art director, animator, level designer, storyboard artist, project supervisor, and game tester. There can be the option of working as a freelancer on specific projects, as well as taking up remote employment. Most firms involved in the gaming industry are located in the north east of the country, though also in California.
Estimated Income and Projected Job Outlook
As of 2008, lead designers were bringing home a mean salary of $88,000, though some gaming companies provided their top minds with six figure incomes. Variables depend upon actual responsibilities, bonuses, and location.
In the past twelve years the salaries on offer to designers of video games have more than tripled, such is the demand for the most creative minds. For the industry to continue its dominance, there is the need to hire the most talented individuals. Game design masters graduates with an in-depth knowledge of artificial intelligence and 3D animation are the most sought after today. Programmers who specialize in game design can expect to see a growth in employment opportunities by as much as 32% up until 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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