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Game design jobs: What will a degree get me?

A programmer can work on the game engine, the Artificial Intelligence features, the tools, hardware and network. Programmers are often in high demand in the industry, especially those who are flexible and can perceive the “big picture.”

A designer - or artists - can be an animator, 3D artist/modeler or 2D artist/texturer. Salaries range quite widely, and that doesn't necessarily depend on experience. The reason: some designers just have the right look that is highly sought-after at that moment.

Level Designer
Though it sounds similar and uses some of the same skills as a designer, Level Design is a job unto itself. This involves placing and organizing the structures that make the game world, a feat which is much easier said than done. To create a design that looks natural but striking, a great amount of general knowledge is required. Level Designers need to have some art proficiency but must also have good spatial awareness, organizational skills, lightning effects knowledge, and even some familiarity with architecture.

Producer/Production Personnel
Production is ensuring that the job gets done in the end, on budget and on time. Production workers can be anywhere from the producers who conceive and oversee the entire project time to the office administrators.

With project budgets in the multiple millions of dollars and involving dozens of programmers and designers, simply organizing the project can be an incredible challenge. This can involve writing the documentation, tracking the work and checking the final product for errors.

An audio artist is in charge of doing the audio engineering, sound effects design and musical composition. An audio artist could also work with the production team in recording and editing voice-overs.

Game development teams rely on other departments within their company, as well as other, smaller firms, to handle the tasks of getting the games out to the public. That can include marketing, customer support and packaging. Finally, the gambling industry needs creative and technical people to create and maintain arcade games, online gambling features and casino games.

This is a growing position in the game community. As average team sizes grow, studio managers realize the need for quality communication skills. Documentation is a necessary part of any software creation, and games are certainly no exception. Aside from documentation itself, there is the manual to write, the story behind the game to design and narrate in an interesting way. Every speaking character must have a script. As more writers join the game industry, game plots become more detailed and entertaining, causing the industry to be taken more seriously as an art and entertainment form.