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The Future of Animation and Video Game Design

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					                                                Presented by Daniel Toriola


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                                         Breaking Into The Video Game Design Field
                                                                By Andy West



    If you're a dedicated gamer, you've probably said more than once, "I should go into video game
design, I could make stuff even cooler than this!" In fact, there is currently a great demand for
individuals in the video game industry, but not everyone who loves to play games can successfully
design them. There is a big gap between knowing what makes a great game and being able to
actually design a game that fits those criteria.

The current demand for video game design experts is why more colleges than ever are offering
courses in computer game design and computer animation studies under various titles. The best
courses offer a degree that thoroughly covers everything from the basics of computer animation to
game script development.

Education Plus Personality Equals Success in Video Game Design

Today's game design companies are looking for a combination of talents and knowledge that can only
come from experience and education with a good dash of the right kind of personality as well. Some
people are avid gamers but simply don't have the dedication and attention to detail that is necessary to
become a designer, while others have the creative personality, attention to detail and striking concepts
but have never bothered to get the educational background required to hit the ground running. There
are several things that are key to success in video game design, including:

A background in computer animation and game design This is where a solid college education comes
in. Because the industry is constantly changing, you need a degree from an accredited university that
keeps up with changes in the industry and has experienced professionals teaching the courses. You
need to understand and be able to execute the steps of animation and design from the inside out to be
successful.

Discipline and attention to detail There is so much more to video game design than just having a great
concept. You need to be able to develop detailed, precise flow charts for different levels and possible
outcomes and be able to precisely structure the theme and mission of a game concept. Continuity,
clean execution and flawless design are all the result of discipline and attention to detail.

Understanding of character and story development In other words, you can't just be all action oriented.

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 A good college course will have courses that help you develop story structure and individualize
characters so that they aren't simply "cardboard stereotypes." The uniqueness of each character and
story can make or break a video game design, so be sure you've learned these skills.

Script writing You can design the action, but you must also tell the story. If you are going to get a
degree that relates to video game design and/or computer animation (both excellent choices), check
out the curriculum to be sure you will learn script writing. Additionally, it may be a good idea to take a
course or two in creative writing to further hone your skills. It also helps if you're an avid reader who
enjoys fantasy and adventure.

If you have the personal characteristics you can attend a good college that teaches you the right skills.
Look for one that offers a good range of animation and gaming courses and includes the development
of a complete portfolio. The portfolio is an indication that you will leave being able to complete a
gaming project and that you will have a concrete example of your work for prospective employers to
review. From there, your career in video game design will take flight.

Andy West is a freelance writer for Virginia College.  Virginia College offers a professional Video
Game Design program.  Please visit Virginia College at
http://www.vc.edu/site/program.cfm?programID=63 to learn more about earning a degree in Video
Game Design.




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                         Playing The Game: The Future Of Animation And Game Design
                                               By Andy West



 The popularity of video games is a staple of our culture and appears as though it's going to stay. From
the different genres of video games to the complex stories and character developments, video games
have become an entity that spans generations of gamers. For many, it is an escape into a new world of
fantasy and adventure. As a result, it is no wonder why so many high school and college graduates are
going into the field of animation and game design. Several colleges offer courses and programs related
to learning how to create video games. The video game industry is a growing, multi-billion dollar field
and many of the college graduates want to get their hands on the controller.

The increasing demand for more games with better stories and more life-like graphics has been on the
minds of serious gamers for years. There is no satisfying the serious gamer because the graphics
continue to get better every year and the stories tend to get more interesting, too. Therefore, the video
game players expect more every time. This is why colleges are now offering courses in animation and
game design. They see the prevalence of video games in our culture and the people who want to build
and design these games.

But the programs and courses that deal with animation and game design are not only about drawing
and how to create a video game. Creating a game that is both playable and sellable is not an easy
task. Basic classes for those who begin in animation and game design deal with topics such as artistic
terminology and artistic theory. From there, a student can expect to enter classes in which they
generate ideas and concepts for their particular video game. There is also an additional course dealing
with presenting your idea to a video game company.

If you decide to go into the field of animation and game design, you can also expect to take some more
educationally geared courses. There are some that deal with the history of video games along with
other courses that teach the demographic makeup of who plays certain games. You may also be
required to do reviews of games and learn about the nuances of the different gaming genres. But
success in these classes will inevitably lead to more enticing topics such as artificial intelligence and
prototyping your game. For the avid video game player, taking these courses may make the
game-playing experience a more interesting one as he thinks about the intricacies of every move made
on the screen. For others, however, these courses may serve to only ruin the mystery that they have
associated with playing video games.

The field of animation and game design is not, as the name implies, all fun and games. In fact, it is the
opposite. There is a lot of hard work that goes into designing these elaborate games. From conception
to the store shelves, many experts have contributed something to its success or, consequently, its
failure. Learning the techniques of being a successful video game creator is much like learning how to
play an instrument. You have to learn note by note, then chord by chord before you can even think
about learning how to play a song. That is the same thing with this lucrative field. You can be a gamer
your entire life but, other than the occasional game idea, your gaming skills are irrelevant when it
comes to creating a game. By completing the animation and game design program, you will see and
appreciate where the growth and direction of the animation and gaming industry is headed.

Andy West is a freelance writer for Virginia College.  Virginia College offers a professional
Animation and Game Design program.  Please visit Virginia College at


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http://www.vc.edu/site/program.cfm?programID=63 to learn more about earning a degree in animation
and game design.




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Playing The Game: The Future Of Animation And Game Design
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