Atlanta might not be the first place you think of when you think of game design, but the industry is growing there.
In fact, Georgia as a whole is eager to see the industry plant roots in the state -- the recently passed Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act offers a 20% state tax credit to qualifying video game developers.
Careers in Game Design
Game design can include everything from computer programming to graphic art to user interface, marketing, and packaging design. Game design professionals may handle it all, or specialize in different pieces of the final product.
Studies for game design are offered at a variety of technologically-based colleges, where some detailed programs may be 80 weeks long.
Using sophisticated graphics and specialized design tools, you'll learn how to design, script, and develop various categories of electronic games. If you're interested in designing your own game from start to finish, you'll need to develop skills in statistics and probability since game design programming has a mathematical nature. Good writing and communication skills are also critical.
The main career paths within the game industry are Programmer, Artist, and Producer.
Because so many who enter the field wish to design their own games, professionals often operate their own software businesses. Along with software for their own games, these businesses may also create training materials and related software for businesses, government agencies, and schools. Employment opportunities also exist in the larger software production industry, but the market is extremely competetive.
A bachelor's degree may be required for most game design and game art positions, though occasionally an associate's degree will be sufficient. Master's degrees in game design or animation are helpful for advanced positions like Art Director.
Animation and web design skills are of course key, but classic visual arts skills like drawing and sketching are necessary as well.