In preparation for the STRIDE 2012 Career Fair, we will be making several posts highlighting trending careers in the design and technology sectors. Today’s post will focus one of the most exciting, dynamic, and popular careers: Video Game Design!
STRIDE is aimed at secondary school students who are considering taking the next steps towards what just might be the career of their dreams. When considering their options, many of these students are faced with heavy questions and a fair bit of confusion. To help them sort through it all, I sat down with our awesome game design interns (Dane, Doug, and Deren), who are in their final semester of the Trios College Video Game Design and Development program. They have been with us for the past 4 months, assisting in our beginner game design camps and learning from our resident game design experts. What better way is there to learn about taking the next step in your career, than from people who have already “been there and done that?”
Thinnox STRIDE Interview-Trios Video Game Design Interns
Before beginning the interview, I asked the interns to think of some questions they had a difficulty finding answers to when contemplating going into the game design field. Many of the interview questions are based on what they came up with.
Thinnox: Which courses are required and/or desired for acceptance into most game design programs?
Doug: Definitely take programming, if you can. And, lots of math.
Dane: Be sure to take Algebra and Physics. Chemistry, too–it’s always a good idea to have a back-up plan.
Thinnox: Which colleges in Ontario come to mind when you think about video game design?
Doug/Dane: Trios, Sheridan.
Deren: RCA (Royal College of Art), too. *Note: RCA does not offer a game design program. However, they do offer a MA in Animation.
Thinnox: How many different fields are there in game design?
Doug: Lots! There are so many. There are Designers, and then different types of designers (level, sound, web…). Artists, Producers.
Dane: Animator, Game Tester, Quality Assurance. Also, in each category there are levels like Jr., Sr., and Lead Designers.
Deren: Programmer, marketing.
Thinnox: Which course taken during your degree was your favourite?
Dane: XNA. In that course you get to create games for X-Box Live and similar platforms. I liked that one a lot.
Doug: Level Design. You get to create your own levels and work from your imagination. It’s kind of like being a god.
Deren: Programming. I got to work with C++ and other languages. I definitely enjoyed it.
Thinnox: What are your eventual career goals?
Interns (all): Own a video game design studio.
Thinnox: Do you have any advice for students considering a career in game design?
Dane: Know for sure that this is what you want to do. It’s going to be your career. Are you ready to put in 98 hour weeks and make sacrifices? You need to put a lot of time into it.
Doug: Play a lot of games to learn how they work. Use your imagination–think of playing a game like playing in your own movie. You can decide what happens next, where to go and stuff like that.