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In order to be a Video Game designer, What course would I take at college ?

I am quite a passionate gamer and love playing games, so naturally I would love to go into game design but I'm not sure of the best way to go into video game designing. I would like to be an animator or something like that in the design team but i don't really know how to go about it, should i do a course at college like animation ? or in general how would i go into game design ? Please help
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Tiffanny’s Answer

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Design and Animation are two separate career paths.


As an animator, I can only give you advice on how to be an animator. So this strictly answers that side of getting into the business.


First of all, decide whether you want to be a 3d or 2d artist. I was a 3d animator for a decade before I became a 2d artist.


For a 3d animator you must learn Maya or 3D Studio Max - the two leading industry software being used today. In addition to impeccable knowledge of the software package, you MUST do a lot of homework. Study locomotion. Watch disney movies in slow motion. Observe people and animals as they move and take notes. Sketch gestures and poses to really understand movement. Even though you will not be drawing for a job, it helps to do field studies. I personally did plenty of field work. I took notes on how fat people walk, how thin people walked. I watched, watched, watched. I payed attention to weight, and facial expression - and I took copious notes through sketches. How dogs and cats walked. Acting is important too. Kinesthesia helps you understand movement. Buy a full length mirror and a small desk mirror. Observe yourself and take notes on how you pose and move. It helps a lot. I sometimes sketch out a plan before I even try animating in 3d.


Take classes. There are some really world class colleges here like Cal Arts, but there are online classes, and a lot of community colleges that offer animation courses.


For a 2d animator - learn Flash, or Aftereffects. There are two kinds of 2d animators. Traditional, where you draw every frame, and Puppet, where a 2d drawing is broken down at the joints and an animator moves the limbs convincingly so that the character comes to life. It really helps to being a good character artist for both of these, but it is more necessary to have great drawing skill when you do traditional work. 2d animators are obsessive about drawing. Fill sketchbooks with daily observational sketches. Go to coffee shops and sketch. Go to the zoo and sketch. Go to dog parks and sketch. Good traditional animators are also great draftsmen and can draw a character from any angle doing anything. It is the most challenging type of animation there is. In games, most animators are puppet animators.


FINALLY, we come to the portfolio.


Have a website. There are two kinds of animation I look for in a portfolio - Locomotion, and Acting. In games, locomotion is very important. The character needs to run, jump, slash, die, etc. I like seeing convincing gravity and physics working on a character. Acting is important in your portfolio for cinematic cutscenes (For when characters are talking or moving the plot along) Sketches to show drawing skills are also important in a 2d portfolio, but not necessary in a 3d portfolio.


Anyway I hope this helps!


Good luck!
Tiffanny

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Jared’s Answer, CareerVillage.org Team

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Hi Nova! It's awesome that you're ready to take your professional focus toward your passion: gaming. There are two other questions on CareerVillage that might have the answers you're looking for. If they don't hit the mark for some reason, let us know how your question is different and we can try to get that answered.


http://careervillage.org/questions/205/in-order-to-become-a-video-game-designer-what-courses-would-i-take-in-college

http://careervillage.org/questions/927/what-kind-of-degree-do-i-need-to-become-a-video-game-designer


The gaming industry can be a ton of fun. It's also very competitive to get into, so that means you need to work hard to become very talented and very committed. Good luck and keep asking questions! Plan and execute!

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