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How Rider can help turn your love of gaming into a high-paying career

Multiple career paths exist, including design, visual art and audio
By
Adam Grybowski
01/25/2019

If you take Hollywood and the music industry and combine their revenue, it still wouldn’t equal the money generated by the lucrative world of video gaming.

Worldwide, video games generate $140 billion, and the industry is still growing. With the average compensation of $97,000 for a video game industry employee and the fact that three of every five Americans play video games every day, according to the Entertainment Software Association, the field should continue to attract a lot of talent for years to come.

The next generation of video game creators has the opportunity to specialize in a variety of areas. Rider University’s new bachelor's program in game and interactive media design was built to prepare students to create immersive, interactive game experiences by providing them with a strong foundation in video game design, storytelling and development, songwriting and composition, animation, filmmaking, and more.

“In this program, we’ll encourage students to take advantage of the faculty expertise in multiple disciplines around the University to explore their individual interests in their elective choices," says Dr. Justin Burton, assistant professor II of music.

That means students will have many options to turn their passion for gaming into high-paying careers, including these four:

Game designer

The work of designing a game is inherently creative, requiring a mix of imagination, logic and technical skill. Game designers create the story, the characters and the world they live in. All games operate by a set of rules and follow a logic that sets forth the procedure for solving the problems and overcoming the challenges players will encounter as they play. Game designers create the rules and figure out the logic.

Overseeing the process of bringing a game from concept to product, game designers often have to collaborate with members of the development team, which include animators, programmers and audio engineers. Obtaining a multidisciplinary foundation is a smart move to prepare oneself for this challenging, but super fun, role.

Visual artist

Artists breathe visual life into a video game's concept. Multimedia artists combine traditional artistic skills, such as painting, sculpture, collage and drawing, with current technologies to create the wondrous characters players manipulate on screen and the environments they navigate.

Such work is aided by a solid education in art history, design and the tools of digital technology. Game animators also benefit from a solid understanding of anatomy (even if the creatures they're bringing to life are fanciful, like aliens). As important to creating realistic movements, animators are in charge of making sure the personality of characters shine through.

Audio recording engineer

The music in classic games like Super Mario Brothers is etched into the minds of players across the world. Producing, recording and mixing a game's soundtrack falls to the audio recording engineer. Technology allows them to function almost like an additional musician, with the power to shape the final sound of a recording.

As integral as it is the experience of playing a game, music doesn't even describe the full range of responsibilities of an audio engineer. All of the speech, dialogue and sound effects featured in the game must be recorded. Because the field is so highly technical, advanced education is essential for mastering the depths of recording, mixing, editing and otherwise producing excellent audio recordings.

Writer

Scriptwriting isn’t just for Hollywood anymore. Today, more and more video games live and die on the quality of the story they tell. And unlike the traditional storytelling techniques used in movies, TV and books, the use of narrative is fundamentally different in video games because no other medium has such an immersive quality, where a player can directly influence how the story will unfold. Compared to traditional creative writing, the narrative possibilities of video games represent a new frontier for people who love to tell stories.

For more information about Rider's new Bachelor of Arts in Game and Interactive Media Design, which will launch in fall 2019, visit rider.edu/gamedesign.