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» Video Game Designer
Video Game Designer

For more than thirty years, video games have moved beyond the clunky, stand-alone consoles found in a restaurant or bar to the very cornerstone of home entertainment. Though many are prone to pass off video games as “kid stuff,” a brain-drain or even a waste of time, the smart money recognizes video game design as a sophisticated fusion of computer programming, graphic design and creative know-how. From all accounts, the industry is booming in Canada, and there isn’t any downturn in sight.

From start to finish, there are several hands in producing a video game for the mainstream market. There are programmers, graphic artists, animators, game designers, musicians, marketing executives and producers. Often these roles can overlap; the biggest names in the industry aren’t necessarily one-man (or woman) shows, but have learned the vital art of building a cohesive and talented team. For example, though it’s not impossible to be a coding whiz as well as a skilled animator, it’s a little unlikely.

Similar to other industries in the media arts, its workers can come from various educational backgrounds. Game developers usually start as enthusiasts then learn the basics in coding and gameplay and go from there. As the video game industry is relatively new, many active in the industry today are self-taught, but often developed their skill base via computer science, engineering, math and/or graphic arts. However, the past decade has seen dozens of game design degrees and certificate programs pop up in colleges and universities, many offering pathways to internships and co-op placements that can help secure students a wealth of contacts and in-house practicum. For a list of colleges in Canada offering courses in game design, take a look here.

Check out the interview here.


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Interview with a Video Game Designer

We had the opportunity to sit down and interview Tim Lewinson – co-president of Massive Bear Studios

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