9 January 2015
Video Game Developer
The idea that I could have a career making video games is mind-blowing to me. Writing code is one of the things on computers besides games that I’m good at. Playing games is one of my favorite things to do in life. In order to fully understand and decide to become a video game developer, I researched what careers were best suited for me based on my interests, the history, educational and training requirements, and finally the current job outlook.
As part of this final project, assessments were taken on CareerCruising.com that chose ten careers that most suited me based on my skills and learning styles. These ten careers included many that were technology based, including multimedia developer, desktop publisher, and computer programmer. It also included some trades that I’m not interested in like jeweler, craftsman, or potter. Since I love video games, and video game programming is a form of computer programming, being a video game developer suits me best.
In 1952, London born Alexander S. Douglas created OXO, which was the first digital game. OXO was a two person Tick Tac Toe Game. Then in 1961, a mainframe game called Spacewar was created by a group of developers lead by Steve Russell at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1966, Ralph Baer started a project to create the first home video game console. Two years later, he had developed a working prototype. In 1972 Magnavox Odyssey, the first home video game console, was sold to the public selling over 330,000 units. In the 1980’s video game production had increased exponentially and the development process had changed. In 1987 a single video game required 12 months to develop and another 6 before it was sold to the public. In the 1990’s one of the most commonly sold consoles in the world was put out for the public to buy. The Nintendo 64, or N64 for short, sold over 32 million units. In the 2000’s, gaming consoles such as the Wii hit over 100 million units sold while the PlayStation 2 and the Nintendo DS sold over 150 million units.
Getting a job in this field takes more than a high school diploma, and there are many hard choices to make such as cost, programs offered, and location and size of the school. There are many schools and programs to choose from. University of Washington and Bellevue College both offer programs in video game development, but the school that I am most interested in is DigiPen Institute of Technology.
DigiPen Institute of Technology, located in Redmond, Washington, is one of the top technology schools in the country. DigiPen is a small college with only 899 students. While other schools have certificate programs and associate degrees, DigiPen offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Game Design. This four year program prepares students to be engineers and designers that have great programming and mathematic skills. Some of the classes included in this program are Game Mechanics, Game History, and Technology for Designers. DigiPen also offers a Master of Science in Computer Science which is what I would like to do after I graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Game Design.
The admissions process at DigiPen requires an application, a written essay, a minimum 2.5 high school GPA, SAT or ACT test with no minimum score requirement, and optional recommendation letters. They also require a 3.0 GPA or better in all math and science classes including algebra, calculus, and physics.