Game Art Design and Other Jobs in the Video Game Industry

Despite the dismal economy, the video game industry is big and getting bigger. Boutique video game retailers such as Gamestop are forecasting 10%-12% sales growth for 2009 (source: Marketwatch). This means that if you’re looking for a job in the video game industry, now is the time.But what would you do in the video game industry? What career path? Want to be in game art design? How about video game programming? Hey, want to be a video game tester?Making a video game today is kinda like making a movie. In fact, some video games have budgets that are as a big or bigger than movies. Popular games like Halo or Star Wars take a couple of years to make and require budgets in the millions of dollars. But that’s OK because they return back ten times more.What do video game makers spend their money on? Well, in a movie, for example, actors, directors, camera crew, make-up artists, wardrobe consultants, sound specialists, and other production personnel are hired. Video games are the same, except they hire people with very different and specialized talent.What are the video game jobs?There are different types of jobs in the video game industry and some are entry level that you can get after getting a degree from a video game design college. See the examples below:

Videogame testers – Many who aspire to work in the video game industry already know about this job. The responsibility is a little more than the title led some to believe. In other software industry, this job is usually called Quality Assurance. Those who work as video game testers are the ones who stress test the games, find bugs, and record them. They also give feedback on playability and anything else the developers and producers ask of them to watch out for.

2-D concept artists – These guys almost always have an arts degree or a strong portfolio of making creative images, whether digital or not. They are artists and they flesh out ideas on screen or paper before any real work takes place.

3-D character builders – These jobs require someone having experience with rendering software. They get the experience from hands on training or formal education, like going to school for game and art design. They put together how characters will look such as facial expressions, action poses, and, of course, costumes. Video game character designersare the ones responsible for bringing about the coolness of HALO’s SPARTAN armors and Lara Craft’s ultra sexy figure.

3-D object modelers – Do you like how that Brute Plasma Rifle look (Halo 2)? How about the sharp new Manslayer of the Qiraji two-handed sword (World of Warcraft)? Well, the people to thank are the 3D object modelers who designed not just cool weapons that gamers can buy or quest for, but also space ships, tavern buildings, command consoles, cars, etc. Of course, this is another job that requires training or schooling in image rendering programs.

Interactivity designer – In any video game, there is always a way to reward the gamer. Whether it’s killing the dragon, vanquishing evil demons, or defeating an invading horde of orcs, a gamer has to do something to beat the game. Even in open-ended games like World of Warcraft, a quest has a reward at the end. Interactive game designers are the ones responsible for setting up the game play rules so that the experience is challenging and cool.

Background artist – When walking around Raccoon City, did that creep you out (Resident Evil)? And when running around the Flayer Jungle on your way to Mephisto (Diablo 2), did you feel the mugginess of steamy tropical jungle? Well, the job of background artists is to immerse the gamer in a new world that is experienced from a computer screen. It requires a lot of creativity and imagination. This job typically requires someone with an art degree or a strong portfolio in creative digital images. Some schools call their programs game art design degrees.
Of course, the list above is just a small group of creative jobs in making a video game. For some of these, the skills necessary can be obtained through experience, but many of the companies who hire for the position requires a degree in game art and design or something similar. But researching the position that you want to be will help you quite a bit because it may have different requirements.

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Are You Looking for Affiliate Programs That Work?

If you have your own website that is up and running, and fully functional, you should consider looking for the best Affiliate Programs that work. This is a good way to earn some rewards or even commission. A lot of people do not have time in looking for programs such as these, however they are very easy to find, and very simple to setup!If you think that there are simply none in your industry offering Affiliate Programs that work, think again! There are a great number of sites offering these with great rewards! All you have to do is search in the right places. It is best to ask around for referrals from friends and family members who may be part of this internet marketing game.Many blogs offer reviews on Affiliate Programs. You can read these posts and reviews about programs that offer the best rewards and benefits for their partners. All you have to do is visit your favorite search engine and type in “10 Best Affiliate Programs”. You will surely hit a few reviews and comments about the top programs which you can benefit from. There are a number of programs which offer up to 75% in commission when a visitor from your website makes a purchase from a link or banner.If you are looking for the top Affiliate Programs, you do not have to worry because these websites are not hiding under the brinks of cyberspace! They have their programs included in certain directories which make it easier for you to find them! A number of websites looking for blogs and other websites to partner with input their data into these directories because they need you to help them market their products and services!Not every website accepts submissions and there are certain guidelines to which sites qualify for programs such as these. Read these terms before submitting an application. Many of these websites have different codes and regulations, most of the time if your site is clean and interesting, you’re in. Search for the best Affiliate Programs that work well to help boost traffic to your own website!If you have your own website, take part in the best Affiliate Programs; doing this will certainly pay off in the long run. There are a lot of websites out there to join, and you can join more than one! Do not hesitate in asking around about the best ones out there because there are a lot of people involved in things like this.If you want to generate more viewers, increase your traffic and earn while doing it, you should join the best programs out there! These are not at all hard to find, and application typically takes a day for approval. Most people who apply get accepted and you can always apply for more than one program! Banners and links are included in programs such as this and are fun and easy to create! Joining a program like this is great for you and your website’s exposure!

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How to Choose a Loyalty Program

One of the first things a business school student learns is that it costs more to acquire a new customer than it does to maintain an existing one. Many companies take advantage of this important business tenet by motivating their customers to visit the business more often and make more purchases with every visit. While it may not be immediately apparent how a business could persuade their guests to convert to repeat customers, it is very likely that you have participated in a card-linked loyalty program yourself. The following steps will help you choose a loyalty program with will have your customers coming back time and again.1. Engage Your CustomersOne of the first criteria for success in any marketing program is ‘will your customers participate?’ Your goal should be to design a program that will grab your customers’ attention and motivate them to make repeated purchases or visits in the future. A good way to determine this is to analyze what your guests are motivated by. You can have your guests participate in a survey regarding their shopping experience, or if you have a retail business, ask them personally at the point of checkout. Keep in mind, you may have to provide some kind of incentive to get your customers to participate in the survey as well.Technology has advanced to allow customers to use their own existing credit and debit cards to participate in loyalty programs, making it easy and convenient for customers to buy in to the program. No longer are customers required to keep up with several dozen punch cards when they can use their existing payment card to participate in rewards programs across multiple merchants.2. Implement Promotions that Enhance Your BrandA loyalty program can be a great opportunity to build a dialogue and a relationship with your customers. The best loyalty programs are those that fit and accentuate your brand. To get started, consider what makes your brand unique, and how you can leverage those unique components to build loyalty. For example, if you have a flagship product, you might want to use your promotion to spread the appeal of that product to new consumer groups, or persuade customers to buy complementary products. On the other hand, if you have a diverse mix of service and product offerings, you might try a promotion that encourages guests to experience the benefits of all your offerings.3. Consider the Impact to Your StaffWhile there are a plethora of different programs out there, some of them may simply not be possible to execute due to the limits of your operational infrastructure and staff. Do your employees have the time, opportunity, and ability to communicate the rules and benefits of the program to customers? Can some process be implemented to keep guests updated about any balances on their loyalty cards? Will your staff be able to anticipate and answer any questions about the program? Making sure your employees can communicate the benefits of the program and enroll customers is crucial to your success.4. Ensure Your Return On InvestmentUltimately, the reason why anyone runs a card-linked loyalty program is to increase profits. For this reason, it is vital that you carefully examine both the costs of running such a program, and your conservative yet educated projections about the increase in revenue you are likely to experience. The best programs are those that cultivate purchasing behaviors that make up for the cost of running the incentive program.

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