Of the many computer science careers, video game designing and software engineering are two major fields in the industry.
To become a financially successful and widely respected video game designer, one should be skilled in programming, computer engineering, computer graphics, animation, and software development due to the various tasks required to create a fun and interesting game. The software is used to make the game run with user input, such as mouse clicks and button presses, while the computer graphics and animations display the characters in a lively and attractive manner. One should have at least an associates degree, if not a bachelor’s in a related field. Video game designers should also play games and follow current games often to have knowledge on the game development market. These designers generally have a salary between $57,500 and $200,000 depending on where you work, for whom you work, and what level of work such as being a lead designer (coordinator of other designers , decision-maker, and ensurer of team communication), a game mechanics designer (game rules designer and rules tester for balancing), or a level designer (level, environment, and mission designer).
Video game designers work cooperatively with teams of others on different elements of the game with the proposed game concept in mind. A video game designer’s job description usually includes outlining the desired game design such as the rules, the plot, the characters, the setting, and the user interface of the game.
As a designer, one can work on one of the many components of the game: world design, system design, content design, level design, user interface design, and audio design. World design includes making the story, setting, and theme for the game. System design includes the making the game rules. Content design involves the development of the characters, items, missions, and puzzles of the game. Level design includes the making of the game levels and its details. User interface design includes the creation of the user interactions and feedback interface. Audio design is the development of the game such as voice acting or sound effects.
This career is great for up-and-coming, passionate, imaginative programmers who are also gamers. By knowing what a gamer truly wants to see within a game, one can help design a successful game.
To become a software engineer, one must have at least an undergraduate degree in software engineering. The starting salary for a software engineer ranges from $78,000 to $120,000. A software engineer can work in almost any computing field because programs (software) are required for pretty much anything computing-related.
Usually working with other programmers, a software engineer can work in ten sub-fields: software requirements, software testing, software maintenance, software design, software construction, software configuration management, software engineering management, software quality, software engineering tools and methods, and software engineering process. The software requirements field involves elicitation (the grouping of requirements of stakeholders), analysis, specification, and management of the requirements of the software. Software testing includes validating and verifying that the software meets certain requirements, works as intended, can be implemented with similar attributes, and satisfies the needs of stakeholders. Software maintenance is the alteration of software to correct faults or improve performance. Software design involves problem solving and planning in the form of software. Software construction is the creation of useful software through coding, verification, testing, and debugging. Software configuration management is the task of controlling and tracking changes in software. Software engineering management is management ensuring the efficient and effective development and maintenance of software. Software quality is exactly what it sounds, software engineering process, and software engineering tools and methods are exactly what their names imply.
As a software engineer, one can be involved in many fields since one’s general knowledge can be applied throughout the software industry; many tasks are necessary for the correct development and maintenance of software. This career is great for problem-solvers who just want to code in general!