Top 5 Ways to Start Learning Game Design and Animation

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By Leigh Marcos

Did you know that multimedia artists and animator careers are growing at a rate faster than the average occupation? Also, the average pay is $31.40 per hour. Not bad! Your passion for gaming and animation could turn into a career with lots of promise. How can you start learning more about game design and animation? Here are the top five ways.

1. Add a Class to Your Curriculum

Talk to your parents about adding a formal gaming or animation class to your learning curriculum. If you think your parents or advisors might resist the suggestion, do some research in advance that will persuade them. Bring up statistics about game design careers, or the animation industry. Tell them why you are excited to learn about coding and storytelling, or game design and animation.

2. Make it an Extracurricular Endeavor

Use free software to begin playing around with the concepts of creating games, coding, and animating in your free time. Although you won’t be getting any credits, this extracurricular activity will help you see your formal classes in a new way. The games from Scratch, for example, which is affiliated with MIT, will teach you about math and logic. Here are a few resources to look into:

  • Scratch
  • Alice
  • Code Academy
  • Gamestar Mechanic

3. Take Related Classes

Even if you can’t manage to get a video game design or animation class included in your curriculum, you can take additional courses that relate to the field. For example, creative writing classes will help you learn to tell a story and create compelling characters. Philosophy classes will teach you about overarching game themes, such as good versus evil and the hero’s quest.

4. Reach Out to Experts

When you play a video game you love, research the people who created the game. Who worked on the project? Find ways to reach out to these people. People like to hear that their work has been meaningful. They may have some advice for you, too!

5. Go to An Event

As a homeschooler, you probably know that often times “education” happens outside of the classroom environment. You learn about biology when you’re at the river fishing, or physics when you’re in the garage, helping dad with a welding project. The same is true about gaming.

You don’t necessarily need to take a formal class to learn critical concepts in game design and animation. Look for events in your area that spark your interest, and make you curious. It might be a Super League Gaming event, or an exhibit at the local art museum. Be on the lookout for activities related to art, math, media, and literature.

Hopefully, these five ideas have given you some inspiration to follow your passion for gaming. Multimedia artist jobs are well paid and highly in demand. Start taking classes, working on your games in your free time, and taking classes that relate to your interest in game design and animation. Find role models, and go to live events in your area.

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