There’s an interesting series of posts over on Brenda Brathwaite’s blog where she answers the search engine terms that lead people to her blog. One of the recurring themes recently seems to be pay in the industry. What do designers make? What seems to be the average? What about for entry level positions?
While it’s good to hear about all of the different ways that designers get paid, from salary (which is deemed as the average format) to hourly, with lots of benefits like health, 401k, stock, etc, I found one of the best statements to be made in her comments section.
“…compensation isn’t even the most important thing to consider when looking for a job!”
Out of all other types of payment I plan on getting for working, the intrinsic value of the job I’m doing is the most rewarding. I’ve worked many different jobs in my life, especially since I took time off between high school and my college career. The way I see it, there are two different kinds of jobs: ones you do for the money and ones you do for intrinsic value.
Game design definitely falls into the second category for most. I don’t think many people say “I want to be a game designer because I’ll make lots of money”. It’s just not in the nature of the beast. Most of the people currently in the industry could make a lot more money working outside of the industry, except for the rock stars of course. Why do they do it then?
It’s because they enjoy the work they do. They find it fascinating. They find it challenging. They find it fulfilling. They get job satisfaction. That is the biggest thing you could ever ask from any job, be it game design, working at the local Wal-Mart, creating your own business or even doing volunteer work.
Maybe that’s just me, but it is why I went to school for game design instead of engineering.