Okay, so here's a kind of amateur question:

I'm going to college right now to become a game design artist. I want my focus to be in character design. The problem is, I don't really know what I'm doing. I mean, are there specific rules or guidelines that need to be followed, or do I just draw a character and put it up somewhere? Can I stick to pencil and paper, or should I work on improving my digital painting with Photoshop? And if I did want to do some digital painting, where's some good tutorials to look up?