Game design degree programs

If you’re interested in the mechanics of creating video and Vegas casino online games, like coding and enjoy the creativity involved in designing games, you can attend a university or college that offers a degree program in game design.

Game design students will learn the creative aspects of game design such as creating the game world, storyboarding, object design and character development along with the technical components of C# programming, UX design, AI and VR, animation software, 3D tools and more.

Your specific interests will help you decide on the degree program that you want to attend. Some programs involve students in research – for instance, in developing AI beyond current applications – while others focus on the creative aspects of game design including the visuals and the audio track. The more advanced your program, the more these different elements of game design will meld.

Game design is usually a team effort so it is best-suited for people who work well in a collaborative environment.

The job is well-suited for collaborative workers, since game design is often a team effort.

Probably the most important element of a Game Design program involves simply making games. Practical experience is even more important than theoretically application in this type of field and the more hands-on experience that you get, the further ahead you’ll be when you graduate.

Job Forecast

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, game designers, which is a subgroup of its category of “multimedia artists” will see a 4% growth in employment in the coming years. While there is an increase in demand for game designers, many companies are hiring professionals who live and work overseas which impacts on the job prospects for American game designers. However, the BLS estimates that the video games industry will experience a 18% increase in demand for game designers while the demand for other types of multimedia artists and animators will be much lower.

Top Programs

Some of the top game design programs in North America include:

Full Sail University, Winter Park Florida

Full Sail University offers a Bachelors of Game Design degree which where students focus on preparing for future employment in a game studio environment. Full Sail University’s game production and game design courses cover systems designs to prepare students to evaluate and prototype game designs.

The two main components to the course:

  • Game Mechanics where students learn how thematic and pacing structures work through conflict resolution to generate systems of rewards and challenges.
  • Game Balancing involves ways to use gameplay and level design in design fundamentals. These creation levels teach methods for capitalizing on the designs’ strengths. Throughout the course there is an emphasis on game creation where communication is facilitated through user interface.

Full Sail University’s game design program is available in-person or online.

Drexel University, Philadelphia

At Drexel University students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Game Design and Production. This program combines design and programming with animation and interactivity. Emphasis is placed on how the game industry can intersect with other sectors such as education, health care, mental health and training programs.

with other sectors including health care training, mental health and job education.

Drexel’s cover subjects including haptic devices, motion control and multi-touch displays along with digital media and the foundations of design and technology. Throughout the course, students are involved in project-based teamwork. The degree program includes a six-month co-op, working in the gaming industry.

University of Utah, Salt Lake City

The Entertainment Arts and Engineering (EAE) Program at the University of Utah focuses on the intersection of interdisciplinary informatics with game design. Students study computational research along with art and social sciences and courses in the university’s Humanities Department to learn how to facilitate edutainment, visualization and stimulation through hands-on applications.

The EAE program runs under the School of Computer Science but its focus is on pursuing an atmosphere of interdisciplinary studies that combine with entertainment and technology. Students learn to integrate their digital and artistic skills in order to function as artists with programming skills. The university also offers a Masters of Entertainment Arts and Engineering degree program.

Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois

Bradley University in Peoria Illinois features two hands-on learning programs for collaborative game design.

  • The Catapult Project guides students who create games and gives them funding for 10 games that they can then use as portfolio pieces when they apply for jobs and internships. The funds can be used to buy arcade cabinets, Hololens, multi-touch tables and VR equipment – whatever the student-team determines that they need to make the game.
  • Hollywood Semester brings students to Los Angeles where they work in top video game companies including Sony Interactive Entertainment and Dreamworks Animation.

Rochester Institute of Technology, NY, NY

The Rochester Institute of Technology boasts a rate of 97 percent of students who enter the workforce. The program places its emphasis on programming as part of a core computing education to prepare students for game design in the modeling, simulation, training, and visualization industries.

In addition to game design the program emphasizes animation, interactive media, user interaction, math, science and modeling in the context of computational game development.

Additional studies in graphics, engines, narrative and audio goes alongside with the hands-on experiences in which students build a portfolio of games and other interactive projects.


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