home | contact us | disclaimer  

Colleges and Schools for Game Design

Individuals interested in a career in computer and video game design, animation, 3D game programming and digital media can earn a formal degree or take specialized courses in the field at a game design school. Game design schools provide students with hands-on training and classroom instruction to prepare them for a career working at a game studio. Since game design course programs have both a technical and creative element to them, students must complete a series of courses in computer programming, animation, drawing and creative digital arts.

What are Game Design Schools?

Schools allow students to enter the video game industry with the necessary skills and talents they need to succeed. Quality game design is in high demand, and a school provides the specialized training students need to learn programming skills and use them to create unique digital entertainment and designs. A school may offer students a chance to work in a simulated game studio where they can gain experience working in a real-world setting.

Video Game Design School Curriculum

A curriculum often contains courses in digital entertainment, game and simulation programming, and game art and design. Some game design schools offer formal degree programs, while others may offer certificates and diplomas for a certain specialization. Students will gain extensive technical and programming experience, along with the opportunity to develop their creative skills. From character development to game research and strategic planning, video game design school graduates acquire several specialized skills so that they can become successful game designers, software engineers or project coordinators.

Most colleges offer both an Associate of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree. A video game design college may also offer an online program where students can complete all degree requirements directly from home. Students who excel in physics, calculus, programming and trigonometry during high school are strong candidates for a career in video game design and programming.

Game Design Course Programs

Course programs may be centered on game and simulation programming, multi-player online gaming, or 3D graphics programming among others. Common classes include:

  • Game Engine Development
  • Handheld Video Game Systems
  • Artificial Life Programming
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Evolution of Electronic Games
  • Applied Game Theory
  • Database Programming
  • Game AI Concepts

Course programs allow graduates to excel in creating game projects with C, C++, DirectX and other scripting languages used in the industry; work on AI scripting and game development; and learn the entire process of game development from concept to publishing. Students who concentrate on game art and animation can acquire skills in creating game assets for production; designing and creating assets for the Web, PC, handheld gaming and console platforms; and learning the principles of game play so that they can integrate their digital art and designs into their project. Game design courses and curriculum also allow students to develop a diverse portfolio for prospective employers.

Careers After Game Design College

Colleges prepare students for several careers and job opportunities in the field of game design and digital media. The majority of jobs available for graduates are in a production studio.

Graduates of game design college may pursue careers as:

  • Texture Artists - working with 3D objects, backgrounds and colors to create characters and objects for a game
  • Level Designers - designing unique environments, tools and props that are integrated with the concept or storyboard
  • Concept or Storyboard Artists - working with level designers to create the characters, levels, vehicles and other key objects of a game
  • Interface Designers - programmers and artists responsible for creating menus, buttons and other elements of the game's interface
  • Programmers - skilled technology professionals who have advanced programming language knowledge and can implement them into the video game design
  • Sound and Audio Professionals - working with sound effects and music to create the ideal environment given the project scope
  • Professional Video Game Tester - responsible for reviewing all programs and simulations during the testing phases to find bugs and other problems of the game
  • Public Relations and Marketing - responsible for selling and promoting the games on behalf of the studio or development company and tracking market interest

Employment Prospects and Career Opportunities After Game Design School

Game designers and other professionals who are skilled in digital media and digital arts can look forward to increasing demand and more job options at game studios and computer software development companies. Those who have advanced skills and maintain a working knowledge of several scripting languages will have a competitive edge in the industry.

GameDeveloper.com reports the following average annual salaries (all levels of experience) for various positions:

  • Game Designer: $63,649
  • Audio Engineer: $73,764
  • Game Production: $79,970
  • Quality Assurance/Testing: $39,309

Graduates who obtain a Master's Degree or take continuing education will also have more job opportunities and may take on supervisory or management positions within the studio.

Back to Colleges and Schools for Game Design