The gaming industry is arguably one of the major industries that was unaffected when the covid-19 pandemic struck, leaving the world in deep shock. Gaming can be classified as a form of entertainment. There are instances where individuals, having played several video games, discover things which they want to change about some games. However, to do so, they will need to learn how to develop a game of their own. Thus, the need to become game developers or designers.
In this article, we have extensively discussed all there is about video game design and development, including top colleges and universities that offer game designing majors.
Who is a Video Game Designer or Developer?
A video game designer, simply put, is one who can think out interactive game ideas which are also engaging. Afterwards, he will expected to develop that idea into a virtual reality with the enablement of coding skills and software. As a video game designer, you can choose to get a job in a designing studio, or start up a personal business in video game development.
The rate at which video games are being developed is very high. Because of this, many universities and colleges around the world now award certificates and degrees (including Associate, Bachelor and Masters) in video game design and development, etc.
What Are The Requirements For a Video Game Designing Major?
To enrol in an accredited university or college for a major in video game design, there are certain requirements you must meet.
First of all, you must meet the basic age requirement. However, the age limit is dependent on the host institution.
Secondly, if you are from a non-English speaking country, you must have a satisfactory English language proficiency test score. Furthermore, international students must have a student’s permit.
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Finally, you must meet the academic and degree requirements of the host institution.
How Much Does Video Game Developers Earn?
The average salary earned by a video game developer working with an amazing company ranges from $45k – $150k per annum. However, a game developer who chooses not to work for a company, but forms his own team can earn above $200k per year depending on how far his game can spread.
What Jobs Can I Get With a Major in Game Design?
With a major in game design, you will qualify for the following jobs: Game marketer and PR; Game audio engineer; Game tester; Game software developer etc.
What Skills Do I Need to Be a Game Designer?
The major skills needed by game designers include (but are not limited to) graphic design, animating, storytelling, drawing, etc. Additionally, those who develop and code games will need to possess some skills in computer science such as programming languages.
Moving forward, let us now explore some colleges or universities that offer a major in game design. In coming up with this list, we put some factors into consideration. Factors such as the cost of study, the number of graduates from an institution that are making impact in commercial video games, courses offered in the institution, etc.
Top Colleges or Universities That Offer a Major in the Game Industry
University of Southern California
USC is a leading university, not just in game design and arts, but in other subjects. At USC, there are both major and minor courses offered for video game design. The Bachelor degrees offered include;
- Bachelor of Arts in Interactive Media and Games which is offered through the school of Cinematic Arts for students interested in studying game design and production.
- Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a Major Focus in Games which is offered through the Viterbi School of Engineers for students interested in understanding or learning the technical part of game development.
The Masters degrees offered include;
- Master of Fine Arts in Interactive Media and Games
- Master of Science in Computer Science with Major Focus in Games
Furthermore, the minors offered in Game design at University of Southern California include video game management, game audio, game animation, etc.
University of Central Florida
This institution, through the Florida interactive Entertainment Academy, offers interactive video game curriculum with the sole aim of earning a Master of Science degree in Interactive Entertainment.
Also, there are three tracks (producer, programmer, and artist) available for you to choose from which will provide hands-on experience. Furthermore, the available courses in the above tracks include game design, technical design, 2D and 3D art, graphics programming and animation.
In addition, the Academy is in partnership with many companies like Disney and Microsoft, which provide assistance in forming gaming instructions.
DigiPen Institute of Technology
Located in Redmond, Washington, this institution focuses more on developing students to make their industrial debut as skilled artists, software developers and computer engineers. At DigiPen, there are undergraduate and graduate degrees offered in video game design.
The Bachelors programs assists the students in gaining in-depth knowledge of user experience and communication. Some of the topics offered in this program include game mechanics, script languages, 2D and 3D level design, etc.
Furthermore, Masters degrees offered include;
- Masters of Fine Arts in Digital Arts
In addition, this institution has other branches (campuses) in Singapore and Spain.
University of Utah
This institution offers a wide range of courses in video game design. As a matter of fact, the Video Game Design degree offered here is designed for students who are art oriented and technically minded. This program is offered through the Entertainment Arts and Engineering Master Games Studio.
At University of Utah, there are undergraduate and graduate degrees offered in video game design.
The Bachelor degree programs offered include;
- Bachelor of Science in Game Design
- Bachelor of Arts in Film and Media
- Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
The Masters degree programs offered include;
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- Master of Entertainment Arts and Engineering
- Dual MBA/MEAE program
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
It is no surprise at all that this institution is listed in the top schools that offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Game Design.
The Game Design degrees offered are listed below;
- Bachelor of Science in Games and Stimulation Arts and Sciences
This particular program teaches students the technical, as well as the creative sides of game design and stimulation.
- Critical Game Design which is offered at both Masters and PhD level. In this program, graduate students are expected to make game prototypes as part of their project thesis, as a way of learning how to create games.
Being a game designer or developer requires you thinking out interactive game ideas which you will develop into a virtual reality. Due to the love people have for entertainment, especially gaming, the rate at which games are being developed has increased. Currently, there is a high demand for video game developers in various game companies with attractive benefits and salaries ranging from $45K to over $150k.
There are certain skills needed before one can create a game of his own. Such skills include coding, graphic design, storytelling, drawing etc. To acquire these skills, there is a need for you to enroll in a Game Design school. Not just any school, but one of the top game design schools. The universities and colleges listed in this article are among the top schools which offer a major, even minor, in video game design.
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