Video game design and development is the process of creating interactive stories that users can participate in. In a video game design program, you will learn how to develop games that can be played on computers, game consoles and mobile devices. Video game production requires that many people with an array of skills work together toward a single vision. You can study general game design or a specific concentration like animation or programming. Either way, you will learn about the game development process and gain skills in scripting, graphics and design. Game design job candidates are primarily judged on their experience and the quality of their portfolio, so you should expect to start in a junior position before you become a designer. And although some talented designers manage to enter the field without formal education, a degree improves your job prospects. You can study video game design at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
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Check the Guide to Accreditation in Higher Education to learn more about accreditation and how to determine if the program you select meets the necessary standards.
If you are interested in game design but you do not want to pursue a full degree, you can earn a certificate.
An Associate of Arts (AA) in Video Game Design offers many design courses that focus on developing artistic skills. The AA is a good choice if you want to be an artist or graphic designer or if you plan to transfer to a bachelor’s degree program.
An Associate of Science (AS) in Video Game Design has more technical classes than the AA to teach you skills in programming and scripting. The AS is a good option if you want to be a programmer or transfer into a bachelors program.
An Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Video Game Design offers hands-on courses that focus on technical job skills. The AAS is a terminal degree, which means it is the best option if you want to start working in video game design as soon as you graduate.
A Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Video Game Design offers liberal arts classes in addition to coursework in game design to give you a broad education. The BA is a good option if you want to work in the field or continue on to graduate school.
A Bachelor of Science (BS) in Video Game Design provides more scientific and mathematical courses to give you a strong technical background. The BS is the best choice if you want to become a programmer.
A Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Video Game Design has more fine arts and design classes to help you develop your game design esthetic. The BFA is best if you want to be an artist, writer or lead game designer.
The Master of Arts (MA) in Video Game Design offers classes that help students develop specific skillsets in the track that they choose. The MA is a good choice if you want to obtain a senior position at a game development company.
The Master of Science (MS) in Video Game Design has more business classes that are designed to train students for leadership roles. The MS is the best option if you want to become an executive who manages design teams at a video game design company.
The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Video Game Design offers fine arts classes to help artists perfect their craft. This is the best choice if you want to be a video game artist, animator or graphic designer.
Use this directory to find Video Game Design programs
There are several fields you may be qualified to work in with a degree in video game design including:
Gamasutra – The Art and Business of Making Games
Game Creation Resources
Game Dev – Game Developer Community
Gamespot – So You Wanna Be a Game Designer
IGDA – International Game Developers Association
Michigan Jobs & Career Portal – Video Game Designer
NASAD – National Association of Schools of Art and Design
O*NET Online – Video Game Designers
Work for Play – Careers in Video Game Development
Working So Others Can Play – Jobs in Video Game Development