Game Design Education Guide
David Ethan Kennerly. 2003-2004.
Here is information for someone pursuing an education in game design. This focuses exclusively on the role played by the designer on the game development team. An education in digital art and programming is already established in many educational institutions. An education in game design is still being defined.
San Francisco State University
- Computer Game Design (Special Major)
Bachelor of Arts
Example Degree. This is the degree I proposed and had approved at San Francisco State University in Spring 2003. This multi-disciplinary approach may not be for all minds, but one could do worse than the curriculum included. Thank you to each advisor in the departments: mathematics, computer science, design, and cinema, as well as administration.
Personally, I would recommend a traditional education at a university. The fundamentals of computer science, such as analysis of algorithms, and the fundamentals of mathematics are wonderful tools that will not become obsolete in coming years. As another game developer remarked, go to college to get an education, not training. With a life ahead of the student, a university may enrich and deepen an appreciation of not just today's game products, but the conceptual strategies that underlie today's and tomorrow's game products.
But then again, I feel quite at home in the library and classroom of a university. Tom Sloper would also caution against focus on game design, and instead focus on a traditional major.
Here are some other game design options that have appealed to me and became the research for the bachelor's degree that I proposed. This list is not comprehensive. Several additional institutions exist that grant game-related degrees, as well as additional advice.
Austin Community College
Students have placed in GDC's IGF festival.
- Game Development (Programming, Animation, or Production and Design)
Bachelor of Science
- Game Development
Master of Science
Great Northern Way Campus
International Centre for Digital Content
IT University of Cophenhagen
Massachusettes Institute of Technology
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rochester Institute of Technology
Royal College of Art
San Jose State University
University of Alabama
University of Central Florida
University of Denver
- Bachelor of Arts in Game Development and Studio Art
- Bachelor of Arts in Game Development and Electronic Media Arts Design
- Bachelor of Arts in Game Development and Digital Media Studies
- Bachelor of Science in Game Development and Animation
University of Michigan - Dearborn
University of Southern California
University of Washington
Vancouver Film School
Find out more about an education in game design.
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