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Information about Game Design Colleges
Game designers are responsible for the design, development, and production of video and computer games. As this field combines the challenges of storytelling, graphic design, computer programming, and multimedia communications, future game designers are encouraged to seek out experience in all levels of game development, starting with a degree in video game design.
What Students Will Learn
Because game designers nurture the development of games from concept to creation, they must possess skills that enable them to be a part of every step of that process. To help students gain those skills, game design colleges offer a wide variety of classes. Here are just a few subjects students will learn about:
Game Theory and Storytelling: Master the elements of a strong story with emphasis on story arc, world building, plot, and level design.
Character Creation: Discover what makes a strong character with everything from realistic movement and lifelike features to relatable character quirks and behaviors.
Animation: Design and produce professional quality animation portfolios.
3D Modeling: Learn the tools and latest technologies that will enable creation of three dimensional worlds, characters, and game play.
Programming: Establish the basics in programming with courses in mathematics, physics, and engineering.
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Though some schools have yet to discover the value in offering degrees in game design, others have recognized that video games are increasingly socially relevant and represent a financially explosive market for millions of smart and creative individuals. Game design colleges can be ranked according to their rigorous academics, faculty credentials, and after-graduation placements. The top colleges include:
University of Southern California in Los Angeles
Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts
University of Utah in Salt Lake City
DigiPen Institute of Technology in Redmond, Washington
Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY
Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Becker College in Worcester, Massachusetts
There are also a handful of schools that offer game design courses and degrees through online programs. Students may find, however, that an online only education limits their exposure to the tools and technologies they need to stay ahead in the business. The best programs will require students to supplement their online education with experience in hands on production environments.
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh-Online Division
International Academy of Design and Technology Online
High school students looking to apply to programs at game design colleges should have taken courses in the following:
Advanced mathematics including linear algebra, geometry and trigonometry
Writing and English
Art and Design
Though most colleges will require minimum GPA standards, most video game programs will only look to make sure the student has a thorough background in a variety of different subjects. The best game designers will have experiences from which they can draw for inspiration. A general liberal arts education with additional concentrations in computer programming and high mathematics can best equip game designers with the skills they will need to succeed.
Game design is an incredibly competitive field, so a professional portfolio and an extensive education can give aspiring designers the edge that they need. The sooner individuals begin developing the skills they need, the more likely it is they will succeed in the business.
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