Game design bachelor's programs cover a wide range of topics designed to prepare the prospective graduate for professional work in the field. Coursework often covers game history and mechanics, 2-D design, and 3-D design; instructional theory is met heavily with hands-on, practical skill training. Students learn about game development at every critical stage of the process through core classes, and they gain communication and critical thinking skills through general education requirements. Applicants to these programs need a high school diploma or GED and may be required to submit a portfolio of work or artwork samples. Some programs are offered online with flexible class times.
Bachelor of Arts in Game Design
By integrating aspects of art, animation, technology, artificial intelligence and visual design, many 4-year bachelor's degree programs in game design encourage their students to grow as designers and artists. They also seek to increase students' skills in interactive storytelling, designing, asset creation, programming and play testing. Students gain foundational knowledge in tone and color, composition, genres, staging and prototyping. Common course topics include:
- Environments and backgrounds
- Character design
- Testing and analysis
- Interface design
- Level design
Popular Career Options
Graduates from a Bachelor of Arts in Game Design program should be prepared to work in the field of game design. Having gained skills in user experience, game play, observational drawing, design documentation and mechanics, individuals may choose to pursue positions as:
- Level designers
- Design directors
- Quality assurance testers
- 3-D modelers
- Creative directors
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of multimedia artists and animators, including game designers, will increase by four percent from 2018 to 2028 (www.bls.gov). According to BLS data from 2018, these professionals earned a median annual salary of $72,520.
Continuing Education Information
Individuals can choose to continue their education in game design and development on the graduate level. Offered at many schools, master's and graduate certificate programs may allow students to work in teams to design games. Coursework often covers algorithms, graphics and narrative. Students are professionally trained to develop as leaders in the industry.
A Bachelor of Arts in Game Design combines study in art and design concepts with programming and technology. Graduates can expect positive job growth as multimedia artists and animators and may choose to pursue further education and certification in the field.