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There are 45 institutions of higher learning in Maine and, of those colleges, three offer programs that include coursework in game design. Such game design programs include traditional, classroom-based instruction as well as time in a computer lab. Many programs incorporate the development of a professional portfolio into the curriculum. A capstone project may be required by some schools. Following are short overviews of the three schools in Maine that offer game design programs, as well as a comparison table that highlights program offerings and tuition info.
Maine College of Art
Maine College of Art is located in Portland, which is a small city on the Atlantic coast. The school enrolls less than 400 students and has a student-to-teacher ratio of 10:1, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The new media Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) program is a broad major designed for students looking to pursue a creative career, such as game design. The Digital Media Department employs five faculty members. Topics covered include 3-D animation, mobile game design, modeling, game art, and character animation. In addition, students can gain experience promoting their work, as well as writing an artist's statement, resume, and cover letter.
University of Maine
The University of Maine is the flagship campus of the University of Maine school system and is located in Orono, a small suburb north of Bangor. NCES reports that this school enrolls over 11,000 students, and it has a student-to-faculty ratio of 16:1. This school offers a 120-credit BA in New Media which includes coursework related to game design. Core classes include media design fundamentals, a project design lab, and media strategies. Students interested in game design may choose electives in digital art, modeling, animation, interactive computer graphics, or graphic design. Additionally, students are required to complete a senior-year capstone project. They also complete a portfolio of work during their first years, which determines whether or not they can continue in the program.
York County Community College
Located in Wells, which is a rural area in southern Maine, York County Community College offers certificate and associate's degree programs to over 1,600 students annually, according to NCES. The school offers an Associate in Applied Science in Digital Media with an animation concentration. Basic game design, storyboarding, 2-D animation, character design, and special effects are some of the concepts and skills covered in this program. Courses also cover texture and lighting, animation drawing, motion graphics, and digital imaging. Students have the opportunity to develop a portfolio.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Game Design Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Maine College of Art||4-year, private not-for-profit; small city||Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Media||$32,290*|
|University of Maine||4-year, public; small suburb||Bachelor of Arts in New Media|| $10,610 in-state
|York County Community College||2-year public; distant rural||Associate in Applied Science in Digital Media with a concentration in animation|| $3,480 in-state
Source: *NCES College Navigator.