What Are the Courses in a Bachelor's Degree Program in Video Game Design?

Bachelor's degree programs in video game design are relatively rare. Core courses in these programs typically include computer science, game programming and animation. Continue reading for more details about the curriculum and entering a career in this field. Schools offering Game Production degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Video Game Design Bachelor's Degree and Curriculum Overview

A bachelor's degree in video game design or a related field is most appropriate if you want to be video game designer or animator. Schools may award Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees, and programs may include concentration options in areas like game art, sound design, programming, and game development. In addition to video games, students can learn how to develop online games and games for cell phones.

Programs often have core courses in computer science, programming, graphics, animation and scripting. Other courses may include vector graphics, figure drawing, character design, level design and the history of video games. Continue reading for information about three major subject areas covered in video game design degree programs.

Important Facts About Video Game Design Programs

Online Availability 100% online programs available
Fellowships Some schools offer fellowship opportunities
Degree Levels Associate's and master's level programs are also available
Possible Careers 3D character modeler, 3D environment modeler, UI/UX designer

Computer Science and Video Game Design

If you want to pursue a video game design career, you'll need a foundation in digital media and computer science. Core courses in video game design and related degree programs include both aspects, with courses like:

  • Multimedia and digital media
  • Interactive media programming
  • Visual C++ programming

Computer Graphics

In addition to basic computer science knowledge, students learning about video game design also develop computer graphics skills. They learn to use computers as modeling tools to develop game prototypes and create 3D images. Students refine their skills in this area to meet industry standards, and then they develop a portfolio that demonstrates their skills to potential employers. Some core computer graphics courses seen in video game design degree programs are:

  • Designing 3D environments
  • Game design and play
  • Character modeling

Computer Animation

Video game design courses in animation and programming look at theory, algorithms and other computer techniques for programming movement in 3D environments and human interaction. This also includes using digital audio and computer music for enhancing game play. Some video game design core courses you may see include:

  • Computer graphic arts
  • Database concepts
  • Algorithms and data structure

Career Information

Since a degree isn't necessary to become a video game designer, graduates from a bachelor's degree program may have an edge over the competition. However, being able to prove your expertise is important, so you should have a portfolio showcasing your designs.

You may find employment working on a team of designers, which may include a writer, content designer (who designs characters and story lines), game mechanic designer, level designer and lead designer. Furthermore, design teams typically collaborate with artists and programmers. Since creating a video game is such a collaborative process, employers often look for individuals with great communication and teamwork skills. Knowing how to program in Python and Lua is essential, and familiarity with various modeling software programs is also important.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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