What is game design?

Game design is the pre-production design of premise, story, and general characters in a video game.

What should I look for in an online game design school?

The best online game design schools should possess either regional or national accreditation from an accrediting body that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

In addition, you can often recognize top online game design schools based on:

  • The school's name and status
  • The school's history
  • Teacher credentials
  • Alumni network
In choosing the best online game design school for you, you should consider the following factors:
  • Admission requirements
  • Residency requirements
  • Class and teaching style
  • Testing methods used
  • Course content and presentation
  • Program length
  • Class size
  • Student-teacher interaction
  • Technology use
  • Tuition and financial aid
  • Transferability of credits
  • Availability of a dedicated administration team and resources

What levels of online game design programs are available?

The following levels of game design degree online programs are available:

  • Online Game Design Certificate Programs
  • Online Associates in Game Design
  • Online Bachelor in Game Design
  • Online Masters in Game Design
  • Online PhD in Game Design

How long does it take to get an online game design degree?

The amount of time it takes a student to earn an accredited online game design degree depends on the level of game design degree being pursued and the pace of the student.

Typically, the breakdown is as follows:

  • Online Game Design Certification Programs - 6 months to 1 year
  • Online Game Design Associates Degree - 2 years
  • Online Game Design Bachelor Degree - 4 years
  • Online Game Design Masters - 2 years
  • Online Game Design PhD - 2 to 5 years

What are some examples of online game design courses?

Artistic and technical skills are crucial to game design, as well as strong writing ability. Common game design courses include:

  • Storyboarding
    Students apply storyboarding techniques to scripts by accurately showing camera angles, placement of the actors, and so on. Emphasis is placed on accuracy and presentation.
  • 2D Design
    An introduction to design concepts with an emphasis on traditional compositional theory, design principles, and elements, this course is designed to give students a strong understanding of two-dimensional visual elements as they pertain to traditional media.
  • Evolution of Game Design
    This is a critical review of the technology and design history of video games, from the first all-analog machines to the powerful console systems of today.
  • Scripting
    Students will learn one or more scripting languages during this course, which may include LUA, Python, TorqueScript, Ruby, or ActionScript. Projects will include stand-alone script programs as well as game engine scripting projects.
  • Game AI Concepts
    This course is a survey of the many approaches to creating realistic, interesting behavior from a design point of view, while experimenting with concepts such as pathfinding, sensory systems, flocking, scripted events, heuristics, and genetic algorithms.

What areas of game design specialization are available?

Game design is a fast-paced, innovative field involving math, art, writing, storytelling, and character development. Specialization is available in a variety of areas, including:

  • Storyboarding
  • Pre-Production
  • Game AI Development
  • Graphic Design
  • Economics of the Gaming Industry
  • Game Psychology

What can I do with a game design degree?

Game design is a competitive field requiring an interesting mix of technical and artistic skills. A variety of careers are available, including:

  • Production Manager
  • Rules Designer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Project Manager
  • Storyboard Artist
  • Producer
  • Game Director

What is a game designer?

Game designers conceive, plan, create, test, and produce entertainment software for gaming consoles and personal computers.

What does a game designer do?

A game designer plans, creates, produces, and releases a game for a desired audience. Game designers work with software engineers, marketers, advertisers, and sales agents to create an appealing, interesting, and fun game that draws the attention of an audience. Through strong storytelling skills and artistic abilities, game designers influence modern pop culture.

How much does a game designer earn?

Game designers earn an average of $77,010 per year. Job growth is expected at an average rate. While the video game industry continues to expand, competition has become fierce as the production of games has grown more and more professional.

How do I become a game designer?

Game design requires strong technical and creative skills. Students interested in how to become a game designer must understand that an interest in gaming does not suffice for entry into the profession. An accredited online degree in game design is a critical step on the path to a career in this innovative field.

Game Design Schools (Campus)

SchoolCertificateAssociatesBachelorsMastersPhD
Arizona State University
1151 S Forest Ave
Tempe, AZ, 85287
http://www.asu.edu/
X
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
100 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN, 55455
http://www1.umn.edu/twincities/index.php
X
University of Florida
355 Tigert Hall
Gainesville, FL, 32611
http://www.ufl.edu/
X
Texas A & M University
112 M T Harrington Ctr
College Station, TX, 77843
http://www.tamu.edu
X
Ashford University
400 N Bluff Blvd
Clinton, IA, 52733
http://www.ashford.edu
X
Liberty University
1971 University Blvd
Lynchburg, VA, 24502
http://www.liberty.edu
X
University of Washington-Seattle Campus
1400 NE Campus Parkway
Seattle, WA, 98195
http://www.washington.edu
X
Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus
201 Old Main
State College, PA, 16802
http://www.psu.edu/
X
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
601 E John Street
Champaign, IL, 61820
http://www.illinois.edu/
X
College of Southern Nevada
6375 W. Charleston Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV, 89146
http://www.csn.edu
X
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
440 Church Street
Ann Arbor, MI, 48109
http://www.umich.edu
X
Florida State University
211 Westcott Bldg
Tallahassee, FL, 32306
http://www.fsu.edu
X
University of Houston
212 E. Cullen Building
Houston, TX, 77204
http://www.uh.edu
X X
Riverside Community College
4800 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA, 92506
http://www.rcc.edu/
X
Temple University
1801 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19122
http://WWW.TEMPLE.EDU
X X
Pima Community College
401 North Bonita Avenue
Tucson, AZ, 85709
http://www.pima.edu
X
East Los Angeles College
1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez
Monterey Park, CA, 91754
http://www.elac.edu/index.htm
X X
American River College
4700 College Oak Dr
Sacramento, CA, 95841
http://www.arc.losrios.edu/
X
University of Southern California
University Park
Los Angeles, CA, 90089
http://www.usc.edu/
X X
Brigham Young University
Main Campus
Provo, UT, 84602
http://www.byu.edu
X
North Carolina State University at Raleigh
2101 Hillsborough Street
Raleigh, NC, 27695
http://www.ncsu.edu
X X
City College of San Francisco
50 Phelan Ave
San Francisco, CA, 94112
http://www.ccsf.edu
X X
Santa Monica College
1900 Pico Blvd
Santa Monica, CA, 90405
http://www.smc.edu
X X
Virginia Commonwealth University
910 W Franklin St
Richmond, VA, 23284
http://www.vcu.edu/
X
Capella University
225 South 6th Street 9th Floor
Minneapolis, MN, 55402
http://www.capella.edu
X
Boston University
One Silber Way
Boston, MA, 2215
http://www.bu.edu
X X
San Jose State University
1 Washington Sq
San Jose, CA, 95192
http://www.sjsu.edu
X
Santa Ana College
1530 W. 17th Street
Santa Ana, CA, 92706
http://www.sac.edu
X X
Texas State University-San Marcos
601 University Dr
San Marcos, TX, 78666
http://www.txstate.edu
X
DeVry University-Illinois
3300 N Campbell Ave
Chicago, IL, 60618
http://www.devry.edu
X
Texas Tech University
Broadway and University Avenue
Lubbock, TX, 79409
http://www.ttu.edu
X
Mt San Antonio College
1100 N Grand Ave
Walnut, CA, 91789
http://www.mtsac.edu
X X
University of Utah
201 Presidents Circle
Salt Lake City, UT, 84112
http://www.utah.edu
X
California State University-Sacramento
6000 J St
Sacramento, CA, 95819
http://www.csus.edu
X
University of Nevada-Las Vegas
4505 S Maryland Pky
Las Vegas, NV, 89154
http://www.unlv.edu
X
Oakland Community College
2480 Opdyke Rd
Bloomfield Hills, MI, 48304
http://www.oaklandcc.edu
X
Iowa State University
137 Lynn Ave
Ames, IA, 50011
http://www.iastate.edu
X X
Portland State University
724 SW Harrison
Portland, OR, 97201
http://www.pdx.edu
X
Long Beach City College
4901 E. Carson St.
Long Beach, CA, 90808
http://www.lbcc.edu
X
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA, 2115
http://www.northeastern.edu
X X
Palomar College
1140 W. Mission
San Marcos, CA, 92069
http://WWW.PALOMAR.EDU
X X
Central Michigan University
1200 S Franklin St # 121
Mount Pleasant, MI, 48859
http://www.cmich.edu
X
El Camino Community College District
16007 Crenshaw Blvd
Torrance, CA, 90506
http://www.elcamino.edu
X
Sacramento City College
3835 Freeport Blvd
Sacramento, CA, 95822
http://www.scc.losrios.edu/
X
University of California-Irvine
204 Administration
Irvine, CA, 92697
http://www.uci.edu/
X X
University of Illinois at Chicago
601 S Morgan
Chicago, IL, 60607
http://www.uic.edu/index.html/
X X
Pasadena City College
1570 E Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA, 91106
http://www.pasadena.edu
X X
Mesa Community College
1833 W Southern Ave
Mesa, AZ, 85202
http://www.mc.maricopa.edu
X
University of Akron Main Campus
302 Buchtel Common
Akron, OH, 44325
http://www.uakron.edu
X
Santa Rosa Junior College
1501 Mendocino Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA, 95401
http://www.santarosa.edu
X X
Fresno City College
1101 E. University Ave
Fresno, CA, 93741
http://www.fresnocitycollege.edu
X X
Orange Coast College
2701 Fairview Road
Costa Mesa, CA, 92626
http://www.orangecoastcollege.edu/
X X
De Anza College
21250 Stevens Creek Blvd.
Cupertino, CA, 95014
http://www.deanza.edu/
X X
DePaul University
55 E Jackson
Chicago, IL, 60604
http://www.depaul.edu
X X
University of Pennsylvania
1 College Hall 34th and Spruce Sts
Philadelphia, PA, 19104
http://www.upenn.edu
X X X
Western Michigan University
1903 West Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI, 49008
http://www.wmich.edu
X
San Antonio College
1300 San Pedro Ave
San Antonio, TX, 78212
http://www.alamo.edu/sac/sacmain/sac.htm
X X
The Community College of Baltimore County
7201 Rossville Blvd.
Baltimore, MD, 21237
http://www.ccbcmd.edu
X
Saddleback College
28000 Marguerite Pky
Mission Viejo, CA, 92692
http://www.saddleback.edu
X X
San Diego Mesa College
7250 Mesa College Dr
San Diego, CA, 92111
http://www.sdmesa.edu/
X
Ohio University-Main Campus
E Mulberry
Athens, OH, 45701
http://www.ohio.edu
X
Harrisburg Area Community College-Harrisburg
One HACC Dr
Harrisburg, PA, 17110
http://www.hacc.edu
X X
Drexel University
3141 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA, 19104
http://www.drexel.edu
X
Fullerton College
321 E Chapman Avenue
Fullerton, CA, 92832
http://www.fullcoll.edu
X X
California State Polytechnic University-Pomona
3801 W Temple Ave
Pomona, CA, 91768
http://www.csupomona.edu
X
Los Angeles Pierce College
6201 Winnetka Ave
Los Angeles, CA, 91371
http://www.piercecollege.edu
X X
Cerritos College
11110 Alondra Blvd
Norwalk, CA, 90650
http://WWW.CERRITOS.EDU
X
Southwestern College
900 Otay Lakes Rd
Chula Vista, CA, 91910
http://www.swccd.edu
X X
College of the Canyons
26455 Rockwell Canyon Rd
Santa Clarita, CA, 91355
http://www.canyons.edu
X X
Chaffey College
5885 Haven Ave
Rancho Cucamonga, CA, 91737
http://www.chaffey.edu
X X
Lansing Community College
419 N Capitol Ave
Lansing, MI, 48901
http://www.lansing.cc.mi.us
X X
The University of Texas at El Paso
500 W. University Ave
El Paso, TX, 79968
http://www.utep.edu
X X
CUNY Queens College
65-30 Kissena Blvd
New York, NY, 11367
http://www.qc.cuny.edu
X
Sierra College
5000 Rocklin Road
Rocklin, CA, 95677
http://www.sierracollege.edu
X X
Community College of Allegheny County
800 Allegheny Ave
Pittsburgh, PA, 15233
http://www.ccac.edu
X X
Johnson County Community College
12345 College Blvd
Overland Park, KS, 66210
http://www.jccc.edu
X
St. John's University-New York
8000 Utopia Pky
New York, NY, 11439
http://www.stjohns.edu
X
San Joaquin Delta College
5151 Pacific Ave
Stockton, CA, 95207
http://www.deltacollege.edu
X
Milwaukee Area Technical College
700 W State St
Milwaukee, WI, 53233
http://matc.edu
X
Glendale Community College
6000 W Olive Ave
Glendale, AZ, 85302
http://www.gc.maricopa.edu
X X
Los Angeles Valley College
5800 Fulton Avenue
Los Angeles, CA, 91401
http://www.lavc.edu
X
Los Angeles City College
855 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA, 90029
http://www.lacitycollege.edu/
X
Santa Barbara City College
721 Cliff Drive
Santa Barbara, CA, 93109
http://www.sbcc.edu
X X
Central Piedmont Community College
1201 Elizabeth Avenue
Charlotte, NC, 28204
http://www.cpcc.edu
X X
Modesto Junior College
435 College Ave
Modesto, CA, 95350
http://mjc.edu
X X
Bakersfield College
1801 Panorama Dr
Bakersfield, CA, 93305
http://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/
X X
Foothill College
12345 El Monte Rd
Los Altos Hills, CA, 94022
http://www.foothill.edu
X X
Montclair State University
1 Normal Avenue - 855 Valley Road
Montclair, NJ, 7043
http://www.montclair.edu
X
San Diego City College
1313 Park Boulevard
San Diego, CA, 92101
http://www.sdcity.edu/
X X
Moraine Valley Community College
9000 W. College Parkway
Palos Hills, IL, 60465
http://www.morainevalley.edu
X
Mt. San Jacinto Community College District
1499 N State St
San Jacinto, CA, 92583
http://www.msjc.edu
X
Henry Ford Community College
5101 Evergreen Rd
Dearborn, MI, 48128
http://www.hfcc.edu
X
Appalachian State University
504 Dauphblan St.
Boone, NC, 28608
http://www.appstate.edu/
X
California State University-Chico
First and Normal Sts
Chico, CA, 95929
http://www.csuchico.edu
X
Glendale Community College
1500 N Verdugo Rd
Glendale, CA, 91208
http://www.glendale.edu
X
Delgado Community College
615 City Park Ave
New Orleans, LA, 70119
http://WWW.DCC.EDU
X
Anne Arundel Community College
101 College Pky
Arnold, MD, 21012
http://www.aacc.edu
X X
Moorpark College
7075 Campus Rd
Moorpark, CA, 93021
http://www.moorparkcollege.edu/index.shtml
X X
Universidad Del Turabo
Carr. # 189 Km 3.1
Queensbury, PR, 778
http://www.suagm.edu
X
University of Central Oklahoma
100 N University Dr
Edmond, OK, 73034
http://www.uco.edu
X

Schools by State

Best Cities for Game Design Schools