Program Overview

The field of digital entertainment has moved from an era where designers were self-taught and learned on the job, to one where even entry-level designers are expected to be well-trained with proven design skills, along with an understanding of technology, art, audio, narrative, and psychology. Designing digital entertainment is ultimately about breathing life into every aspect of what would otherwise be lifeless code and static pixels on a screen. Designers must continually place themselves in the heads and hearts of their players, shaping every action, every response, the ebb-and-flow of the game’s intensity, and then skillfully blend the mechanical, spatial, narrative, visual, and aural aspects of the entire experience. This degree program prepares graduates to be a modern game designer, capable of working in large teams, communicating and collaborating with other designers, artists, and engineers, and able to create an experience that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Graduates will be extremely well versed in game design theory for digital and non-digital games, level design, system design, and behavior design. Graduates will have extensive experience testing, iterating, and polishing both digital and non-digital designs, through the completion of many individual projects and multiple team game projects. However, modern game designers must have a much greater breadth of knowledge than just design. Graduates will also learn the basics of programming, art, psychology, and writing, along with an introduction to sound design, economics, statistics, and probability. Students can bolster any one of these areas by taking additional courses to emphasize skills in narrative design, world design, character design, visual design, sound design, or psychology.

Graduates of this degree program will be prepared to enter the video game industry as entry-level game designers. Possible entry-level position titles include game scripter, technical designer, system designer, level designer, content designer, encounter designer, user interface designer, quest designer, and game designer. This degree program also includes secondary training that can contribute directly to a graduate obtaining positions with titles such as producer, program manager, writer, technical writer, editor, artist, or technical artist. After many years in the industry, graduates may obtain titles such as lead designer, creative director, and director.