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Game Design

The School of Game Design is one of the top game design schools in the nation. Our classes are taught by industry professionals who are among the best in their respective fields. Our hands-on, interactive curriculum prepares each student for creative success. Graduates of our program will have a well-rounded education in the arts, particularly in fundamental game art principles such as game engine technology and both pre-production and production environments. Students will develop an exceptional portfolio that demonstrates skill in traditional drawing and painting as well as 3D modeling, texturing, animation, rigging, and time management.

Courses introduce and build upon the foundations of traditional drawing, painting, and storytelling to broaden students' conceptual skills for video game production. Our curriculum emphasizes key techniques in 3D modeling, animation, and lighting to prepare students for the challenges of innovative game mechanics and complex 3D technology. Using state-of-the-art game engines to prototype games, students gain hands-on experience with industry standards. Collaborative projects foster communication and organizational skills crucial to student success.

Master of Fine Art (MFA)

Students in the MFA program in Game Design develop mastery of innovative game mechanics and challenging 3D technology by strengthening their conceptual skills, technological understanding, and artistic foundations in traditional drawing, painting, and storytelling. Using state-of-the art game engines in the prototype game production studio, MFA graduates gain hands-on experience with industry techniques and standards. The final thesis project prepares students to become leaders and innovators in the game industry.

Bachelor of Fine Art (BFA)

The BFA in Game Design provides a well-rounded arts education while emphasizing 3D modeling, animation, and lighting techniques for video game production. Courses introduce and build upon the foundations of traditional drawing, painting, and storytelling to broaden students' conceptual skills. Students use state-of-the-art game engines to prototype games, giving BFA graduates hands-on experience with industry techniques and standards.

Associate of Arts

The Associate of Arts degree provides students with a well-rounded foundation in Game Development.  Our Associate of Arts students will be able to plan, choreograph, and script 2D and 3D gameplay.  In addition they will be able to model, texture, and animate 3D game assets.  Once earned, the Associate of Arts degree can be used as a stepping stone to the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree or as a way to gain entry level employment into the games industry.

Online Award of Completion

The Online Award of Completion in Games Environments is a personal enrichment program designed for students interested in acquiring the basic to advanced skills necessary to work in the field of animation as a texture artist, level designer, or games animator.

The Award of Completion requires completion of five undergraduate courses in animation and game design. Award of Completion and personal enrichment students may have these courses credited toward a degree at the Academy of Art University pending portfolio review and approval by the department director. Degree-seeking students must satisfy existing degree requirements.

Please note: The Online Award of Completion requires that all courses must be taken online.

Required Courses
(3 units each unless otherwise noted)

ANM 101: Introduction to Computer Graphics for Animation (Prereq to GAM 105. Most students test out)

GAM 105: Game 3D Production (3D Art)

GAM 110: Elements of Game Design (Design)

GAM 115: Elements of Scripting (Technical Design / Scripting)

FND 110: Analysis of Form ( Drawing - Concept Art)

Department of Game Design Minimum Hardware and Software Requirements

  • Windows XP SP3 or later
  • Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon 64 processor
  • 2.0+ GHz Processor
  • SM3-compatible video card
  • 1024x768 display (1280x800 recommended) with qualified hardware-accelerated OpenGL graphics card, 16-bit color, and 256MB of VRAM
  • Some GPU-accelerated features require graphics support for Shader Model 3.0 and OpenGL 2.0
  • 10 GB free hard drive space
  • 2 GB RAM
  • Three-button mouse with mouse driver software
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer® 7.0 or higher, Apple Safari, or Mozilla Firefox web browser
  • QuickTime 7.6.2 software required for multimedia features
  • Broadband Internet connection

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