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Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Game Design will delve into the details of professional game design. Upon completing the program, graduates will have the skills necessary to thrive as game designers in numerous settings. They will be adept at crafting captivating and immersive gameplay experiences using the latest industry tools and techniques. Emphasizing teamwork and collaboration, the program fosters strong team dynamics and equips students with essential conflict resolution skills. Through hands-on experience, students will acquire the ability to analyze, strategize, conceptualize, and produce digital games, without the necessity of mastering extensive coding or game development expertise.

Program Goals

game designingUpon graduation from the Bachelor of Science in Game Design program, individuals are equipped to:

  • Conduct research and evaluate resources, compile data, and apply evidence to support design processes;
  • Create clear and concise written, oral, and visual communication across contexts that follow industry standards;
  • Incorporate collaborative teamwork roles and group structures in game design teams;
  • Apply production and technical skills related to the development of different game design roles; and
  • Engage in creative and professional development practices related to the evolving creative industries.

Those working in the gaming industry can explore diverse career paths, such as Game Designer, Game Artist (Assets and Animation), Game Writer or Narrative Designer, Game Producer, Customer and Community Support, Level Designer, Content Designer, Economy Designer, and many others.

Program Lead

 Kelly  Boudreau, Ph.D.

Kelly Boudreau, Ph.D. Associate Professor in Interactive Media Theory & Design

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Faculty

Sa Liu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Interactive Media Studies

Anthony Ortega

Production Coordinator (CAELT) & Corporate Faculty (IMED)


Course List

The following comprises the course requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Game Design. This program requires a total of 50 semester hours. When available, the semester hour value of each course appears in parentheses ( ).

GAME 100 – History of Video Games (2 credits)

This course will provide the student with an overview of the technological, economic, and socio-historical contexts of the history and development of video games in a global context. In developing an understanding of the social construction of history, nostalgia, and revisionist history, the student will explore video game history beyond the typical big historical moments such as the Crash of ’83 and the key people in the American and Japanese game industries. The student will explore both successes and failures throughout video game history from a range of countries to understand how they shape technological innovations and how the socio-cultural contexts influence content, demographics, and business models over time.

GAME 145, 245, 345 – Game Design 1, 2, & 3 (2-3 credits)

GAME 145 – Introduction to Game Design
(2 semester hours)

This course will introduce the student to foundational elements of introductory game design. The student will examine a range of digital games to learn how to identify the fundamental structure, principles, and methodologies behind the design process. The student will be introduced to entry level game engines and learn how to develop creative ideas through the implementation of the key game design elements, principles and practices in an applied manner.

GAME 245 – Game Design 2: Principles & Practice of Game Design
(3 semester hours)

This course expands on content taught in GAME 145 and introduces the student to fundamental principles of design as they relate to game flow and player engagement. With a focus on advanced game mechanics, object rules, gameplay loops, game elements and rewards, balancing of skill and chance, and incremental challenge and difficulty, the student will demonstrate their understanding of these principles through a series of solo and collaborative game design projects, game pitches, and structured peer assessment.

GAME 345 – Game Design 3
(3 semester hours)

This is the third and final course focusing on core game design fundamentals. This course will build on GAME 145 and GAME 245 with a focus on designing for a target demographic, playtesting, and iterative game design of a complete game in a collaborative context. The student will create two short games in pairs. They will utilize playtesting methods and techniques to gather player data, evaluate, and implement feedback into the game design process.

GAME 250, 350 – Prototyping 1 & 2 (3 credits)

GAME 250 – Prototyping 1: Ideation & Analog Prototyping Methods
(3 semester hours)

This course will introduce the student to different ideation and analog prototyping methods and processes to develop a range of interactive elements for game design. Through brainstorming in solo and group contexts, rapid analog prototyping techniques, and playtesting and peer feedback, the student will learn effective, and cost-effective strategies for creating and testing game elements early in the game design process.

GAME 350 – Prototyping 2: Digital Prototyping for Video Games
(3 semester hours)

This course expands on the content from GAME 250 and introduces the student to a range of digital prototyping tools and techniques for game design. Through developing original, small scale game projects in solo and group contexts, the student will learn how to ideate, plan, and create digital prototypes and vertical slices of games.

GAME 270, 370 – Game Art, Assets & Animation 1 & 2 (3 credits)

GAME 270 – Game Art, Assets & Animation 1
(3 semester hours)

This course, the first of two in visual game design, will introduce the student to foundational concepts and principles of art and asset creation for digital games. Focusing on game art, aesthetics, and genre, the student will learn analog and 2-d animation techniques to create game assets, characters and environments.

GAME 370 – Game Art, Assets & Animation 2
(3 semester hours)

This is the second of two courses in visual design and animation for digital games. This course expands on the materials taught in GAME 270 and introduces the student to advanced concepts and principles of art and asset creation for digital games. Focusing on semiotics and aesthetics of visual design as it relates to genre and gameplay communication, the student will learn to use industry standard tools for 3D animation techniques to create game assets, characters, and environments. The student will create art and assets for their own games for their portfolio throughout the course.

GAME 288 – Level Design (3 credits)

Level design is the foundation of interactive digital games. This course will introduce the student to fundamental principles of level design in digital games. From low level design (LLD) to high level design (HLD), the student will be introduced to the concepts and methods of creating engaging game objectives, diverse spatial interactions that connects mechanics and narrative throughout the gameplay experience. Through interactive lectures, peer collaboration, and studio sessions, this course will provide the student with a theoretical, conceptual, and applied understanding of game level design across genres and platforms.

GAME 382 – World and Narrative Game Design (3 credits)

In this course, the student will expand their understanding of the connection between game mechanics, object and environment rules, and ludo-narrative devices in digital game worlds. Structured as a studio course, the student will work on a narrative-based game idea of their choice. With a focus on the design of gameplay progression through game mechanics, scalable challenges and difficulty levels, and tasks and rewards that aim to advance the narrative, students will develop relevant industry informed documentation and create a playable prototype demonstrating narrative design principles. In doing so, the student will learn to implement effective ludo-narrative elements as they are related to designing engaging digital gameplay experiences.

GAME 485, 495 – Game Studio 1 & 2 (3-4 credits)

GAME 485 – Game Studio 1: Ideation to Beta
(3 semester hours)

Drawing on the range of creative and technical skills and conceptual knowledge learned throughout the program, the student will brainstorm, ideate, document and plan their game concept following industry standards. Following their plan, the student will create an analog and digital prototype for their game.

GAME 495 – Game Studio 2: Prototype to Release
(4 semester hours)

In this course, the student will draw on the range of creative and technical skills and conceptual knowledge learned throughout the program. The student will re-evaluate the project plan based on the playtesting results from GAME 485 and implement any game design changes. Throughout the course, the student will continue development of their digital game as well as collaborate with classmates on distinct aspects of each other’s games. Successful coursework will result in a complete and polished game for the student’s portfolio.

GAME 496 – Game Distribution: Platforms, Policies and Procedures (1 credit)

This course introduces the student to the range of self-publishing platforms, publishing costs, intellectual property regulation, publishing policies, and the technical processes and requirements of the different game platforms.


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