The video game industry is on the rise with powerful new classics like Fortnite Battle Royale, and a growing multi-billion dollar a year industry. This is a career path that is only set to explode over the next 20 years with gaming taking on new dimensions including virtual reality, augmented reality games, and AI video games.
To prepare students for this growing industry more schools have programs in Video Game Design, and camps, and conferences, and studios completely devoted to video game design.
E-sports games that combine professional competitive gaming for titles and prizes—draw huge crowds, and even televised coverage, at large events all over the world have become mainstream and are even featured on ESPN, and other mainstream news websites. Without video game designers there would be no video games, and no competitions, and no leagues, or tournaments.
What Does A Video Game Designer Do ?
A video game begins with a concept. A proposal is drafted by a team of game designers, who address important details such as target audience, requirements, deadlines, and budgets. Video game designers make that concept of gameplay and layout come alive, often through experimentation with several themes and genres, as well as developments and improvements on existing games.
There are many types of game designers who focus on a particular aspect of gameplay. Most designers will spend at least some of their time as testers, where they can experiment with coding and watch others’ mistakes firsthand. Lead designers are the coordinators of the team and are responsible for communication inside and outside of the design team, as well as making important decisions. A game mechanics designer works on the balance of the game and its rule system. Lastly, an environmental designer is responsible for creating the different scenarios and environments of the game.
A game will undergo millions of changes throughout its making, and game designers are required to constantly recheck and recode thousands of lines of code. A designer can also be called upon to develop a game to focus on a particular aspect, such as market, design, technology, or art.
Games that are market-driven are designed to make a profit, and therefore their progress is limited to consumer demand. Most games are developed in this manner. Games that are design-driven allow the designer to take full reign of the game and its aspects. Many games are not developed in this manner because of monetary restraints. Games that are technology-driven are created in order to highlight a technological achievement or to market gaming consoles and engines, such as high-quality graphic displays. Rarely, a game will be art-driven, where a game is focused on visual effects and impressive designs created by artists.
That’s why this career path is ever more so important than ever before. The following schools were selected based on data from The Princeton Review, and NCES to feature the Best Video Game Design Colleges & Programs.
Best Video Design CollegesOur ranking is based on data gleaned from NCES and The Princeton Review
|1||University of Southern California||100|
|2||New York University||98|
|3||DigiPen Institute of Technology||96|
|5||Rochester Institute of Technology||93|
|6||University of Utah||92|
|7||Michigan State University||90|
|9||Worcester Polytechnic Institute||87|
|10||LaSalle College – Vancouver||86|
|14||Vancouver Film School||84|
|17||University of California–Santa Cruz||83|
|18||Ferris State University||81|
|20||Laguna College of Art and Design||80|
|21||Savannah College of Art and Design||80|
|22||Shawnee State University||79|
|24||University of Wisconsin-Stout||78|
|25||Academy of Art University||77|
|26||Ringling College of Art + Design||76|
|30||Kennesaw State University||74|
|31||Full Sail University||73|
|32||New Jersey Institute of Technology||72|
|33||Lawrence Technological University||72|
|34||Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute||71|
|35||University of Central Florida||71|
|37||Abilene Christian University||69|
|38||Maryland Institute College of Art||68|
|39||Dakota State University||66|
|40||Cleveland Institute of Art||65|
|41||New England Institute of Technology||64|
|42||Sacred Heart University||64|
|44||University of Michigan-Dearborn||63|
|46||Eastern Kentucky University||63|
|47||Oklahoma Christian University||61|
|48||Massachusetts Institute of Technology||60|