Making Your Passion a Full-Time Career: Video Game Schools

Explore what you need to make your gaming enthusiasm into a lifelong career.

Who is a game design degree for?

video game creator

If you're someone with a serious passion and understanding for what makes a top-notch video game, game design college could be a natural path for you.

For many gaming aficionados, actually creating video games can feel like a pipe dream—but with the right skill set and degree, becoming a professional game creator is absolutely attainable. So what will it take for you to launch a career in game creation and design?

Having the Right Skills

A great candidate for game school should have a sense of what goes into making an engaging video game. From character development to narrative flow to captivating visual effects, there are many qualities that make players love or hate a game.

You should be able to naturally assess what visual elements within a game make it worth playing, and which detract from the experience. If you're a serious gamer, you'll be able to identify key aspects that go into your favorite games. But even for novice or inexperienced gamers, you don't need to be glued to your console; what you do need is a knack for understanding narrative flow and a passion for crafting engaging visual concepts. 

Get the Right Degree

Earning a video game design degree will not only give you the foundation you'll need to be successful in the industry, it will also make you a credible candidate for game design jobs. Typically, game design jobs will require you to have either a two-year associate's or four-year bachelor's degree from a game design college or program.

Today, many gaming schools offer video game design programs online, which is a great way to cut education costs and complete your courses on your own time. This is also an appealing option for people who may have a related degree already, like visual communication or web design, and want to quickly complete a program that will expand on that foundation. There are video game design degrees available at the master's level as well, but most game creator jobs will only require you to have an associate's or bachelor's degree in game design.

Courses You'll Take

While there are some elements of game creation that come naturally, especially to avid gamers, there is still a great deal of technical information to be learned in game designer school. You'll take courses in specific, design-based concepts, such as:

  • Video game design basics
  • Prototyping
  • Game art
  • Prop modeling

These courses will be instrumental in helping you become accustomed to the design programs you'll use, as well as the general flow of being a game creator.

In addition to these classes, typical game design college courses include instruction on maintaining narrative flow and incorporating design elements in crafting a story. These types of courses may encompass  such topics as e level design and character development. Finally, you'll receive instruction on more difficult, technical elements of video game design, like effects animation and 3D modeling.

Potential Careers

Once you complete your courses and earn your video game design degree, you'll be eligible to work in many different game creator positions. Creating a video game takes a large team of people contributing to all elements of creating a game—even down to a single scene.

Because of this, game creator roles can be highly specific. Potential jobs you could land after game designer school include such titles as:

  • Level designer
  • Concept artist for elements such as  characters, vehicles, and environments
  • Texture artist
  • 3D animator
  • Level artist

There are dozens of designers contributing to each element of the game, so chances are you're likely to find a role that suits your strengths.

Choosing to pursue a video game design degree is a big decision that could pay-off in a big way; getting an education in an area you're already passionate about could take you down a career path in an in-demand industry that aspires to nurture and reward talented contributors. Why not get started looking for the right school to make your gamer pastime a full-time reality?