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Game Design Degree at University of Advancing Technology


The Game Design degree at University of Advancing Technology is offered as a Bachelor of Arts. UAT has the distinction of consistently being named as one of the top game design programs in the world since its debut in 1995. UAT is the only fully accredited game design program that boasts connection to a full continuum of game studies degrees including: Game Design degree, Game Art and Animation degree and Game Programming degree.

The game design career field is so specialized that students must take the time to explore all game design specialties in order to discover which specification they enjoy most and would be most successful as a game design professional. Because of this, many of our students start as a Game Design major and then graduate with dual gaming degrees from our prolific suite of game studies degree programs.

Game Design degree students at UAT enjoy the ability to build and create complete game design projects with fellow students and faculty collaborating from across the game studies program family. Graduates have the ability to leverage the knowledge and hiring appeal of having multiple credentials in game design, game programming and/or game art and animation.

UAT Game Design students have earned top game industry acclaim and leadership positions by harnessing the unique innovation environment. Students are offered all the tools and resources necessary to develop an impressive professional portfolio with innovative game designs using advancing technology and systems. The Game Design degree program will focus on the design principles, skills and techniques needed to create the industry’s most innovative game projects.

Game Design degree students at UAT are exposed to all the tools of the trade, as well as programming and asset creation video game design skill sets. The Game Design degree coursework emphasizes design skills such as:

» strong initial concepts
» design documentation
» game balancing and playtesting
» interactive storytelling
» interface design.

Students will also take a critical approach to the study of gameplay, player interaction, role-playing and community dynamics, as well as the unique features of the numerous game platforms available in the marketplace.

In team-based assignments, Game Design students will work with video game design artists and programmers to create innovative projects. Applying all the elements of the game creation process, Game Design students will also develop the leadership skills to see video game design projects through from an initial design concept to a publisher-ready final product.

As gamified services gain momentum in the industry, graduates with a Game Design degree from UAT will be better prepared to enter the new world of gamification, which applies game design elements to non-game applications to connect people with a product, service or training program in entertaining new ways that inspire learning.

UAT offers more than an industry-leading Game Design degree, they provide a culture that fosters game innovation and connection to the industry. Along with industry-leading majors, UAT is home to the largest game incubator lab in Arizona, with more than 120 students from all UAT game degrees contributing to the creation of games at any given time. UAT Game Studios is a game production pipeline that fosters game development and connection to the game industry. UAT Game Studios is comprised of more than just academic coursework and physical areas with four walls, it is a culture of experiential learning derived from a multidisciplinary collaboration of video game design students and others across undergraduate and graduate degrees both on-ground and online. UAT’s gamer group is supported by the Games Job Fair networking event and the project/assignment designs within the game courses which require all students to contribute to game development each semester. Through UAT’s Greenlight Committee, game projects vie for UAT sponsorship at GDC. The committee awards winning teams the additional resources they need to ensure game readiness and celebrates students’ innovative work.

Hundreds of projects have been developed over the past five years involving students in UAT’s prestigious Game Design degree program. Some of them shipped for profit, some of them were award-winning, some were used to launch game studios, gain funding, and most of all to promote careers. UAT Game Studios has been responsible for spawning new game companies by training and supporting entrepreneurial ventures. More companies continually are being formed.

With the ever-advancing video game industry and the growing trend of web and app-based video games, qualified and talented game designers are in growing demand. With a Game Design degree from UAT, you will be ready to apply your game design education in real-world settings while conquering and innovating the video game industry.


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Game Design Course Description

Game Design students focus on the design principles, skills and techniques required to create mechanics, game documentation and functioning prototypes for innovative game projects. Students will utilize industry-standard toolsets and resources, including game programming, scripting and asset creation. The coursework emphasizes design skills such as design documentation, systems design, level design, game balancing, play-testing, interactive storytelling and user experience design. Students in the Game Design program will also take a critical approach to the study of gameplay, player interaction and community dynamics as well as the unique features of multiple video game platforms such as PC, console, mobile and virtual reality. In team-based projects, design students work with artists and programmers to create complete projects. Applying all the elements of the game creation process, Game Design students will also develop the mentorship and leadership skills to complete projects from initial concept to publishing a final product.
Game Design Degree

Degree Objectives

  • Prototype and complete original games for multiple platforms following the full game production pipeline.
  • Create and implement game elements, systems and play mechanics using industry standard tools, techniques and production methods, including both art and scripting/programming applications.
  • Demonstrate effective game design practices and techniques within the project scope and context such as genre, style, platform and audience.
  • Demonstrate the ability to evaluate game designs for a variety of game play mechanics, game applications and game genres.
  • Effectively articulate game design elements and mechanics across disciplines utilizing written and verbal communication skills.
  • Establish collaboration, mentorship and professional leadership skills by working with other disciplines to deliver highly polished and completed projects.

Program Information

  • Program Credits: 120
  • Major Credits: 36
  • Semesters to Completion: 8

Requirements to graduate include a 2.0 CGPA, completed required coursework, Portfolio, Internship, and a Student Innovation Project.

For a more detailed breakout of completion time frames and rates, please see the UAT Fast Facts page.

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