professor teaching game design class to students

Presented by the University of Utah’s Entertainment Arts & Engineering Program (EAE).

The popularity of game design programs has massively increased in recent years. And it’s easy to understand why. After all, the discipline allows students to marry their passion with their potential vocation. Even better, the skills designers acquire are highly marketable and uniquely geared toward the 21st century. Curious about what studying game design actually entails? Here’s some insight courtesy of University of Utah’s EAE program:

Q: Why do you think majoring in game design is a good choice?

A: Game design is an excellent major for students to explore because it opens up so many avenues for development, both creative and personal. Students in the program will learn new artistic and technical skills, but most importantly, they will learn to work together as a team. Students will learn all aspects of the game development pipeline and the work that goes into each step. They will graduate from the program having worked on several games, published one of their own, and made lasting connections that could eventually carry into the game industry.    

Q:  For students majoring in game design, what are some required and optional game design courses at Utah’s EAE?

A:  Students in the program will be required to take both game design and project-based courses. The program offers students the opportunity to take elective courses, selected from a few areas of interest. These areas include art, technical art, production, and game engineering. Students interested in art can take classes ranging from Concept Art to Character Design, technical artists may take classes like 3D Modeling and Rigging, producers become versed in all areas and have the option to take one elective in a business or communication class, and engineers often take A.I. for Games and Gameplay Programming. Students are able to forge their own path in the program, becoming skilled in one area, which is essential when a student’s goal is to get a job in the game industry.    

Q: What are the special features of the EAE game design major?

A: EAE offers a truly unique academic experience. We’ve brought together a diverse faculty with expertise in every facet of game development, and consulted with top industry insiders to create a one-of-a-kind learning experience. Our students work in interdisciplinary teams in a way that mimics the industry environment. Additionally, they all publish a game as a part of their degree experience and learn from current industry professionals. That, combined with the passion of our staff and faculty for promoting student success, makes for a very individualized experience in the EAE program.    

Q: Is getting a game design degree worth it?

A: The majority of graduates are hired into studios in the video game industry around the world. Our students are able to find jobs as game engineers, game artists, technical artists, game producers, product managers, user experience analysts, game designers, and many more. Our students also go on to become highly-qualified candidates in other fields, working for companies creating self-driving cars, training simulations and user interface in a variety of technologies. Lastly, students frequently participate in internships at various video game companies while in the program, and those internships may lead to full-time employment opportunities.    

Q: What do students majoring in game design accomplish after four years in the program? Will they have created their own games?

A: Students who study in the EAE program are immersed in a studio simulation experience where they work in teams, creating games throughout the duration of their degree. Effectively working in interdisciplinary teams is a skill our students get to practice in multiple game development-focused courses, preparing them for the working industry. At the end of their program of study, each student will have experienced every facet of the game development pipeline, from pitching ideas to publishing a complete game. All graduates will have at least one published game when they finish, which will demonstrate their experience and skill. 

Has this made you even more excited about the prospect of pursuing a degree in game design? If so, start investigating programs like the University of Utah’s EAE program here.