Best Colleges For Video Game Design In Pennsylvania –

Wondering which are the best colleges for video game design in Pennsylvania? Pennsylvanian students seeking a degree in game design have to consider all their preferred features of a university. These include affordability, historical recognition, faculty quality, regional location, and others. With the right mix of factors, it will be easy to make a smart choice of where to enroll for undergraduate or graduate studies. 

There are different types of developers. Some of them are specialized in graphics, while others are focused on writing code. Some of them develop games for mobile phones, others are developing various software. Is it difficult to find the best universities for game design in Pennsylvania? You bet! Maybe you have found an institution that offers this type of education, but you are not sure how it is worth its salt.

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Best Colleges For Video Game Design In Pennsylvania

pennsylvania game design colleges

We have created a 2020 ranking of the best colleges in Pennsylvania that offer Game Design degrees to help you find a school that fits your needs. Each school’s ranking is based on the compilation of our data from reliable government sources, student surveys, college graduate interviews, and editorial review. In addition, you can view our entire list of all 5 Game Design schools located within Pennsylvania. We also provide reviews, facts, and questions and answers for schools on our site and offer you access to get valuable information from colleges and universities today.

university of pennsylvania game design

The Best Schools for Video Game Design |

Interactive entertainment and computer-animated visual effects are now part of our mainstream culture. Creating such computer-generated imagery, however, is no trivial task. It requires a delicate blending of art with science by teams of highly skilled professionals, including artists, animators, writers, designers, engineers and software developers working long hours with cutting-edge technology and tools. Currently there are very few interdisciplinary academic programs at four-year research universities adequately preparing students for such positions. The Master of Science in Engineering in Computer Graphics and Game Technology (CGGT) was created specifically to address this need.

Program Overview

The CGGT program was established in 2004. The goal of the program is to expose recent graduates, as well as individuals returning from industry, to state-of-the-art graphics and animation technologies, as well as interactive media design principles, product development methodologies and engineering entrepreneurship. The CGGT program prepares students for positions requiring multidisciplinary skills such as designers, technical animators, technical directors and game programmers. Students in the CGGT program use the equipment and resources available through the SIG Center for Computer Graphics. Opportunities for specialization are provided in such core areas as art and animation, creative design, animation and simulation technology, human/computer interfaces and production management.

Course Requirements

The master’s degree requirements consist of completing 9 courses and a one semester design project over a one year period for a total of 10 courses.

Core Areas

(1) Creative Arts and Design (1 course)

  • FNAR 635: 3D Modeling

(2-5) Computer Science, Systems and Technology (4 courses)

  • CIS 560: Computer Graphics
  • CIS 562: Computer Animation
  • CIS 660: Advanced Topics in Computer Graphics and Animation
  • Math-based course requirement. Recommended courses include:
    • CIS 561: Physically-Based Rendering
    • CIS 563: Physically-Based Animation
    • CIS 581: Computer Vision
    • CIS 580: Machine Perception
    • CIS 519: Introduction to Machine Learning
    • CIS 520: Machine Learning
    • ENM 503: Introduction to Probability & Statistics

(6) Business and Entrepreneurship (1 course)

Recommended choices include:

  • EAS 545: Engineering Entrepreneurship I
  • IPD 515: Product Design

(7) Graphics Elective (1 Course)

A graduate-level technical or creative course in the area of graphics or animation.  Approval of the CGGT program director is required. Courses that can be selected as the Graphics Elective include:

  • CIS 565: GPU Programming
  • CIS 561: Physically-Based Rendering
  • CIS 563: Physically-Based Animation
  • CIS 770: Graphics-related Special Topics courses
  • FNAR 661: Video1
  • FNAR 567: Computer Animation
  • FNAR 665: Cinema Production
  • FNAR 668: Cinematography

(8) Technical Elective (1 Course)

Any graduate level course in Penn Engineering. Approval of the CGGT program director is required. Recommended choices include:

  • CIS 561: Physically-Based Rendering
  • CIS 563: Physically-Based Animation
  • CIS 770: Graphics-related Special Topics courses
  • CIS 581: Computer Vision
  • CIS 580: Machine Perception
  • CIS 519: Introduction to Machine Learning
  • CIS 520: Machine Learning
  • ESE 505: Control of Systems
  • ESE 619: Model Predictive Control
  • CIS 555: Internet and Web Systems
  • CIS 599: Independent Study
  • CIS 564: Game Design and Development (only offered during the summer term)

(9) Free Elective (1 Course)

Any graduate level course at the University that relates in some way to graphics, animation and/or games. Approval of the CGGT program director is required.

Recommended choices include any of the Graphics ElectiveTechnical Elective or Business and Entrepreneurship courses listed above as well as:

  • FNAR 536: Digital Figure Modeling
  • FNAR 653: Advanced Project Animation
  • FNAR 634: Web Design 1
  • EAS 546: Engineering Entrepreneurship II
  • OIDD 662: Enabling Technologies

(10) Design Project (1 Course)

  • CIS 568: Game Design Practicum
  • CIS 597: Master’s Thesis

Credit for Substantially Similar Coursework at Other Universities

Students enrolled in the program from outside the University who have taken substantially similar coursework at their undergraduate institutions also can petition the program for approval of appropriate course substitutions. Granting of such approvals will be at the Program Director’s discretion, and will be made on a case-by-case basis.

carnegie mellon game design

The 10 Best Colleges for Video Game Design - College Magazine

Game design is an art, a craft, and a science. Students in the IDeATe Game Design minor will gain mastery in all three aspects through game design, development, and assessment. You will learn about the rich histories, theory, and practice of game creation taught by faculty experts, and have opportunities to collaborate across the many disciplines needed to make successful game experiences. Through coursework you will be able to realize your own unique aesthetics and voice by reflecting on your own game play and by thoughtfully critiquing the games of others. Through the minor students will be able to build a strong game design portfolio, deepen cultural sensitivities as a game designers, and expand their creative practice. In particular, you will gain skills and competencies in the following areas of game design:

  • Game systems and mechanics design
  • Interactive narrative and character development
  • Visual and audio asset creation
  • Game programming
  • Interface design and user testing
  • Collaboration and the iterative design process

Game Design Minor Requirements

Game Design Minor – Minimum of 45 UnitsONE COMPUTING COURSE – MINIMUM OF 9 UNITS15-104 Introduction to Computing for Creative Practice15-110 Principles of Computing15-112 Fundamentals of Programming and Computer Science60-210 Electronic Media Studio: Introduction to Interactivity60-212 Electronic Media Studio: Interactivity and Computational PracticeONE IDEATE PORTAL COURSE – MINIMUM OF 9 UNITSRecommended Portal Course for this minor:53-322 IDeATe: Little Games/Big Stories: Indie Roleplaying Game StudioRecommended Portal Course for this minor:62-150 IDeATe Portal: Introduction to Media Synthesis and AnalysisSection A: Introduction to Textile MediaSection B: Introduction to Mediascapes: 2D to 3D Spatial EnvironmentsSection C: Introduction to Digital Storytelling + Archives16-223 IDeATe Portal: Creative Kinetic Systems18-090 Twisted Signals: Multimedia Processing for the Arts60-125 IDeATe: Introduction to 3D Animation Pipeline60-223 IDeATe Introduction to Physical Computing99-361 IDeATe PortalSection A: InflatablesSection B: Intelligent EnvironmentsSection D: Learning About LearningIDEATE GAME DESIGN COURSES – MINIMUM OF 27 UNITS05-418 Design of Educational Games05-499 Special Topics in HCI15-466 Computer Game Programming53-110 Introduction to Game Prototyping53-230 Programming for Game Designers53-250 Immersive Experience Pre-Production Process53-353 Understanding Game Engines53-371 Role Playing Games Writing Workshop53-373 Dynamic Motion and Game Experience53-376 360 Story and Sound53-409 Game Design53-414 Introduction to Game Design53-451 Research Issues in Game Development53-471 Game Design, Prototyping, and Production53-472 Advanced Game Studio53-558 Reality Computing Studio60-333 IDeATe: Animation Rigging60-418 Advanced ETB: Experimental Game Studio60-419 Experimental Game DesignAdditional courses as available. Please check IDeATe Courses for the options for the current and upcoming semesters.Double-counting: Students may double-count up to two of their IDeATe minor courses for other requirements.

drexel university game design

Drexel Westphal’s Game Design & Production major, recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the top undergraduate game design programs in the country, combines a strong comprehension of animation and interactivity, along with an understanding of design and programming. The Bachelor of Science in Game Design & Production, housed in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, mirrors a sector that has seen an explosion not just in consumer gaming, but also throughout the corporate enterprise world. The gaming industry has grown from just a source of entertainment to one that also encompasses the use of serious gaming, where gaming technologies are used in education and training. Fully immersive games now use new methods of interaction, such as multi-touch displays, motion control and haptic devices. The BS in Game Design & Production at Drexel University is designed to evolve with the dynamic gaming industry, introducing students to the latest technologies, innovations, and trends.

To best prepare for the demands of a cutting-edge game design career, students pursue a foundation of design and technology, take core courses in all aspects of digital media, complete a six-month co-op working in the gaming industry, and participate in project-based teamwork.

What Skills Will You Learn in Drexel’s Undergraduate Game Design Program?

Experiential learning is the cornerstone of Game Design at Drexel University. Over the course of their education in the Game Design & Production program at Drexel, students gain a foundational understanding of digital media tools while exercising their creativity and problem-solving skills through team-based projects. Undergraduate Game Design majors also complete a six-month co-op—a full-time work experience in the field—during which they apply their game design studies to real challenges and industry projects. Students pursuing an accelerated BS/MS in Game Design & Production and Digital Media participate in three co-op experiences over their second, third, and fourth year of study.

Through foundational and hands-on coursework, Game Design & Production students will learn such skills as:

  • Scripting and Storytelling
  • Computer Programming
  • Computer Graphics
  • Animation
  • Motion Capture
  • Realtime Visualization – Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Immersive Media

Game Design majors also develop critical competencies like project management, agile development, and working in multidisciplinary teams, which serve them well into their gaming careers. Kudo Tsunoda, Microsoft Hololens team leader and former Creative Director of Kinect said “Drexel has one of the best Game Design and Digital Media programs I have seen. The work they do is innovative and top quality. Drexel interns and graduates I’ve worked with are well prepared to deliver results in a team environment.”

Facilities for Game Design & Production Majors

The Game Design program is based in the URBN Center, the hub for creativity and interdisciplinary collaboration in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. The URBN Center features an open floorplan, shared making spaces, and cutting-edge studios and labs.

Game Design & Production majors can experiment with the latest technology in the Animation Capture & Effects Lab (ACE-Lab). This 1200-sq-ft digital media studio is outfitted with:

  • 25x17ft green screen cyclorama
  • Studio lighting
  • HD/2k/4k camera systems
  • Camera dolly
  • Vicon Vantage motion capture system
  • Stereo-360 “VR Video” capture systems
  • Room-scale VR tracking systems
  • Immersive Project Dome

Students in the Game Design major also have access to advanced graphics workstations, a theme-park quality motion simulation platform, the Immersive Research Lab for virtual reality, augmented reality, and immersive media projects, and more.

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