Game Art

What to expect your first year

You’ll take Intro to Game Development your first semester, a requirement for all students in Interactive Arts and Media game programs. This course identifies the characteristics of the different game genres and the career paths in the industry. You’ll learn what differentiates game artists, designers, programmers, sound artists, and everything in between, so you can choose the program that best suits your interests.

You’ll hit the ground running, learning core theory and immediately putting it into practice. For instance, you’ll learn foundational theories and practices in interaction and development and then build your skills through practical assignments like sketching, prototyping, and designing while you study the fundamentals of 3D game art creation.

What to expect your last year

In your junior and senior years, you’ll likely begin to concentrate on your area of interest, whether it’s character modeling or environment art. Courses like 3D Digital Sculpting will test your abilities as you paint and texture advanced characters for games. In your senior year, you’ll take part in our two-semester capstone experience.

Game Studio Capstone

This isn’t your average senior project. Developed by our faculty to mirror the gaming industry production model, the capstone will allow you to work in small (Indie Game Studio) or large (Large Team Game Studio) groups to develop a game. Over the course of one year, you and your team will pitch the initial concepts, design all the necessary art and sound assets, test prototypes, and deliver a playable game.

Within a collaborative team formed from seniors in Game Art, Game Design, Game Programming, and Game Sound, you will make the creative decisions, divide up the work, and manage the project. As you build the game, you might even bring in expertise from other Columbia students who study film, acting, voiceover, or creative writing. Our faculty members are there to supervise the course, but this is a student-led project that requires professional-level work and commitment. At the end of the year you’ll have portfolio-ready pieces to successfully launch your career in the game industry.

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