Students who want to acquire the skills needed for careers in the game design industry have their choice of certificate, diploma, and associate’s degree programs at numerous public schools in North Carolina. Programs lead to awards in simulation and game development, computer game design, and game programming and design. Some of the classes required may be offered online, depending on the school, and work experiences – though rare – may be available. Degree programs include general education classes, while certificate tracks generally focus on major courses.
Overviews of the programs available at ten schools are provided below, followed by a table showing tuition and school information.
Blue Ridge Community College
Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock offers an associate’s and a certificate program in simulation and game development through the business and computer information technologies division. Within the 70-credit associate’s degree program, students will receive hands-on training in design, 3D modeling, software engineering, database administration and programming for the purpose of creating simulations and games. In addition to coursework, students complete a cooperative work experience. The six courses in the 18-credit certificate program are offered during three semesters. The program introduces students to simulation, game development, game design and internet multimedia, programming and game art.
Central Piedmont Community College
Charlotte’s Central Piedmont Community College provides a degree, a diploma and certificate programs for students who want to learn how to develop simulations and games. Major courses in the 69-credit associate’s degree program cover topics like graphic arts for games, programming, modeling and game engines. Students choose courses from a slate of electives that include virtual environments, Flash programming, character development and three-dimensional animation. The diploma program includes many of the same major courses required for the degree program, and students earn 36 credits to receive the diploma. The 12-credit certificate programs are available in game development level I & II and mobile game development.
Fayetteville Technical Community College
Students who want to learn video game design have several options to choose from at the Fayetteville campus of Fayetteville Technical Community College. The degree and diploma programs provide students with instruction in three-dimensional modeling, game programming, internet fundamentals and database programming. Students are introduced to the basics of simulation and game development in the 12-credit certificate program through classes in graphic design tools, virtual environments, computer-aided design, three-dimensional modeling and game programming. A 16-credit certificate is also available.
Guilford Technical Community College
Guilford Technical Community College offers an associate’s degree in simulation and game development at its campus in Jamestown. Students receive instruction in storytelling, three-dimensional modeling, level design, animation and software engineering in this 66-credit program. The students also learn about simulation and game documentation, and the program culminates with a simulation and game development project.
Pitt Community College
Located in Winterville, Pitt Community College offers an associate’s degree that provides students with the technical and creative skills needed for simulation and game design. In addition to coursework in quality assurance, level design and programming, students complete a project.
Sandhills Community College
Sandhills Community College in Pinehurst provides an associate’s program for aspiring video game developers. A 15-credit certificate program in simulation and game development is also offered through the computer technologies division. Students in both programs receive experiential training in the tools needed to develop computer games, including programming, three-dimensional modeling and design. Some of the courses are available online.
Stanly Community College
Stanly Community College provides a degree and two certificate programs for students who want to learn about simulation and game design at its campus in Albemarle. The associate’s program takes five semesters to complete and covers subjects like programming and logic, simulation and animation, artificial intelligence, information systems and business concepts, in addition to three-dimensional modeling and game design. In addition to coursework, students complete a project in the final semester. The curriculum for the five-course programming certificate program delves into simulation and game artificial intelligence, software engineering and game development programming. The design certificate program provides six courses that cover simulation and game development design, animation, audio, video and three-dimensional modeling.
Wake Technical Community College
Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh provides certificate, diploma and degree programs in simulation and game development. The diploma and degree programs include courses in game design, math and graphic design. The degree program offers two game programming options and an option for game design and three-dimensional modeling. Wake Technical Community College offers an 18-credit mobile game development certificate program. An 18-credit production certificate program provides students with training in design, modeling, graphic design tools and programming. Certificate programs are also available in modeling and animation and production, and the school also offers a diploma in modeling and animation.
Wayne Community College
Wayne Community College in Goldsboro provides an associate’s program in simulation and game development in conjunction with Wake Technical Community College. Most of the coursework is completed at Wayne Community College, but students will be required to attend Wake Technical Community College for some courses. In addition to completing coursework in level design, graphic design and programming, students complete three co op work experiences.
Wilkes Community College
Wilkes Community College offers a game design associate’s program at its Wilkesboro campus. The curriculum provides instruction in different types of computer software used in the game design industry, such as Java and Flash. Students also learn web scripting, computer design basics, simulation and game quality assurance, and they complete a simulation and game design project as they earn the 65-67 credits needed to receive this degree.