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#Game industry

The most awkward list of top game design colleges

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And now for the awkward part… Someone has to say it

Listen – at 8Bit, we’re here to help you on your gamedev journey. We want you to grow and create some awesome games that we will play with pleasure.

One of our core values is that we don’t BS game developers. You trust us. And we respect that. We also hate to waste your time. (Not only during the recruitment processes that we run but also while setting you on a specific career path).

That’s why I think it’s only fair to let you know at the very beginning that YOU DON’T NEED A DEGREE to work in the game industry.

Of course, it would be easier to write this article and sell you an idea.

An idea, that having a bachelor’s degree in game design will instantly transform you into a game designer. (Or any other role.)

But without putting your hard work and time into creating your personal projects – it won’t do much help. You need knowledge and experience. That’s it.

What can you do?

  • take online courses
  • watch tutorials
  • ask questions in the gamedev communities (there’re plenty of them. If you find it hard to find some – drop us a note)
  • go to game jams (that’s a reeeeeeeally good one. You can learn a lot!)
  • make! your! own! games!

…and still, be a successful game designer. Yes, without a degree.

So why even go to the game design college?

game design collages mean student loans
  • It just works for some people. Some folks prefer this way of learning. And that’s totally ok
  • You’ll start to gather your first contacts. And trust me – networking is important and uber helpful. (But you can also do that by going to the events like GDC, or Game Jams)
  • And of course, in the end, you’ll learn some stuff.

So it’s really up to you to decide if you really want to go to college.

But if you feel that it’s something that you’ll benefit from – let’s go with a promised list of colleges with game design programs.

University of Southern California – game design college in US

USC has the position of “the top video game design college in the world.”

It offers two Bachelor’s degrees and two Master’s degree programs that’ll prepare you for a future in game design.

Why it’s worth giving it a shot?

The faculty looks really promising. Not to mention that this program is led by Tracy Fullerton. She wrote a book on game design which we featured in our article about top game design books. One look at the roster, and you know that these people know a thing or two about designing games. Some names created pinnacles of modern gaming.

Staffordshire University – game design college in the UK

Staffordshire Uni is accredited by TIGA (The Independent Game Developers’ Association)

This game design school also has a fully equipped design center, thanks to the partnership with the Epic Games.

Students have access to the motion capture studio and a place where they can learn about VR and AR tech.

University of Europe – game design college in Germany

This college of arts offers fully equipped classrooms. Students will work on iMacs with high-end arts and design software. VR equipment, green screen rooms, sound studios, graphics tablets, game labs, SR cameras and other interactive media.

Basically, all you can imagine when it comes to designing games.

The program offers team projects, industrial visits, internships & lectures. In addition, they promise that you’re going to build your own portfolio while you study.

Vancouver Film School – game design college in Canada

During the 12 months of the Game Design course at VFS, you have a chance to learn from people who shipped some actual games.

The school is proud of many alumni working in the biggest companies on huge acclaimed titles after graduating.

University of Bolton – game design college in UK

Staff members are veterans of the industry. People who “actually play games!”. (Well, I really would hope so ;>)

The course includes modules on Scripting, Narratives, Technical Art, and the Fundamentals of 3D.

Also, besides theory, the program offers feedback sections to help you refine your won ideas with the help of your peers and instructors.

CG Spectrum – online game design Training Center

CG Spectrum is an Unreal Academic Partner, Unreal Authorized Training Center, and a Rookies Certified School (an independent review recognizing the best digital schools) offering beginner and advanced game design courses worldwide.
Their game design courses are 100% online and can be taken as small group classes (max 4 students to 1 mentor) or private 1-on-1 mentorship from game industry veterans who have worked at major studios. Students also have access to career services and a supportive online community. During the course, you will build your own playable games.

Manchester Metropolitan University – game design college in UK

Three years will give you the core skills for a range of different roles in the game industry. You’ll learn game asset creation. Get to know level design and a pinch of the business side of gaming.

The program seems to thoroughly guide you through the process of developing your own game.

As you can see, plenty of video game design colleges have good game design programs. So whether you’re gonna choose to go to college and earn your degree or choose a different path, we hope you’re going to make some kick-ass games. See you in the credits!

Let us know if there are any specific game design colleges you would like us to feature.

Drop us a note here in the comments or on our social media or simply email us at jobs@8bitplay.