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Video Game Design Degree Online

Because the industry is so reliant on technology, earning a video game design degree online may help would-be designers and programmers to develop the knowledge and skills needed to pursue a future career in this field. Someone needs the know-how to design those graphics, to write the code, to do the user experience testing, also known as UX, and to iterate the prototyping. These are just some of the things that go into the backend of designing high-quality video games. Degree programs address day-to-day life skills that are needed too such as setting and meeting deadlines, showing self-discipline, and communicating online.

Why Are Game Programming Degrees More Popular Than Ever?

We’ve all seen the rapid improvement in video game design. Just 20 years ago, people were shocked with the shadow of the football in Tecmo Bowl. Now, video game graphics rival that of most movies. Hence as consumers continue to expect more realistic video games, demand continues to increase for talented video game designers.

But it’s not just consoles anymore. Revenue generated from mobile video games is expected to surpass revenue generated from consoles for the first time in 2016. As the processors and graphics of our mobile devices continue to improve, mobile video game revenue is expected to continue increasing. In fact, mobile video game revenue is likely to hit $44.2 billion by 2018.

What Degree Do You Need to Create Video Games?

Common video game design degrees would include a BS in Computer Science and Game Design, BS in Game Design and Development, and a BA in Games and Game Design. These types of degrees would include courses such as Computer Programming, Information Technology, Math, and Interactive Animation. 

If you noticed, the video game design degree names are very simiar to each other. Many schools choose to use similar but different degree names. When searching for video game degree online programs, don’t limit yourself to only searching for “video game design degree” only broaden your search to include gaming and Game Art.

You might also see some of these different degree names:

  1. Information Technologies Game Design and Development
  2. Game Software Development
  3. Game and Simulation Programming
  4. Computer Drafting and Design
  5. Game Development

Video Game Designer Education Requirements

Because of the many steps it takes to produce and release a video game, students of a video game design degree program will look to acquire a wide ranging set of skills. Some of the skills you may acquire while earning your video game design degree online may include,i but aren’t limited to:

  1. Programming
  2. Complex Problem Solving
  3. Learning Strategies
  4. Systems Analysis
  5. Coordination

These skills may help you better understand each of the different steps in creating a video game. And because there are so many different talents and skills needed, there are also many people working on the same game. Finally, the skills acquired while earning your degree may help in your video game design career with such common tasks in the field, such as:

  • Prepare Mockups (2-D and 3-D)
  • Solicit and Integrate Feedback from Design Staff
  • Conduct Regular Design Revisions Throughout Process

How Are Video Games Designed?

The most basic steps are concept, art, coding and distribution. Sounds easy, right? Think again. Each of these deceptively easy-sounding steps is really very involved and takes a lot of man- (or woman!) power.

  • Conceptualization is the first step. This is where creators figure out the world and the characters who will inhabit it. They will also establish any rules and decide how it will look visually. Video game creators must also identify the target audience or user who will be most likely to play the game.
  • Artistic rendering is the next step and requires a lot of hard work. Video game designers are responsible for fleshing out the look of the characters and the environment, animating them in a believable way, and setting up the entire interface the user will experience. There will probably be many iterations at this stage of the game. So game designers might do well to have a fair amount of patience in store.
  • Coding is writing the scripts that control game play and allow it to run optimally. Coding is also known as “programming.” As a result you may see it referred to both ways. The video game programmer will know what is the right language to use to develop a game.
  • Distribution and marketing occur when the game drops. You have to sell the brand, sell the game, advertise, promote and get the words out on social media. Marketing will want to start a buzz before this and may work on “leaking” information or trailers for the game.

This is just an overview of the process. Video game design is much more complex. Do your research if you don’t know the exact area or specialty you want to be involved in.

Careers in Video Game Design

You’ve always liked playing video games. You’ve probably wondered during one of your epic Call of Duty binges what it would take to earn your degree in video game design and pursue a career as a video game designer. While immersed in the world of Grand Theft Auto or Destiny, you may not realize how many different roles, skills, and people are needed to create the perfect video game.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one of the career names for video game designers is Multimedia Artists and Animators. BLS expects careers in this field to increase 6% from the years 2014 to 2024.ii

Because of the high demand for new games, employers hiring video game designers look for prospective employees who have an impressive portfolio with strong technical skills.iii  Also, most, but not all, candidates have a bachelor’s degree. Pursuing an Associate’s degree in video game design may be a good starting point for you, as 19% of video game designers possess only an associate’s degree.

As these degrees shift to video game design careers, there may be heavy competition. That’s why pursuing an online degree in video game design may help you pursue your career by standing out from the pack. Plus, focusing on technical skills and producing a strong portfolio may help your chances of pursuing employment after earning your degree.

Start Earning Your Video Game Design Degree Online Today

There may be a wide variety career options to those who have earned their video game design degree online. This may include the ability to work on any of the many steps included in designing and releasing video games. Or it could mean working for the increasing demand of mobile games.

If you’re thinking about earning your video game design degree online, click on the Request Info button on any of our sponsored links to learn more about individual schools. There, you’ll be able to read about individual degree requirements, potential coursework, and how long earning a degree might generally take. You should do plenty of research so that when you decide to pursue a video game design degree online, you’ll know that you picked the school that best fits your individual needs.


[i] onetonline.org/link/summary/15-1199.11?redir=15-1099.13 [ii] bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/multimedia-artists-and-animators.htm#tab-6 [iii] bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/multimedia-artists-and-animators.htm#tab-4

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