Online Masters Degree in Game Design

With the global success of games for console and mobile platforms, multimedia games are becoming a major part of the tech world. Master's degrees in game design can help would-be designers prepare for the many different positions in this industry. For example, you could become an expert in the mechanics of combat or a level designer creating fantastic environments.

Exploring master's degrees in game design

Bachelor's degrees in computer science, digital art, animation, music composition or sound design can be particularly helpful to aspiring game designers. Graduate programs may focus on the entire game development process or specific aspects of design. In addition to classes, schools may help you develop a portfolio to demonstrate your talents and skills. Here are some typical courses:

  1. 3D modeling
  2. Character design
  3. Effects animation
  4. Level design
  5. Prototyping
  6. Visual development

The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that game designers need a background in computer programming and scripting languages like Python. Specialists in video game programming must be proficient in C or C++ and possibly other languages such as Perl. Programmers may specialize further in aspects of games ranging from artificial intelligence to physics, for example, creating laws such as gravity within an animated world.

Job outlook for game designers

Graduates with master's degrees in game design can seek employment in a wide variety of related careers. Here are some potential occupations, shown with 2010 median annual salaries and projected 2010-2020 employment growth rates as reported by the BLS:

  1. Computer programmers: $71,380; 12 percent
  2. Graphic designers: $43,500; 13 percent
  3. Multimedia artists and animators: $58,510; 8 percent

Other specialized game design jobs include creative writers, art directors, musicians, concept artists, audio workers, modelers and producers. Related positions requiring high-level technical skills are hardware engineers, user interface experts and mobile application developers.

Academic options in game design

Video games are becoming an integral part of today's media culture, and doctoral degrees allow you to research and analyze gaming concepts or teach at the university level. Doctoral programs for game designers can be found in departments such as computer science, information studies or media and communications.

Virtual programs in game design are available partially or entirely online, offering web-based content delivery and communication with professors and peers. Online studies allow employed professionals to pursue their dreams of gaming careers without taking undue time away from existing responsibilities.

Featured Online Game Design Degree Programs

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