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Schools Of Game Design: What To Look For In A Game Design Program

May 22, 2008
The last 20 years or so have been huge for home video gaming. You can do almost anything in a video game these days, from racing in a Grand Prix to cooking breakfast. And because you've grown up playing them, and video game design is such a hot market right now, you might be looking into how you can get into the field and help to create some of the most entertaining video games around.

Lucky for you, there are a number of schools that offer courses in video game design. And the number of traditional schools offering video game design programs is growing every year. It's a hot market and it takes more than just a computer science degree anymore to get into it. While you can always look into 3D design and computer programming at any major university, there are some schools that you'll be able to find almost anywhere that offer specific courses in video game design.

Devry is a school that most have probably heard of and might at first shun because of its mass marketed approach to schooling. But with its video game design program, Devry offers specific, targeted courses that prepare the potential video game designer for exactly what they'll be working on.

You'll take courses in game specific math and physics, computer animation, and design mechanics that are all focused directly to video game related topics. The result is a school that doesn't just teach you about 3D animation, but about 3D animation in video games. Devry will be comparable to a major university in cost though, operating independently as they do, nearly $14,000 a year for full tuition.

The Art Institute is a nationwide network of schools that offers everything from fashion design to cooking. But as the fastest growing art related field, computer animation and specifically video game design have made the Art Institute one of the best schools to get a degree in the art of video games.

Not only do they offer an online school, which includes separate programs in Animation Programming and a Game Art and Design Program, there's also the option of extending your schooling and receiving a Bachelor's degree, something many of the technical colleges don't offer. Tuition for the Art Institute, if you attend a physical branch is fairly high, comparable to out of state tuition at a major university. The online school is a cheaper option but will still cost you about $1200 per course.

ITT Technical Institute is another one of those very commonly heard names that pops up constantly on the TV, and one that offers a video game design specific program that will prepare you for entry level work in less than 3 years. ITT has 85 locations, so it's easy to find, but you'll be paying full tuition like many of the other private institutes listed, comparable to out of state tuition in most states.

For those that complete a two-year course in video game design, it's possible to come out of school and immediately find a job making video games. And for those getting a four year degree, it's almost guaranteed you'll land an entry-level job designing the games of tomorrow. The video game design market is hotter than ever right now, and it's becoming easier and easier to get in at the ground floor.
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