Studying game design sounds like every gamer’s dream. In fact, games aren’t gambled on the console or PC every day. Nevertheless, studying is a dream: for creative minds and technology enthusiasts.
The course enables you to turn your own ideas into games – on the PC, the console, the tablet or the smartphone. From brainstorming and planning to design and technical implementation, the Game Design course teaches you all the important aspects of game development.
Where can I study Game Design?
You can study Game Design at several locations in Germany. Universities as well as state and private universities of applied sciences and academies offer game design studies. In some cases, providers call the course of studies different, for example Animation & Game at the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences or Game Development at the Wilhelm Büchner University of Applied Sciences. In addition, there can be different focal points and learning contents. Tip: For a job in the games industry, a game design degree is not necessarily required. Alternative courses are Media Informatics, Media Design, Communication Design or Graphic Design.
What is the content of a Game Design course?
The content of the Game Design course depends on your chosen degree course and place of study. The focus can be on technology and programming or on the creative aspect. Another possibility: The course of studies teaches all steps of game development – from the idea to the technical implementation.
In general, there are three main learning areas in Game Design:
Game Design: This is about the theoretical framework of a game. You learn the basics of game design and storytelling.
Game Arts/Artwork: In this section you will learn about graphic and sound design. You will also learn how to use images and sound in a dramaturgically appropriate way.
Game Informatics/ Game Programming: This is about the technical implementation of the ideas.
What professions are there with a Game Design degree?
If you’re studying game design, you probably want to work in the game industry later. There are different fields of activity depending on your degree and specialization: game design, you probably want to work in the game industry later. There are different fields of activity depending on your degree and specialization:
Game Designer: As a game designer, you are responsible for the game concept and develop the game rules, the framework and the characters.
Graphic designer: The graphic designer designs 3D objects, animations or backgrounds, for example.
Level designer: The level designer creates levels and game worlds based on the game and graphic designer’s designs.
Programmer: The programmer is responsible for the technical implementation.
Game producer: The game producer coordinates the entire development of a game. He serves as an interface between the development departments and keeps an eye on deadlines and budgets.
The gaming industry is a growing market. Career prospects therefore look good. The average salary after studying game design is 35,600 euros. After ten years, the starting salary usually doubles. In addition to the games industry, there are other exciting job opportunities, for example in advertising, film or IT.
What requirements do I need to study game design?
To study Game Design, you usually need to have Abitur or Fachabitur. You can also study game design at some universities if you don’t have a high school diploma. In this case, you need a recognized professional qualification and several years of work experience.
NC for Game Design Studies
Every university has different prerequisites for access to gamedesign studies. For some, the Numerus Clausus (NC), i.e. the average grade of the Abitur, decides. For others, however, the combination of NC and letter of motivation and/or curriculum vitae is decisive. Further admission criteria can also be aptitude tests, selection interviews or work samples.
How does the Game Design course work?
The Game Design course is very practice-oriented. During the studies there are different workshops, tutorials and projects. The students work together in teams and already gain practical knowledge and experience. The practice is clearly in the foreground. However, theory is also part of the learning content, for example on the subject of game concepts. Theoretical basics are mainly learned in lectures. Another note: The technical literature is often in English.
The Bachelor’s programme consists of several thematic learning blocks, the modules. If you study Game Design, you will receive a Bachelor’s degree after six to eight semesters. For the examination, you need performance records from the individual modules and write a bachelor thesis. After graduation you will receive a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.).
Following your Bachelor’s degree, you can get off to a good start in your working life or specialise in a Master’s degree programme. The Master’s programme deepens the material taught in the previous programme and is structured in a similar way to the Bachelor’s programme. You implement the theoretical learning contents in practical workshops and group work.
The Master’s programme lasts three to four semesters. During this time you collect performance records from the modules and write your Master’s thesis at the end. You will then receive a Master of Arts (M.A.).
How should I pay for my Game Design studies?
You want to study game design and are worried about financing it? There are several possibilities.
With a scholarship, you can focus on your game design studies without having to worry about money. There are several hundred scholarship providers in Germany and the selection criteria are just as numerous.
Is Game Design the right thing for me?
When it comes to computer games as work, some people are fascinated and think of the fun they had last time playing together with friends. Basic knowledge of programming or being a successful pro gamer is not necessary. But a penchant for computer games is of course very important for studying game design, but it’s certainly not enough as an aptitude. So what should Game Design students bring with them?
Ability to work in a team
A game designer is part of a team of specialists. Working together with other people makes working interesting and alternating, but is also challenging and has potential for tension. The ability to work in a team means that game designers manage to coordinate the work of different departments, motivate the team to pull together and in case of conflicts like a mediator try to get the parties to a table to work out a solution.
A game designer alone cannot develop a game from the idea to the finished product. This is where many specialists work together. Interdisciplinary work means that the game designer must be able to give the programmer the relevant information so that he can implement the game idea as desired.
This ultimately requires that the game designer also has a gene-realistic education and thus a basic understanding of the work of all specialists in his team.