Are you fun to play, imaginative, creative and technically interested? If you are also artistically gifted, then Game Design studies are a good choice for you! We’ve put together all the information you need about content, requirements and career opportunities. In addition, you will find all suitable universities in our database!
Game consoles like Playstation, Xbox or Wii, games and apps for smartphones and computers, virtual reality and augmented reality, but also the classic board games – games in all variations are very popular and the possibilities especially in the digital area are constantly evolving and becoming more and more unusual. If you see your future in a creative environment, the games industry could be the right choice. As a game designer or game developer, you have the chance to actively participate in the development of game worlds and virtual realities.
When it comes to computer or video games, many first think of first-person shooters and baller games, but games are also increasingly used in everyday life, for example in marketing or knowledge transfer, because it’s much easier to learn through play. Augmented reality, i.e. computer-aided augmented reality, as used for example in the game Pokémon Go, but also in advertising, offers many unused possibilities in the future. Experts are needed who are familiar with different techniques and at the same time are able to develop and implement complex worlds or game concepts. The games industry is one of the most innovative and fastest growing branches of the creative industry.
Games Design is the right course for this. As a rule, the course is interdisciplinary and combines design with technology. However, management knowledge and scientific background knowledge of the media landscape can also be part of the course. This makes graduates sought-after all-rounders in the games industry.
The Game Design Bachelor’s programme is often interdisciplinary and combines the areas of design, technology, production and computer science. But business management aspects are also part of this course of studies in order to be able to implement and analyse one’s own projects economically.
The aim of the course is to teach students the conceptual, artistic and technical basics of computer game development in order to master the challenges of game design at the highest creative level. From brainstorming and planning through to design and final implementation, you will get to know the various stages of game development during your studies. The different genres will also be covered: Entertainment games, Apps, Playable Environments, Virtual Reality etc.
Therefore, the entire course is very practice-oriented: As a rule, there are various projects during your studies which students work on in (interdisciplinary) teams and thus get to know important knowledge and approaches for their later professional life as well as building up a portfolio for their applications.
And what about the Master in Game Design?
To enable graduates to get to know and analyse business processes, business administration topics are also part of the curriculum, e.g:
General Business Administration
Since the game industry is very international, there are some providers who also attach importance to foreign language skills or their mediation. Accordingly, English can also be on the timetable.
In the course of your studies, you can usually also choose your own focus in order to better qualify for your future career. Possible focal points could be, for example:
Animation & Interaction Research
Game & Interaction
Software & Data
As a rule, you must first apply with the usual documents (certificates, CV, letter of motivation, etc.) before you are invited to an interview in the best case scenario. During this interview, the university would like to get to know you better, and your suitability is often determined once again.
Some universities also require an application folder in order to evaluate your previous work and to check your creative talent.
Since game design studies require artistic and creative aptitude, colleges and academies usually have their own admission procedures in place to select suitable applicants. The exact procedure of the aptitude test and the tasks to be performed vary from university to university. Therefore, it is best to inquire about this directly with the university so that you know what to expect.
So you can see that the admission procedure can be quite different and that you should therefore inform yourself about the details at the university so that you are sufficiently prepared.
Make sure that there are special deadlines for the application! As a rule, the application deadline for the winter semester (start September/October) at state universities and universities of applied sciences ends on 15 July, for the summer semester (start March/April) on 15 January.
This is regulated differently at private universities:
At some universities you can apply all year round, the applications will be made in the order in which they are received. Others have fixed deadlines, but these may vary from provider to provider.
Numerus Clausus (NC)
Since game design studies are particularly based on artistic abilities and the course is offered at private rather than state universities and colleges, there is no NC.
As described above, the selection process for Game Design studies is more like an aptitude test, a portfolio and/or an interview.
For your Game Design studies you should have a lot of imagination and creativity as well as drawing and artistic talent. Since the games and characters are now mainly created on the computer, you should also have a basic technical understanding. Of course you should also be interested in various games and the development of the game industry. Since game designers and developers often work in a team, you should also be able to work in a team and communicate well.
Career after graduation
With your studies in Game Design you aim at an employment in the field of Design, e.g. as:
Creative Director in a development studio
As a game designer, you are involved in the various stages of the development of a new game: You visualize the first ideas, further develop the various designs during the creation process and think about the appropriate game worlds, environments and characters.
This means that you are also involved in the narration and the course of the game and are familiar with the entire game development process.
Already during your studies you were taught the necessary skills to be able to set up your own development studio after graduating, for example. The games industry is growing and is one of the strongest markets in terms of sales, which means that your chances for the future look very good after graduating. Since your interdisciplinary studies have also given you sufficient knowledge in the area of media technology and/or computer science, you will also be able to work in other areas and positions, for example as an IT consultant:
The salary is always an exciting matter and an important question when choosing a course of study. However, we have some bad news: There is no such thing as a blanket statement about the salary of a game designer. Too many factors play a role in earnings, e.g. company size, location, industry, etc.
But we have researched a few exemplary salary details for you on the Internet so that you can at least get a rough idea of your salary prospects after your studies.