Game Design BFA - NYU | Game Center (2023)

Game Design BFA - NYU | Game Center (1)

You love games. You fill notebooks with your plans for video game levels you’d like to make. Or you spend entire weekends role-playing goofy adventures with your friends.

You run an online blog where you analyze the latest and greatest game releases. Or perhaps you just can’t stop doodling ideas for new video game characters.

You dominate your local card game tournament. Or maybe you just invent card games of your own.

We’ve got news for you: You finally found what you’re looking for. At the NYU Game Center, we take games seriously. As seriously as you do. We know games are strange and amazing and magical. And we live to understand them better and invent new forms of play. We’d like you to join us.

Game Design BFA - NYU | Game Center (2)

(Video) NYU Game Center Showcase 2020: BFA

What is the Game Center BFA?

The Game Design BFA is a 4-year Bachelors of Fine Arts program. We are located inside NYU’s famous Tisch School of the Arts program, and like other Tisch programs in film, dance, and theater, we look at games as a creative form of art. Students in the BFA program learn about game design, game development, and game scholarship, preparing them for careers as game designers, developers, scholars, and critics.

The program structure first introduces you to the fundamentals of games through the lenses of design, technology, and culture. As you progress in the program, you have the flexibility to discover and pursue your own interests, taking courses that range from collaborative game production to critical analysis to specialized elements of visual and audio design. At the conclusion of your BFA study, youcomplete a senior project, either as an individual or with a group.

  • A solid foundation. The required elements of the BFA curriculum covers the basics of making and understanding games on and off the computer. This includes courses like Games 101, an in-depth look at the history of games from ancient board games to the latest videogames, taught by our entire faculty.
  • Broad and deep. The program emphasizes flexibility and choice. You can choose to focus in many areas, from game design to visual design, and from game programming to game scholarship. There are a wide array of classes from which you can mix and match your own education in games.
  • Capstone. All students complete a senior Capstone – a one or two semester group or solo endeavor. A capstone project might be making a game on or off the computer, or could be a research paper, curated exhibition, or take any number of other forms.
  • Integrated with the Game Center. The best thing about the Game Center BFA is that it is part of the larger NYU Game Center. Our faculty, staff, talks, workshops, resources, facilities, and events help make the program a world-class experience in the study of games.

Game Design BFA - NYU | Game Center (3)

Program Curriculum

The BFA in Game Design is a well-rounded, interdisciplinary degree that includescourseworkin game studies, game design and game development, as well as the option to specialize in game programming, visual or audio design, and the business of games. All of the courses in the Game Design BFA program are organized in seven areas. Each area represents one facet of the complex interdisciplinary endeavor of making and studying games.

Primary Areas
Game Studies – Academic, scholarly, and journalistic approaches to games
Game Design – Creating the rules of the game and the player experience
Game Development – Production processes for creating games

(Video) NYU Game Center Showcase 2021 | Day 1

Production Areas
Programming – Interaction, graphics, AI, and other game programming
Visual Design – 2D and 3D animation, graphic design, and art direction
Audio Design – Music, sound effects, and audio programming
Game Business – Marketing, revenue models, and the game industry

During the final year, in addition to other advanced-level courses, each student will complete a senior capstone project. A Game Design BFA Capstone can take a variety of forms, from an individual or group game to a game-related research paper or exhibition.

The curriculum for the BFA program can be found here. One note, we apply the same iterative design process that we teach to our own program. That means the curriculum adapts and grows over time and this document may not be entirely up to date.

A Liberal Arts Education

At the Tisch School of the Arts we believe in the importance of a well-rounded undergraduate education: you need a great education to make great games. The Game Design BFA builds into the curriculum a firm foundation in the liberal arts. All Game Design students must complete a significant number of credits in a combination of expository writing, humanities, and social or hard sciences. Students are also required to take a production class in another Tisch department, to build familiarity in other styles of creative production.

Game Design BFA - NYU | Game Center (4)

(Video) NYU Game Center Showcase 2022

Who should apply? How much does it cost?

Some of our applicants come with experience in making their own games, but you don’t have to be a life-long gamer or a programmer in order to apply. The most important thing you need for the BFA program is a passion for games and the dedication to turn that passion into something real. It takes all kinds of people with a diversity of talents to make games, so our classes have a rich mix of cultures, genders, and backgrounds.

To apply to the BFA in Game Design, you will need to apply to New York University. You will also be sending in a portfolio for us to review. Your portfolio can be anything you want, as long as it shows off your creativity for games. It could be a film you made or a story you wrote. It could be the rules for a card game or a prototype computer game. Or it could be a song you composed, sculpture you constructed, or play you wrote.

More information about the application process and the portfolio can be found here.

With regards to tuition and fees, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions provides a very helpful breakdown of costs here.

Game Design BFA - NYU | Game Center (5)

(Video) NYU Game Center Showcase 2020: MFA

370 Jay

In the fall of 2019, 370 Jay Street became the new home of the Tisch departments Game Center, Clive Davis Institue of Recorded Music, and ITP & AMA alongside programs from Steinhardt in Games for Learning, Tandon School of Engineering in Integrated Digital Media and Computer Engineering, Courant Institute of Mathematics, and the Center for Urban Science and Progress. The stunning brand new space includes state of the art classrooms and studios, several black box theater, recording studios, 3D and large format printers, and the Game Center Open Library, all of which are available to Game Design BFA students. The integration of many different departments in one place leads to new collaborations across disciplines and schools at NYU.

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Life after the Game Center

Our efforts don’t stop at the classroom door. Just as important as your education is what happens when you finish your time at NYU. A major focus of the NYU Game Center is making sure that you find internships and jobs during and after the BFA program, so that you are set up to create your dream career in games.

  • Workshops and events – Each spring we host “Strategy Guide: Breaking into the Game Industry”, a panel discussion with studio heads and working Game Center grads that also doubles as a job fair.
  • Making connections – The NYU Game Center is a hub for the game industry and on any given week, we have multiple industry speakers, guest critics in our classes, and local developers playtesting their games on site. There are lots of opportunities for students to network with working game industry professionals.
  • The Game Center Incubator – Launched in 2014, the incubator provides space, funding, and expertise for graduating students. Through a competitive application process, the incubator selects projects that have commercial potential and sees them through to a public launch. More info on our incubator here.
  • Help from NYU & Tisch – In addition to all of our game-centric efforts, students can also take advantage of NYU’s extensive Wasserman Career Center. The Tisch School of the Arts has its own Office of Career Development dedicated to helping students with creative careers. These two offices host regular sessions on a wide range of topics, from giving great job interviews to figuring out international work Visa issues.

Our students have received jobs and internships at top game companies, including Riot, Blizzard, Disney, and Avalanche Studios. They have received investment from Indiefund and have been honored with awards like IndieCade Audience Choice, multiple recognitions from the International Game Festival, and the Randy Pausch Scholarship. They have started their own companies, organized festivals, and written books. After the Game Center, our students transform the games industry for the better.

Visit the Game Center for a tour or info session, come to Tisch for a Fall Open House, or just give us a call. There are many ways to learn more about the program. Click here to find the best way for you to visit the Game Center.

(Video) A Week of Game Design at NYU | Intro to Game Design, NYU J-Term


Is it worth it to go to college for game design? ›

Yes, a bachelors in game design is worth it for many students. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting an employment growth in computer systems design and related services, specifically 22% in the applications software development industry over the next 10 years.

Is game design major hard? ›

Game design is hard because of the amount of disciplines one needs to learn in order to complete a game. These disciplines can include but are not limited to art, programming, music production, video editing for trailers, and marketing.

Does NYU have game design major? ›

Have you heard the news? Game Design is now a full BFA major at NYU! And you can be a part of its first graduating class.

Is game design a competitive major? ›

Like computer science, game design degree programs can be highly competitive; after all, this is a fast-growing industry that utilizes some of the latest technology and incorporates a hobby that millions enjoy daily.

Do game designers get paid well? ›

Do Game Designers get paid well? Video game designers earn a great wage compared to the national average. The top ten percent of designers earn upwards of $130,000 per year. The lowest ten percent of video game designers still earns a great wage of $40,000.

Are game designers in high demand? ›

The overall job outlook for Video Game Designer careers has been positive since 2019. Vacancies for this career have increased by 5.31 percent nationwide in that time, with an average growth of 5.31 percent per year. Demand for Video Game Designers is expected to go up, with an expected 32,090 new jobs filled by 2029.

Is it fun being a game designer? ›

It's very unusual for real-world jobs to be identified with fun and excitement, but a career in game design is one of the rare few. Sheer enjoyment of the day-to-day aspects of the job isn't the whole story—game designers are part of an ever-evolving industry that's constantly presenting new challenges and rewards.

How much do game designers make? ›

The salaries of Video Game Designers in the US range from $21,413 to $576,759 , with a median salary of $103,918 . The middle 57% of Video Game Designers makes between $103,920 and $261,299, with the top 86% making $576,759.

What degree is best for game design? ›

A Bachelor of Science in Game Design degree can provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to start designing games professionally, but so can a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, or a Master of Science degree.

What is NYU acceptance rate? ›

What is BFA game design? ›

Delivered through the College of Architecture and Design, the BFA in Game Art is a project-focused, multidisciplinary program that highlights courses such as 3D Animation, Integrated Game Studio, Game Mechanics, Scripting for Game Design, Computer Games and Animation, New Media, Electronic Methods for Imaging, and Life ...

Does MIT have game design? ›

Undergraduate Studies

While MIT does not have a formal game development or game design degree program, the MIT Game Lab helps MIT students who are interested in games create their own program of study. By their nature, games require an interdisciplinary approach to their study.

Is game artist a good career? ›

Being an ever-changing and constantly innovative field, the gaming industry offers many avenues for game artists, both in terms of unleashing their own potential as well as making a good fortune as a lucrative career option.

Is game design a liberal art? ›

As they see it, “game design is the liberal arts education of the 21st century, becoming a game design student opens the mind to all these fields through rapidly evolving cutting-edge technology.”

Can I be a software engineer with a game design degree? ›

So yes, a software engineer can become a game developer.

Do game designers need math? ›

Maths is one of the most important foundations to building a successful video game. Without this, it would be impossible to create the characters or environments that appear on screen, let alone make them move or interact with the world around them.

Do game designers need to code? ›

Do game designers code? ​While coding is certainly a valuable skill for a game designer of any level, it is not entirely necessary. There are many benefits to learning a coding language. However, there are many ways to have success as a game designer, even without the ability to code.

How much does a AAA game developer make? ›

According to ZipRecruiter, the national average salary for a Game Developer is $101,644. The national hourly rate is $49. On average, a Game Developer's pay typically ranges from $36.06 per hour to $62.02 per hour.

What are the disadvantages of being a videogame designer? ›

Disadvantages of game design include high levels of competition for entry level positions, frequent layoffs at larger companies, and long hours at the end of projects. Game Designers are required to have knowledge in many disciplines to be considered for entry level positions.

Do you need to be good at art to be a game designer? ›

You can indeed become a game designer without being able to draw. In fact, few game designers would claim to have any type of artistic ability. While the ability to draw is not essential to success in the field of game design, it can be a useful skill to develop as you progress through your career.

What state has the most game designers? ›

1. Washington
Total Video Game Designer Jobs:711
Average Annual Salary:$106,982
Lowest 10 Percent Earn:$68,000
Highest 10 Percent Earn:$167,000
1 more row
Apr 6, 2021

Is being a game designer stressful? ›

Eric Blomquist, founder and game director for Enlightened Games, describes the life of a video game developer as complicated and stressful, with a problematic work-life balance. “When you're working on games, it's always more satisfying,” he said. “It comes from the heart.

Are game Devs happy? ›

At CareerExplorer, we conduct an ongoing survey with millions of people and ask them how satisfied they are with their careers. As it turns out, video game designers rate their career happiness 4.2 out of 5 stars which puts them in the top 3% of careers.

What problems do game designers face? ›

Some of the most common problems game designers face include: Balancing story and game design elements. Keeping design documentation up-to-date. Underestimating time and money costs.

What is the highest paying job? ›


How many hours do game designers work? ›

Game developers typically work during regular business hours—so 40 hours a week. They may put in extra hours in the evenings and on weekends when a release deadline is nearing. How many hours do game artists work? Game artists typically work during regular business hours—so 40 hours a week.

What major does game design fall? ›

Most video game designers have a bachelor's degree in graphic design, multimedia design or a related field. Some universities offer a degree specifically for video game design. Coursework usually includes software engineering, 2D and 3D animation, programming languages and computer design.

What college should I go to if I want to be a game developer? ›

By Jake Akins
1University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles, California
2Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteTroy, New York
3University of UtahSalt Lake City, Utah
4Savannah College of Art and DesignSavannah, Georgia
46 more rows

What skills do you need to be a video game designer? ›

What are the key skills that a video game designer must have?
  • A passion for video games.
  • Creativity.
  • Technical ability in software technologies and programming languages, such as C# and C++
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • The ability to work in teams and collaborate with others.
  • A passion for gaming.
Jun 1, 2020

Are NYU students happy? ›

NYU students, including especially those who are willing to pay big bucks in exchange for top-notch education and thrive better in a megacity such as New York City, are happy. Due to the school's location, its students have many places to visit and activities to partake in during their free time.

Is NYU a Tier 1 school? ›

Tier 1 consists of major private research institutions like Yale, Johns Hopkins and New York University.

Can I get into NYU with a 3.7 GPA? ›

Most students admitted to NYU have an unweighted GPA of 3.7 or above, so you'll need to have at least a 3.7 to be seriously evaluated. To meet the NYU GPA requirements, you'll have to score primarily A's and A-'s on your high school courses.

What is game art and development? ›

Game Art and Development Program Overview

You'll use industry-standard 3D and 2D graphic software to learn and apply game design and game art principles such as: 3D modeling and sculpting. Lighting, shading and texturing. Illustration and digital painting. Rigging and character animation.

Does Uconn have game design? ›

We are proud that our Game Design program ranks in the Top 25 best public game design schools in the U.S. via Animation Career Review! *Note: the Game Design major is only available on the Storrs campus.

Does Stanford have a game design program? ›

The Stanford Game Design Thinking Research Group studies the intersection of game design (as a science), behavior design, and neuroscience.

What colleges offer degrees in gaming? ›

  • Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester, New York. ...
  • Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in Atlanta. ...
  • Drexel University in Philadelphia. ...
  • Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont. ...
  • University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles.

What is MIT overwatch2? ›

What does MIT stand for in Overwatch 2? MIT means “Damage Mitigated” on the new Overwatch 2 scoreboard. MIT or Damage Mitigated refers to the amount of damage that a player has prevented through their defensive skills.

Is it hard to be a game artist? ›

Becoming a game designer is just as hard as getting into any other career, but with added competition and the need to be constantly fresh and relevant. However, by applying yourself and keeping your long-term goals in mind, it can be a rewarding and fulfilling career as easy to progress through as anything.

Is game design a STEM career? ›

Video game development is a field in which STEM students may find ample opportunity for success.

How hard is it to get into the gaming industry? ›

The games industry is a notoriously competitive sector and finding a job is no easy task, and the challenges will vary depending on which career path you want to follow. Whether design, programming, art, PR, marketing, QA or journalism, each discipline requires a different set of skills and a different approach.

How many years does it take to become a game designer? ›

Video game designers often need a bachelor's degree to enter the field, which takes four years of full-time study. Employers may prefer professionals with coding experience. In some cases, aspiring designers may substitute a degree for coding skills learned through a bootcamp.

What do you do with a game design degree? ›

Jobs directly related to your degree include:
  1. Animator.
  2. Applications developer.
  3. Concept artist.
  4. Game designer.
  5. Games developer.
  6. Graphic designer.
  7. Multimedia programmer.
  8. Software engineer.

How much does a game engineer make? ›

Game Engineer Salary

Game engineers make $104,976 per year on average, or $50.47 per hour, in the United States. Game engineers on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $72,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $152,000.

Can a software engineer become a millionaire? ›

Originally Answered: Can you become a millionaire as a software engineer? Yes, you can. It may take years to reach this target. The more expertise you gain, the better you perform, and the lesser time it takes.

How much do gaming programmers make? ›

Salary Ranges for Video Game Programmers

The salaries of Video Game Programmers in the US range from $21,951 to $583,816 , with a median salary of $105,734 . The middle 57% of Video Game Programmers makes between $105,734 and $265,054, with the top 86% making $583,816.

Should I go to school for video game design? ›

A formal education in game design is not required to enter the gaming industry, experts say, noting that the best reason to pursue a game-related degree is to learn from skilled game developers and hone creative or scientific skills that are valuable in the industry.

What degree is best for game design? ›

A Bachelor of Science in Game Design degree can provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to start designing games professionally, but so can a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, or a Master of Science degree.

Is it fun being a game designer? ›

It's very unusual for real-world jobs to be identified with fun and excitement, but a career in game design is one of the rare few. Sheer enjoyment of the day-to-day aspects of the job isn't the whole story—game designers are part of an ever-evolving industry that's constantly presenting new challenges and rewards.

How much do game designers make? ›

The salaries of Video Game Designers in the US range from $21,413 to $576,759 , with a median salary of $103,918 . The middle 57% of Video Game Designers makes between $103,920 and $261,299, with the top 86% making $576,759.


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