poster image

BA in Game Design and Development

Carret icon

By The Numbers

#31


Top Program

Princeton Review ranks our GDD program among the best in the nation (2020).

100%


Successful

Percentage of 2019 graduates who have jobs, are continuing their educations or are starting their own companies within 6 months of graduation. (Graduate Survey 2019)

Program Overview

As a game designer, your passion is key to your success in the fast-growing gaming industry. The skills you acquire will prepare you for a variety of careers in the industry and related fields. You could contribute to teams working on an MMORPG, design virtual reality experiences for theme parks, develop military training simulations, develop games for the rapidly expanding health care industry, or even revolutionize course delivery in schools.

Our game design and development degree provides hands-on experience building games through game labs, internships and research projects. All students take the major core classes and then choose a concentration which allows them to focus their skill set. Concentrations include: Programming, Technology, Design Process, Art, Game Studies, Game Writing, Business, and Audio. We encourage and support double-majoring with programs such as Computer Science or Theater. 

A unique feature of the program is the game lab where students come together in interdisciplinary teams to build game prototypes. The game lab is offered as a multi-semester sequence beginning in the sophomore year. In the senior year, the program culminates in a capstone experience when students take the Senior Project and Seminar.

Through the QU in LA program, you can spend a semester interning at California companies such as Electronic Arts, Blizzard or Facebook. Our students have worked as counselors at iD Tech, a prestigious game design camp held at sites across the country, and our graduates have joined established leaders in entertainment, such as Sesame Workshop.

Center for Game Development (CGD) supports the continued development of select student and faculty games by providing financial support and resources during the summer and fosters a shared and continuing culture of technological know-how and innovation.

Careers

A degree in game design and development can position you for a career in a growing number of specialized and in-demand opportunities. Graduates can work in the gaming design, programming, animation and art direction and related specialties. Game design majors gain abilities that are valued in a wide spectrum of potential careers.

Examples of careers for game design and development majors:

Game design


  • Usability/Play testing
  • Level Design
  • Game Designer
  • Writer

Animation/game art


  • Concept Artist
  • Texture Artist
  • Animator
  • UI Artist
  • Art Director
  • Asset Design
  • Character Design
  • Charater Rigger

Other


  • Engine Programmer
  • Graphics Programmer
  • AI Programmer
  • Audio Programmer
  • Network Programmer
  • Sound Design
  • Programming for Game Play Design

Photograph

Several people play computer games at a row of screens

Award-winning faculty

Attendees of the 2018 Miami @ Play festival try out Professor Jonah Warren's game "Sloppy Forgeries."

Photograph

Faculty Spotlight: Jonah Warren

Turning art history into an award-winning game

In more than 15 years as a game designer, Professor Jonah Warren has learned an important lesson about developing the most fun, challenging and memorable games:

“Simple, elegant concepts often make for the best games.”

Warren’s most recent game, “Sloppy Forgeries,” is one prime example. The computer-based, multiplayer painting game gives players a blank canvas, a few simple paint tools for choosing color and brush size, and 90 seconds to re-create famous historical paintings as accurately as possible.

Sloppy Forgeries earned Warren the Best Game Award at the 2018 Miami @ Play festival, a good showing for a game still in its development stage.

“Of all the games I have made, this is the one that has had the best reception,” he said.

Jonah Warren sits and talks with a female student at a computer

Personalized guidance

Game design and development student Katie Rosell '20 works on 3D-modeling character assets using Maya, computer animation and modeling software, under the guidance of Professor Jonah Warren.

Warren empowers his students to enter professional game competitions and exhibitions as well. Several have shown games at PAX East, a major gaming expo, while others have won awards at GameFest, the New England Student Game Design Showcase and the Terminus Conference and Festival.

“In the game labs, students learn first-hand how the most successful and engaging games are often thoughtful and contained, rather than massive and complex,” Warren said. “They also come to view games as more than just entertainment, but a creative medium like any other.”

Photograph

Elena Bertozzi sits at a table with 4 other students in the conference room in the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Designing global games

Elena Bertozzi, associate professor of game design & development, works with members of her team in the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the School of Business on the Mount Carmel Campus.

Faculty Story: Elena Bertozzi

Professor wins Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant

Elena Bertozzi, associate professor of game design and development at Quinnipiac, was awarded a $100,000 Global Grand Challenges Grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Grand Challenges is a family of initiatives fostering innovation to solve key global health and development problems.

Bertozzi and Dr. Aparna Sridhar, of UCLA’s School of Medicine, designed an innovative method for understanding cultural norms that influence future family planning decisions in adolescents in Karnataka, India, using a game-like tool that collects information about childbearing intentions and family planning values. The data will be used to design more effective family planning educational materials in the future. 

The project team has completed phase one and are submitting an application for the next phase of the project, which would include an additional $1,000,000 grant to continue this work. A link to the project website is below.

“Leveraging the internet and the ubiquity of social games, we hope to demonstrate that intractable problems can be addressed through innovative uses of technology.”
Elena Bertozzi, associate professor of game design and development

Faculty

Faculty dedicated to student success

Quinnipiac’s College of Arts and Sciences professors are committed to the personal and professional success of every student. While passionate scholars and accomplished in their own fields, teaching is their number one priority. Small class sizes, accessible professors with significant industry experience and a close-knit, diverse community create the kind of supporting, enriching environment that is rare. We are personally invested in seeking ways to help our students develop into strong, leading professionals.

Curriculum and Requirements

BA in Game Design and Development Curriculum

It is recommended that students majoring in Game Design and Development pursue a minor, or double major, or take courses in a complementary discipline such as graphic interactive design or computer science.

All majors are required to participate in some form of experiential learning: study abroad, internship or academic/professional product collaboration.

Students majoring in Game Design and Development must meet the following requirements for graduation:

University Curriculum 146
College of Arts and Sciences Curriculum 221-24
Game Design & Development Core Requirements33
GDD 101
Introduction to Game Design
GDD 110
Introduction to Visual Design for Games
GDD 140
Creativity and Computation
GDD 200
Introduction to Game Development
GDD 201
Professionalism Practice for Game Design
GDD 210
Game Lab I: Team Projects
GDD 211
Game Lab II: Team Projects
GDD 311
Game Lab IV: Team Projects 3
or GDD 390
Internship
GDD 410
Game Lab V: Team Projects
GDD 411
Game Lab VI: Team Projects
GDD 495
Senior Project and Seminar I
Concentrations 49
With the recommendation of the student's advisor and/or the program director, students select two courses from their primary concentration and one elective from any other concentration
Technology
GDD 301
Game Design Tools and Processes
GDD 310
Game Lab III: Team
GDD 314
VR/AR Development for Games
GDD 316
Advanced Topics in Game Development
Art
GDD 102
Drawing for Games and Animation
GDD 202
Game Art I
GDD 302
Game Art II
GDD 402
Game Art III
Game Studies
GDD 394
History of Video Games
GDD 395
Critical Game Studies Seminar (PL 395)
GDD 396
Games, Learning & Society
MSS 231
Media and Society
MSS 345
Media Users and Audiences (WS 345)
Business
GDD 215
eSports Management
GDD 380
The Business of Games
ENT 290
Creating Digital Businesses
ENT 310
Creativity and Innovation
Writing
DR 350
Playwriting I
EN 201
Creative Writing
EN 205
Introduction to Fiction Writing
FTM 372
Screenwriting
GDD 250
Interactive Storytelling and Narrative
Audio
GDD 405
Game Audio Design
GDD 207
Digital Music Composition for Games
GDD 303
The Art of Audio Narrative (FTM 380 EN 303)
Design Process
GDD 175
Special Topics in Game Design
GDD 301
Game Design Tools and Processes
GDD 350
Board Game Design
GDD 370
Acting and Directing for Game Design
IDD 110
Design Research and Methods
Programming
CSC 111
Data Structures and Abstraction
GDD 316
Advanced Topics in Game Development
SER 120
Object-Oriented Design and Programming
SER 225
Introduction to Software Development
Free Electives11-14
Total Credits120-126
1

All students must complete the University Curriculum requirements. 

2

Students must complete the College of Arts and Sciences Curriculum requirements specific to their major. See details below.

3

Participating in the QU in LA Program or study abroad can also fulfill this requirement.

4

Students wishing to take courses from the above list must complete any prerequisites required by individual departments/programs or schools.

Elective substitutions are permitted with prior approval of the program director.

College of Arts and Sciences Curriculum

The College of Arts and Sciences offers bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees. Students earning either degree must complete one foreign language through the 102-level, and all students are encouraged to pursue a balanced program of study.

In addition, students earning a bachelor of arts degree must fulfill separate requirements for breadth and depth of study.

For the breadth requirement, students must complete at least 3 credits in each of the four CAS disciplinary areas other than the area of the student’s major. These areas are fine arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences. A course taken to fulfill the CAS breadth requirement may not also be used to fulfill a UC requirement.

For the depth requirement, students must complete at least 9 credits within a single subject area other than that of the major. (A “subject area” is identified with a catalog subject code, such as PL, CJ, WS, MA, etc.) 

A student enrolled in the Accelerated Dual-Degree BA/JD or BS/JD (3+3) program is exempt from these College of Arts and Sciences requirements, with the exception of the foreign language requirement. A student pursuing a double major is likewise exempt from these College of Arts and Sciences requirements, with the exception of the foreign language requirement.

Additional course details
Explore descriptions, schedule and instructor information using the Course Finder tool.

Game Design and Development Website

The Game Design and Development website provides information about experiential learning opportunities for students, and connections to student and alumni work.