Game design is a profession that is able to place students in the game industry and other related fields that need system architects for technical and artistic simulations. Students in the Game Design major start learning design thinking skills to creatively solve problems where there are many possible answers. With their design skills, they will be able to apply design patterns at a system level to architect solutions based on solid models of the problem domain. While these skills are applied to entertainment games, these skills will have wide application in other fields where simulation is a critical 21st century platform.
Students in the Game Design major learn to be a developer of game assets. They can learn to be a developer in one of four specialities: 1) programming 2) art 3) user interface / user experience (UI/UX) and 4) sound / music. These skills will provide a solid foundation of skills to prepare them for their next step in their career.
Game design is inherently collaborative. Thus, the program will develop strong personal leadership qualities in the students. They will achieve their personal leadership goals by engaging in multiple courses that require production of a game or other production related artifact. Their development will be guided by indexing against best practices in communication, social emotional mastery, conflict resolution, negotiation, personal and team organization, and values of responsiblity, humility and integrity. As game design is inherently technical and changes rapidly, they will be guided to achieve a confident generative work ethic where they will learn how to learn in a variety of learning spaces. They will learn models of how to make a decision and what it means to make a tasteful game decision. Finally, they will be trained in cultural issues and virtues to reflect Columbia College’s mission of guiding them to truly be “authors” of the future games industry.
As a result of successfully completing program requirements, students should be able to:
- demonstrate mastery of best practices in personal leadership, including organization, communication, coordination, conflict resolution, and social emotional learning;
- apply game design patterns, techniques, and systems thinking to create game experiences that are engaging and immersive;
- create professional digital portfolios and related materials in preparation for careers or postgraduate study as game developers as an expression of their game design style;
- utilize critical thinking, analytic skills and domain-specific knowledge to construct original game and simulation designs, as well as deconstruct, analyze, and evaluate existing works;
- use effective game production techniques from a variety of methodologies to produce a well-planned and documented project;
- demonstrate high-level game engine scripting skills, user interfaces, data tracking, level design and game flow management to produce games;
- integrate theory, analysis and production techniques in the creation of games for entertainment, learning, social connection and other purposes; and
- contribute to the creation of games while working in interdisciplinary teams using appropriate game development techniques based on an understanding of multiple design methodologies and strategies.