Your complete guide to a PhD in Game Design

Everything you need to know about studying a PhD in Game Design

part of Computer Science & IT

What is Game Design?

Game Design focuses on the real-world skills needed to develop a game. By pursuing a degree in Game Design, you will learn about several aspects of creating a game: from programming to concept and character development. Thus, you will have the necessary tools to create virtual worlds.

Game Design Specialisations

In both Bachelor's and Master's Degrees, Game Design specialisations are either art-related, production-related, or programming related, depending on the programme. Thus, common specialisations are:

  • Game Design and Development,
  • Game Programming,
  • Game Art,
  • Animation and Modelling,
  • Game Design and Production.

You can also find variations of those specialisations or a mix between them. However, the requirements and the curriculum are different for each type of Game Design programme.

What will you learn during a Game Design programme?

A degree in Game Design will guarantee you the necessary knowledge in this industry, from the basics and fundamental concepts to the more advanced techniques and concepts in this field. Depending on the programme, you are going to learn from computer science to art history. At the end of it, some of the skills you are going to end up with are:

  • programming knowledge,
  • deep knowledge of multimedia software,
  • communication skills,
  • creativity and storytelling abilities,
  • critical thinking skills.

Some of the popular courses you’ll most likely take during a Game Design degree are:

  • Critical Game Studies: study new findings in relevant topics such as game production, game and players, educational benefits of games and others.
  • Story and Game Narrative: analyse and interpret different game stories to understand traditional narrative story styles and learn to create a concept with the help of defining settings and characters.
  • Art and Visual Design: from learning art theory and art production to implementing the new concepts into practice.
  • Prototypes and Programming Principles: learn the key aspects of programming that are necessary to create a quick game prototype.
  • Working with 3D Engines: become familiar with industry-standard engines that can be used to create video games.

Having a degree in Game Design does not limit your options to this industry, since the skills you learn vary, so you can look out for jobs in both Tech or Animation industries, such as animator, graphic designer, software tester, database administrator and many others.

Skills needed for a degree in Game Design

Game Design is a good choice if you are passionate about games and the production of them. To excel in Game Design, you must have both artistic and technical skills. Some of them can be learned during your degree, but math skills and the basics of programming are going to be needed. Also, you need to be creative since you will need to come up with designs and concept ideas to develop a digital game.

What can you do with a degree in Game Design?

You have many options to choose from with a degree in Game Design since you can be involved in every step of creating a digital game. From scripting and storyboarding to testing, depending on your level of degree, you will choose an area that fits your interest, knowledge, and skills.

Here are some popular jobs if you have a degree in Game Design:

  • Software Developer
  • Game Developer
  • Game Artist
  • Special Effects Artists and Animators
  • Graphic Designer

A career in every type of Game Design Programme is a fulfilling one since your knowledge is a combination of both artistic and technical concepts. You'll have the opportunity to participate in the process of creating new games that will leave an impact on the game industry.

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View all PhDs in Game Design. Keep in mind you can also study an online PhDs in Game Design.

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