The global video games industry was valued at more than $135 billion in 2018, with a near 11% increase over 2017. Add the explosive growth of the eSports industry and the market could be worth even more. With so much growth, it’s not surprising that the demand for talented game designers and developers is at an all-time high. To meet the demand, in 2018 alone, dozens of schools around the world developed game design programs or redesigned an existing one. Today, we would like to add a few more new programs to the list.
We are happy to announce that Azusa Pacific University and Murray State University now offer game design programs leading to a certificate, bachelor’s degree or minor.
Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, California
Azusa Pacific University (APU) is set to launch a new BA in Games and Interactive Media and a Minor. The 22-unit Games and Interactive Media Minor was “developed to allow students who are majoring in related areas like computer science to get a pretty good smattering of what it means to create a game,” explained Professor and Director of the Program Tim Samoff.
The BA program—the first of its kind among the 140 universities that comprise the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities—will consist of a combination of general education courses and at least 50 units of core gaming courses. According to a report by the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, courses will “extend beyond the elements of game development, from technology and production to leadership and project management. Students will gain skills that integrate narratives, game mechanics, and art and sound.”
Gaming-related topics will include Game Technologies, AI for Games, Games and Learning, Games and Health, Augmented and Mixed Reality Games, and Virtual Worlds.
BA students will graduate with an original “vertical slice” (playable demo showcasing multiple aspects of a game’s mechanics, art, and form) of a game to include in their professional portfolio for use at competitions, festivals, and job interviews. The BA takes just two years to complete.
The new Games and Interactive Media Program at Azusa Pacific University begins in the Fall of 2019.
Founded in 1899 and serving more than 10,000 students, Azusa Pacific University is one of the largest Christian universities in the nation. The school offers more than 100 programs through over a dozen colleges, schools and centers. Azusa Pacific University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
Murray State University, Murray, Kentucky
Murray State University has added programs for Game Development and Design, following demand from prospective students and local industries. According to WKMS 91.3 (Murray State’s NPR Station), Professor Jim Bryant said, “the university recently started seeing industry demand due to the popularity of mobile devices and apps.”
“I’m just seeing more and more jobs that are in our area asking for game development experience coming from new graduates,” he said. “This is because people are seeing games happening in places we didn’t expect.”
Students at Murray State will now be able to graduate with a BA/BS in Computer Science/Game Development or an Undergraduate Certificate in Game Design. A new Minor in Game Development is also available. The BA/BS and Minor will be offered through the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business, Computer Science and Information Systems Department and the Certificate Program will be offered through the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, Department of Art & Design.
The new Game Design and Development BA/BS and Minor are introductory and will merge with pre-existing courses. Course highlights include Creative Writing, Illustration, Graphic Design and 3-D Computer Design. Students will receive training and experience in many areas including Animation, Programming, Cinematography, and Sound Effects.
The Certificate in Game Design is designed for students looking for a faster path to employment. The program prepares students for entry-level positions in the game design industry. Students will “learn about all facets of game design and development, from the beginning to the final stages of production,” said Bryant. “Throughout the program, students are encouraged to learn to create two- and three-dimensional graphics and interactive environments.”
Bryant said he is hopeful that all of the game programs at Murray State “will grow.” Applications for admission to the program are being accepted now for 2019.
Founded in 1922, Murray State University serves nearly 9,500 students enrolled in more than 120 certificate and degree programs through six academic colleges and schools. Murray State University has been continuously accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) since 1928.