Best Game Design Colleges In California

Seriously speaking, video game design and development are currently having a massive outbreak in the market these days like never before. In fact, job opportunities are everywhere now for those who have acquired this skill. So, if you desire to acquire this great skill and you are in California, there are the best video game design colleges for you to attend.

According to a market research study by NewZoo, they gave a good estimate of how the global games industry will reach $128.5 billion USD in 2020. Not only that, Video game designers in California practically earn $70,750 per year. That is a good income for anyone who resides in California.

Hence, our goal in compiling this list is to provide you with the information you need to begin your journey in this rewarding industry. Do your best to separate yourself from the crowd by obtaining the best possible qualifications while building a solid but diverse portfolio.

However, before going into giving a list of the best video game design colleges and schools in California, we will be explaining important points you need to know about game design.

What is Game Design?

To successfully study the course game design, a student will need to learn more than the pleasure he has had to immerse himself in the curriculum related to the game. To find out if a degree in game design suits them, students should ask themselves: “What is game design?

Basically, Game design is the art of applying design and aesthetics to create a game for entertainment or educational, exercise or experimental purposes.

Also, the Game design is a subset of the field of video game development. In fact, game design is an area with a broad focus. As such, the skills of a game designer come from the fields of computer science and programming, creative writing, and graphic design.

Specifically, Game designers take the creative initiative by imagining and giving life to video game stories, characters, gameplay, rules, interfaces, dialogues, and environments.

Why Study Game Design in California?

Just in case you are not in California, there are numerous reasons why you should get yourself to study in video game design colleges in California. Firstly, you have many options for dozens of accredited universities in California that offer a concentration in video game design.

Another reason why California is a great place for students looking to enter this industry is because of the events. California hosts every year some of the biggest gaming and entertainment events in the world.

How to Become a Video Game Designer in California

Designers may need a bachelor’s degree, especially if they plan to work for a large game studio. Although some schools offer a degree in game design, aspiring game designers can obtain the necessary training in computer science, software engineering or diploma programs. 

The courses in a game design program cover topics such as 2D and 3D modeling and animation, level and interface design, representation of storyboards, drawings, and scripts.

Even within this specialty, there are different types of designers, including the main designer, the level designer, and the content designer. In addition, game designers have different responsibilities that may not be obvious immediately. 

The courses in a game design program cover topics such as 2D and 3D modeling and animation, level and interface design, representation of storyboards, drawings, and scripts.

Even after completing the required education, finding a job in a game studio can be difficult. Since employers need experience in game design for most mid-level positions, aspiring game designers should look for ways to gain relevant experience. 

Some companies offer internships and jobs for future designers. Small businesses may be willing to hire inexperienced game programmers or artists, which could eventually lead to game designers.

Candidates for game design can stand out from the competition by designing their own games. Students can use free or low-cost programs to create simple games at the beginning and start working on more complex projects after entering the basics. Each game can be added to an individual’s wallet and counted as a design experience.

What Jobs Can You Get with a Game Design Degree?

  • Content Designer.
  • Desktop Publishing Specialist.
  • Document Specialist.
  • Audio Worker.
  • Background Artist/Modeler.
  • Character Artist/Animator.
  • Concept Artist.
  • Game Developer.

How Can I Know the Best Game Design Colleges in California

There are a good number of Game Design Colleges in California, but knowing the best is what really matters. With this purpose in mind, we have made a list of 10 Best Game Design Colleges in California.

In selecting the best Game Design Colleges in California, we will be considering several factors. They include:

Number of Programs: We consider these as one important criterion for ranking the best schools in California. Because some of these schools can have a good number of programs they offer.

Accreditation: This criterion is very much important because a school can be cheap but yet does not have quality. So we consider the body of accreditation as well as certification for each of these schools before ranking them. Whether they fall in the category of regional or national accreditation.

Acceptance Rate: This is one aspect that is considered important because the lower the acceptance rate the better the school.

Graduation & Employment Rate: Here, we consider if these schools have a high tendency of graduating their students. Some can get enrolled but get stuck at the end. Also, we put into consideration whether school graduates are employable by great institutions. These factors are equally very much important.

List of 10 Best Game Design Colleges in California

We have made a list of the 10 Best Game Design Colleges in California. And we will be stating the full detail of our ranking of Game Design Colleges in California.

  • Academy of Art University – San Francisco
  • University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
  • Laguna College of Art and Design
  • University of California, Irvine
  • SAE Expression College
  • Los Angeles Film School
  • SUNY Ulster County Community College
  • Jefferson Community College
  • Suffolk County Community College
  • CUNY LaGuardia Community College

#1. Academy of Art University – San Francisco

Specifically, the Academy of Art University is a very big University for San Fransisco and it is home to four contract colleges and schools. The great School of Game Development actually located in San Fransico.

Most importantly, the College is well-known for its techniques in concept art, 3D art, UI/UX, game design, animation, and technical art. 

Above all, their Game design programs include an Associate Degree, Bachelor in Arts degree with a concentration in Game Design. As well as MFA and MA.

Many other academic programs such as animation and visual effects, illustration, and graphic design can also be used as a path to a career as a game artist.

As one of the best art and design schools in the country, game development graduates of the University’s Academy of Art have a wide range of possibilities.

#2. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California

The University of Southern California USC Games basically offers four-degree programs in different areas of game design and development. Basically, at the undergraduate level, they offer both a Bachelor of Arts in Interactive Media & Games and also Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a concentration in Games.

Then for students at the graduate level, they offer a Master of Fine Arts in Interactive Media & Games and a Master of Science in Computer Science with a concentration in Games.

In addition to their comprehensive study programs, they also offer a wide range of minors for undergraduate students who wish to add experience in one of the various aspects of the games along with their main field of study.

Above all USC Games students work together in collaboration between grades and disciplines.

You Can Also Check Out These 15 Best Online Game Development Schools

#3. Laguna College of Art and Design

Laguna College of Art + Design’s Game Design MFA seeks to advance the art, science, and culture of play by creating a context for advanced study and innovative work.

Most importantly, the LCAD’s Game Design MFA is an online 2-year terminal Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) degree that allows you to explore the design and development of games as a creative practice.

Their Game Design program will develop your creative skills and enhance your potential as a game designer, developer, and entrepreneur.

The employability rate for their graduates is extremely high (100%). Hence you stand a chance of getting employment in Gaming fields.

#4. University of California, Irvine

The UCI offers a degree in gaming computer science (CGS) through the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science (ICS).

Equally, the CGS degree combines a solid foundation in computer science with a focus on the design, construction, and understanding of computer games. And other forms of interactive media, providing students with an invaluable practical experience.

The BS in-game computing is designed around a set of basic courses that present the fundamental principles of computer science (programming, data structures, graphics, and artificial intelligence).

As well as mathematics (statistics, linear and logical algebra) and games (games and society, game design, game engines, and multiplayer games).

#5. SAE Expression College

The Bachelor of Applied Science Program in Game Development at SAE Expression College prepares students for a career in the interactive entertainment industry in just 32 months.

Equally, the Game Development Degree Program is an intensive theoretical and practical training program that prepares students for success in today’s game development industry.

Meanwhile, students participating in this program learn the technical and creative components of game development, as well as the essential design principles of creative entertainment software.

#6. Los Angeles Film School

Basically, SUNY Canton is one of the 20 universities across the country that offers 3 exclusive programs. They include; Veterinary Science Technology (A.A.S), Veterinary Service Administration (B.B.A), Veterinary Technology (B.S).

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor, graduate careers are expected to grow by almost 40% in the next decade.

#7. SUNY Ulster County Community College

The SUNY Ulster County Community College offers one veterinary program, which is the Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S) degree program.

Most importantly, the Veterinary Technology program at SUNY Ulster County Community College is designed to prepare its graduates for the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). The employability rate for their graduates is extremely high (95%).

Hence you stand a chance of getting employment in animal/veterinary-related fields.

#8. Jefferson Community College

The Jefferson Community College offers one veterinary program, which is the Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S) degree program.

Most importantly, the Veterinary Technology program at SUNY Ulster County Community College is designed to prepare its graduates for the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE).

Hence you stand a chance of getting employment in animal/veterinary-related fields.

The Jefferson College Veterinary Technology Program is fully accredited by the American Association of Veterinary Medicine (AVMA).

Acceptance to the program is competitive. But the employability rate for their graduates is extremely high (96%).

#9. Suffolk County Community College

The Suffolk County Community College offers one veterinary program, which is the Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S) degree program.

Most importantly, the Veterinary Technology program at Suffolk County Community College is designed to prepare its graduates for the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE).

The employability rate for their graduates is extremely high (95%). Hence you stand a chance of getting employment in animal/veterinary-related fields.

#10. CUNY LaGuardia Community College

As one of the fully accredited veterinary technology programs in New York, LaGuardia Community College is committed to providing educational programs that combine classroom learning with work experience.

This philosophy is the ideal setting for the Veterinary Technology Program (Vet Tech). Vet Tech graduates receive an Associate Degree in Applied Science (AAS).

The Vet Tech program is accredited by the American Association of Veterinary Medicine. Graduates of the program are eligible to write the National Veterinary Technician Exam (VTNE) to receive their New York State License and use the Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT) designation.

In Conclusion

Choosing the right program for you depends on your goals and your level of preparation. All these schools focus on technology and the development of creative projects.

For those primarily interested in game design, development, and production, we suggest the Interactive Media & Games titles at the School of Cinematic Arts. Those who wish to focus on the technical development of games, offer degrees in computer science (games).

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