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“Champlain College graduates have so much production experience, it's like they've been in the game industry for years. I couldn't have built ‘Days Gone By’ without hiring seven game designers from Champlain College!”


In Champlain's Game Design major, you'll learn to map out, develop, and create the gameplay that defines a player's unique experience. Gameplay systems, narratives, levels, quests, puzzles, worlds: become an expert in the game design areas you're most passionate about.

Game design encompasses three distinct areas of the game production process:

  • System Designers establish the foundational logic and mechanical plan for how a game operates and build the mechanics that bring the game world into existence.
  • Level Designers create the step-by-step experience and determine parameters of play on each area in the game world.
  • Narrative Designers define how the overall story is experienced by the player, through traditional narrative, dialogue, characters, and environment.

As a Champlain Game Design major, you will develop extensive game design skills in your area of interest and build an impressive portfolio of collaborative work as you prepare to enter the game industry.

Why Study Game Design at Champlain College?

Champlain Game Studio Logo

You'll gain end-to-end game creation experience in our unique Game Studio environment. Work with students in the Game Art, Game Programming, and Game Production Management majors to build games in a professional studio setting that replicates the real world process.

Champlain offered one of the first game development programs in the United States, and is still among the top game creation institutions worldwide.

  • Champlain is ranked #4 in the world and #2 in the United States by the Rookie Awards. The Rookies is an international creative media competition which ranks schools based on their students' creative skills, technical know-how, raw talent, and employment potential.
  • recently named Champlain among its "Top 50 Schools for Video Game Design in the U.S."
  • The Princeton Review ranked Champlain in the top 20 schools for undergraduate game design programs on its list of "Top Schools to Study Video Game Design for 2019."

Since 1996, game sales have tripled. Game designers are now in high demand, and Champlain College teaches its students how to create the spaces, tell the stories, build the levels, and design the playing experiences that define today's digital gaming environments.

Academic Experience in the Game Design major

Through our Upside-Down Curriculum, you'll take relevant courses—including Game History and Introduction to Game Design—in your first year at Champlain. This early hands-on knowledge in the major is a distinct advantage, giving you more time to take on internships and soak up industry experience. 

You'll build your portfolio using state-of-the-art technology resources at Champlain's new cutting-edge multimedia, 3-D art and game production labs. Graduate with a head start on the other candidates in this competitive field—you'll have four years of relevant experience, and will have had more time to practice and improve your work. 

Annual Game Development Senior Show

At the end of your senior year, you'll present the game you've created with your Game Studio team to industry recruiters. Employers from all over the U.S. and Canada send representatives to the Senior Show and often make job offers on the spot. Attending employers regularly include:

  • Insomniac
  • Activision/Vicarious Visions
  • Behaviour Interactive
  • Hidden Monster Games
  • Otherside Entertainment
  • Sony Bend
  • Trivium Interactive
  • Ubisoft
  • Velan Studios

Game Developers Conference (GDC)

Each year, Champlain College sends a group of students and faculty to San Francisco, California, for the world's largest game developers conference. 

The Game Studio Career Coach sets up meetings between Champlain students and top recruiters—from companies such as Ubisoft, ArenaNet, Crystal Dynamics, Survios, Insomniac, Rockstar, and Sony—for professional networking opportunities. 

Many Game Studio alumni and recruiters also attend a reception hosted by Champlain at the GDC to mingle and network with the students. Learn more at