Students design gameplay using physical pieces on a table.

Game Design Major

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Gameplay systems, narratives, levels, quests, puzzles, worlds: become an expert in the game design areas you're most passionate about.

In Champlain's Game Design program, you'll learn to map out, develop, and create the gameplay that defines a player's unique experience.

Game design encompasses several distinct areas of the game production process that they can focus on during electives and in class projects:

  • Systems Design - Establish the foundational logic and mechanical plan for how a game operates and build the mechanics that bring the game world into existence.

  • Technical Design - Build, script and prototype game ideas and mechanics by having a solid foundation in coding. Most technical designers will minor in Game Programming.

  • Level Design - Create the step-by-step experience and determine parameters of play in each area in the game world. Create levels and maps that guide the player's experience.

  • Narrative Design - Define how the overall story is experienced by the player, through traditional narrative, dialogue, characters, and environment.

  • Content Design - Build quests, experiences and interactions that leverage the game's desired game play. You are building the game's world!

  • Generalist - Use your Game Design electives to get a solid mix of level design, narrative design, system design, programming and art.

  • Indie Developer - Do you want to work at a small studio? Or maybe create your own indie studio? Use your game design electives on a mix of programming, art and business classes.

As a Champlain Game Design student, 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.

Learn More on Our Game Studio Website


The Game Studio Experience at Champlain College

The unique Game Studio Experience at Champlain College gives you start-to-finish game-building experience in a professional environment. You'll collaborate with your peers in each of our game majors to create playable games in a studio that parallels the processes of the industry. By the end of your four years, you'll be ready to work in a professional studio.

Students demonstrate and play video games at the Champlain Game Studio Senior Show

Annual Game Studio Senior Show

You will have the opportunity to present the game you create with your Game Studio team—as well as your own demo reel—to recruiters from all over the United States and Canada. Recruiters often come to the Senior Show to scout new talent, from companies like:

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

Champlain students attending the Game Developers Conference in San Fransisco

Game Developers Conference

Champlain College sends a cohort to the world's largest game developers conference each year in San Francisco. Game Studio faculty, students, alumni, and the Game Studio Career Coach attend the conference for professional development and networking. The Career Coach facilitates exclusive networking meetings for Champlain students with top recruiters from companies such as Ubisoft, ArenaNet, Crystal Dynamics, Survios, Insomniac, Rockstar, and Sony.



The 2021 Fiske Guide to Colleges selected Champlain as one of the "best and most interesting schools" in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain.


Champlain was named a "Most Innovative School" by U.S. News & World Report (for the seventh consecutive year!) in its "America's Best Colleges" 2022 rankings.


Burlington, Vermont, our hometown, is ranked the #1 Best College Town by Travel + Leisure magazine.

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!

Jeff Ross, Design Manager // Sony Bend // Bend, OR


Student works on a project in Champlain's Emergent Media Center


You'll be analyzing gameplay, exploring game development, and creating rapid game prototypes in your very first semester—so it's no wonder you'll be well qualified for career-relevant internships by your second year.

A student explores the Jean Talon Market in Montreal.

Study Abroad

If you want to design the world's most popular video games, you'll need to understand an international audience. Studying abroad is an ideal way to explore different cultures and develop your global perspective.


An Education in Game Design

Through our Upside-Down Curriculum, you'll start taking courses in game design in your first semester 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. Graduate with a head start on the other candidates in this competitive field—your professional portfolio and four years of relevant experience will impress employers.

You'll be prepared to...

Generate innovative ideas and go beyond the obvious and predefined.

Explain and justify the elements of your own presented argument, creative work, or process.

Identify various audience segments and show evidence of being able to adapt to those audiences.

Identify and anticipate new technology and rapidly adapt to the changing technological landscape.

Explore all Game Design program learning outcomes.

Game Design graduates from the Class of 2019 have accepted positions such as:

  • Disruptor Beam // Associate Producer // Framingham, MA
  • Frame Interactive // VR Developer // Burlington, VT
  • Insomniac Games // Associate Designer // Burbank, CA
  • Labrodex Studios // Narrative Designer // Melville, NY
  • Sony Bend // Associate Technical Game Designer // Bend, OR
  • Vicarious Visions // QA Tester // Menands, NY
  • Impeller Studios // Game Designer // Montpelier, VT

Sign Up To Get Stickers + Helpful Info

Student working on a laptop covered in Champlain stickers

Ready to be inspired? Fill out the form and sign up to receive helpful information about Champlain College—plus, we'll send you a full sheet of high quality stickers designed by one of our recent Graphic Design & Visual Communication graduates.

Nice to meet you!

Thanks for getting in touch—stickers and information will be on their way shortly. Please reach out anytime if you have any questions about Champlain; you can call or text us at 802.625.0201 or email us at

In the meantime, check out our list of majors, schedule your visit or event, and enjoy The View, for the latest news and updates from the College!

Latest Game Studio News from The View