Students design gameplay using physical pieces on a table.

Game Design Major

Ready to get started?   Apply now!

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 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 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 at Champlain College

The unique Game Studio 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

Optional Concentration

A photo of headphones and a game controller.

Sonic Arts Concentration

Champlain's Game Design major offers a Sonic Arts concentration to students who are interested in diving into game audio. Build skills in sound studio tools, sound design techniques and aesthetics, and all things audio.


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

Request Info About Champlain College

Laptop covered with Champlain College stickers

Sign up to receive helpful information about majors, college life, internships, plus important deadlines and next steps. We’ll also send you a stash of 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. Call or text us at 802.625.0201 or email us at

You can check out our list of majors, come for a virtual visit, and explore our blog, The View, for the latest news and updates.

Latest Game Studio News from The View