Contact the Assistant Dean and Program Director, Amanda Crispel
Phone: (802) 865-5469
Gameplay systems, narratives, levels, quests, puzzles, worlds: these are the areas of expertise for game designers. Equal parts a creative and analytical person and a builder, a student in the Game Design major has a passion for mapping out, developing and creating the gameplay that defines a player's unique game experience.
Game design encompasses three distinct areas of the game production process: system design, level design and narrative design. System Designers establish the foundational logic and mechanical plan for how a game operates and builds the mechanics that bring the world of the game into existence. Level Designers create the step-by-step experience and determines parameters of play on each level of the game world. Narrative Designers, through traditional narrative, dialogue, characters and environment, define how the overall story is experienced by the player.
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.
Through our Upside-Down Curriculum, you'll take relevant courses, including Game History & Development and Introduction to Game Design, in your first year at Champlain. This gives you an advantage of gaining hands-on knowledge about your major from the start. Build your portfolio using state-of-the-art technology resources at Champlain's new cutting-edge multimedia, 3-D art and game production labs.
An important aspect of the Game Design major is the collaborative environment of our Game Studio, in which Game Design majors work with their counterparts in Game Art & Animation and Game Programming, as well as Game Production Management majors, to build games from start to finish. The Game Studio replicates a professional game development setting to give you a firsthand understanding of how creative teams collaborate to develop individual game assets and coordinate them into a functional product. To see student work and find out more, visit gamestudio.champlain.edu.
You will have the opportunity to present the game you create with your Game Studio team to recruiters from all over the East and Canada, including Activision/Vicarious Visions, Behaviour, Hidden Monster Games, Otherside Entertainment, Sony Bend, Trivium Interactive, Ubisoft and Velan.
You may pursue a minor, such as Data Analytics, Game Programming or Math, among others, to complement your studies and create a distinctive and highly marketable degree. Learn more about our college-wide minors.
The Sonic Art specialization focuses on immersion in technical aspects of sound and music production, including signal flow, mixing, mastering, compression and online delivery. Learn more about this specialization.
Study in Montreal, Canada, one of the world's largest game development centers—only 90 miles from our Burlington, Vermont, campus. With internship opportunities, the Montreal International Game Summit, the Montreal chapter of the International Game Developers Association and a campus director with game industry experience, Game Design students have amazing opportunities to create strong connections. Courses in Montreal are taught by game industry professionals at the main campus. Explore our study abroad options.
Our students have the skills to obtain internships and employment anywhere. Our students have interned around the country, including at Minority Media in Montreal, Canada, the Emergent Media Center® and Esc4pe in Burlington, VT, and iD Tech Camps in various locations, to name a few. See where our students have interned.
Each March, Champlain College has a presence at the world's largest game developers conference in San Francisco, California. 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, Activision, Survios, Insomniac, Rockstar, and Sony. These networking meetings lead to important connections for students. Champlain College also hosts a reception at GDC where a large contingent of Game Studio alumni working in San Francisco and recruiters attend to mingle and network with the students. Learn more at gdconf.com.
This combined degree program in Emergent Media allows you to earn a bachelor's degree while completing either a Master of Science (MS) within a year of graduation, or a terminal Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in just over an additional year.