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Bachelor of Arts- Games Design

Games Design is a huge industry with an amazing range of career opportunities, and it's only going to get bigger. Designing games will give you far more challenges than just playing them… and it's much more fun. If you're interested in creating stories, characters, animations and gameplay for games, this is the course to do.

A good game designer is someone who knows games and has a feel for what the consumer wants. Good communication and planning skills is also a key, as the process of creating a game is a collaborative one. Designers work in large teams in which elements are created separately and have to be seamlessly combined into a great game.

A great game needs to include a number of factors: gameplay, drama and storytelling, great graphics, player interaction, sound and music. They reflect human experience much more, which means that games have to involve many experiences. First and foremost though, games have to be fun.

This course concentrates on the artistic side of game creation. Using industry standard software, you'll design and create small works. Though not a technical course, you will learn how to work within the production pipeline with people like programmers and follow game development from concept to publishing. You'll play and analyse games; working out why some are successful and some not. You'll learn to create stories and original design concepts and integrate these into game play.


If you're looking to launch into a career in games design, now is a great time. Not only is it a strong industry in need of talented people, but it's currently one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. If you have excellent technical skills, a strong and positive work ethic as well as a passion for and knowledge of games, then employers will be looking for you. If you're still trying to convince your parents that it's a real job and not just playing around, show them the money!

Career goals might be:
Creative Director - Responsible for the look and the feel of the game. Makes sure the games keep a high level of visual and game play quality. Manages the design team.

Senior animator - Has creative duties, blocking out the animation, as well as management duties, distributes work to and coordinates the animators.

2D Artist - Everything from HUD assets (Head-Up Display), characters, little sprites to backgrounds.

Technical artist - Does all of the slightly programming-related tasks to do with the art team. Scripts and plug-ins that speed productivity.

3D modeller - Builds and textures assets used in the game.

Animator - Is given the 3D models, rigs them and creates animations for them. Anything from people jumping or throwing things, to cars crashing, to animals or creatures running.

Lead Designer - Responsible for the overall vision of the game. Comes up with the overall idea on what the game's going to be about, what you do in the game, what you spend the bulk of your time playing, the story behind the game.

Sound design - encompasses all the sound audio that you can hear in the game.

Level designer - More a game designer in the sense that they design the layouts and scenarios on paper or in text form, and then hand that to a level builder for them to construct.

Level builder - Builds the game worlds from the level designer's plans.

Audio designer - Is involved in the various stages of the audio development process within the games life cycle, includes designing systems that operate the game audio i.e. how to actually get the actual sounds to play at certain times.

Senior producer - Is the contact between the production company and the publisher. The conduit between the vision and the team that will actually make the game a reality.

Producer - Responsible for the project - from start to finish. The producer has to source a team to make sure they have enough staff to do it. They have to make sure the team has enough hardware. They have to make sure that the customer is happy. And, that the team is scheduled properly.

Quality Assurance Lead - Manages a team of testers who go through the game, and find all the problems and report them back to the development team who fix them and return them for re-testing.

The rewards

Considering the explosion of this industry, salaries are going up quite quickly. Current salaries start at around $35,000 pa for a Junior Artist; Senior Designers can expect about $70,000 and a Studio Director around $140,000. And not to mention the serious street cred that goes with working in games…

Course Outline

The Bachelor of Arts (Visual Communication) Degree (majoring in Games Design) is 3 years full time.

Semester 1
The Moving Image
Computing for Design
Ideas and Thought

Semester 2
Art Direction
3D Studies
Drawing, Design Principles and Colour Theory
Visual Communication

Semester 3
Game Play
Character Design
History of Visual Communication

Semester 4
Story and Drama
Game Development
Design Meaning and Culture
Associate Degree Exit point

Semester 5
Major Project (Part 1)
Business Communication

Semester 6
Industry Experience
Major Project (Part 2)

Back to Raffles College of Design and Commerce

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