Man at desktop computer with game design on screen

Interactive Game Design Online Bachelor’s Degree Program

can be completed in as little as

14 terms*

*2 terms per semester; each term is 7 weeks

Tuition

$335/credit

$1,005 3-credit course

Active Duty Military

truED Preferred Tuition

Credit Hours Required

Application Deadline

Fall A: Aug. 15

Upcoming Start Date

Fall A: Aug. 26

Immerse Yourself in Interactive Game Design

As the gaming industry continues to grow, so does the demand for qualified game designers. The online Bachelor of Science in Interactive Game Design is a cutting-edge program designed for those who want to shape the future of the gaming industry. This comprehensive degree offers a unique combination of art, design, technology, and business knowledge tailored to the modern game designer. Many of the courses in this program cover Rapid Prototyping design techniques, systemic architecture considerations, character development, and how narrative arcs drive gameplay through different levels. Graduates of the BS in Interactive Game Design program will be prepared for exciting careers in game art, systems design, and gameplay programming.

 

Build Your Career Future 

Game design is a fast-changing field, with new technologies and best practices constantly emerging. It’s essential that your degree helps you build a foundational skill set that can help you adapt and grow. This innovative game design program will help you craft detailed, immersive player experiences and carve your niche in the gaming industry. 

Fast Start Formula Career Bundle 

Propel your career even further with our Fast Start Formula Career Bundle designed to get you noticed and get you hired. Gain access to the Fast Start Formula Career Course, the Landing A Job You'll Love Ebook, and live webinars with "hot seat" coaching by Executive Career Coach Jen Morris.

Take the next step

Academic Excellence and Recognition

New England Commission of Higher Education Logo

Regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education

US News & World Report Best Online Bachelor's Degree Programs

Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News & World Report

Military Friendly Badge

Designated as a Military Friendly School for our commitment to the military community

Intelligent.com ranks Champlain College Online among best schools with accelerated bachelor's degrees

Named the among the best schools with accelerated bachelor's degrees by Intelligent.com

What Can You Do With a Degree in Interactive Game Design?

According to a report by Statista, the global video game market is expected to reach a value of $321.5 billion by 2026, driven by the increasing popularity of mobile gaming, the rise of esports, and the growing demand for immersive gaming experiences. The BLS employment statistics indicate that opportunities for artists and related workers, including multimedia artists, will increase by 16% between 2020 and 2030, which is as fast as the average for all occupations. As the consumption of animated movies and video games increases, more positions will become available.

Top Jobs for BS in Interactive Game Design Graduates

  • Game Designer
  • Gameplay Programmer
  • Interactive Game Producer
  • UI Artist
Game designers in a room with drawings and computers

Program Details

Learn more about Champlain's 100% online Interactive Game Design degree, designed for your schedule.

Game Design Core (33 credits) 

Game Development Requirements (9 credits) 

Additional Requirements (12 credits) 

Technical Electives (9 credits)

General Education Courses (42 credits) 

General Electives (15 credits)

Game Design Core

In this course, students will study key concepts such as player engagement, narrative development, and systems design and learn how to apply the principles of game design to narrative content in the development of engaging game experiences. By the end of this course, students should be able to demonstrate these design principles, showcasing their creativity, problem-solving skills, and the ability to adapt to evolving industry standards.

Building computer game levels, objects, and even characters requires numerous tools and techniques for systems design. In this course, students will gain hands-on experience with content creation and manipulation software for 3D modeling, level creation, and asset management. Students will iteratively refine and improve game designs. By the end of the course, students should be able to apply interactive design principles to combine digital assets for presentation in their portfolio.

Prerequisites

Take IGMD-110

In this course, students will practice rapid prototyping to generate diverse game treatments and genres based on the narratives they create. Students will practice ideation and iteration based on small-group feedback. As a result of this process, students will produce computer game functional parameters. By the end of the course, students will have authored game design documentation.

Prerequisites

Take IGMD-125

In this class, students will make use of 3D modeling and design software to create objects for static illustration or motion by computer animators. Students will design, create, and manipulate objects in 3D, practicing texturing, lighting, and rendering techniques. By the end of the course, students will have gained experience creating the basic components of 3D models for a specific audience, taking into account culture, diversity and inclusion.

Prerequisites

Take IGMD-110 and MATH-190

In this course, students will explore the world of interactive storytelling using a game design integrated development environment (IDE). Through hands-on projects, students will gain experience with techniques of implementing narrative elements into games. Students will learn how to engage players, create branching narratives, and design characters. Students will develop fundamental programming logic skills and by the end of this course, students will have created a game demo.

Prerequisites

Take IGMD-125 and MATH-160

Computer game level design involves the creation of terrain and geography into game environment maps. In this course, students will learn how to integrate computer game narratives into virtual environments best fitting the storyline. Students will work through the level prototyping process, build level maps to place obstacles, integrate puzzles, and narratively support game missions. By the end of this course, students will have manipulated 3D level design editors to construct, texture, and illuminate game levels.

Prerequisites

Take GMDV-110 IGMD-225 and SCIE-230

Systems design involves building the elements in a game that the player does not control. In this course, students will learn the skills and techniques to implement environmental systems for gameplay, ensuring a smooth and consistent player experience. Students will focus on game functionality, mechanics, and player experience in single systems development. By the end of this course, students will have experience applying systemic thinking to a variety of object behavior and leveling scenarios using rapid prototyping techniques.

Prerequisites

Take IGMD-310

Designing functional multi-level environments is an important part of developing engaging computer games. In this course, students will use level editing software to create multiple levels that support game narratives. These levels will include puzzles and solvable challenges that advance the player through the game. This course addresses the aesthetic elements of level design including storytelling, set dressing, lighting, and mood. By the end of this course, students will have developed a multi-level game framework with narrative-supporting puzzles and environment design suitable for their portfolio.

Prerequisites

Take IGMD-310

Systems design includes construction of gameplay systems, progression systems, and systems such as camera controls and replays. In this course, students will build on what they learned in IGDM 325 - Systems Design and expand their work on single systems to multiple interlocking systems. By the end of this course, students will have developed a variety of systems such as level systems, talent trees, and combat systems suitable for their portfolio.

Prerequisites

Take IGMD-325

In this course, students will enhance their portfolio when they work individually to develop game narratives and storyboarded computer game quick pitches. Additionally, students will work in small groups to practice remote collaboration skills using standard industry tools. By the end of this course, students will be able to create a game design roadmap that specifies milestones for production tracking and completion according to an established timeline suitable for their portfolio.

Prerequisites

Take IGMD-410 IGMD-425 MGMT-260

The final experience in the Game Development program is to assemble a functional desktop or mobile mini game. In this course, students refine and assemble components of code and frameworks developed in the previous program courses. Students will also make use of provided audio, graphic, and animated assets for greater multimedia appeal and polish. Students may choose to work in small teams on more comprehensive projects. The outcome of this course will be a playable computer game.

Prerequisites

All program courses.

Computer game development is a broad industry involving the coordination of multiple digital technologies and creative design elements. In this course, students explore various computer game genres, the history, philosophy, and ethics of computer games, and methodologies for documenting and directing the game development process. Additionally, students examine the nature of play and engagement in the digital realm, as well as the application of diverse viewpoints in considering the intended game audience and the narrative construction of the games themselves.

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is an essential study of how people use computers and digital devices. In this course, students study the concepts of user experience, interface design and usability, and device response and feedback. Students understand the fundamental principles of developing interactive computer systems for desktop, console, and handheld applications. Students will be guided in the application of HCI design principles to computer game development, considering technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, handheld devices, and haptic feedback.

Prerequisites

MKCM 102: Foundations of Visual and Digital Design

Computer games have evolved dramatically since the text adventure games of the 1970s. In this course, students will survey changes in game technology and the development process from the independent game designer model to the current collaborative approach linking diverse remote teams through modern collaborative software systems. Students create compelling narratives while considering the psychology of play. By the end of the course, students will have experience with level development and the utilization of objects, locations, and NPCs.

Prerequisites

GMDV 110: Introduction to Game Development

This course introduces students to the fundamental language of visual form and basic skills including the industry-standard software applications used to create, acquire, and manipulate digital images. Students will learn about two-dimensional composition and design, color theory and terminology, and will apply these principles to a variety of basic design projects. Color, form and content will be explored in terms of cultural, psychological, physiological, and historical aspects.

The American Marketing Association defines Marketing as the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. In this course, students will learn marketing terminology and principles including the marketing mix, marketing segmentation and how external forces impact marketing strategy as well as how marketing fits into the organization.The impact of ethical issues, diversity, globalization and social responsibility on marketing decisions will also be examined.

This course explores the psychological and behavioral factors that influence consumer decision-making. Through a combination of theoretical and applied approaches, students will examine how individuals acquire, process, and use information to make purchasing decisions. Topics include the impact of social and cultural factors on consumer behavior, the role of emotions in decision-making, and the effects of marketing and advertising on consumer choices. Students will apply their knowledge of consumer behavior to the development of buyer personas for an organization.

Prerequisites

Complete MKTG-200

Project Management is the formal application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project-based activities to meet organizational requirements. Project management is accomplished through the use of processes such as Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing. Project managers can divide projects into these phases to provide better management control with appropriate links to the ongoing operations of the organization. Collectively, these phases, known as the project life cycle, form the foundation for the practice of project management and are guided by the Body of Knowledge from the Project Management Institute (PMI).

Complete the following two courses

This course introduces students to the foundational concepts needed to communicate effectively in writing for academic study and professional development. Students will also learn to read critically to evaluate an author's message. Students will be introduced to rhetorical modes and their role in the development of written communication. Students will also learn how to use revision strategies to create written communication that meets its intended purpose for its intended audience

This course builds on students' proficiency in the writing process and rhetorical modes to introduce the use of sources in written communication. Students will practice information literacy as they learn to determine information needs from sources, develop effective search strategies, and incorporate sources in written communication, legally and ethically.

Prerequisites

Complete ENGL-100

Complete the following course

This course draws on fundamental concepts of contemporary communication research to help students identify and develop strategies to become effective and versatile communicators across media and settings. Students will examine and respond to a range of interpersonal situations through the critical evaluation of the three essential components of all communication: its purpose, audience, and context. Students will leave the course with the ability to reflect on and adapt their strategies to successfully and consistently communicate for a range of purposes across diverse settings.

Complete the following course

This course draws on fundamental concepts of contemporary group communication research to help students identify and develop strategies to communicate effectively in small groups and teams for the cooperative purpose of advancing common goals. Students will draw on listening and responding strategies learned in COMM-130 Interpersonal Communication and apply them to communicating as a leader or member of a small group. They will also learn how to recognize and manage the types of conflicts that can arise in small groups. Prerequisite: COMM-130 Interpersonal Communication

Prerequisites

Complete COMM-130

Complete the following course

Students will learn and apply critical inquiry skills to analyze persuasive communication created by others and to develop persuasive communication/arguments of their own to solve problems in professional, civic, social, and personal contexts. Specifically, students will learn to recognize fallacies in logic; apply inductive and deductive reasoning strategies to the interpretation and development of persuasive communication; evaluate the validity of sources; and develop logically sound persuasive communication. Students will explore the roles of self-awareness, empathy, and ethics in the context of critical inquiry and the development of arguments.

Prerequisites

Complete ENGL-110.

Complete one of the following courses, unless your program requires a specific course

This course is an historical overview, and examination of the evolution of digital, film, and print media, and their functions. Students will identify and analyze contemporary problems of the media such as the legal, social, economic and psychological implications of their relationships with society. They also will examine the ways in which marketing and PR professionals utilize the mass media channels to reach their intended target audiences.

This course explores the complex and evolving relationship between human beings and technology. Through a multi-disciplinary approach that draws on fields such as sociology, psychology, philosophy, and history, students will examine the ways in which technology has shaped human culture, identity, and values, as well as how humans have influenced and continue to influence the development, adoption and use of technology.

Complete the following two courses

Mathematical reasoning, when applied to everyday and professional lives, has two dimensions: logic for deterministic situations and probabilities for non-deterministic situations. This course aims to help students develop these mathematical reasoning skills.

This course covers the fundamental concepts of linear algebra and analytical geometry, including matrices, vectors, linear transformations, and systems of linear equations. Students will also explore the analytical geometry of Euclidean spaces, including lines, planes, circles, spheres, and conic sections. In this course, students will develop their mathematical reasoning skills and learn how to apply these principles to solve real-world problems.

Complete one of the following courses, unless your program requires a specific course

In this course, students will gain an introduction to classical mechanics and learn about motion, force, energy, and momentum. The course covers vectors, scalars, and coordinate systems, as well as kinematics in one and two dimensions, Newton's Laws of Motion, circular motion, and kinetic energy and work. Students also learn about potential energy and energy conservation, collision theory, rotational motion, moment of inertia, torque, rotational dynamics, and angular momentum.

Complete the following course

This course will introduce students to major streams of social justice thought, including historical social justice movements, theoretical problems having to do with social equality, personal freedom, marginalization, and stigmatization, and the ways in which civic and professional communities respond to these issues.

Complete any two of the following courses, unless your program requires a specific course(s)

With pressure and release, a window opens and closes, recording light on a sensor. The simple action captures the instinct, judgement, and skill of the person behind the lens. This class will begin a study of the art and craft of photography. Students will develop their vision and their understanding of how to achieve it. Solid skills will be learned and many doors will be opened.

A survey of the continuing change experienced in art since the 15th century. Students will examine how an image is achieved as well as the significance of the subject represented. Individual inquiry concerning the nature of art is encouraged.

Students learn to appreciate films through the critical analysis of various elements of mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing and sound. The course introduces the conventions of classical Hollywood cinema, considers the work of one major director (auteur), and surveys selected international and independent films. Students view and discuss films each week.

Students in the course will explore the cultural history of the music genre broadly referred to as rock. Students will explore the social, economic and political contexts that are influenced by and that influenced each style in the United States. By listening, watching, reflecting upon, discussing and writing, students will explore how music takes on meaning, personally, and culturally. Topics and themes include the relationships between and among gospel, country, funk, folk, disco, rap and hip hop; the role of business and technology in those relationships, and political or transgressive elements of rock music.

Students will apply communication theory and research to address the particular challenges to communicating effectively in organizations. Students will learn how to identify organizational communication problems, analyze those problems, and generate effective solutions. Students will examine the relationship between organizational structure and specific communicative practices, and how communication practices by organizational members establish, maintain, or change organizational culture. They will also learn how to anticipate communication deficiencies in organizations, and use communication as a means to facilitate organizational development and innovation.

Prerequisites

Complete COMM-130

Specific application of common tools for writing in the working world. Students will be instructed in rhetorical strategies of professional writing including style, report formats, editing, document design, and integration of visual aids. Students will complete a semester-long writing project; oral and written reports associated with the process of problem-solving within the project will be included.

Prerequisites

ENGL-112 or COR-125

Students will learn how to create conditions for successful conflict engagement, a necessary skill for any professional. The course focuses on the foundational capacities to remain calm and connected with oneself and others. In this state students can access helpful ideas and responses and be their best selves regardless of environment. Improving facility for conflict creates stronger relationships and reduces fear. By the end of the course, students will understand that disagreement and difference can become a source of personal and interpersonal growth.

Ethics refers to accepted standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do in various contexts, typically in relation to rights, obligations/duties, benefits to society, fairness, consequences, and virtues. In this course, students will explore both theoretical and practical dimensions of ethics in order to 1) define ethics and identify ethical positions and principles, 2) critically reflect on how ethics impacts individual and collective responsibility, decision-making, and action, and 3) apply ethics to the personal, civic, and professional contexts.

Prerequisites

ENGL-110

This course introduces students to the fundamental elements of technical writing (clear, concise, and targeted)that are common among seven forms of technical communication: email correspondence, editing,employment communication, proposals, long, formal reports,oral communication, and inventions. Through peer reviews and writing workshops, students develop the ability to write and edit text that precisely targets its audience. This course emphasizes deepening and broadening students' writing, speaking, and thinking abilities in a non-lecture-based, hands-on, discussion-centered classroom.

Prerequisites

ENGL-112 or COR-125

Complete the following course, plus one more from the next social sciences section

In this course, students will explore broad, foundational knowledge in psychology, including its history, major theorists and a survey of psychology subfields such as developmental, cognitive and social psychology. Students will also describe and assess the role of ethics and social responsibility in the study and application of psychological theory and practices.

Choose one of the following

Provides a comprehensive analysis of the fundamentals of substantive criminal law. Students will learn the essential elements of crimes and the rationale underlying criminal law. The nature of jurisdiction, the criminal act, the criminal state of mind and matters affecting responsibility for criminal conduct are included.

This course focuses on the rules and procedures governing how the American criminal justice system must process individuals suspected, accused, and convicted of law violations.

This course provides students with a broad overview of the history, theory, and fundamentals of criminal investigation. Students are introduced to the basic responsibilities of investigators and protocols for report writing, evidence collection, and preparation of cases for trial. They also learn specific investigative techniques for different types of crimes, such as crimes involving violence and property, terrorism, and hate crimes, and, where appropriate, compare investigative protocols from other legal cultures.

Prerequisites

Take CRIM-120, CRIM-121.

Principles of Economics introduces the fundamental concepts of economics - the study of how people manage resources, and how they react to scarcity. This course focuses on both microeconomics (the behavior of consumers and companies) and macroeconomics (large-scale economic factors such as employment and interest rates), so that you'll gain a broad understanding of how a modern market economy functions, how decisions in business settings are informed by economics, and how economics applies to your everyday life.

Students will study important themes in the social history of the United States since the Civil War. This course allows students to expand their critical thinking skills through an examination of primary and secondary sources. Themes might include: the evolving status of women; the immigrant experience; the concept of the American dream; the paradox of freedom vs. slavery; the minority experience; the tensions between social classes. Students will be evaluated primarily on writing assignments.

In this class, students will explore how social relationships, groups, societies and culture develop and change over time. From a sociological theory foundation and employing the sociological imagination, students will examine the impact of social structures, institutions, and systems on individual lives. Students will apply sociological research methods to investigate sociological phenomena in their own lives.

Graduates of the interactive game design bachelor's online program will demonstrate the following industry-specific skills, knowledge, and competencies:

  • Combine rapid prototyping techniques and diverse technologies including game development engines, content creation tools, and interactive software to create functional game designs. 
  • Critically evaluate game designs through user testing and feedback, and iterate designs effectively to enhance user experience and gameplay. 
  • Collaborate effectively in diverse teams, coordinating roles and responsibilities in the game development process to meet project goals and deadlines. 
  • Address ethical and social considerations in game design, including issues related to diversity, inclusion, and the social impact of games. 
  • Conduct research to analyze current trends and innovations in game design and apply this knowledge to develop unique and groundbreaking game concepts. 
  • Create a comprehensive professional portfolio that showcases a range of game design projects, reflecting advanced skills in level and systems design, as well as production management. 
  • Apply principles of marketing and consumer psychology to effectively market games and understand player behavior and preferences.

Champlain College Online's interactive game design faculty, led by Cybersecurity Program Chair Kathleen Hyde, MCIS, MBA, are expert practitioners in the field. Their industry expertise ensures that our curriculum is aligned with the needs of employers, and reflects the skills today’s game professionals need for success. Classes led by our seasoned experts will give you real-world insight into the world of gaming, and create a rich community of career-focused learning.

Many students come to us seeking ways to get noticed at their current employers or to get hired in a new field. Given that, we are hyper focused on increasing the career mobility of our students and that's why we developed the Fast Start Formula Career Bundle, a suite of career offerings designed to help our students get noticed, get hired and land jobs they'll love.

Valued at over $1,000, the career bundle is offered to Champlain College Online students and includes:

  • Fast Start Formula Course: The Fast Start Formula Course for getting noticed and getting hired is taught by Jen Morris, an executive career coach that we've developed a partnership with to support our students in their job search journeys. This course is online, self-paced and full of tips and tricks to land a job you'll love.
  • Live Webinars: Log-on to ask your specific job search questions, get live “hot seat” coaching and gain valuable insights from leading career coach, Jen Morris.
  • Landing A Job You'll Love Ebook: Download this ebook full of tips and tricks for standing out from the competition. From how to optimize your LinkedIn profile, to insider information on how recruiters work and bypassing the automated application websites, you’ll be sure to learn how to rise to the top.

Upon enrollment in a degree or certificate, your access to the Fast Start Formula Career Bundle will made available to you.

Tuition & Costs

Online Undergraduate Tuition Fall '23 - Summer '25

$335 per credit
$1,005* per course
$290** per credit for Champlain alumni or associate degree graduates from any college or university
$250 per credit for military service members (family members see truED tuition)
$150 One-time graduation fee

*Based on a 3-credit course; cost will vary if course is a different number of credits

** Starts Summer 2024, not retroactive 

See the undergraduate cost of attendance and fees here

What To Expect at Champlain Online

Expect Convenience

Go to school wherever and whenever is best for you, on the device of your choice.

Expect A Career Focus

Relevant and immediately applicable coursework gets you ready for your next career move

Expect Support

Your dedicated academic advisor provides the support you need to meet your academic goals

Expect Superior Faculty

Learn from practitioner faculty working in the field, with real-world experience and knowledge.

Why Champlain

Flexibility

"I chose Champlain because it gave me the flexibility I needed. The accelerated format offers a great way to reach your goals faster, and makes earning your degree or certificate a realistic achievement that truly is obtainable."

Shane Dalziel Bachelor Degree in Computer & Information Systems
Director of Operations, VIP Media Co.
Shane Dalziel, Bachelor's Degree in Computer & Information Systems

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Learn More About The BS in Interactive Game Design Program

Learn what you can expect from our online bachelor's in interactive game design program.

Sunset over Lake Champlain from Champlain College campus in Burlington, Vermont

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