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Starting a game design career with the NYFA

on 25 April 2013

Given that gaming has seen an explosion in mainstream popularity in recent years, the number of people wanting to break into the industry on a professional level has grown proportionately. And really, it’s of no surprise that the idea of turning a passion for gaming into a career is so alluring; if you can break into this highly competitive field, the rewards and job satisfaction are more than worth it.

Naturally, it’s also a very difficult nut to crack – not just in terms of competition but also because it’s difficult to acquire the skills necessary, especially when it comes to game design. It’s a skillset, which comprises of numerous artistic nuances, from graphics to sound design as well as narrative writing, coding and even architectural knowledge. All of these individual skills need to be tied together with a solid, inherent understanding of what makes for a good gaming experience.

So, where to start? It’s not impossible to self-teach game design, but without many years of hard graft, a bucket load of determination and more than a little luck, most people flounder before they even get out of the gate.

Going Down the Formal Tuition Route

Some subjects are very difficult to learn under professional tutorship, but game design is not one of them. The New York Film Academy’s design school in particular is not only geared towards helping prospective designers to realize their individual potential but also to achieve success in the industry right after they graduate.

Students joining any one of the varieties of degree programs at the NYFA can expect a collaborative, professional environment in which they’ll have access to industry-grade equipment as well as tuition from game design stalwarts.

During the program, students will be encouraged to deconstruct existing games into their composite parts as a way of getting their hands dirty and learning the intricacies of game design in a practical way. By the end of the program, tutors will aim to guide student designers towards the following learning goals:

- A deep understanding of a variety of video game genres, as well as their individual characteristics and hallmarks

- A working knowledge of the history of video games (including how design has evolved throughout the generations)

- Practical experience with the latest in game design technology such as animation and coding tools.

- An understanding of the business side of video game creation, since having a degree-level knowledge of game design alone isn’t going to land any paying gigs out in the field.

 - Contacts. We encourage students – and provide the tools – to network with like-minded individuals in order to carry out collaborative work, since game creation is very rarely a solo endeavor.

Walking Away With Results

No matter which program the prospective game designer chooses, they’ll graduate with a real portfolio of work they can be proud of. Many similar game design courses across the US don’t result in a body of work generated throughout the course, so the NYFA is proud be one of the few game design schools to help students work towards something tangible.

Producing Industry-Ready Designers

In the aforementioned list of learning goals, the NYFA game design course is ideal for people who plan on using their qualifications to gain relevant work (and as the New York Film Academy is a renowned institution, the degrees earned here come with added weight).

Through inheriting knowledge from those who have decades of working experience in the industry, students can expect to walk out of the campus gates at the end of their final semester fully equipped for the world of game design work. Indeed, many of the New York Film Academy’s alumni have gone on to great success in high-profile roles within the industry.

Starting the Adventure

Make no mistake about it – undertaking a game design program at the NYFA is very intensive and should not be entered into without a serious passion for gaming. However, the programs are fulfilling and designed to accelerate learning at an unparalleled pace.

To find out more about the NYFA’s range of game design degrees, visit the handy resource page here and be sure to download the comprehensive program brochure.