Whether it's imagining rich virtual game worlds or designing creatures from another planet, you'll be on the right path to the fast-paced, exciting world of video game art and design with SNHU's Bachelor of Arts in Game Art and Development.
As an online game design degree that zeroes in on game art, this program will help you build a portfolio of compelling front-end game designs. Use industry-standard tools such as Autodesk and Adobe Photoshop to learn and apply game design and game art principles such as:
Creativity, critical thinking and technical skills all come together in this highly sought-after undergraduate program. The convenience of SNHU’s online offering means you can remain located in the areas of the country where the market is hotter – the West Coast or Florida, for instance – and emerge with the skills you need to enter an industry that's both fast-paced and always changing.
As a private, nonprofit university, SNHU has one mission - to help you see yourself succeed. The benefits of earning your bachelor's in game programming and development at SNHU include:
With market research firm Newzoo projecting a $128 billion global gaming market by 2020 and the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimating that job growth for multimedia artists and animators will grow 10% through 2026, it's the right time to be a game artist.* SNHU offers a critical advantage in a highly competitive field, as our program uniquely hones in on today's industry standards and essential skill-building to excel in game design and game art.
Whether it's for games or movies, ed-tech or the military, here are just a few careers our online game design degree can land you:
Almost anything you need to build or create in the 21st century begins with a model or animation or both, because these tools can help pinpoint design flaws, identify areas of improvement and ultimately reduce costs.
Additionally, our expert faculty of gaming vets has broad experience within the gaming industry.
Our curriculum will help you become proficient with design tools like Adobe Software Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, In-Design) and 3DS Max. Armed with these tools, you'll build an eye-catching portfolio that includes original character and creature designs, along with demonstrated experience designing interactive 3D environments.
Courses mirror the standard workflow pipeline used in the industry for the production of art assets for multiple video game platforms, including web, console, PC and mobile, so you'll be ready to hit the ground running in a fast-paced industry.
SNHU's bachelor's in game art and development program includes:
General Education Program
Our programs are designed to equip you with the skills and insights you need to move forward. In recent years, employers have stressed the need for graduates with higher order skills - the skills that go beyond technical knowledge - such as:
All bachelor's students are required to take general education classes. Through foundation, exploration and integration courses, students learn to think critically, creatively and collaboratively, giving you the edge employers are looking for.
In this course students will be introduced into Digital sculpting with zbrush. Also understand how digital sculpting fits into a pipeline in a game production environment. Techniques covered in this course will be software navigation, sculpting with multiple brushes, masking, poly painting, and materials. The course will cover some practices used to prep a model for the next stage in creating a game model. Some techniques will show how zbrush can work seamlessly with other 3D modeling software. The class will also have assignments that include observational and concept drawing.
In this course students will be introduced to 3DS max. It will give them an overview of what max does specifically for games. This course will be focused on modeling. Students will learn the basics of modeling low poly and high poly models. How they are unwrapped and used in conjunction with textures. It will also show a wide range of techniques used in the industry for modeling for mobile, PC and current generation consoles.
This course focuses on programming capabilities to enhance graphic animations and user interfaces to provide spectacular interactive results. Those benefiting from this course include students in game development, advertising, marketing, education, web development, art and other fields that can benefit from interactive animated graphics helping to convey concepts. The course is intended for those with no programming experience as well as those with some programming background. The use and creation of animations will be covered at a level of interest to both those new as well as experienced. The results can be displayed by a browser from the internet or as standalone results displayable on a range of operating systems. This is a hands on computer based course in which the students create a number of individual projects based on their interests and capabilities, focusing on creativity and programming aspects of interactive animation. The course utilizes emerging technologies in interactive animation.
This course will introduce students to character animation by learning the 12 principles of animation. We will also be going over the pipeline for skinning and rigging a character.
Using industry standard image editing software software, this course is an introduction to professional computer graphics creation and to the software and hardware typically used in the graphic design, video, photography and interactive Web/multimedia industries. Image editing and color management systems will be discussed and demonstrated. The important differences between vector and bitmap graphics will be defined, as will the significant differences in preparing images for print, broadcast and Web distribution. Students will be encouraged to experiment with their own and preexisting images using sophisticated digital editing techniques such as layering, channel masking, filtering, cloning and montaging. Special attention will be paid to copyright awareness in the age of the digital image.
In the first half of this course students will be introduced to a pipeline for the creation of environments inside of a game studio. Students will be shown how to use reference drawings and images to help build props and environment pieces. Students will also be shown how these assets can be used, not only as standalone assets but to create other bigger picture assets when used as a modular set piece. Then the students will digitally sculpt environment assets from references provided to them. When the sculpting phase is finished the students will learn how to build a game model from their digital sculpt. Students will then create the textures that will be used for a final render. In the second half of this course students will be able to go through this same pipeline but instead of using provided artwork, they will create something from their own imagination.
This course will involve a combination of concept, texturing, digital sculpting and 3d modeling to create characters that would appear on both mobile and current generation consoles. Students will learn a proven pipeline used in the gaming industry to bring a concept to creation and ready for game implementation. The course will begin showing students how this pipeline works in combination of different types of software following a given concept. They will have the understanding of how specific software works along the path of the pipeline to create a character. Students will then be asked to create their own concept following the techniques used in class to present a finished game character for their final project.
In this course students will be shown how creatures are created from an idea to a fully fleshed out game model. They will work through weekly assignments to see the connection of real world animals and fantasy creatures. Students will follow step by step instruction with supplied concepts to build a fantasy creature through real world animal anatomy and the creative process. In the second half of this course students will learn how to go through this same process of using reference of actual creatures/animals from the real world as a spring board to create their own fantasy creature.
In this course students will explore how their individual creative strengths and digital skill sets fit into a professional work flow of commercial game production. Students will choose one or multiple aspects of game art creation: Character design, Environment design, or Animation. All creative work produced in this course will be executed in the context of strict deadlines that simulate industry expectation. Students will concentrate on game development source control and integration of art assets into a production pipeline. Each student develops a digital portfolio and website that showcase their ability to create professional creative art work. Students will learn the process of objective self-evaluation and peer criticism and preparing their portfolios to match professional job board postings.
This capstone course is the culminating experience for the B.A. in Game Art and Development program. The aim of the capstone is to assess students' ability to synthesize and integrate the knowledge and skills they have developed throughout their coursework, rather than introducing new concepts. This course is structured to support student success in fulfilling program requirements.
Total Credit Hours: 120
The following software programs will be required for use in the Game Art & Development program. Please note that system requirements may change without notice. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that they meet the minimum system requirements for these programs.
Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite (includes Maya, 3ds Max, Softimage, MotionBuilder, and Mudbox).
Students can download these products for free under an educational agreement through Autodesk.
Please note that some Autodesk products included in the Entertainment Creation Suite may not be available for Apple® Mac OS® X operating systems. Students may elect to run non-native software (most notably 3ds Max) on Windows® through Apple's Boot Camp® or Parallels Desktop® systems. Students who wish to purchase Windows® 8.1 may do so through Microsoft's student-only discount.
Adobe Creative Cloud (includes Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat, and more)
Students can download these products for a reduced monthly cost of $19.99 through Adobe (please note that a 12-month contract is required by Adobe).
System Requirements (requirements below are listed for Photoshop and Illustrator. Given that current system requirements can change without notice from Adobe, it is best to consult the most up-to-date requirements on the Adobe website.
Operating System (PC): Microsoft® Windows® 7 (SP1), Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 Professional operating system
CPU: 64-bit Intel® Pentium® 4 or AMD® Athlon processor (2 GHz or faster)
RAM: 2 GB (8 GB of RAM or more recommended)
Disk Space: 2 GB free disk space
Operating System (Mac): Mac OS® X v10.7, v10.8, v10.9, or v10.10
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
*Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges as well as several other accrediting bodies. More...