Game Design & Production

 

Major: Game Design and Production
Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Science (BS)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 186.0
Co-op Options: One Co-op (Four years)
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 36.0113
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 15-1131

About the Program

Drexel's nationally-ranked Game Design & Production program combines a strong comprehension of animation and interactivity with an understanding of design, programming, production, and teamwork.

The major mirrors a sector that has seen an explosion in gaming, not just in personal entertainment, but throughout multiple industries and the corporate world. The gaming industry has matured into a source of large-budget AAA and smaller indie entertainment projects. It encompasses the use of serious gaming, where gaming technologies are used in education and training for practically any topic.

Fully immersive games use constantly evolving methods of presentation and interaction, such as personal data-trackers, Internet-of-Things (IoT), multi-touch displays, mediated-reality (augmented and virtual) motion and gesture capture, motion simulation, and haptic devices. To best prepare for the demands of careers in these rapidly changing disciplines, students pursue a foundation of design and technology, taking core courses in all aspects of digital media, completing a six-month co-op and delving into rigorous specialty coursework. Provided a robust foundation, students are prepared to adapt to shifting industry demands and maintain a fluency across the digital media spectrum.

Students begin making games in the first term as freshmen and continue making team-based game projects both small and large throughout their plan of study. Interdisciplinary teamwork is a core skill developed in teams of two to over eighteen, often spanning multiple programs including Computer Science, Music Industry, and more. Every project enables students to experiment and refine their experience in the many roles required to produce a finished game. Drexel University offers multiple opportunities to support the entrepreneurially minded student, from the Entrepreneurial Game Studio to the Close School of Entrepreneurship and the Baiada Institute for Entrepreneurship.

To complement the creative focus of the Game Design & Production major, a minor in Computer Science is popular, and in many cases an ideal supplement for Game Design & Production students. This minor increases programming knowledge while maintaining a creative design and production focus. This or any of the over 100 minors available at Drexel would be easy to achieve within a plan of study using free electives. For the computer-engineering-focused, a sister concentration in game programming and development is offered as part of Drexel's major in computer science.

Additional Information

To find out more about this major, visit the Westphal College’s Game Design & Production Major page.

Degree Requirements 

General education requirements
CIVC 101Introduction to Civic Engagement1.0
COM 230Techniques of Speaking3.0
COOP 101Career Management and Professional Development0.0
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
MATH 101Introduction to Analysis I4.0
PHYS 121Physical Science for Design I4.0
PHYS 122Physical Science for Design II4.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience2.0
Arts and humanities elective3.0
History (HIST) elective3.0
Literature (ENGL) elective3.0
Social sciences electives9.0
Free electives24.0
Art and art history requirements
ARTH 102History of Art II: Renaissance to Romanticism3.0
ARTH 103History of Art III: Modern Art3.0
ARTH 300 [WI] History of Modern Design3.0
VSST 108Design I for Media3.0
VSST 109Design II for Media3.0
VSST 110Introductory Drawing3.0
VSST 111Figure Drawing I3.0
Media and computer science requirements
CS 171Computer Programming I3.0
FMVD 110Basic Shooting and Lighting3.0
or FMTV 110 Basic Cinematography
FMVD 206Audio Production and Post3.0
GMAP 231Scripting for Game Design3.0
SCRP 270 [WI] Screenwriting I3.0
Digital media core requirements
ANIM 140Computer Graphics Imagery I3.0
ANIM 141Computer Graphics Imagery II3.0
ANIM 211Animation I3.0
DIGM 105Overview of Digital Media3.0
DIGM 223Creative Concept Design3.0
DIGM 250Professional Practices3.0
DIGM 350 [WI] Digital Storytelling3.0
DIGM 451 [WI] Explorations in New Media3.0
DIGM 475 [WI] Seminar: The Future of Digital Media3.0
DIGM 490Digital Media Senior Project *9.0
DIGM 491Digital Media Senior Project Studio *3.0
GMAP 260Overview of Computer Gaming3.0
IDM 100Introduction to Web Development3.0
IDM 211User Interface Design I3.0
Gaming requirements
ANIM 212Animation II3.0
ANIM 388Spatial Data Capture3.0
GMAP 101Game Design Lab I3.0
GMAP 102Game Design Lab II3.0
GMAP 345Game Development Foundations3.0
GMAP 360Game Design from the Player’s Perspective3.0
GMAP 377Game Development: Workshop I3.0
GMAP 378Game Development: Workshop II3.0
GMAP 421Advanced Game Design and Production3.0
Select two of the following Gaming electives6.0
Serious Games
Experimental Games
Character Animation for Gaming
Artificial Intelligence in Gaming
Mobile Game Development
Special Topics in Game Art and Production
Special Topics in Game Art and Production
Special Topics in Game Art and Production
Special Topics in Game Art and Production
Total Credits186.0

Writing-Intensive Course Requirements

In order to graduate, all students must pass three writing-intensive courses after their freshman year. Two writing-intensive courses must be in a student's major. The third can be in any discipline. Students are advised to take one writing-intensive class each year, beginning with the sophomore year, and to avoid “clustering” these courses near the end of their matriculation. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.

A "WI" next to a course in this catalog may indicate that this course can fulfill a writing-intensive requirement. For the most up-to-date list of writing-intensive courses being offered, students should check the Writing Intensive Course List at the University Writing Program. Students scheduling their courses can also conduct a search for courses with the attribute "WI" to bring up a list of all writing-intensive courses available that term.

 Sample Plan of Study

Term 1Credits
DIGM 105Overview of Digital Media3.0
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
GMAP 101Game Design Lab I3.0
PHYS 121Physical Science for Design I4.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience (Department specific.)1.0
VSST 110Introductory Drawing3.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 2
ANIM 140Computer Graphics Imagery I3.0
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
GMAP 102Game Design Lab II3.0
PHYS 122Physical Science for Design II4.0
UNIV 101The Drexel Experience (Program specific.)1.0
VSST 108Design I for Media3.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 3
ANIM 141Computer Graphics Imagery II3.0
CIVC 101Introduction to Civic Engagement1.0
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
FMVD 110
or FMTV 110
Basic Shooting and Lighting
Basic Cinematography
3.0
MATH 101Introduction to Analysis I4.0
VSST 109Design II for Media3.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 4
ANIM 211Animation I3.0
CS 171Computer Programming I3.0
DIGM 223Creative Concept Design3.0
GMAP 260Overview of Computer Gaming3.0
IDM 211User Interface Design I3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 5
ANIM 212Animation II3.0
ARTH 102History of Art II: Renaissance to Romanticism3.0
COOP 101Career Management and Professional Development0.0
GMAP 231Scripting for Game Design3.0
IDM 100Introduction to Web Development3.0
VSST 111Figure Drawing I3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 6
ANIM 388Spatial Data Capture3.0
COM 230Techniques of Speaking3.0
GMAP 345Game Development Foundations3.0
GMAP 360Game Design from the Player’s Perspective3.0
SCRP 270 [WI] Screenwriting I3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 7
ARTH 103History of Art III: Modern Art3.0
FMVD 206Audio Production and Post3.0
DIGM 250Professional Practices3.0
DIGM 350 [WI] Digital Storytelling3.0
Gaming Elective3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 8
ARTH 300 [WI] History of Modern Design3.0
DIGM 451 [WI] Explorations in New Media3.0
GMAP 377Game Development: Workshop I3.0
Arts & Humanities Elective3.0
Free Elective3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 9
DIGM 475 [WI] Seminar: The Future of Digital Media3.0
GMAP 378Game Development: Workshop II3.0
Gaming Elective3.0
Social Science Elective3.0
Free elective3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 10
DIGM 490Digital Media Senior Project3.0
DIGM 491Digital Media Senior Project Studio1.0
GMAP 421Advanced Game Design and Production3.0
Literature Elective3.0
Social Science Elective3.0
Free Elective3.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 11
DIGM 490Digital Media Senior Project3.0
DIGM 491Digital Media Senior Project Studio1.0
Social Science Elective3.0
Free Electives9.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 12
DIGM 490Digital Media Senior Project3.0
DIGM 491Digital Media Senior Project Studio1.0
History Elective3.0
Free Electives6.0
 Term Credits13.0
Total Credit: 186.0

Co-op/Career Opportunities

Drexel students have broad training in all areas of game design and production, and our students have career opportunities in both entertainment gaming and broader simulation/training industries, and anywhere interactive gaming technology is applied - a growing segment in all industries.

Co-op Experiences

Building a career often begins with a few key contacts - especially through alumni already working in the industry - and the co-op program gives Drexel students the chance to meet professionals, making their skills known, and build their personal network. A recent co-op student at Microsoft Studios worked with producers on several different titles and was offered a job in their junior year that was waiting for them after they completed their senior year.

In addition to small and large entertainment companies, students have opportunities to explore how game design is applicable to many local and international industries ranging from aerospace to pharmaceuticals to yacht design. 

Recent co-op opportunities include game and digital media jobs in Philadelphia region companies like eNable Games, Entrepreneurial Game Studio, iD Tech Game Design & Development Academy, IDEA, Penn Medicine, PHL Collective, Skyless Game Studios, and Virtual Health.

Students also secured game and digital media co-ops at national and international companies, like Rockstar Games in San Diego and Inter Media Japan in Tokyo.

Career Experiences

Our network of successful game development students work in leading entertainment companies including 343 Industries, Blizzard, Disney, EA Games, Ghost Story Games, Industrial Light & Magic, Irrational Games, Microsoft Studios, Microsoft Xbox, Midway, NCsoft, NeatherRealm Studios, Nexon, Oculus VR, Riot Games, Rockstar Games, Schell Games, Sony SCEA, Spry Fox, The Coalition, Turn 10 Studios, Volition, and Zynga.

Other students chose small-to-mid-size studios or launch their own digital media, like Tom Fulp, founder of Newgrounds.com, or indie game companies, like Dan Fornace, creator of Rivals of Aether, and Greg Lobanov, creator of Wandersong. Students also chose to work outside of entertainment by applying their game production skills to training, simulation, or marketing endeavors with companies including Comcast, Lockheed Martin, and Vanguard.

Jobs titles include Art Director, Animator, Associate Producer, Character Animator, Cinematic Lead, Cinematics Animator, Community Manager, Digital Project Coordinator, Facial Capture Artist, Game Designer, Lead Cinematic Animator, Lead Technical Director, Lead Virtual Production Manager, Marketing Manager, Motion Capture Technician, Previsualization Supervisor, Program Manager, Programmer, Senior Animator, Senior Artist, Senior Community Manager, Simulation Developer, Technical Artist, and Virtual Production Engineer.

Visit the Drexel Steinbright Career Development Center page for more detailed information on co-op and post-graduate opportunities, or Drexel's RePlay Lab careers page.

Dual Accelerated Degrees

BS/MS in Digital Media

The accelerated degree programs enable academically qualified students to earn both a bachelor's and a master's degree in five years instead of six — graduating sooner than they would in traditional programs. In addition, the graduate-level courses students take in their junior and senior years are included in their undergraduate tuition, which saves almost a year's worth of their MS tuition.

Current Drexel students may apply for an accelerated degree programs through the Graduate College of Drexel University after completing 90.0 credits, but no more than 120.0 credits. Many of our accelerated students have gone on to careers at leading companies including Pixar, Microsoft Studios, Dreamworks, NCSoft, and Disney.

Game Design and Production Faculty

Theo Artz, BFA (Tyler School of Art, Temple University). Associate Professor. Digital media.
Paul Diefenbach, PhD (University of Pennsylvania). Assistant Professor. Game development, real-time rendering.
Jeremy Fernsler, BA (Pennsylvania State University ) Program Director, Game Design & Production. Assistant Teaching Professor. Digital effects artist; compositor and animator for the feature film visual effects industry.
Troy Finamore, MS (Drexel University) Program Director, Interactive Digital Media. Assistant Teaching Professor. Advertising, design and interactivity.
Nick Jushchyshyn, MFA (Academy of Art University) Program Director, Animation and Visual Effects. Assistant Teaching Professor. Visual effects, digital media and animation.
Frank J. Lee, PhD (Carnegie Mellon University). Associate Professor. Human-computer interaction; cognitive engineering and science; intelligent software agents for games and education.
Robert Lloyd, MFA (Temple University). Assistant Teaching Professor. Game development, themed entertainment and motion simulation.
David Mauriello, BA (Lafayette College). Assistant Professor. 3D modeling and animation.
Glen Muschio, PhD (Temple University). Associate Professor. Digital media, society, communication.
Stefan Rank, PhD (Vienna University of Technology). Assistant Professor. Artificial intelligence, game design and human-computer interaction.
Jervis Thompson, BS (Drexel University). Associate Teaching Professor. Digital media, interactive multimedia.
Jichen Zhu, PhD (Georgia Institute of Technology). Assistant Professor. Developing humanistic and interpretive framework of computational technology, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), and constructing AI-based cultural artifacts; interactive storytelling, games and software studies.
  • Schedule of Classes
  • All Course Descriptions
  • Co-op
  • Academic Advising
  • Admissions
  • Tuition & Fees
LEARN MORE