Get ready for your dream career – and study in one of the best cities in the country for the video game industry.
Explore your options — classes, internships, research and study abroad. Find what interests you, discover what you love, and create a major experience that jumpstarts your future.
As a Video Game Development major, you’ll learn every phase of the process of creating games: building a concept, prototyping, narrative design, asset creation, testing and release. You’ll become well-versed in interactive storytelling techniques, game design and game audio, and you’ll learn strategic software platforms.
But — just as importantly — you’ll learn how to think and adapt. Gaming is an industry where things change fast. Software tools, game engines, favored scripting languages and even business models will evolve between the time you start college and when you graduate. At St. Edward’s, you’ll learn how to be adaptable, so you’re never stuck clinging to one technology or an outdated idea of what consumers want.
You’ll apply what you learn in Austin, the third largest hub of game development in the country, home to small indie developers to such global competitors as Blizzard Entertainment, Electronic Arts, BioWare, Cloud Imperium Games, Daybreak Game Company, NCSoft, ZeniMax/Bethesda, Kabam, Wargaming.net, Retro Studios, Devolver Digital and Aspyr Media.
What do our graduates do?
Video Game Development majors go on to a variety of careers from St. Edward’s. Here’s a sample.
- Associate producer at Electronic Arts
- User advocate at Box, Inc.
- QA tester at Aspyr Media
- Assistant director of IndieDEVCAMP
- Junior developer at FOX Bet
- Game and narrative designer at Worldwalker Games
For more information about the Video Game Development major, please contact Robert Denton Bryant, director of the program. The Video Game Development major is part of the Department of Visual Studies.
Three Video Game Development majors are putting their skills to work in Austin’s tech industry. Read about their experiences in the major.
Major Requirements: The BA in Video Game Development requires 56 hours of major courses, which include courses in computational foundations, digital media, visual studies, and game development.
General Education Requirements: The degree requires approximately 40 hours of general education courses which students complete over four years in addition to their major courses and electives.
View and download the full degree plan for the Video Game Development major (PDF).
Courses offered in this major include:
- Interactive Storytelling – This seminar contrasts traditional storytelling with the particular challenges of interactive narrative. Students develop an ability to craft interactive narrative and explore the range of storytelling techniques available in video games.
- Game Design Studio I – Designed as a portfolio course, this course explores gameplay in 2D space and gives the student the opportunity to expand their game design portfolio by creating interactive projects using sound game design tools and methods.
- Introduction to Game Audio – This course will give students a solid understanding of physics of audio and sound design techniques used to record and produce sound effects, ambient tracks, and dialog for video games.
While it's easy to make a game hard, it's hard to make a game fun. The challenge for creators in the 21st Century is to use the expressive potential of the video game medium to create moving and deeply meaningful player experiences.
– Robert Denton Bryant, Director of Video Game Development
Though technical mastery is critical for a developer, game engines change, software is updated, and new tools appear daily. I emphasize the fundamentals of game design and how to craft experiences that are meaningful and enjoyable. Students who understand these concepts will be able to adapt and thrive in the rapidly evolving field of video game development.
– Jeremy Johnson, Ph.D., Visiting Professor of Video Game Development
Outside the Classroom
As a student in the Video Game Development program, you will divide your learning between hands-on game development and conceptual creativity, resulting in a broad understanding of the artistic, written, design, and algorithmic aspects of game production. You’ll create both discreet assets and playable games in our design and development classes, using industry-standard game creation software tools. As a result, you’ll have a solid, diverse skill set and the portfolio to prove it to potential employers.
VGAM students can explore a range of career paths and practical application of their studies through internships and interactions with the greater Austin games and technology community.
Industry Guest Speakers
Our faculty has strong connections to the local and international game development community, and strives each semester to bring a strong line-up of relevant industry professionals to the classroom as guest speakers or special guests at campus events. Recent guests have included working professionals from Bungie, Fireside Games, DC Comics, Rooster Teeth, Quicksilver Software, Team Dogpit, and SXSW Gaming.
Access to Austin's Game and Technology Scene
Our faculty has sponsored events at SXSW Gaming.
Our students are encouraged to attend regular community events held by such groups as The Capital Factory, IGDA Austin, and Juegos Rancheros.
Internships and Community-Engaged Service
In partnership with Austin's HealthStart Foundation, our students have worked both in the classroom and as interns to design and develop educational mini-games for its tablet game Monstralia, currently available on Google Play and coming soon on the App Store. This game will teach three- to eight-year-olds the importance of good nutrition, fitness, and taking care of each other and our planet. Read more about this exciting partnership here.
About the Minor
A minor in Video Game Development can equip graduates with a wide range of degree options. Students must take the following courses, totaling 18 hours:
- History of Video Games
- Interaction and Analog Game Design
- World Building
- Interactive Technologies
- Game Design Studio I
- Game Design Studio II
- One additional VGAM course (cannot be Senior Game Studio I or II)
Are you a current student? Contact your advisor for next steps on declaring your major or minor.