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Majors & Degrees

Game design for the next gen

May 22, 2024

An immersive and unique curriculum series in Dakota State University’s Computer Game Design program provides students with the opportunity to develop entire games from concept to console as a team.

This experience is integral to being prepared to enter the tough industry of game design.

Two yearlong projects courses at Dakota State provide a unique experience of creating games. During junior year, game design majors take the first of their projects courses and work on a senior-driven team with the goal of completing an interactive experience. The next year, they become the seniors who lead the project work on the project. At the end of each academic year, the teams have the opportunity to pitch a product concept to faculty and students for the following year’s cycle, explained Erik Pederson, Assistant Professor of Game Design.

At the completion of this year’s projects course, 59 game design students gathered to pitch and hear 10 concepts for game production that will begin in the fall 2024 semester. Six will be selected to move forward and be completed throughout the following academic year.

“The concepts are chosen by a combination of attendee feedback and faculty input,” Pederson said.

This practice, implemented by Pederson and Peter Britton, Assistant Professor of Game Design, requires students work together to complete all areas of the game’s production, including coding, artwork, narrative, and design.

“The overall intent is to create resume-worthy interactive software that the graduates will use to balance their portfolios,” Pederson said. “The industry seeks graduates who have experienced the development lifecycle from start to finish.”

Because DSU students go through the process twice, they can graduate with two published products.

Dakota State’s program was ranked among the top 50 international undergraduate programs by The Princeton Review.

For more information about the Computer Game Design program visit its page.

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