You may be surprised to learn that Florida is a hotbed for aspiring game designers. Florida is home to some of the most well-known video game franchises in history, with its most notable offering being the football-themed Madden franchise.
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Among the top schools in the country for game design students are located in this country’s flourishing gaming industry. There are many options for schools, but finding the right one for you isn’t as straightforward as it seems. Here’s a list of some of the best schools you can attend to get a cool video game design job in Florida.
Top 3 Game Development Colleges in Florida
1. University of Central Florida + Florida Interactive Academy, Orlando, FloridaUniversity of Central Florida
The University of Central Florida (UCF) was founded in 1963 and serves approximately 68,571 students across four campuses. It is the second-largest university in the nation and the largest in Florida by enrollment. UCF offers 220-degree programs across 13 colleges, making it one of the nation’s youngest universities. UCF’s big program is game design, which is the school’s biggest.
Games & Interactive Media Department of University of Central Florida’s College of Arts and Humanities offers a BA in Digital Media with a Game Design specialization that combines art, storytelling, and technology.”
Students will study the history, design, cultural impact, and technological implementations of video games through the Game Design Track. They will complete courses that will give them the ability to “build a series of prototype, casual and longer form games throughout the semester.”
Additionally, the program offers the chance to take part in game jams and meet-ups, which provide networking and job placement opportunities.
The Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy is located on the UCF campus. In August of 2005, the graduate video game design school opened its doors to a select group of aspiring game developers and creators. At present, FIEA serves dozens of students enrolled in a 16-month program for a Master of Science in Interactive Entertainment, which offers three tracks: tech art, programming, and production.
The MS in Video Games offers an “active and interactive project-based curriculum.” Students will work with fellow students as “producers, programmers, and artists on actual real-life projects.” Projects are overseen “by some of the best video game faculties in the world.”
There is a Master of Arts in Digital Media – Visual Language and Interactive Media degree at UCF. These students may pursue this program without submitting a thesis. Their portfolios may contain artwork, software or games they have designed, articles they have written, or proposals and projects they have created.
2. Full Sail University, Winter Park, FloridaFull Sail University
Full Sail University was founded in 1979 and has grown to serve 15,000 students enrolled in 78 Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Associate degrees across Entertainment, Media, and the Arts areas. Students can also earn Graduate Certificates. In the Game School at Full Sail, aspiring game designers can take part in several training programs.
The School of Information Technology offers undergraduate degrees in Game Art, Game Design, Game Development, Simulation & Visualization, and Mobile Development. The School of Information Technology offers an MS in Game Design or an MEd in Mobile Gaming (online).
The School of Game Art’s Game Art BS program requires students to create 3D content as well as apply traditional artistic principles to models that move, look, and articulate artistically. There are a number of courses in the program that have special prominence, including Game Animation, Motion Capture, and Level Assembly & Lighting.
It is designed to enhance students’ “ability to work in a game studio environment.” The curriculum includes “high-level gaming and production courses that allow students to go deep into the game development pipeline.” It includes topics related to both level and system design which prepare students to prototype and evaluate their game projects. There are several highlights of this course, including Game Mechanics, Game Balancing, and Prototyping.
Through this degree program, students will learn about the entire game development process, from conception to completion. There are several highlights to this course including Artificial Intelligence, Engine Development, and Data Structure and Algorithms.
Students will become capable of creating graphics and program code for use in 3D displays, multiplayer gaming, artificially intelligent opponents, and real-time virtual environments.
Students who earn a BS in Simulation & Visualization acquire knowledge in programming and critical thinking that are necessary to study and design virtual systems.
Among the highlights of this course are Virtual and Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, and Computer Graphics. In order to keep up with an ever-evolving industry, students will develop their “tech-savvy” through hands-on experience.
Students studying game design will learn about user experience research, production, and design. The course consists of three modules: Methods and the User Experience, Prototyping and Content Creation, and Games Usability and Testing. The program culminates in the completion of a Game Capstone Experience, in which students select the specialization they are interested in.
This master’s degree program focuses on research and emerging technologies in mobile gaming as well as the application of theoretical concepts to this field.
There are several courses of particular interest for engineers, including Computer Science for Engineers, Game Development Frameworks, and Mobile Gaming Business. In its culmination, the program allows students to develop a fully playable mobile game of their own design.
While the BS in Game Art and Game Design can be completed both on-campus and online, the MS in Mobile Gaming is offered exclusively online.
3. Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, FloridaRingling College of Art and Design
Founded in 1931 by circus baron, art collector, and real estate developer John Ringling, Ringling College of Art and Design (RCAD) offers degrees in fine arts, crafts, design, and photography. Since being founded, RCAD has grown to 111 courses and 75 students and is a member of Cumulus, the only global association serving design and art education research.
Currently, the school serves more than 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students, offering 13 BA and BFA degree programs and nine minors. A few of the degree options available are computer animation, film, game art, illustration, and virtual reality development.
With core subjects including studio and liberal arts, internships, and national competitions, RCAD programs offer a rigorous educational experience. About 20% of students at the University of Northern Colorado study in the Computer Animation Department, which offers a game design program.
A total of eight top-of-the-line computer labs are located within the Department of Psychology as well three open labs. A group of students at the Department uses Oculus Rift and HTC Vive technology to experiment with VR.
There are few programs out there that specialize in visual arts for video games, and the BFA in Game Art is one of those options. This program will introduce students to “basic mechanics of game design, meaningful play, interactivity, and the various options for creating and refining game content,” the school said. During the presentation, we will also discuss the technical aspects of 3D animation software and game engines.
Additionally, visitors from major game studios such as Blizzard Entertainment, Epic Games, and Riot Games participate in the program, along with internships at studios such as Electronic Arts, Insomniac Games, and Sony Online Entertainment.
Students who complete RCAD enjoy a high professional placement rate at Activision, Blizzard, Cartoon Network Game Studios, Disney Interactive Studios, Electronic Arts, Epic Games, Gameloft, Hasbro, Intel Corp., LucasArts, Microsoft Game Studios, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, Riot Games, Sony Imageworks Interactive, Zynga and others.
The state of Florida has numerous opportunities for animators, game designers, and visual effects artists. In this state, college students find employment opportunities and stay for employment reasons. Florida is one of the most creative places in the United States, with parts of California and New York City edging it out.
You will have an endless supply of work in such a situation, which is perfect for creative types. In many types of business, not only gaming studios, talent and skills that can only be brought by the most creative individuals are also essential.
Because of this, those of you who excel at these creative challenges are consistently in high demand. Each of the schools mentioned on this list will propel your abilities and skills to the next level, so make sure you check them out if you are interested in such a lucrative opportunity.
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