Ever dream of creating your own video game? The Game Development program at Adrian is designed to turn students into professional game developers with particular expertise in the Unity Engine.
And, it's not just for fun. According to ZipRecruiter, the median salary for a game developer is slightly over $100,000. Entry level salaries often start around $60,000 with significant room for growth.
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Why Game Development?
Video games are big business, and this program puts you in a great position to join the industry.
Our Game Development major is intended to provide students with the skills they need to successfully work in the games industry as a programmer, designer, or producer.
Upon completion of their degree program, students will possess the necessary skills to obtain the Unity Certified Associate: Programmer certification, a highly desirable entry-level professional credential.
Developed with Unity
Unity is the world’s most-used game engine and our students get hands-on experience building with it.
85% Job Growth
The gaming industry is one of the fastest-growing in the world and provides a unique opportunity for tech & design-minded students with a passion for this space.
Hybrid Learning Options
Some courses in this program are taken online & powered by Rize. The core curriculum will be taken on-campus, giving students the best of student life with the flexibility of some online learning.
The World's Most Popular Game Engine
Learn to build games with the same tools the professionals use, thanks to our collaboration with Unity.
Information on what you'll learn, how the degree is built, and the careers that are possible after graduation.
About Game Development
We conducted interviews with multiple studio heads, game development professionals, and academics to identify the key needs in a comprehensive Game Development education. In doing so, we identified the following academic priorities:
- Project-based learning
- A holistic understanding of game development
- A collaborative studio environment
- Strong technical skills
- Basic aesthetic understanding
Our Game Dev major provides skills to work in the games industry; it focuses on giving students a broad base of experience to succeed in both small and large firms.
The Unity Engine is central to this program. Students will complete 15 credit hours of work in Unity, learning key principles of game design, systems design, and ultimately building their own fully functioning game as part of their capstone project.
Experts & Contributors
Dr. Charles Severance, University of Michigan - Dr. Charles Severance holds a PhD in Computer Science from Michigan State University. He is the former Executive Director of the Sakai Foundation, and one of the world’s leading online CS educators. His contributions and curriculum form the basis of our programming curriculum
Fereshteh Forough, CEO - Code To Inspire - Fereshteh is the CEO and founder of Code To Inspire, a not-for-profit coding school for girls in Afghanistan. She also serves on the Advisory Board of Unity Global Education. Her expertise in teaching coding and game development to students with no prior experience directly shaped the philosophy of the Game Development courses.
Renee Gittins, Executive Director- IGDA, Forbes 30 under 30 - Renee Gittins is the Executive Director of the International Game Developers Association. Because of her dual roles as chair of a developer’s association, and studio head (Stumbling Cat), Renee has a sharp understanding of the tensions that often exist between business and development roles within the games industry. Her understanding of this tension directly informed the managerial skills conveyed throughout this curriculum.
Thomas O’Connor, Studio Director - PlayEveryWare, Thomas O’Connor is the studio director of PlayEveryWare, a game studio in Seattle best known for their work porting games between systems. Tom’s expertise in understanding the business side of the games industry was vital in determining which learning objectives to include in Convention, Event, and Trade Show Planning, as well as Production in the Games Industry and Distribution of Games.
Unity - Unity is the world’s most-used game engine. It powers 50% of Mobile games and 60% of Augmented-Reality and Virtual Reality content. The Unity engine is intended to be readily accessible, low-cost, and powerful. The Introduction to Games Course was developed using materials provided by Unity.
IGDA - The IGDA (International Game Developers Association) is a nonprofit professional association whose stated mission is to “support and empower game developers around the world in achieving fulfilling and sustainable careers.” The Esports & Gaming Major was developed with significant input from the IGDA’s Game Education Chair, Suzanne Freyjadis, and conforms to the IGDA 2020 curriculum framework as closely as possible.
PlayEveryWare - PlayEveryWare is a game studio based in Seattle Washington. They work primarily in porting games between systems, and asset development. PlayEveryWare provides internship opportunities to Game Development students, and provides some of the best working conditions in the industry. PlayEveryWare studio director Thomas O’Connor is a contributor to the Game Development Major.
Stumbling Cat - Stumbling Cat is a game studio based in Baltimore, Maryland that focuses on building games which challenge players to approach problems through wits and the use of their conflict resolution skills instead of violence. They are known for centering diverse protagonists, and creating games that encourage exploration and creativity.
This is a programming degree so it is relatively easy to pivot into computer science early on if students decide to go a different path. This creates two promising pathways for students.
For those that want to pursue a career in Game Development, common titles include:
- Game Developer
- Technical Gameplay Designer
- Computer Game Programmer
- Gameplay Engineer
- Unity Game Engineer
Note: This is a programming degree, it is not well suited - as a major - to students who want to pursue business, art or management roles within the games industry. For those, see Esports & Gaming Management.
Sample Game Development Courses:
- Introductions to Games
- Unity 1: Working with Unity
- Capstone Project: Building a Game
Computer Science Requirements:
- Programming for Everyone
- Data Structures
- Introduction to C: How Computers Really Work
Math Required: Calc I, Stats, ProbabilityHardest Class: Algorithms or Unity II. Both classes are highly technical, however, students will have a solid basis in programming before taking ether class, improving success.
About the Partnership
For more information on the innovative partnership that allows us to offer this program, visit this page.