> MCD > Majors > Game Art & Design

Degree: Bachelor of Fine Arts


Program Learning Outcomes

NASAD, National Association of Schools of Art and Design

WASC, Western Association of Schools and Colleges

William Novak, M.F.A.

Video games are no longer “kid’s stuff.” They have grown up and stand right beside motion pictures, television, music and sports as a major cultural force. With the rapid development of digital technology, today’s artists and game designers constantly hone their skills and develop new ones to create tomorrow’s games.

The Game Art & Design Bachelor of Fine Arts degree offers students the tools, techniques, know-how and practical application of skills to meet the challenges of creating tomorrow’s computer games.

Our program examines and studies the design principles of many types of games, from casual to serious gaming, and everything in-between: first-person shooters, city/farm building Sims, role-playing games, side-scrolling platformers, physics-based puzzle and “match-3” games, action-adventure, exercise games, military training games, mobile apps, and the ever-growing presence of virtual worlds.

The Game Art & Design degree brings together art, animation, computer technology, sound design, storytelling, and game design. It aligns with both the Media Technology program and the Animation program, sharing many courses in their major sequence. This allows students to work in a cross-disciplinary environment, forming multidisciplinary capstone teams composed of artists, designers and technologists that mirror the professional world.

Students may choose from two emphases: Game Art, focusing on character and environmental design and animation; and Game Design, focusing on elements of design such as game conceptualization, play mechanic creation and prototyping.

Game Art & Design brings together stories, art, soundscapes, animation, game mechanics, computer technology and your vision in the creation of immersive experiences. Through the production of a variety of interactive projects, students will develop an individual creative voice, while at the same time experiencing collaboration in a creative production environment. Our mission is to provide students with the skills and knowledge to excel in the craft, while also preparing them to be lifetime learners, able to meet the challenges of rapidly changing technology, both in the production and distribution of today’s video games.

Imagine it. Make it. Play it. It’s your game!


  • Discover and develop your own creative voice.
  • Develop analytic and critical thinking.
  • Focus your professional skill set.
  • Analyze the interface between human and technology.
  • Practice collaboration and leadership.
  • Express yourself artistically and technically.


  • Understand visual, spatial, sound, motion, interactive, and temporal elements of game art and design.


  • Knowledge of history, theory, and criticism in fields related to game art and design such as the fine arts, film/video, technology, animation, and digital art.
  • Place works of game art and design in historical, cultural and stylistic contexts.

Storytelling in Interactive Media

  • Use narrative and interactive story structures in a variety of projects.

Art and Animation

  • Demonstrate performance and characterization skills in animation and design.
  • Use drawing, painting, sculpture, and digital art skills in the creation of game art projects.


  • Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the types of rules and parameters used to structure games and gameplay.
  • Use formal, creative, aesthetic and structural principles to create engaging gameplay in game projects.


  • Develop art and design strategies that support the game concept and successful production.

Human Factors

  • Analyze human interaction in various contexts (physical, cognitive, cultural, social, political, and economic) in respect to interactive media.
  • Identify the appropriate audience and shape the project for that audience.


  • Choose various technologies (hardware and software) based on particular expressive, functional, and strategic applications in games.
  • Understand the interaction of art and technology in game art and design.

Communication Skills

  • Gather relevant research to support design and art concept.
  • Create clear and persuasive visual, oral and written presentations.

Critical Thinking Skills

  • Understand social, ethical, and philosophical issues pertaining to games and related interactive media.
  • Use principles of aesthetic and critical theory to analyze personal work and the works of others in group critiques.

Professional Practices

  • Understand legal and ethical issues of intellectual property, copyright, piracy, and content regulation.
  • Plan marketing and distribution strategies for a game project.
  • Ability to work independently on a variety of game design and art problems.
  • Work in teams and to organize collaborations among people from different disciplines; take a leadership role in a collaborative project.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the career pathways into the game industry.