Game Design Major

Gameplay systems, narratives, levels, quests, puzzles, worlds: become an expert in the game design areas you’re most passionate about.

In Champlain’s Game Design program, you’ll learn to map out, develop, and create the gameplay that defines a player’s unique experience.

Game design encompasses three distinct areas of the game production process:

  • System Designers establish the foundational logic and mechanical plan for how a game operates and build the mechanics that bring the game world into existence.
  • Level Designers create the step-by-step experience and determine parameters of play on each area in the game world.
  • Narrative Designers define how the overall story is experienced by the player, through traditional narrative, dialogue, characters, and environment.

As a Champlain Game Design student, you will develop extensive game design skills in your area of interest and build an impressive portfolio of collaborative work as you prepare to enter the game industry.

The Game Studio at Champlain College

The unique Game Studio at Champlain College gives you start-to-finish game-building experience in a professional environment. You’ll collaborate with your peers in each of our game majors to create playable games in a studio that parallels the processes of the industry. By the end of your four years, you’ll be ready to work in a professional studio.

Students demonstrate and play video games at the Champlain Game Studio Senior Show

Annual Game Studio Senior Show

You will have the opportunity to present the game you create with your Game Studio team—as well as your own demo reel—to recruiters from all over the United States and Canada. Recruiters often come to the Senior Show to scout new talent, from companies like:

InsomniacActivision/Vicarious Visions
BehaviourHidden Monster Games
Otherside EntertainmentSony Bend
Trivium InteractiveUbisoft
VelanRockstar Games
Champlain students attending the Game Developers Conference in San Fransisco

Game Developers Conference

Champlain College sends a cohort to the world’s largest game developers conference each year in San Francisco. Game Studio faculty, students, alumni, and the Game Studio Career Coach attend the conference for professional development and networking. The Career Coach facilitates exclusive networking meetings for Champlain students with top recruiters from companies such as Ubisoft, ArenaNet, Crystal Dynamics, Survios, Insomniac, Rockstar, and Sony.


TOP 20
Champlain has one of the most esteemed game development programs in the world, and consistently ranks in the Top 20 Game Design Schools by The Princeton Review.
Champlain ranked 4th best school in the world by the Rookies Awards, an international creative media competition.
Champlain was named a “Most Innovative School” by U.S. News & World Report for the fifth consecutive year in its “America’s Best Colleges” 2020 rankings.

Champlain College graduates have so much production experience, it’s like they’ve been in the game industry for years. I couldn’t have built ‘Days Gone By’ without hiring seven game designers from Champlain College!



Year 1GMD 110 Introduction to Game DesignEGD 102 Game History
Year 2GMD 200 Game Technology IGMD 240Level Design
Year 3GMD 300 Game Technology IIGMD 320 Game Systems & Experience Design
Year 4CCC 410 College CapstoneGMD 410 Senior Portfolio: Game Design


A photo of headphones and a game controller.

Sonic Arts Concentration

Champlain’s Game Design major offers a Sonic Arts concentration to students who are interested in diving into game audio. Build skills in sound studio tools, sound design techniques and aesthetics, and all things audio.

Student works on a project in Champlain's Emergent Media Center


You’ll be analyzing gameplay, exploring game development, and creating rapid game prototypes in your very first semester—so it’s no wonder you’ll be well qualified for career-relevant internships by your second year.

A student explores the Jean Talon Market in Montreal.

Study Abroad

If you want to design the world’s most popular video games, you’ll need to understand an international audience. Studying abroad is an ideal way to explore different cultures and develop your global perspective.

An Education in Game Design

Through our Upside-Down Curriculum, you’ll start taking courses in game design in your first semester at Champlain. This early hands-on knowledge in the major is a distinct advantage, giving you more time to take on internships and soak up industry experience. Graduate with a head start on the other candidates in this competitive field—your professional portfolio and four years of relevant experience will impress employers.

You’ll be prepared to…

Generate innovative ideas and go beyond the obvious and predefined.

Explain and justify the elements of your own presented argument, creative work, or process.

Identify various audience segments and show evidence of being able to adapt to those audiences.

Identify and anticipate new technology and rapidly adapt to the changing technological landscape.

Explore all Game Design program learning outcomes.

Game Design graduates from the Class of 2019 have accepted positions such as:

  • Disruptor Beam // Associate Producer // Framingham, MA
  • Frame Interactive // VR Developer // Burlington, VT
  • Insomniac Games // Associate Designer // Burbank, CA
  • Labrodex Studios // Narrative Designer // Melville, NY
  • Sony Bend // Associate Technical Game Designer // Bend, OR
  • Vicarious Visions // QA Tester // Menands, NY
  • Impeller Studios // Game Designer // Montpelier, VT

More Game Studio Majors
Game Programming Major
Game Art Major
Game Sound Design Major