Game design and development is the process of creating computer games. It involves creating compelling characters, rich backstories, challenging games, beautiful scenery, and other aspects of a video game that attract players to engage. Game design often requires you to be a jack-of-all-trades—you need to be a creative storyteller to come up with a plot, an artist to draw and sculpt your characters and scenery, and a programmer to transform your drawings into a smooth and playable video game.

While the game design does sound very intimidating, it is very much worth it. Computer games are one of the fastest-expanding industries in the present day, and the demand for game designers is greater than ever. More and more schools around the world have started offering courses in game design and development, and below is a list of the very best schools in the field!

Top Game Design Schools in the World

1. Howest University of Applied Sciences

Howest University of Applied Sciences (HOWEST) is located in West Flanders, Belgium. While there are many courses offered at HOWEST, the university is particularly well-renowned for its contributions to digital design and entertainment. In fact, HOWEST has often considered the #1 school for game design in the world.

The school offers a Bachelor in Digital Arts and Entertainment. This program teaches all the necessary skills to enter the fields of game development and game production, and you will actually spend most of your undergraduate years coding, 3D modeling, and planning out your virtual world. Students will submit a final video game project, made entirely from scratch, as their final thesis.

2. Think Tank Training Centre

Think Tank Training Centre is a top school of visual effects, animation, and game design across the globe that is located in Vancouver, Canada. According to their website, their vision is to develop industry-level professionals by having them mentored by top performers in the industry. The school was only established in the late 2000s but has since become one of the top schools for game design in the world today.

Think Tank Training Centre offers both on-campus and online programs for budding game designers. The on-campus program lasts for 12 months and is better for a well-rounded curriculum—students will learn and excel at all aspects of game design before specializing in their final term. The online program, on the other hand, lasts 16 months and is done completely online. Students in this program specialize right after they master the basics, so this program is better for those who already know what they want to specialize in. Both programs end in a diploma.

3. New3dge

New 3D General Education (or New3dge) is an excellent game design and digital art school around the world, located in Paris, France. They are known for their versatility in the arts, from traditional art skills like sketching and sculpting to modern art skills like 3D animations and rendering. Many of their graduates have gone on to become very successful in the film and gaming industries.

New3dge offers a course on game design. Here, students will learn how to conceptualize their games, create characters and environments in 2D or 3D using various art styles, animate, and integrate their creations into a video game engine. There are also other useful courses available such as traditional arts, 2D and 3D digital art, concept art, and animation.

4. Academy of Art University

The Academy of Art University is a private, for-profit art school based in San Francisco, California, United States. It is widely known for its 100% admissions policy which makes it one of the largest art schools in the country. Because of its for-profit status, many of its teachers are top professionals in their respective industries with many of them having worked for companies like The Walt Disney Company and Industrial Light & Magic.

The School of Game Development offers top associates to master’s degrees in game development and a bachelor’s degree in game programming in the world. Here, students get to experience the entire video game production cycle and develop specialized skills from the best of the best in the gaming industry. These degrees can be done either onsite or online.

5. 3dSense Media School

3dsense Media School is one of the w0rld’s leading schools of digital arts, focusing on visual effects, animation, game art, motion design, concept art, illustration, and toy production. Founded in 2003, the school is based in Singapore but also offers several online courses.

3dsense offers a WSQ Diploma in Media (Visual Graphics). This is a 12-month program that consists of three terms. In the first term, students will learn the basics of game design: anatomy studies, software basics, basic modeling and animation, and more. The second term is where they specialize—modeling students learn more on how to create worlds and environments, while animation students learn more on character building and body mechanics. Finally, the last term consists of deploying their creations into a game engine and preparing their portfolio.

6. Gnomon

Dubbed as “the MIT of visual effects”, Gnomon is a digital arts school that has developed professionals in the film and game industries for over twenty years. Their campus is based in Hollywood, California, United States, and their classrooms are actually designed to look like real production studios. They also provide courses online.

Gnomon’s Certificate in Digital Production is a two-year, full-time program for those wanting to be a digital artist in the film, games, or visual effects industries. Students will first master the foundational 3D skills before choosing their specialization. Game design is one of their offered specializations, and students here will be trained more on the game production process using software like Maya, ZBrush, Photoshop, Unreal 4, and more.

7. Ringling College of Art and Design

Ringling College of Art and Design is a private, non-profit arts and design college and an excellent game design school in the world, located in Sarasota, Florida. It offers bachelor’s degrees in thirteen creative disciplines like computer animation, virtual reality development, and game design. According to their website, Ringling College values value—their goal is to create designers who are not only immensely talented but are also globally aware and socially responsible.

The Game Arts degree at Ringling College is well-rounded in design. Not only do they help you master leading game design software and perfect your artistic styles, but they also emphasize the importance of marketability—that is, they help you understand what consumers want to see in a video game and help you prepare portfolios that are desirable to top companies in the business.


I hope that this article on Best Game Design Schools in the World was helpful. If you are interested in knowing more about topics related to this, check out the Design Programs for International Students!