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Digital Game Design and Development


The Digital Game Design and Development pathway courses provide students with a thorough understanding of techniques for designing 3D and 2D games and simulations. The courses will cover 2D and 3D graphics, animation, character development, texturing, lighting, cameras, audio, partical systems, scripting, storyboarding, and game setup using state-of-the-art software development tools. Students will learn to use Unity and take the Unity User Digital Artist certification exam.  Completing students will have developed the skills necessary to create 3D graphics and applications that can be used for games and simulations. Student will also have the option to earn college credit for up to 5 courses (15 credit hours)!


  • 1st year semester 1 students take Game Design and Development Principales (no college credit option until semester 2)
  • 1st year semester 2 students take Advanced 3D Game Development.  They can earn college credit for IMD124 Intro to Game Design!
  • 2nd year semester 1 students take Project Based Programming (no college credit option until semester 2)
  • 2ND year semester 2 students take Advanced Game Development & Publishing.  They can earn a college credit for IMD221 Computer Graphics!
  • 3rd year students can take two more college courses in a single year, IMD222 3D Modeling and IMD223 3D Animation.  They will be online courses through BCTC and our students can remain physically located at Eastside.
  • 4th Year students may have the option to take IMD273 Game Development online, if they arrange a tech internship with a local company or organization for the other semester.

This means that Freshman could have the opportunity to earn credit for 5 college courses (15 credit hours) in game design and development over four years!


All students in the game design pathway will prepare for and take 3 exams to be career-ready in game design.

  1. Unity User Digital Artist certification exam at the end of year 1.

  2. IC3 Digital Literacy Level III by year 2.

    1. Level I:

    2. Level II: 

    3. Level III:

  3. End of Course Exam in year 2. (NOTE: Students must have 2 game design courses on their transcript to qualify to take this exam)


  • Workers that qualify for jobs that require even one digital skill can earn an average of 23 percent more than in a job requiring no digital skills. Moving from a job requiring no digital skills to one requiring at least three can increase pay by an average of 45%. 
  • For the economy as a whole, these increased earnings could generate more state and federal tax revenue. Depending on the household size and composition, this could range from $1,363 to $2,879 in additional tax revenue per household per year. 
  • For businesses, turnover costs (estimated at $25,000 when a worker quits within the first year to over $78,000 after five years) can be averted or delayed by ensuring that workers have upskilling opportunities.  

Sources:  I

Professionals in the gaming industry can pursue various career paths, including the roles listed below. The below salary data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor StatisticsPayscale and Glassdoor.


Game Designer

Average Annual Salary: Approximately $68,000
Minimum Required Education: High school diploma, bachelor’s degree often preferred
Job Overview: These professionals oversee a game’s rules, storylines, gameplay, world-building and other functions. Video game designers apply creative skills to produce engaging games that are both fun and playable. They should be comfortable with game programming and visual communication.

Game Developer

Median Annual Salary: Approximately $78,800
Minimum Required Education: Bachelor’s degree
Job Overview: Game developers write code to create video games for various platforms including computers, gaming systems and mobile devices. As a game developer, you might also test games to find and eradicate faults. Game developers should have skills in coding and system design, and they should work well in team settings. To learn more, see our guide on how to become a game developer.

Mobile App Designer

Median Annual Salary: Approximately $66,000
Minimum Required Education: Bachelor’s degree
Job Overview: Mobile app designers create the stories and visual elements for mobile apps and games. Some app developers freelance for multiple clients, while others work for large technology corporations. Although mobile app designers can sometimes enter the field after completing a coding or game design bootcamp, many employers prefer candidates with game design degrees.

Special Effects Artist

Median Annual Salary: $98,950
Minimum Required Education: Bachelor’s degree
Job Overview: Video game special effects artists incorporate effects and graphics into video games to make them appear more realistic and immersive. They work closely with other members of design and development teams, including storyboard artists and testers, to ensure that their artistry adheres to a game’s overall aesthetic, theme and goals.

Game Tester

Median Annual Salary: Approximately $56,000
Minimum Required Education: High school diploma
Job Overview: Game testers look for errors and vulnerabilities in video games. They also provide feedback to developers and designers regarding a game’s playability and entertainment value. People with extensive gaming experience can become game testers with a high school diploma. However, pursuing an associate or bachelor’s degree in game design or development may make candidates more competitive in the job market.

Character Designer

Median Annual Salary: Approximately $51,000
Minimum Required Education: High school diploma
Job Overview: Character designers work with digital gaming and media production companies to create and animate characters for games, television and film. Although this career does not require a specific degree, character designers usually have several years of experience designing characters or video games.

Level Designer

Median Annual Salary: Approximately $60,000
Minimum Required Education: High school diploma
Job Overview: Level designers coordinate the setting, characters, storyline and animations of video game levels. They work with game developers and designers to enhance the granular details of each level. Employers typically prioritize experience over education for level design positions.

Game Writer

Median Annual Salary: Approximately $54,000
Minimum Required Education: High school diploma
Job Overview: Video game writers create the stories and dialogue that bring a game to life. A game design background or education can help these professionals understand how effective dialogue, storytelling and immersive graphics affect game flow.

Game Audio Engineer

Average Annual Salary: Approximately $56,000
Minimum Required Education: High school diploma, undergraduate degree often preferred
Job Overview: Audio engineers use sound equipment to create new sounds and music to add to games to enhance storylines, set scenes and create emotion. These professionals work directly with game designers and developers to fine-tune how audio elements interact with a game. A high school education is sometimes the minimum requirement, employers often prefer higher-level degrees in game design, audio engineering or a similar field.

Multimedia Specialist

Average Annual Salary: $54,000
Minimum Required Education: Bachelor’s degree
Job Overview: Multimedia specialists are usually familiar with multiple areas of multimedia, including graphic design, audio and writing. They might oversee large game design teams as they complete project projects, or work collaboratively with small teams, participating in several steps of the game design process.

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