Program Overview

The associate degree program in Video Game Design prepares you for an entry-level position in the exciting fields of electronic entertainment and simulation. Master 2D and 3D animation concepts, use industry-standard software tools, design games, and engage in the development process as you build a portfolio of video game assets to demonstrate your proficiency in the field.

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Full Description

The associate degree program in Video Game Design (VDEA) will prepare students for entry-level careers in design, animation, and visualization as well as for entry-level positions in a variety of digital media production environments.

Through a combination of theoretical lessons, hands-on workplace-relevant laboratory experiences, and small class sizes led by experienced instructors, the program emphasizes the application of lessons and knowledge to the design and development process of creating games and simulations.

As students prepare for the exciting fields of game mechanics and design, they will learn how to design games, will be introduced to the game development process, will hone people skills and communications skills through team-based projects and presentations, will master 2D and 3D animation concepts, and will learn the use of industry-standard software packages. An important component of the curriculum is building a portfolio that will include game assets developed by students. Graduates from this program will be eligible for entry-level positions such as junior game designer, technical artist, and level designer. This program also prepares students to further their education in NEIT’s bachelor’s degree program.

Potential Career Opportunities

An associate degree in video game design gives you the technical and conceptual skills to pursue a variety of hyper-specialized positions. The job market for game designers was predicted to grow by 9.3% between 2016 and 2026, but the prospects for someone with this degree goes far beyond one role. With a proficiency in relevant software, basic programming, 2D and 3D animation, design principles, visual communication, and more, you’ll find many opportunities in the video game and other tech and design-related fields.

Game Designer

Character Designer


Game Tester

Technical Artist


Launch Video Game Design Lab

Related Programs

Program Mission, Goals, and Outcomes

Program Mission

The mission of the Video Game Design associate degree (VDEA) program is to provide introductory preparation for students to become professional game designers working in the gaming industry and to prepare students for further education at the bachelor’s level.

Through a combination of theoretical and hands-on state-of-the-art laboratory experiences, and small class sizes led by experienced instructors, the program emphasizes the application of knowledge to the design and development of games.

Program Goals

The Video Game Design program will:

  1. Provide opportunities for students to learn the programming languages used for web, procedural, and object-oriented programming.
  2. Provide opportunities for students to learn broad communication skills through the use of fundamental design principles, project planning, and documentation.
  3. Provide opportunities for students to learn about the tools and techniques used to create 2D and 3D digital assets.
  4. Provide opportunities for students to learn the design and development process from concept through publication.
  5. Provide opportunities for students to learn about various game development tools and engines.

Program Outcomes

Students will:

  1. Demonstrate procedural, and basic object-oriented programming skills using a variety of programming languages.
  2. Plan, schedule, manage and execute projects through oral, visual, and written communication.
  3. Develop digital assets using various 2D and 3D media creation tools.
  4. Demonstrate the development lifecycle from concept to publication through the development of quality software products and supporting materials.
  5. Utilize industry-standard gaming engines and tools to develop games and assets.

Courses Offered

Ranked by Princeton Review as one of the nation’s top-ranked game design schools since 2014, getting your associate degree from NEIT will give you the tools necessary to start your career in game design. With a game design degree, students will learn the ins and outs of game design through our programs and courses.

You’ll be well on your way as a computer programmer after earning your associate degree. Video games require in-depth knowledge relating to computer programs and computer software. After eighteen months, design students will have completed an introduction to programming and development, intermediate programming, XHTML/Javascript, portfolio development, and more.

Earning your associate degree in video game design will give you a comprehensive understanding of all things related to design. Students who earn a degree in game design from our associate program will learn about digital graphics for gaming, visual communications, UX/UI design principles, 3D modeling, and more.

For the latest listing of courses offered, please review our University Catalog here.

Q&A and Technical Standards

Questions & Answers

  1. When do my classes meet?
    Day Classes: Technical classes normally meet for at least three hours a day for up to five days a week. Classes normally begin in the early morning (7:45 a.m.), late morning (usually 11:25 a.m.), or mid-afternoon. The time slot for your program may vary from term to term.Evening Classes: Technical classes meet on the average of three nights a week, although there may be times when they will meet four nights a week. Classes normally begin at 5:45 p.m.In addition, to achieve your associate degree, you will take a total of approximately eight liberal arts courses, which will be scheduled around your technical schedule over the course of your entire program. Each liberal arts course meets approximately four hours per week. Liberal arts courses are offered days, evenings, and Saturdays.At the beginning of each term you will receive a detailed schedule giving the exact time and location of all your classes. The College requires that all students be prepared to take classes and receive services at any of NEIT’s locations where the appropriate classes and services are offered.When a regularly scheduled class falls on a day which is an NEIT observed holiday (Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and Memorial Day), an alternate class will be scheduled as a make up for that class. The make up class may fall on a Friday. It is the student’s responsibility to take note of when and where classes are offered.
  2. How large will my classes be?
    The average size for a class is about 20 to 25 students; however, larger and smaller classes occur from time to time.
  3. How much time will I spend in lab?
    Almost half of your technical courses consist of laboratory work. In order for you to get the most out of your laboratory experiences, you will first receive a thorough explanation of the theory behind your lab work.
  4. Where do my classes meet?
    Students should be prepared to attend classes at any of NEIT’s classroom facilities: either at the Post Road, Access Road, or East Greenwich campus.
  5. I have not earned my high school diploma or GED: can I enroll in an Associate Degree Program?
    A candidate for admission to an associate degree program must have a high school diploma, have earned a recognized equivalency diploma (GED), or meet the federal home school requirements.
  6. How long should it take me to complete my program?
    To complete your degree requirements in the shortest possible time, you should take the courses outlined in the prescribed curriculum. For a typical six-term curriculum, a student may complete the requirements in as little as 18 months.To complete all your degree requirements in the shortest time, you should take at least one liberal arts course each term. Students who need more time to complete their curriculum may postpone some of the liberal arts courses until after the completion of the technical requirements. Students are provided up to two additional terms of study to complete the liberal arts requirements without any additional tuition assessment fee. During these additional terms of study, students are required to pay all applicable fees.Students may also elect to complete some of their liberal arts requirements during Intersession, a five-week term scheduled between Spring and Summer Quarters. Students will not be assessed any additional tuition for liberal arts courses taken during the Intersession but may be assessed applicable fees.Students wishing to extend the number of terms needed to complete the required technical courses in their curriculum will be assessed additional tuition and fees.
  7. Is NEIT accredited?
    NEIT is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. Accreditation by NECHE is recognized by the federal government and entitles NEIT to participate in federal financial aid programs. Some academic departments have specialized professional accreditations in addition to accreditation by NECHE. For more information on accreditation, see NEIT’s catalog.
  8. Can I transfer the credits that I earn at NEIT to another college?
    The transferability of a course is always up to the institution to which the student is transferring. Students interested in the transferability of their credits should contact the Office of Teaching and Learning for further information.
  9. Can I transfer credits earned at another college to NEIT?
    Transfer credit for appropriate courses taken at an accredited institution will be considered upon receipt of an official transcript for any program, biology, science, and mathematics courses in which the student has earned a “C” or above within the past three years and for English or humanities courses in which the student has earned a “C” or above within the last ten years. An official transcript from the other institution must be received before the end of the first week of the term for transfer credit to be granted for courses to be taken during that term. Students will receive a tuition reduction for the approved technical courses based on the program rate and will be applied against the final technical term of the curriculum’s tuition amount. No tuition credit is provided for courses which are not a part of the technical curriculum.
  10. What is the “Feinstein Enriching America” Program?
    New England Institute of Technology is the proud recipient of a grant from the Feinstein Foundation. To satisfy the terms of the grant, the College has developed a one-credit community enrichment course which includes hands-on community enrichment projects. The course can be taken for a few hours per term, spread over several terms. Students who are already engaged in community enrichment on their own may be able to count that service towards course credit.
  11. How many credits do I need to acquire my Financial Aid?
    In order to be eligible for the maximum financial aid award, you need to maintain at least 12 credits per academic term.
  12. What does my program cost?
    The cost of your program will be as outlined in your enrollment agreement, along with your cost for books and other course materials. Students who decide to take more terms than the enrollment agreement describes to complete the technical courses in their curriculum will be subject to additional fees and possible additional tuition costs. Students who elect to take the technical portion of the degree requirements at a rate faster than the rate prescribed in the curriculum and the enrollment agreement will be assessed additional tuition.Students who require prerequisite courses will incur additional tuition and fees above those outlined in their enrollment agreement.If a student elects to take a course(s) outside of the prescribed curriculum, additional tuition and fees will be assessed.Remember, students who withdraw and re-enter, one time only, pay the tuition rate that was in effect for them at the time of their last day of attendance for up to one year from their last day of attendance. Second re-entries and beyond pay the tuition rate in effect at the time they re-enter. The most economical way for you to complete your college degree is to begin your program now and continue your studies straight through for the six terms necessary to complete your degree requirements.
  13. What kind of employment assistance does NEIT offer?
    The Career Services Office assists NEIT students and graduates in in all aspects of the job search, including resume writing, interviewing skills, and developing a job search strategy. Upon completion of their program, graduates may submit a resume to the Career Services Office to be circulated to employers for employment opportunities in their fields. Employers regularly contact us about our graduates. In addition, our Career Services Office contacts employers to develop job leads. A strong relationship with employers exists as a result of our training students to meet the needs of industry for over fifty years. No school can, and NEIT does not, guarantee to its graduates employment or a specific starting salary.
  14. Where will job opportunities exist?
    Graduates have obtained employment in the local area. However, one of the most exciting aspects of this program is the ability to look nationally for employment opportunities.
  15. What kind of jobs will I be qualified to look for?
    Generally, jobs will exist in the entry-level positions in the computer industry. Entry-level positions in digital production and desktop production, programmer, entry-level game designer, entry-level game developer, or web developer may be some of the job choices available to a graduate with an associate degree. Upon completion of a bachelor’s degree at NEIT, positions on the management level become attainable.

Technical Standards

These technical standards set forth by the Game Development and Simulation Programming department establish the essential qualifications considered necessary for students admitted to the program. The successful student must possess the following skills and abilities or be able to demonstrate they can complete the requirements of the program with or without reasonable accommodation, using some other combination of skills and abilities.

Cognitive Ability

  • Good reasoning and critical thinking skills.
  • Ability to learn, remember and recall detailed information and to use it for problem solving.
  • Ability to deal with materials and problems such as organizing or reorganizing information.
  • Ability to use abstractions in specific concrete situations.
  • Ability to separate complex information into its component parts.
  • Ability to perform tasks by observing demonstrations.
  • Ability to perform tasks by following written instructions.
  • Ability to perform tasks following verbal instructions.
  • Possession of basic keyboarding skills and knowledge of computer programs.

Communications Skills

  • Ability to speak in understandable English in a classroom situation on a one-on-one basis as well as before a group.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with faculty and other students.
  • Ability to demonstrate and use the knowledge acquired during the classroom training process.
  • Ability to verbally express technical concepts clearly and distinctly.
  • Ability to express thoughts clearly.

Adaptive Ability

  • Ability to remain calm in the face of computer lab equipment and/or software failure.
  • Ability to maintain emotional stability and the maturity necessary to interact with members of the faculty and students in a responsible manner.
  • Ability to tolerate the differences in all students, faculty, and administration.
  • Ability to follow instructions and complete tasks under stressful and demanding conditions.
  • Ability to adapt in a positive manner to new and changing situations with an open mind and flexibility.
  • Ability to think clearly and act quickly and appropriately in stressful situations.

Physical Ability

  • Ability to sit continuously at a personal computer for long periods of time in order to learn and become proficient in computer programming and networking.
  • Ability to perform learned skills independently, with accuracy and completeness within reasonable time frames in accordance with classroom and business procedures.

Sensory Ability

  • Visual
    • Acute enough to see clearly and interpret the contents on the computer screen.