Associate Vs. Bachelor’s: Types of Video Game Design Degree Programs

May 25, 2020

With an increasing number of gamers worldwide, the video game industry is expected to generate $196 billion in revenue over the next two years.  What was once considered a kids’ pastime has transformed into a powerful business. Game engines are even enabling super-fast rendering for VFX in Hollywood productions, too!

Every video game you have ever played is the product of creative energies working in tandem. But who are the folks behind the game, we might ask? What kind of education or training do they have? What kinds of jobs go into bringing their vision to life?

The creation of a game involves two major areas – video game design and development. This article focuses on game designing as a career. Video game design is the process of building the architecture of a video game, from its concept and storyline to characters and levels.


Earn your degree in Game Design & Development from NEIT and begin your new career path today!



Two Kinds of Video Game Design Programs

video game design programs

To acquire essential video game design skills, you must have a solid foundation in the subject. Most schools in the United States offer two types of degrees that you can choose from: an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree.

All degree programs in video game design are meant to familiarize students with key concepts related to the creative aspects of game making.

Of course, there are a few key differences between an associate program and a bachelor’s degree that you should know to make an informed choice.

Differences Between Game Design Associate Degree & Bachelor’s Degree Programs

The associate degree program is designed to help students acquire elementary video game design skills and explore entry-level careers in the industry. This program is a great choice for anyone looking to become an animator, a character designer, or a video game designer.

The bachelor’s program in game design prepares students for intermediate-level careers by equipping them with advanced skills and mastery over industry-standard software. If you want to become a video game designer or programmer or a character artist, you should consider the bachelor’s degree program.

Video Game Design Curriculum / Courses

Video game design programs

Here’s a quick look at the courses offered by New England Institute of Technology under its associate degree program in video game design:

  • Game Development
  • XHTML and JavaScript
  • Digital Graphics for Gaming
  • Intermediate Game Programming
  • 2D Assets and Animation
  • Visual Communications for Game Designers
  • Game Prototyping
  • Portfolio Development
  • Game Studio
  • 3D Modeling
  • Introduction to Level Design
  • Unity
  • Storyboard and Design
  • Digital Audio and Video Editing
  • UI/UX Design Principles
  • Workplace Communications
  • Applied Math for Business

NEIT’s bachelor’s degree program in video game design covers subjects like:

  • Simulation and Serious Games
  • Advanced 3D Modeling
  • Digital Sculpting
  • Game Engines
  • Advanced Animation
  • 3D Scripting and Advanced Rigging
  • Game Analytics
  • Advanced Texturing
  • Virtual Reality Development
  • Argumentative Research Writing
  • Statistics
  • Technical Communications
  • Video Game Designing
  • Motion Capture

Both programs are designed to help students learn 2D and 3D animation concepts, use industry-standard software tools, design games, and build a portfolio of video game assets to develop proficiency in the game design specialization.


For a typical six-term curriculum, the shortest possible time required to complete the associate degree program is 18 months.

The same applies to the bachelor’s degree program.

To learn about the hours and credits that are mandatory for completing either video game design program, head to the following pages:


At NEIT, the tuition fees for the associate video game design degree program are as follows:

  • Freshman: $30,000.00
  • Sophomore: $30,000.00

Click here to know more about the tuition rates.

For the full-time bachelor’s degree program, the fees are as follows:

  • Freshman: $30,000.00
  • Sophomore: $30,000.00
  • Junior: $30,000.00
  • Senior: $30,000.00

Click here to know more about the tuition rates.

Video Game Design – Career Opportunities

The video game industry is packed with rewarding opportunities for qualified professionals. Both types of video game degree programs offer students a chance to explore the industry in various capacities. The most sought-after and relevant job opportunities for graduates in video game design include:

  • Character Designer – A character artist is expected to create interesting characters for a video game. This process involves sketching, character modeling, costume design, and working on the characters’ looks, reactions, and movements.
  • Storyboard Artist – Storyboarding is a key step in the video game design process since this is where you establish how the entire game is expected to pan out in terms of visuals. Storyboarding artists are expected to use design tools to create what the game is supposed to look like on-screen (either frame by frame or according to different scenarios).
  • Video Game Designer – A game designer is in charge of the entire design process – from conceptualization to the end output. Video game designers usually work with various artists and technicians to develop an idea into the final product.
  • Video Game Programmer – A game engineer or programmer is responsible for the technical aspects of a video game. This involves using various coding languages to create the backend of a game.
  • 2D/3D Animator – Animation artists work with other departments to create engaging visuals for a game. An animator uses a variety of tools to breathe life into characters and environments within a game.
  • Game Interface Designer – User Interface (UI) design is a huge part of the game design process. Game UI designers create a slew of visual interfaces through which a user (gamer) interacts with a video game.
  • Level Designer – Level designers are tasked with thinking about how a game can proceed to the next stage and designing these phases. This process involves establishing difficulty levels, rewards, character development and more.
  • Game Environment Artist – Game environment designers think through every single element that makes up a game universe. An environment artist works hand-in-hand with game designers and character designers to visualize and create the backdrop for the entire game.
  • Technical Designer – Technical artists work with programmers to figure out how gameplay features can be implemented. They are in charge of resolving complexities involved in game execution and developing the functionality of a video game.

Learn more about job opportunities in this career guide to video game design and Which tools and software used by game designer

video game design
The New England Institute of Technology is one of the top 50 (ranked 29) schools for video game design, according to the Princeton Review.

NEIT is the leading choice for thousands of students who wish to enter the electronic entertainment and simulation industry with a distinct advantage over their peers.

With a modern curriculum, experienced faculty, state-of-the-art infrastructure, scholarships, and financial assistance, New England Tech offers you the opportunity to complete your bachelor’s degree in as little as 18 months.

Developing a strong portfolio with varied game assets is an integral part of NEIT’s video game degree programs.  This allows students to find rewarding job opportunities once they complete their degree.


Earn your degree in Game Design & Development from NEIT and begin your new career path today!



Get a head start in your video game design career with New England Tech. Learn how NEIT can help you realize your career goals – get in touch today.

Apply to video game design and graduate in less than 2 years.