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New York Film Academy Game Design

Game Design Courses

Overview of our Video Game Design Courses

The New York Film Academy’s Game Design programs offer a wide variety of hands-on, intensive video game design and development courses across our One-Year Conservatory Program and our AFA, BFA, and MFA programs. To learn more about the different video game design courses we offer, browse the below table where you have the option to filter the courses shown by program.

Search Our Game Design Courses By Program

Course Title Description Program Learning Goals
Game Design Workshop This course provides a foundation of knowledge for understanding games as playable systems. One-Year Students learn the language of Playcentric Design and practice the craft of prototyping, playtesting, and iteration in an environment independent of computers.
Narrative Design Workshop This course examines the critical elements that make strong story concepts and how they can be shaped to create the foundations of great games. One-Year, AFA, BFA Students will design, narrative, game play, physical environment (world, gameplay spaces), and other key elements
Game Studio: Agile Development This hands-on game studio course is focused on the production and development of digital games and is at the heart of the program. One-Year Students will conceptualize and build a working game then learn and employ Agile and SCRUM methodology and Playcentric Design.
Game Studio: Coding Lab Students work in teams to build their working digital game and receive individualized tutelage and direct coding support from their instructor. One-Year Students learn that they can produce working software—even with beginner skills in a short time. They sharpen their skills by practicing this process multiple times in the program.
3D Art and Animation This course introduces students to Autodesk’s Maya Animation, Visual Effects, and Compositing software, a robust application used throughout the video game industry for the creation of visual assets. One-Year, BFA Students learn how to optimize the Maya interface for enhanced productivity. They are introduced to polygon tools and taught polygonal modeling in a hands-on environment.
Game Analysis: Playable Systems The focus of this course is the study and deconstruction of video games. One-Year Students learn how to break any game down into Formal Elements, Dramatic Elements, and Dynamic Elements and become versed in the language of Playcentric Design.
Improvisational Acting for Game Designers Students learn by doing that improvisational acting helps them develop skills in team communication and collaboration. One-Year, AFA Students learn about problem solving, spontaneity, and listening skills through group performance.
Game Design Workshop II This course builds upon the learnings from Narrative Design Workshop I. It provides the student with more in-depth understanding of the art and craft of narrative and storytelling in games. One-Year Students will craft their own interactive narratives via in-class exercises and multi-week assignments.
Art Direction for Game Designers The course exposes students to the craft of the Art Director via a combination of theory and practice. One-Year, AFA, BFA Students learn formal ideation and problem solving for visual design. Students learn to master the look and feel of an experience.
Narrative Design Workshop II This comprehensive course trains students in the business and production side of photography. One-Year Students gain the know-how to effectively run a photography practice.
Game Studio: Producing This is a second hands-on game studio course focused on the production and development of digital games. One-Year Students will conceptualize and build a working game then employ Agile methodology with a special emphasis on good creative producing techniques.
Game Studio: Coding Lab II Students work in teams to build their working digital game and receive individualized tutelage and direct coding support from their instructor. One-Year Students learn that they can produce working software—even with beginner skills in a short time. They sharpen their skills by practicing this process multiple times in the program.
Game Analysis: Industry This course educates the student on many of the fundamentals and various business models found within games industry today. One-Year Students learn the best practices for acquiring work in the game industry through hands on assignments.
Playcentric Design This course provides a foundation of knowledge for understanding games as playable systems. AFA, BFA, MFA Students learn the language of Playcentric Design and practice the craft of prototyping, playtesting, and iteration in an environment independent of computers.
Introduction to 3D Art This course introduces students to Autodesk’s Maya Animation, Visual Effects, and Compositing software, a robust application used throughout the video game industry for the creation of visual assets. AFA, BFA, MFA Students learn how to optimize the Maya interface for enhanced productivity. They are introduced to polygon tools and taught polygonal modeling in a hands-on environment.
2D Game Design This course exposes students to the beginning technology of 2D games. AFA, BFA, MFA Students deliver a working digital game at the end of the semester. Industry standards such as Agile, Scrum, Confluence, and JIRA expose students to state of the art production methods and enable teams to deliver software efficiently.
Game Studio I Students work in teams to build their working digital game and receive individualized tutelage and direct coding support from their instructor. AFA, BFA, MFA Students learn that they can produce working software—even with beginner skills in a short time. They sharpen their skills by practicing this process multiple times in the degree.
Systems Literacy This course builds upon the foundations established in the Playcentric Design course, and focuses on advanced study of system design and play mechanics. AFA, BFA, MFA Creating system literacy is the primary goal; and everything else we do supports that aim. Students will leave the course with multiple portfolio-ready game prototypes.
3D Game Design This course exposes students to the intermediate technology of 3D games. Each student gets the experience of running her own game studio in collaboration with 1-4 classmates. AFA, BFA, MFA Students deliver a working digital game at the end of the semester. Industry standards such as Agile, Scrum, Confluence, and JIRA expose students to state of the art production methods and enable teams to deliver software efficiently.
Publishing Video Games This course provides the student with an understanding of the business of video games with a special focus on game publishing, deal structures, and product lifecycle. AFA, BFA, MFA Students leave the course with a practical and state of the art of the game business including perspective on mobile games, console games, browser games, free to play games, and other business paradigms.
Usability Testing for Games Usability testing enables game developers to systematically identify and resolve issues that detract from the player experience. AFA, BFA Students learn best practices for how to get valid (non-skewed) data and how to communicate findings to a dev team effectively.
Game Design Studio II Students work in teams to build their working digital game and receive individualized tutelage and direct coding support from their instructor. AFA, BFA, MFA Students learn that they can produce working software—even with beginner skills in a short time.
Mobile Game Design This course exposes students to the intermediate technology of mobile games AFA, BFA AFA, BFA Students deliver a working digital game at the end of the semester.
Game Design Studio III Students work in teams to build their working digital game and receive individualized tutelage and direct coding support from their instructor. AFA, BFA, MFA Students learn that they can produce working software—even with beginner skills in a short time.
Level Design In this class students work on paper and with level editor tools from commercial games to create high quality play experiences within existing games. AFA, BFA, MFA Students learn and practice scripting to optimize the play experience including pacing, save points, ratio of obstacles versus power ups, and other game play concepts.
History of Video Games This course focuses on the rich history of digital games. AFA, BFA, MFA Students leave the course with a greater understanding of the varied history of video games.
Storyboarding This course teaches the student how to communicate stories and ideas effectively using visual storyboarding. AFA, BFA Students learn about rapid storyboarding using hand-drawn sketches as well as state of the art storyboarding software.
Narrative Theory This course explores deeper technical, workflow, and artistic aspects of 3D visuals. AFA, BFA Students leave the course with an improved understanding of narrative theory.
Object Oriented Programming This course educates the student on the principles of OOP. AFA, BFA Students learn using the C++ programming language and learn that other, less popular object oriented languages operate on the same core principles.
The Great Video Games This course explores both the concept of games as art including opposing scholarly points of view AFA, BFA The artistic merits of commercial games is explored through case studies of seminal works.
Collaborative Thesis I This hands-on course exposes students to the advanced responsibility of choosing his or her own technology for his or her thesis project. AFA, BFA, MFA At the end of the degree students will have a portfolio of working software projects.
Game Design Studio IV Students work in teams to build their working digital game and receive individualized tutelage and direct coding support from their instructor. AFA, BFA, MFA Students learn that they can produce working software—even with beginner skills in a short time.
Thesis Production Workshop This course provides students with thesis mentorship, support, and guidance through their final semester. AFA, BFA Students complete the course with a functioning digital video game.
Advanced Level Design This course builds on the knowledge from the previous Level Design course and delves deeper into core concepts. AFA, BFA Students work with level editors from the games Minecraft, Little Big Planet, and Warcraft III to make sophisticated play experiences.
Introduction to Game Analysis The focus of this course is the study and deconstruction of video games. BFA, MFA Student learn how to break any game down into Formal Elements, Dramatic Elements, and Dynamic Elements and become versed in the language of Playcentric Design.
Multiplayer Game Design This course exposes students to the advanced technology of networked multiplayer games BFA, MFA Students deliver a working digital game at the end of the semester.
Business of Video Games This course provides the students with an education in building a successful career in video games. BFA The course educates the student about professional networking, portfolio presentation, roles in industry, career path from entry level to creative leader or business leader, and other hands-on knowledge pertinent to a professional game developer.
Free to Play Game Design This course exposes students to the advanced technology of free to play games. BFA Students deliver a working free to play game through collaboration with other students.
Game Studio V This is a companion to the Free to Play Game Design class. Students work in teams to build their working digital game and receive individualized tutelage and direct coding support from their instructor. BFA Students learn that they can produce working software—even with beginner skills in a short time.
Marketing Video Games Students learn how to market their NYFA game titles—whether 2D, 3D, multiplayer, mobile, or other. BFA, MFA Students learn the business side of marketing including how to make a marketing plan, calculate return on investment, develop data-driven reporting, conduct public relations, etc.
Game Design Studio VI Students work in teams to build their working digital game and receive individualized tutelage and direct coding support from their instructor. BFA Students learn that they can produce working software—even with beginner skills in a short time.
Collaborative Thesis II This second semester of the BFA thesis project allows students to iterate and polish their work in collaboration with teammates. BFA At the end of the degree students will have a portfolio of working software projects.
Sound Design for Games This course exposes students to the fundamentals of sound design in games including industry standard software tools for SFX and music. MFA Students learn about techniques for recording, synthesizing, mixing, and editing digital audio.
Ethics of Video Games Students study and debate ethics in play experiences and how play is a way of learning about the real world. MFA Students learn about meta-game behavioral issues such as cheating, violence, and the four types of players found in online worlds—Explorers, Achievers, Socializers, and Killers.
Cinema Studies Cinema Studies introduces students to the evolution of the motion picture art form as a visual storytelling medium and the motion picture industry from their inceptions. MFA Students will understand why a film creatively works or doesn’t work and why.
Master’s Thesis Production This course provides the student with thesis mentorship, support, and guidance through their final MFA semester. MFA The course helps each student create a powerful, well-reasoned thesis argument to accompany their collaborative digital thesis project.



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