Perhaps one of the most exciting things about becoming a video games designer is the ability to parlay your undergraduate experiences into an internship, a job, or even a profitable business. Many schools note the successes their students have while still in school, or that their alumni experience by taking the ideas they hatched during their undergraduate studies into the working world.

Video Games Success Stories: Game Designers

University of Utah  - EAE students have published 33 video games since 2010 on a variety of platforms.

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Bradley University  - Not only do Bradley students create their own video games, they own the games they create. Last year, Starcats (a Bradley senior project) was one of five student games selected to be featured at E3. Since graduating last Spring, the Bradley students who made Starcats started their own company and have continued working on their game with an eye to bringing it to market — something that would not be possible at many other schools.

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Drexel University  - Drexel students build upon the strong digital media foundation taught at Drexel, so they are well positioned to see convergent opportunities, like a student who combined his interest in cinematography with his experience with game engines and interactive hardware to create a virtual cinematography system that introduced him to a successful career in the film industry. A recent accelerated student helped launch NeatherRealm’s Injustice 2 with an Assistant Producer credit to add to her resume right after graduation. A new studio started by Drexel students, Gossamer Games , was launched with help from Drexel’s Baiada Institute and their Entrepreneurial Game Studio. Another accelerated student combined her passion for paleontology with immersive media to create mixed-reality recreations of the world’s largest dinosaur.

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A Drexel senior project team, 51st & Fire, won first place for Gameplay for their game, Mirrors of Grimaldi, at Intel’s University Games Showcase at GDC in 2016.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute  - Worcester alumni demonstrate leadership in the field, including Darius Kazemi ’05, a former IGDA board member and leader in Internet bots for ethical engagement. Alex Schwartz ’09 just won Best VR/AR game at the 2017 Game Developer’s Conference—indeed, Schwartz’s company Owlchemy Lab launched a Rick and Morty VR game in collaboration with Adult Swim Games, and his company was just acquired by Google. Ichiro Lambe ’98 established Dejobaan Games in 1999 and has been winning awards and earning critical acclaim since then. WPI alumni go on to leadership in established companies as well: Elisabeth Beinke-Schwartz ’09, at Certain Affinity, has been a senior-level designer on such franchises as Doom, Call of Duty, and Mafia.

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Mary Yovina ’10, following stints at Turbine and Irrational, is now a UI artist at Harmonix.

Cogswell Polytechnic College  - Cogswell College has many notable alumni who have made their mark in the videogame industry. Graduates such as Raymond Crook, Senior Animator at Double Fine Games; Cogswell Instructor Rosie Katz, Designer at EA and Activision; Ronald Andaya, Technical Artist (  Call of Duty  ) at Sledgehammer Games; Collin Hennen, Senior Animator at EA; and I-Wei Huang, Character Director at Toys for Bob, Creator of creatures for  Skylanders.  I-Wei is also the inventor of combining real toys with digital characters for gameplay. Some of Cogswell’s more recent success stories include Bugi Kaigwa, Character Rigger Visual Concepts/Activision (NBA 2K) and Matt Bard, Technical Artist at EA.

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And what about Game Designers with a Master’s Degree or advanced degree in the subject?

SMU Guildhall Graduate Program - SMU’s more than 700 alumni have gone on to a variety of successful careers, including working on top titles at over 250 game studios around the world. A few noteworthy alumni include Jeff Browne, Senior Designer at Bethesda Game Studios and Lead Level Designer on Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim; Drew Murray, Game Director at Insomniac Games on Sunset Overdrive; Anthony Biancardi, Technical Director at Ubisoft games Toronto on Assassin’s Creed; Ben Jones, Creative Director at Daybreak Game Company LLC; James Peterson, Senior Animator at Riot Games; Reymundo Sierra, Senior Artist on Call of Duty: Black Ops 2; Sven Knutson, Senior Software Engineer at Blizzard Entertainment. Read more about one SMU graduate's career success: From Graduate Student to Video Game Designer.

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In the classroom at SMU Guildhall's graduate program in Video Game Design.