Game Development Minor

The United States and global games industry continues to be one of the most diverse and healthy available for job-seekers. In the United States alone, the games industry employs more than 32,000 people across 34 states, reaching a total compensation of over three billion dollars annually. 

As one of a growing number of interdisciplinary programs at Penn State, students can now opt to enroll in a minor in Game Development.

Game Development is the craft of transforming a concept into an engaging interactive form.  This craft is highly interdisciplinary, requiring students to answer questions about the human condition (what makes a game fun), about psychology (what makes an interface engaging), about aesthetics (what makes something pleasing), and about technical considerations (how to implement a game). Students pursuing the Game Development minor are required to explore a variety of disciplines in the breadth component. Often these classes will also be qualified as general education. Disciplinary depth in selected areas is achieved in the depth component.  Finally, student teams complete a capstone design class, working in teams to complete a project from concept to implementation. 
The Game Development minor is designed to augment any degree, and fits nicely into a four-year schedule, augmenting student learning and marketability, and aiding in the completion of general education credits. 

The minor consists of 18 total credits:

Prescribed Courses (9 credits)

GAME 220 [GA; 3 credits] Semester: 1–4
GAME 250 [GQ; 3 credits] Semester: 2–4
GAME 480 [3 credits] Semester: 7-8

Additional Courses (9 credits)

Select 3 credits: 100 or 200-level GAME courses [excluding GAME 220, 250] Semester: 1 – 4
Select 6 credits: 400-level GAME courses [excluding GAME 480] Semester: 5-6

Students can take these courses in any year of enrollment, but they are designed to be taken in ascending order, as many courses require a prerequisite. 
The order of courses is as follows:

  • GAME 220, GAME 250 (6 credits of required introductory courses)
  • 3 credits of GAME Breadth courses at the 100 and 200 levels or PSYCH 244
  • 6 credits of Depth courses at the 400 level, and
  • GAME 480 (3 credit Capstone Senior Project)

Courses Currently Offered at Brandywine

Spring and Fall Semesters:
GAME 140: Gaming and Interactive Media (GS)
GAME 160: Introduction to Video Game Culture (GH; US; IL) [also offered in summer]

Fall Semester:
GAME 220: Introduction to Game Design (GA)
GAME 420: Advanced Game Design [offered every other year]

Spring Semester:
GAME 250: Technical Game Development (GQ) (also CMPSC 208)
GAME 434:  Psychology of Gaming (also PSYCH 434) [offered every other year]
GAME 480: Game Development Project [offered every other year]