Game Development

and Design
  • Student Collections


    Thousands of grads working in art and design.
  • Experienced Instructors

    Learn from instructors who work in the industry.
  • Endless Opportunity

    Use your skills anywhere in the world.
  • Program Credential


  • Program Duration

    72 Weeks

  • Program Location


Program Overview

The Game Development and Design program at VCAD focuses on providing graduates with a solid foundation in the technical and artistic skills they need to become a part of this growing industry.


You'll learn the key to storytelling, game design, gameplay, modeling, and animation techniques. Students will also acquire a solid foundation in traditional artistic principles such as color theory, design fundamentals and life drawing. You will apply this knowledge to producing and animating characters, lighting, texturing, layout and design.


Graduates of the Game Development and Design program can work in various CGI-based industries like computer animation studios, game development companies, post-production and special effects studios.


  • Computer Animation Studios Computer Animation Studios generate digital imagery and media products for various forms of entertainment.
  • Game Development Companies Game Development Companies produce 3D digital imagery and media products for game design and development.
  • Post Production Studios Post Production Studios involve editing content for final production through colour grading, building and improving upon animation and visual effects for optimal visuals. 
  • Special Effects Studios Special Effects Studios or SFX / FX are visual illusions for various entertainment industries, including gaming, film, animation, and other applications.
  • Industrial Design Firms Industrial Design Firms or Product Design Agencies use 3D software and designers to produce mockups, instructions, or builds in product design.
  • Software Producers Software Producers create internal software for professional usage.


  • Work with major trends in visual arts in the game, animation and visual effects industries.
  • Apply critical thinking and creative expression techniques.
  • Analyze and critique a production.
  • Draw a character and its environment.
  • Produce a concept sketch.
  • Shape a model.
  • Stage a scene.
  • Design game environments and characters.
  • Develop a storyboard.
  • Produce computer-generated images.
  • Produce 3D models of props.
  • Prepare 3D models of characters.
  • Animate characters.
  • Create digital visual effects.
  • Present a professional portfolio.
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Courses Timeline

Your program begins with teaching you the fundamental skills necessary for your future as an artist. These traditional, digital and informational skills give you a strong foundation — all are focused on building your skills and knowledge to succeed in the media industry.

You expand your skills and understanding of the production pipeline by focusing on the foundations of storytelling, character development and planning.

Get hands-on digital techniques and training to understand the next steps in development and how to bring your visions into reality utilizing current software and methodologies.

Expand your previous skillset and learn to visualize and conceptualize digital concepts. Through a series of projects and assignments, learn to synthesize your creativity with industry standards and subject matter experts.

Delving into more advanced techniques and bringing ideas to life, you learn various critical workflows and focus on developmental aspects which showcase your accumulated skills.

In preparation for graduation, you will hone your skills and continue to advance as you focus on your portfolio pieces and projects. These pieces and projects will showcase and demonstrate all your acquired knowledge and skills, ensuring industry success.

  • Colour & Design

    Understanding colour and design principles through exploration and application across media, visual, and applied design genres. This course will introduce students to the fundamental principles of colour theory through design, such as layout, composition, balance, colour science as well as a diverse range of colour theories, and how to employ them creatively. These concepts will be reinforced through specific practical exercises, and activities that will serve to d...

  • Life Drawing I

    This course will lay the foundation for a robust understanding of anatomy for applied illustration purposes. Topics emphasize a variety of figure drawing techniques applicable to both human, and animal morphology, helping to tie the subject matter into later 3D, and illustration expectations.

  • Photoshop I

    Through this 'hands-on' course, the student will learn the fundamentals of design, advanced features and tips to prepare images for digital output and print. By the end of this course, the student will be able to create, modify, and enhance sophisticated images using raster editing tools and features; craft special effects; work in 3D space; and prepare files for export to various applications in web, mobile, print, and manufacturing.

  • 2D Animation Foundations

    In this course, students learn the basic principles of animation by participating in several practical projects designed to illustrate the fundamental processes. The course will explore the traditional techniques and how they apply in the modern world of computer generation by exploring stop-motion, visual effects, traditional animation and CG.

  • Game Theory

    This course covers contemporary industry trends along with design principles, processes and technical aspects of game development and the industry, including industry positions and roles, the differences between individual developers, game types and titles and web resources.

  • Maya I

    This course is an intensive introduction to the complexities of the 3D application. The first portion of the class focuses on the tools in Maya. Students will learn how to work in 3D through projects that introduce modelling in both NURBS and polygons. Students will then cover simple unwrapping procedures while learning about the complexities of UVs and lighting tools.

  • Life Drawing II

    This course focuses on skeletal structure, musculature drawing, and surface coverings of the human body and animal forms. Students will learn the anatomical names of the skeletal elements, landmarks and muscle groups, how to draw the structures of the human skeleton then add the surface muscle groups and features appropriate to the skeletal sub-structure.

  • Character Design

    This course explores the design and production of characters for the industry. Students learn the principles of good character design, from research to final detailing, while focusing on character development, style, and personality to achieve expressive, well-developed, appealing characters. By the end of this course, students should be able to work with various styles, archetypes and body structures to construct their characters.

  • Storyboarding & Project Planning

    Students will learn how to plan for and create clear, concise industry-standard storyboards by exploring the elements of a final production storyboard, including a 30-second commercial, a television show, a cinematic for computer games, and a feature film. Topics will include conceptual development, pitches, concept and production boards, thumbnail sketches, design, character staging, model sheets, art direction, background (layout) design, and camera positioning.

  • Character Modeling II

    The key focus of this course is being able to think like a character modeler following professional design methods— simple characters will be lit, unwrapped and textured to ensure that existing designs are accurate. For efficiency, students are assigned pre-determined assignments.

  • Game Conceptualization

    In this course students explore the planning stages of a game. Student will use non-digital and digital methods to develop different concepts that are dynamic and engaging. Students will work in teams to discuss and plan these concepts. There will be group presentations and analysis of these projects to explore their viability and game play. Students will also spend time in this course analyzing both traditional board games and digital games through the last 50 yea...

  • Environmental Modeling II

    This course explores the design and development of 3D environmental modeling by observing real-world environments and translating these observations into production. Students will also learn to consider design and structure in the staging and environmental mood. Topical coverage includes interior and exterior environment design, creating illusions of depth, matte painting (fundamentals), camera action and displacement props, effects, and strategies for creating moo...

  • Animation II

    Building on skills and techniques learned in Maya I, this course will introduce students to intermediate 3D animation techniques. Students will create movement in a 3D character they will have previously developed. Topical coverage will include keyframing, modifiers, basic morphing techniques and linear and non-linear animation.

  • Lighting & Texture

    This course addresses the creation of multilayer and high-resolution textures for environments, environmental and character models. It also seeks to provide students with various production contexts, such as texturing characters' faces for film and games, developing environment textures for next-gen game environments, and an in-depth look at various direct lighting tools and controls available when lighting 3D assets.

  • Character Modeling III

    This course explores advanced designs and the human anatomy of male and female character models. Students will work with the available tools to add realism to these designs by developing low poly models that are well-built and dynamic. Students will work with predesigned characters and real-life reference material to ensure the models are proportioned and have proper anatomy.

  • Level Design I

    Students will explore level design theory and techniques, develop a working-level concept using traditional methods, and are encouraged to develop environments using developer tools. Design and playability will be critical to a successful final project. Students will develop a working level and present it to their classmates and instructor for review.

  • Environmental Modelling III

    This advanced studio course explores the design and development of 3D environmental modeling and design. Students will work with a developed concept and follow the required specifications to develop professional environments and then translate their research into producing dynamic environments. Students will also learn to consider staging, atmosphere and environmental mood to enhance the professional look of the environment. Topical coverage includes effective adva...

  • Animation III

    This course focuses on acting and intermediate animation techniques students will improve their skills from term one and push their timing, anticipation, follow-through secondary action and cycles. Students will use live references to enhance their animation, both technical and acting techniques, and prepare for advanced animation and portfolio development.

  • Rigging

    This course explores the process of setting up a character model for animation by character modeling and animating with a focus on the rigging of the characters. Students will learn how to prepare and set up character rigs, bind structures to geometry and work with meshes and armature, facial expressions and lip movement, joint orientation and skeletons, inverse kinematics, facial rigging, armature, and binding structures to geometry and meshes.

  • Interface Design

    This course covers the fundamentals of interface design. Students will work primarily in Photoshop and Illustrator to develop raster and vector designs and tools. In the latter portion of the course, students are introduced to simple motion graphics to add to their interface presentations.

  • Level Design II

    Students will explore advanced tools and techniques to develop a level in the unity 3D game engine. Students will also be encouraged to conceptualize new ideas and work with content created in their environmental design class. By the end of the term, students will work in teams to develop a level focused on atmosphere, design and playability to present to their classmates and faculty for review.

  • Maya Scripting

    This course introduces the student to 3D scripting using Maya Embedded Language or MEL scripting. Students will learn the various features and functions of the language that will add advanced capabilities to the animations. Students will learn to use the MEL scripting language to streamline and automate the character rigging process and explore MEL scripting to create a character animation.

  • Gaming Animation

    Students will develop advanced animation that will work in real-time game engines by analyzing the timing and technical assets in components in industry examples and the movements of their work in Maya to revise the content and test the animation compatibility within the game environment. The student will then learn to incorporate these animated characters into game engines, ensuring the animation works in their required environments.

  • Portfolio I

    This course prepares students for the professional world by preparing them for job interviews and helping them compile and defend a first draft of their portfolio— which contains pieces produced to demonstrate their skills in conceptualization, design, modeling and animation. Students are encouraged to identify a preferred skill set and style to polish and develop. Feedback will come in the form of industry, instructor and peer critique.

  • Compositing & Editing

    This course focuses on the video presentation aspects of the final demo reel. Students will work with compositing and editing tools to add the final touches to their presentations. The course will focus on small projects that will help the student understand the complexities and tools of compositing, editing and creating their final edit with the assistance of the portfolio and compositing and editing instructors.

  • Effects Animation

    Students will explore the basics of digital effects animation and work with particle and effect tools in Maya to develop simple dynamic animations while considering elements to add life and atmosphere to their reels. Students will cover elementals such as fire and water and discuss lighting, mood and atmosphere created by these effects. Timing physics and design will ensure the believability of the developed effects.

  • Advanced Lighting & Texture

    This course takes the students beyond light sources and shadows and explores lighting and texturing as an art. Students will learn to select the appropriate light type for a particular situation, Raytracing, 3D textures and projections, 2D and 3D material textures, lighting colour and composition, Maya light types, high-quality shadows and effects, advanced lighting/texturing skills and techniques, and how to apply them to their final modeling and animation project...

  • Portfolio II

    This course will prepare students for graduation and their final portfolio presentation with a demo reel to showcase their strengths and talents in a visually appealing branded presentation focused on showcasing the student’s primary and secondary skills— increasing potential employment opportunities. Students will utilize and follow planning and production pipelines to meet deadlines.

Costs & Requirements

  • High school graduation or equivalent (From an English language teaching institution) OR
  • Mature student status (19 years of age upon starting classes and passing the college’s admissions test.)

To learn more about tuition, click here.
For international student tuition, click here.


VCAD's Refund Policy abides by the Private Training Regulation of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) Private Training Act.
For more information, click here.

Check out and connect with some Alumni on LinkedIn.

  • Alumni 1 Noel Gabriel Ambrosio 2020
  • Alumni 2 Nikki Katouzian 2022
  • Alumni 4 Dryden Sereda 2022
  • Alumni 4 Madison Prangnell 2020
  • Alumni 5 Tuong Kim Thuy Nguyen 2020

Student Testimonials

  • The instructors are really helpful, even outside school projects. They gave me a lot of advice about improving my skills as a graphic designer.

    - Maricel Benjamin
  • The most valuable part of the program is the one on one time with the teachers. They are always willing to go out of their way to make sure you understand what you are doing.

    - Katrina Selkirk
  • We have very important classes that are very useful in the industry. Really good hands-on and technical classes.

    - Jae Esmane
  • The teachers, being a part of the industry, have really amazing contacts with people working in the industry, and I have been able to take advantage of opportunities that I have received through VCAD.

    - Alisha Rempel
  • Coming to VCAD allowed me to have an international environment around me, international influences in my learning and international instructors. That was my goal because you can't learn design in a silo; I wanted influenc...

    - Crystal Dauphinee
  • VCAD was very hands-on. We were constantly working on our portfolio. I had classes with actual game designers - teachers who taught animations and were actual working as animators in the industry.

    - Carlos Alejandro


Learn from VCAD graduates what it's like to study game development.

  • Student Portfolio

    Rey R.
    Game Development and Design

  • Student Portfolio

    Alex S.
    Game Development and Design

  • Student Portfolio

    Gatlin F.
    Game Development and Design

  • Student Portfolio

    Andrew B.
    Game Development and Design

  • Student Portfolio

    Jemille R.
    Game Development and Design

  • Student Portfolio

    Luke A.
    Game Development and Design

  • Student Portfolio

    Malcolm D.
    Game Development and Design

  • Student Portfolio

    Mikhail H.
    Game Development and Design

  • Student Portfolio

    Valentina T.
    Game Development and Design

  • Student Portfolio

    james a.
    Game Development and Design

  • Student Portfolio

    Talha K.
    Game Development and Design

  • Student Portfolio

    Maggie N.
    Game Development and Design

  • Student Portfolio

    Stephanie N.
    Game Development and Design

Meet our Instructors

  • Jared Barber

    Game Development and Design

    Jared is one of our most experienced instructors at VCAD and has spent the last 25 years across the industry contributing to movies, games, and television, and during that time has also built a solid reputation as an educator. 

  • Ali Bordbar

    Game Development and Design

    Ali has been with VCAD since the summer of 2018 and has spent years honing his craft in the game development industry across various roles.

  • Leo Talento

    Game Development and Design

    With over 20 years of experience in film, game and cinematic experiences, Leo brings a wealth of knowledge to the classroom with a large assortment of skill sets ranging from digital and traditional art, character creation and environmental construction.

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