DigiPen Game Design

DigiPen Game Design collaborating


  • Location: DigiPen Institute, Redmond Campus
  • High School Credits: Year 1: CTE (2.0), Third Year Math (1.0)
  • No Tuition
  • Program fees may apply. Financial assistance may be available for qualifying students
  • College Credits: DigiPen Credits TBD
  • Prerequisites: No prior experience required

What makes games fun, useful, or engaging? How can we design systems to allow users to get the most enjoyment, and the greatest payoff? How do we provide the best value for the player’s investment of time and energy? This program is intended to complement the current Video Game Programming track. It is for creative-minded students who are deeply curious about the behavior and psychology behind games, and who are eager to learn the skills and methods used for designing fun and engaging interactive experiences.

Students will study and apply fundamental engagement theory content along with a diverse range of other topics including computer science, cognitive psychology, economics, communications, and user experience. As a project-based program, students can expect to spend much of their time prototyping, testing, and rapidly developing many different game ideas and collaborating on team projects with students in other DigiPen WANIC tracks. They will explore different game design disciplines including systems design, level design, user experience design, narrative design, and technical design, and learn basic scripting and programming skills to develop game prototypes using a game engine.

In this full-year, 3-period Skill Center class (3 high school credits) students will:

  • Identify and apply foundational game design theories and mechanics
  • Investigate different game design disciplines including systems design, level design, user experience design, narrative design, and technical design
  • Apply essential user experience design (UXD) techniques like wireframing, prototyping, user research, and usability testing
  • Learn basic scripting and programming skills to develop game prototypes using game engine
  • Identify industry game design roles and the specific skill sets required by each role, to develop a successful, individual career path
  • Collaborate on team projects with students from the other DigiPen WANIC tracks


Potential Careers:

Game Developer • Game Designer • Digital • Interface Designer • Level Designer • UX Designer • Gameplay Programmer • Systems Designer • Software Architect

Example Median Yearly Salary in the Seattle Metro area:

  • Web Developers and Digital Interface Designers $150,040

*Source: careeronestop.org, U.S. Department of Labor 2021


Course Expectations: DigiPen Game Design.  Located at DigiPen Institute of Technology 

Reading Expectations of this class:  

Students will be expected to conduct online research and read and review information from various websites. High-school and college-level technical documentation for software will be utilized.   

Writing Expectations of this class: 

Students will be asked to write technical documentation, including proposals and documents that outline the scope and approach they use to complete projects. 

Math Expectations of this class:  

Students will be using basic math skills and exploring and applying concepts of variables, probability and statistics within the context of game design. 

Science Expectations of this class:  

Students will look at the fundamentals of psychology and education theory, focusing on how players learn and the best ways to teach and assess them. Students will employ these core theories to develop games, providing an immersive experience for players. 

Homework Expectations of this class:  

All the coursework for this class is intended to be done during class. Lab time is planned in class for every assignment, and students are expected to be self-motivated during this time. The goal is for students to have all the help they need while they are actively working on their assignments. Any work done outside of class is typically preparatory work such as reading or reviewing a video in advance of the topic being introduced in the class. 

To be successful in this class, the student should be prepared to:  

Applying and practicing skills is key to showcasing your competency. Embrace an attendance policy reflecting the norms of business and industry, where you take on the role of an employee or professional. Commit to full daily attendance and active participation for optimal learning and productivity. Dive into the program's array of hands-on activities necessary for earning credit. 

Additional Information: 
  • College credit may be available. 

DigiPen Game Design Program Intro Video

Game Designers working together
Game sample
Game designers working together
Game Designers working


DigiPen Academy logo
QR Code DigiPen Game Design


Program Information on WANIC DigiPen Academy Game Design (Website Link)