Student Experience

In the School of Game Development, it’s “game on” from day one. You’ll learn about the entire development pipeline and focus on one of the following areas: concept art, 3D art, game play, level design, or programming. You’ll be able to play with cutting edge technology like our networked VR treadmills and haptic vests. You’ll hang out in our esports lounge with your peers and experience the thrill of being part of a competitive gaming squad.

As you build your professional-quality portfolio, you’ll create interactive experiences for organizations like NASA and the Rockwell Museum and collaborate with other Academy students on projects for major corporations like Stellantis. Join us in the School of Game Development and we’ll teach you how to win in the game of life.


Technology expand_more
• 280+ Alienware High Performance Computers with Dual Monitors
• 13 iMac Workstations for iOS development
• 103 Cintiq Monitors (Model:”24HD”)
• 21 Alienware 25 inch 240Hz Monitors for Game Lounge
• 21 iPad Pro 12.9 Inch for Concept Art
• 6 Oculus Rift Virtual Reality (VR) Headsets
• 6 HTC VIVE VR Headsets
• 4 Samsung Gear VR Headsets
• 2 Samsung HMD Odyssey Windows Mixed Reality (MR) Headsets
• 2 Microsoft HoloLens Augmented Reality (AR) Headsets
• 60+ Wacom Tablets
• Xbox/PlayStation/Nintendo Game consoles
• iOS/Android mobile platforms: iPad, iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel
Virtual and Augmented Reality expand_more
Students experience the latest virtual technologies in advanced studio courses which explore dynamic interaction in emerging platforms. Using the latest offerings from Oculus, HTC, Sony, Microsoft, or a future device, Interaction & UI/UX Design is dedicated to supporting, investigating, and producing work for this exciting format.
Competitive Esports Lab & Competition expand_more
We host weekly casual game events and competitive tournaments throughout the semester in our game lounge, The Knight Arcade. Students can join one of our many esports teams to represent the school in league-based competitions against other universities and colleges in North America. For students interested in a career in esports, we have an esports studio class that partners with top esports industry companies to produce and run events. Students from most majors can join using the skills they learned in their major, to gain real world experience before graduation.
Cross-Departmental War Rooms expand_more
Designed to expose you to a real-world work environment, you’ll collaborate with students from Schools of Music, Illustration, Animation and more in these designated work areas.


With deep professional ties to the gaming industry, the School of Game Development offers our students unparalleled opportunities to collaborate with the best of the best while still in school. Many of our faculty have logged time at some of the biggest gaming companies in the world, and that experience provides a gateway to meaningful industry partnerships.

Blizzard Games

Blizzard Entertainment partners with the game design school at Academy of Art University to provide lectures and student portfolio reviews. Many of our students have entered and won the annual Blizzard Student Art Contest, earning mentoring, internships and employment with Blizzard.

Game Showcase

Play Games Designed and Built by Academy Students

To truly provide a sense of what can be accomplished with a degree in Game Development from the Academy, we’ve created a gallery of working demos of some of the more exciting game projects our students have created.

Click the button below to browse games that vary widely in terms of art, gameplay, and interactivity.


The vision for the esports program was born in the summer of 2016. With our successful School of Game Development, thriving gaming community, and our location in the heart of San Francisco, Academy of Art is the perfect place for esports to thrive and grow. Our ArtU Esports Lounge opened on September 19, 2016, and since then we have refined our esports program to bring the gaming community closer together through hundreds of events, collegiate competitions, and esports education. Our commitment is to be the best collegiate esports program in the world.

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I’ve loved my time in the game development classes. The co-lab class in particular helped me understand what is and isn’t important to get right, and what my priorities should be while working on a project.
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Shannon Lane

BFA  Game Design 2024

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