Game Design

Bachelor of Arts in Digital Arts

and

Bachelor of Engineering Science in Digital Arts

Are you a passionate Gamer?

Two degrees pioneered in collaboration between Electrical and Information Engineering and Digital Arts offer you the opportunity to work with what you love. Game design brings together the creative as well as the technical aspects of game creation. Both of these elements can be studied at Wits through these uniquely collaborative degrees: BA Digital Arts and the BEngSc Digital Arts

Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman explain the discipline of game design really well. They say that: ‘The focus of a game designer is designing game play, conceiving and designing rules and structures that result in an experience for players. Thus game design, as a discipline, requires a focus on games in and of themselves.’

Creating a game requires a variety of skills, stretching from the technical development and programming to the creative disciplines of illustration, animation, writing, and sound design. Game design is at the heart of all these disciplines. It is the creation of the system and mechanics of a game, and the point where the disciplines intersect to create something great.  This multidisciplinary nature is why the Game Design courses will be offered to students from both the School of Electrical and Information Engineering and the Wits School of Arts.

What will we be doing in the Game Design Courses?

The core Game Design courses have a strong practical component, but also emphasise a solid academic grounding in the field. You will learn game history and theory; game mechanics; programming; puzzle design; level design; character design; and many more elements of games. Each theoretical element is underlined by a practical project. A key focus of the course is the development of a portfolio of both table top and digital games with which you can approach industry. You will be building games from day one
Game Design Degree Structure

Why would you want to study Game Design at Wits?

Game development is a massive international industry. At Wits we are working closely with the game development community, keeping our fingers on the pulse of the industry as it takes shape here in Africa and internationally. Game Design at Wits offers an exciting opportunity for collaboration between the technological and creative aspects of the field. A familiarity and fluency in the elements of game development provides students with a solid base from which to either pursue a career as a designer, or to specialise in one of the key fields of game creation be it in the creative disciplines or the technical arena.

Degrees with Game Design

The Game Design courses can be taken in two specialist degree programmes: For students interested in creative production there is the Bachelor of Arts in Digital Arts  (BADigA) which is hosted in the Wits School of Arts. Catering for aspirant developers is a degree hosted in the School of Electrical and Information Engineering. It is a 3 year degree called a Bachelor of Engineering Science in Digital Art – BEngSc (Digital Art) Students in both programmes take the Game Design courses together. Within this multidisciplinary arena you will become familiar with many areas within game creation, while still having the opportunity to specialise in your own field of interest.

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN DIGITAL ART (BADigA)

 

The BADigA is intended to produce graduates that can become specialist practitioners in the creative areas of game production. In the senior years of the program you have the opportunity to specialise in Interactive Art, Animation or Interactive Writing to compliment your Game Design Major. you would have the opportunity to select other subjects that tailor you choice to their own individual interests. Some exciting options include English, Psychology, Philosophy and many more.

BACHELOR OF ENGINEERING SCIENCE IN DIGITAL ART – (BEngSc Digital Art)

 

 

This three year degree is intended to produce graduates that can become specialist practitioners in the technological arena of software development within a game context. You will attend courses in the School of Electrical and Information Engineering. Here you will do, amongst others, Physics, Maths, Electric Circuits, Software Development, and Electromagnetic Systems with Game Design as the core subject. This degree aims to give you an introduction into both the hardware and software environments. On completion of the degree you may wish to further your studies by entering into the 3rd year of a professional Electrical and Information Engineering degree or by pursuing an Honours in Digital Arts (Game Design).

What are the entry requirements?

The entry requirements differ for the two degrees. The full Admission Point Score (APS) table and explanation can be found here:  Admission Requirements

BADigA – GAME DESIGN

Click here  for minimum admission requirements. Due to the limited number of places available meeting the likely acceptance level does not guarantee admission. All applicants are required to submit a letter of motivation and a portfolio for evaluation. Based on the letter and portfolio, selected candidates will be shortlisted.  Admission decisions are only made after your final results have been received. Game Design Portfolio: Your portfolio must consist of the following:

  • One or more short creative pieces of writing: the pieces should show your ability as a writer and storyteller.  The piece can be a short story, a 1 act play, or a short film or game script.
  • Five or more creative drawings in any medium.  The drawings should give the lecturer a good idea of your capabilities.  Drawing should be sent digitally as photographs or scans (we suggest jpeg or png format).

These are the minimum requirements, and you are welcome to send a wider selection should you feel you want to. Depending on your strengths you may focus your portfolio to reflect either more writing, or more drawings, but it must contain an attempt at both. If you are interested in Game Music, Music Composition could also be taken by special arrangement.  Please contact Hanli Geyser to set up a music theory test with the Music Division.

BEngSc (DIGITAL ART)

Click here for minimum admission requirements. Due to the limited number of places available meeting the likely acceptance level does not guarantee admission. All applicants are required to submit a letter of motivation for evaluation. Based on the letter, selected candidates will be  shortlisted.  Admission decisions are only made after your final results have been received.

Do you have any questions?

For any questions, or if you would like to discuss the programmes contact:

Digital Arts – info.digitalarts@wits.ac.za – 011 717 4656

The School of Electrical and Information Engineering – info@eie.wits.ac.za – 011 717 7237

Apply for this programme

Apply