Same school, new name. The School of Informatics and Computing is changing its name effective January 11, 2023. Learn more about the name change

Game Design and Development Minor

Beyond game night

No one plays a game to be bored.

Games are meant to be fun and entertaining, immersive and stupendous. But today’s game developers want to push the medium even further, to harness the power of gaming for:

  • Diagnosis
  • Assessment
  • Education
  • Simulations
  • Serious games
  • Architecture and infrastructure design

Are you up for the challenge?

Take gaming to new places

Leverage the knowledge and skills you acquire through your major to do the unexpected. Learn the process of creating mobile, console, virtual reality, board, and video games by earning our Game Design and Development minor.

Our goal-driven game development program is focused on completing play-ready products. Be prepared for a hands-on experience that will draw on all your skills — creative, managerial, technical — to conceptualize and prototype games. Deepen your understanding of cognitive theory and the psychology behind games as you combine formal and engaging elements of video game design to build interactive levels, environments, and experiences.

Bring it all

As part of your minor you’ll be writing game narratives, as well as working with modeled and animated characters. You’ll learn how to:

  • Recruit and guide participants through play tests and multiple iterations of your game in development
  • Evaluate the results by applying human factors (ergonomics) research methods
  • Bring to life an original game creation of your own design

Working as a game developer calls for drawing not only from your imagination, but from your real-world experiences and interests. These add greater authenticity to your projects. Whether you’re an amateur plumber or a karaoke crooner, a weekend athlete or around-the-clock parent, what you bring will infuse the games you produce.

Careers in gaming

With this minor you’ll be able to create 2-D and 3-D games, using commercial game engines such as Unreal 4 and Unity, to propel them from initial concept to working production.

Possible careers for students with a minor in game design and development include:

Where are you coming from?

Major: Drawing and Illustration, Painting, Sculpture, or Visual Communication Design

Our minor in game design and development will help you to transition from creating physical objects to employing and animating virtual objects in games.

Employment in the game industry ranges from art to animation to programming. The ability to bridge the gap could be the added benefit required to land a job at a top developer like Blizzard, EA, Ubisoft, or Zynga.

Major: English-Creative Writing or English-Film Studies

Take your storytelling talents to a new place. Students can bring their stories and scripts to fruition in role-playing games and ongoing deep narratives, found in games such as the Mass Effect series.

Major: Computer Science, Computer and Information Technology, or Informatics

Extend your software development and programming skills to include game creation, back-end development, and experimenting with new features on the cutting edge. Utilize our top-grade facilities, including the Media Arts and Science Research and Learning Arcade (MARLA).

Plan of Study (15–16 cr.)

Introductory Course (3 cr.)

3D Graphics or Programming Course (3–4 cr.)

Select one of the following courses:

Students may test out of the 3D graphics or programming requirement by prior learning assessment, in which case they take an additional advanced course.

Two Course Gaming Core

Advanced Course or Elective

Select one of the following courses:

Students must earn a C- or higher in each course and maintain a 2.0 GPA.

Admissions and Advising

The minor in Game Design and Development is open to IUPUI students in any major except Media Arts and Science, who may pursue the specialization instead.

Email Jill Mathews at to declare the Game Design and Development minor. For academic advising, contact the advisors for the minor at or 317-278-4636.

Learning Outcomes

    1. Demonstrate an understanding of the basic concepts, theories, and findings of psychology, including perception, attention, and memory, in the context of games.
    2. Compare operant conditioning and self-determination theory as they apply to videogames.
    3. Discuss formal game elements that can be used to increase cognitive flow during gameplay.
    4. Conceptualize and prototype games by using formal and dramatic game elements motivated by theories of cognition and motivation.
    5. Evaluate games by applying research methods from psychology and human factors.
    6. Evaluate the effectiveness of the user interface and game elements in a project and refine the game based on results.
    7. Implement a fully-functional 2D game using a game engine (Unity 3D).
    8. Design and develop 3D games, levels, and environments, from initial concept to full production, using a game engine (Unreal 4).
    9. Design and model characters and creatures, create a game narrative, and model and animate a game world.
    10. Integrate into a game graphics, textures, objects, and audio for effective communication and engagement.
    11. List factors that influence the user’s perception of a game.
    12. Recruit and guide participants through a playtest of a game in accord with best practices.
    13. Prepare a report on the findings of a playtest with insights on potential solutions.
    14. Chose and implement testing appropriate for the development stage of a game.