Video Game Design & Development Diploma Program
Working video game creators will teach you the entire game development process for console, PC, and mobile.
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Learn Video Game Development From Real Game Creators
Ace the game creation process from concept to production. Learn to design and program your video games in a simulated studio environment. Work alongside driven peers and accomplished game creators.
Network with industry professionals inside and outside the classroom. Develop a complete portfolio of work that showcases your know-how to prospective employers. Graduate confident that you can score that dream job with a major gaming studio.
Career Outcomes for Video Game Development Graduates
Game Play Programmer
Game AI Programmer
Game Network Programmer
Quality Assurance Tester
For over two decades, JP Amore has been producing and developing interactive media for Toronto-based software firms in entertainment, education, and medical industries. JP is an advisory board member for several game companies and organizations.
Naveen Prasad is a Technical Designer at Ubisoft Toronto with multiple years of experience in the game industry. After graduating with honours from George Brown College, he accepted a position at Ubisoft Toronto and shipped two AAA titles (Watch Dogs: Legion and Far Cry 6) with more games on the way. In addition to gaining industry experience, Naveen is also passionate to share his knowledge and exhibit his creativity with students at the Toronto Film School. Some of his hobbies include developing his own personal games, producing short-films, and being a gamer.
Galen has a decade of experience in the video game industry, and currently works as a senior software engineer at Zynga, a global leader in interactive entertainment.
Shortly after graduation, Sydney took on a full-time position as a game developer at Beamdog Studios.
Video Game Design and Development ’22
Diogo received a full-time position four months before graduation. He now works as a technical artist at Sago Mini, a company that develops apps and toys for preschoolers and toddlers.
Video Game Design and Development ’22
Ciarán received a full-time job offer six months prior to graduation, and now works as a game programmer at Lightning Rod Games.
Video Game Design and Development ’22
Video Game Design & Development Courses by Term
Digital Drawing 1
Digital Drawing 1 introduces students to the fundamental concepts of 2D art creation for games. Students will learn how to create traditional art and transfer it into digital formats for use in games. Specific topics include: line and form, perspective, and texturing and shading in both traditional and digital mediums. Students will apply knowledge gained in this course to conceptualize and develop concept art used in games.
Game Modeling 1
Game Modeling 1 introduces students to the fundamental concepts of 3D modeling. Students will explore 3D software and tools, which will facilitate development of 3D game assets. Specific topics include: high- and low-polygon modeling, 3D geometry and hard surface creation. Students will apply knowledge gained in this course to conceptualize and develop 3D assets used in games.
Principles of Art and Design
The elements and principles of design are the building blocks to create effective and functional visuals. This course introduces students to art and design principles applied to games, with an emphasis on color theory and letter typography. Specific topics include color theory, color wheels, space, form, and fonts.
Scripting for Games
Scripting for Games introduces students to scripting and problem solving. Students will script the basics of conditional structures, iterative structures and other control structures through the usage of a procedural scripting language. Topics include: loops, functions and if statements.
Programming Logic introduces students to the fundamental building blocks of programming. Students will identify the basics of control structures which will assist in solving programming problems for games. Topics include: variables, iteration, and game loops.
Game Platforms 1
Game Platforms 1 introduces students to visual game engines used to develop cross-platform games. Students will combine a variety of art skills and techniques to develop an original game. Specific topics include: asset importing, game logic integration, and game deployment.
History of Video Games
History of Video Games presents a historical survey of video games to modern times. Insights into the game industry will be made with identification of past, present and future games and their social and cultural impacts. Specific topics include: game technology, violence in games, and gender and games.
Introduction to Video Game Industry
Introduction to the Video Game Industry introduces students to the game industry with analysis of local and international markets. Specific topics include: analysis of game development centers in the world, identification of roles and responsibilities of game departments, corporate structures and game studio organization hierarchies.
Game Testing and Debugging
Game Testing & Debugging introduces students to game testing for quality control. Students will analyze techniques used to test games for defects and identify solutions to remove bugs. Topics include: test automation, UI testing and performance optimization.
Programming Fundamentals 1
Programming Fundamentals 1 introduces students to object-oriented programming by interpreting OO paradigms and organizing objects using the Unified Modeling Language (UML). Topics include: abstraction, inheritance, and polymorphism.
Cross Platform Programming 1
Cross-Platform Programming 1 will extend students’ knowledge of cross-platform technologies by using a game engine. Students will develop games for multiple platforms by using a programming which generates games variety of hardware devices. Topics include: game logic, events, and device controls
Mathematics for Game Programmers 1
Mathematics for Game Programmers 1 is designed to prepare students for mathematical calculations used to manipulate 2D and 3D graphics. Students will analyze linear algebra formulae and how they apply to 3D graphics. Topics include: matrix and vector operations
Game Design 1
Game Design 1will introduce students to the principles of game design and mechanics. Students will examine game genres, by analyzing common game mechanics and elements. Topics include: game genres, game mechanics, and gameplay elements.
Game Production and Pipeline
Game Production & Pipeline will introduce students to methodologies and development best practices for game production. Through the analysis of game design documentation, students will establish development pipelines best suited for 2D and 3D games. Topics include: asset management, waterfall development, agile and SCRUM production methodologies.
Programming Fundamentals 2
Programming Fundamentals 2 introduces students to concepts in organizational and structured game programming, using data structures and design patterns. Students will apply data structures and design patterns into the game development cycle. Topics include: lists, trees, and graphs.
Cross Platform Programming 2
Cross-Platform Programming 2 will introduce students to 3D cross-platform technologies used to create multi-platform games. Students will develop games for multiple platforms by using an engine which generates games for variety of hardware devices. Topics include: 3D environments and objects, and event systems.
Mathematics for Game Programmers 2
Mathematics for Game Programmers 2 is designed to prepare students for mathematical calculations used to manipulate physics within games. Students will explore calculus techniques to understand and calculate the fundamentals of motion. Topics include: derivatives and integration.
Physics for Game Programmers 1
Physics for Game Programmers 1 introduces students to the fundamental concepts of Newtonian physics. Students will use a physics engine to apply physics and view the results of simulated motion. Topics include: collision, motion and projectiles.
Game Frameworks 1
Game Frameworks 1 will apply students’ knowledge of 3D engines and development to produce a game in a team setting. Students will design and develop a game by applying project management techniques and development pipelines.
Game Design 2
Game Design 2 introduces students to the theory and practise of level design for games. Students will examine layouts and blueprints for levels through the usage of a level editor. Topics include: golden paths, navigation and world building.
Game Business introduces students to the business operations of a game studio. Students will analyze business models and how they apply to the game industry. Topics will include: business models, game marketing and budgeting games.
Graphics Programming 1
Graphics Programming 1 examines graphics engine libraries used to create 3D, virtual reality and augmented reality virtual environments. Students will categorize the various techniques used to import 3D models into an interactive environment. Topics include: real-time graphics rendering, object transformations and graphics optimization.
Mobile Game Development 1
Mobile Game Development 1 will introduce students to native game development for a mobile device. Students will learn how to develop, test and publishing a mobile game through an app store. Topics include: mobile APIs, provisioning and publishing.
Physics for Game Programmers 2
Physics for Game Programmers 2 introduces students to the fundamental concepts of kinematics. Students will use a physics engine to apply physics and view the results in a simulated environment. Topics include: forward and inverse kinematics, and joints.
Game Frameworks 2
Game Frameworks 2 will apply students’ knowledge of 3D engines and development to produce a game in a team setting. Students will design and develop a game by using a commercial engine and applying project management techniques and development pipelines.
Game Design 3
Game Design 3 extends students’ knowledge of level design by analyzing feedback systems. Students will integrate reward systems and narrative through the usage of visual scripting and level editors. Topics include: scripted events, feedback loops and cinematics.
Game Audio 1
Game Audio 1 will introduce students to technology and tools for game audio development. Students will learn how to design and generate sound effects that can be integrated into games. Topics include: synthesizing, looping, and fading.
Game Portfolio 1
Game Portfolio 1 will introduce students to portfolio development for the game industry. Students will learn how to assemble employment material based on industry standards and expectations. Topics include: resumes, interviewing and cover letters.
Graphics Programming 2
Graphics Programming 2 extends the students’ knowledge of graphics programming by exploring advances techniques in virtual reality game development. Students will develop graphics and generate photorealistic simulations applied to games. Topics include: culling, space partitioning and quad-trees.
Mobile Game Development 2
Mobile Game Development 2 will extend students’ knowledge of mobile development by producing virtual reality and augmented reality games for mobile devices. Students will develop and test mobile games, while learning device APIs, provisioning and publishing.
Physics for Game Programmers 3
Physics for Game Programmers 3 extends students’ knowledge of physics by analyzing the physics of solids. Students will use a physics engine to apply physics and view the results in a simulated environment. Topics include: ballistics, heat conduction and explosions.
Game Frameworks 3
Game Frameworks 3 will apply students’ knowledge of 3D engines and development to produce a game in a team setting. Students will design and develop a game by using a commercial engine and applying project management techniques and development pipelines.
AI Game Programming
AI Game Programming introduces students to artificial intelligence algorithms for games. Students will learn techniques used to develop autonomous systems for games. Topics include: path finding, autonomous decision making and finite state machines.
Game Design 4
Game Design 4 will extend students’ knowledge of game design by introducing story writing and storyboarding. Students will examine the structure of a story, how to visualize and adapt stories for games. Topics include: linear and non-linear storytelling, plots and character development.
Game Audio 2
Game Audio 2 will introduce students to composing music for games. Students will learn audio tools used to generate ambient music or game soundtracks. Topics include: music composition, sampling and sound filtering.
Game Portfolio 2
Game Portfolio 2 will allow students to develop their portfolio with the guidance and mentorship of faculty. Students will use proper procedures for presenting their portfolio on the web and other mediums. Topics include: static rendering, presenting and showcasing portfolios
Team Production Project
This capstone course allows students to operate as a game studio and design and develop a game as a team. Students will apply knowledge gained in past terms to produce a game following development phases. In addition, students will showcase their final game to an audience.
Game Portfolio 3
Game Portfolio 3 will allow students to finalize development of their portfolio by integrating games and demo reel. Students will use video editing tools to present their portfolio. Topics include: demo reel assembly and editing.
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Graduate Sydney Pallister’s success story:
Stepping Up Her Professional Game | Sydney Pallister’s Video Game Development Story
Our Admissions Process Made Easy
Complete Toronto Film School’s online application form.
Pay the application fee of $100.
Provide original or notarized translated academic transcripts.
Submit a 500-word essay on why you want to attend Toronto Film School and your career goals for the video game industry.
Provide proof of English-language proficiency. (international students only)
Provide a copy of your passport. (international students only)
Please note: Applicants need to have completed a Grade 11 math course or math camp. Grade 11 courses in physics and computers/digital media are recommended.
The application fee will be deducted from your tuition total. For a more in-depth break-down of the admissions steps, please visit the Requirements page.
The tuition fees for the Video Game Design & Development program are listed below.
Canadian or Permanent Residence Students, October 2023 Rates:
$5920 per term
$6275 per term
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Take advantage of payment options that are available to all new Toronto Film School students.Contact Us
If you’re an international student, visit the Tuition page.
Tuition Fees do not include books, expendable supplies, equipment and resources.
What are the prerequisites for enrolling in the Video Game Design & Development program?
To be eligible for this program, applicants must have completed a Grade 11 math course or math camp. We also recommend courses in Grade 11 physics and computers/digital media. Here are the additional admission steps:
Submit an online application form.
Pay the application fee ($100 for most on-campus programs, though Film Production is $500. This fee is deducted from your tuition).
Provide original or notarized translated academic transcripts. You must have an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent.
Submit additional requirements specific to your program of choice.
International students must provide proof of English-language proficiency and a copy of their passport.
Lastly, we ask for a 300-500 word essay discussing your reasons for wanting to attend Toronto Film School and your career aspirations in the video game industry. We’ll be assessing your overall understanding of the industry, and how you envision building a gaming career.
Get in touch with us today, and our admissions advisors will ensure this is a quick and easy process for you!
Why should I choose the game design program?
Choosing the Video Game Design & Development program at Toronto Film School means you’re opting for an education that is tailored to the demands of today’s gaming industry.
Our curriculum blends essential game design principles with detailed technical learning to produce graduates who are truly industry-ready.
Here’s what sets our video game animation program apart:
- Our Professors are Practitioners:
Learn from industry-active design professionals who bring real-world insights straight to the classroom.
2. Our Campus is a Networking Hub:
We understand that building professional relationships is crucial to your success in the creative world.
That’s why this program is jam-packed with networking events and collaborative opportunities.
As a student, you’ll be automatically enrolled in Toronto Film School’s Inner Circle Club (ICC) – a flagship initiative that comprises masterclasses, workshops, and “In Conversation with” events featuring special guests.
3. We Take a Future-Forward Approach:
Benefit from a cutting-edge curriculum that marries classic video game design principles with the latest digital tools.
4. You’ll Participate in an Industry-Replicating Capstone Project:
Our program concludes with a capstone project that mimics the dynamics of a real-life game studio. Similar to an internship, this hands-on experience preps you for tackling real-world video game design assignments post-graduation.
What career opportunities are available for graduates of the Video Game Design & Development program?
Toronto Film School opens a world of opportunities for graduates of the Video Game Design & Development program. Picture yourself as a Game Developer, Systems Designer, Level Designer, Game Tester, or even a Project Manager.
You could find opportunities in game development studios, software publishing houses, computer systems design firms, or even as a freelance consultant. The gaming industry is an ocean of opportunities waiting to be explored, and we equip you with the necessary skills to navigate it.
What kind of software and equipment do I need for a Video Game Design & Development program?
As an aspiring game developer, you’ll need a computer with a robust graphics card, substantial RAM, and a fast processor. On the software front, you’ll be dealing with programming languages such as C# or C++, and working with game engines like Unity or Unreal Engine.
You might also need graphic design tools like Adobe Photoshop and 3D modelling applications such as Blender or Maya.
But don’t worry if you’re starting from scratch; we’ll guide you through all the necessary steps!
What is the duration of the Video Game Design & Development program?
The program is divided into six terms and takes 18 months to complete.
Is financial aid available for the Video Game Design & Development program?
We understand that funding your education can be a challenge. But there are several bursary and financial aid options for our applicants.
Canada Student Loans and Grants
Apply for loans or grants via your home province or territory. Loans generally have no interest during study and require payments only post-graduation. Grants, which don’t need to be repaid, are usually offered to students from low to middle-income families, those with disabilities or dependents, or part-time students.
Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)
If you are an Ontario resident, you can apply to OSAP for a student loan or grant. This financial assistance can also help you to cover basic living expenses, supplies, tuition, and books. Here’s a link to apply!
Student Assistance Program for All Other Provinces
You can find a list of all student aid offices through this Government of Canada website. Here’s a link.
Toronto Film School offers several bursary options. For a complete list check out this link.
Do I need a portfolio to apply to the Video Game Design & Development program?
No, you are not required to submit a portfolio when applying to the Video Game Design & Development program.
What is the student-to-faculty ratio in the Video Game Design & Development program?
At Toronto Film School, we believe in nurturing individual talent. That’s why our Video Game Design & Development program boasts small class sizes and personalized learning environments.
Are there any internship opportunities for Video Game Design & Development program?
The best internship opportunities are constantly sought out and curated by our Career Services team.
Many of our students also land internships on their own, leveraging the skills and knowledge gained from our programs to stand out to employers.
Moreover – in the final term of our program students engage in a “Team Production Project” course that replicates real-world industry experience. It’s not a traditional internship, but it’s certainly a career-building endeavour.