The CG Spectrum game program builds skills that students can use to get good jobs in the game industry today. We will step you through the process to move you from a beginner to advanced in a step by step, scaffolded way.
We provide aspiring video game developers three important things:
As a student you will:
– Build a winning personal portfolio & website
– Get help finding internships and jobs at game companies.
– Build a professional network
Note: At the start and end of each term in this course, we will have you visualize your future, and think more about what you really want to do. Your interests may change over time. That is normal and encouraged. The end goal of the program is to help you get a job in the game industry that is the right fit with who you are and who you want to be.
Being a great game designer requires you to be skilled with a variety of hardware and software. platforms. It also requires you to play a lot of games and understand them. This section describes equipment, software tools, and games/game services that we recommend for student success.
You need a personal computer with a webcam and broadband connection to participate in this program. Here are recommended minimum specifications for a personal computer:
Mobile games are becoming more and more part of the gaming landscape. We strongly recommend (but do not require) that you have access to a smartphone and/or tablet that is capable of gaming. We recommend a smartphone and/or tablet that can run Apple’s latest ARKit or Android’s latest ARCore for viewing augmented reality games.
We recommend (but do not require) that you gain access to leading game consoles. Here are our recommendations in order:
Drawing tablets are a “nice to have” but not necessary piece of equipment. They are used for freehand drawing on your computer. We recommend the One by Wacom tablet ($60) or better.
The landscape of software tools used in the game industry is constantly evolving. The following are the leading tools used in game studios today.
Used to make playable games. This is the professional game engine used by a majority of game developers. Beginners can use to create simple games with minimal code. Experts can use to create AAA titles as part of large teams. Unity allows you to write the game once and output to all major platforms including PC, Xbox, Playstation, Switch, iOS, Android, etc.
Tool suite used by professionals to create game visuals. These include 2D assets, UI elements, sketches, logos, etc. Most used programs are:
Alternatives: GIMP for graphic design (free), Figma for vector graphics (free), Blender for video editing (free)
Tool used by professionals to create 3D assets and animation.
Alternatives: Blender (free), Cinema 4D for Students (free)
Used to create collaborative documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Accessible via web browser.
Alternative: Microsoft Office 365 online
Makes your files accessible via any computer via the cloud. Negates the need for hard drive back-up services. We recommend you sync your personal computer hard drive to your cloud drive for optimal performance.
Alternatives: Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive
View PDF files.
As you progress through the program your mentors will expose you to advanced and specialized tools. The things you do with these tools build upon what you learn with the Base Set-Up. These tools may include:
As mentioned, being a game designer requires you to play and understand lots of games. This program will teach you how to deconstruct, analyze, and talk about games using a common language with other developers.
We curated a list of the greatest games of all time into one list. These are games you should know. We encourage you to play all of these games before graduating. We aspire for you to be able to reference and talk about the great games from our field in design meetings.
Here is the CG Spectrum Game Canon.
Note if you can’t play certain games because the platform is out dates try watching gameplay videos of them on Youtube.
The following are our recommendations for games and game services to use to maximize your exposure to games at reasonable prices. Note that you will get specific assignments for games to play regularly throughout the program. If you want to play a game for an assignment that is different from our recommendation please get permission from your mentor before you submit an assignment.
This service has over 100 games to play monthly on both the PC and Xbox platforms.
This services allows you to download and stream 800+ PS games.
A wide variety of games and demos to checkout.
Apple’s new game subscription service.
Keep up with the latest in free to play and for mobile. Look at the AppAnnie charts to see what games are hot each month.
The Internet Arcade is a web-based library of arcade (coin-operated) video games from the 1970s through to the 1990s, emulated in JSMAME
Nearly every game worth knowing about can be observed by searching and watching Youtube. Watch classic games and new games for a quick look at how they work and why they are fun.
This provides 100 games for Xbox and Playstation
Hundreds of PC games.
Hundreds of PC games.
Rent game disks through the mail. Play each as long as you like. Mail a disk back to get the next game in your queue.
Cool service for mostly Indie games for PC.
Over 1000 PC games from different publishers.
Think of the field of game design like river rapids of information. The rapids move fast and are constantly churning and changing. No one can comprehend the full river of information all at once. So we recommend that you build a practice of reading key websites for 1-2 hours per week. Doing this will, firstly, allow you to make sense of the rapids, and, secondly, to be able to move and bob along and have fun in the rapids instead of getting bowled over by them.
Here are our recommendations for what to follow on a weekly basis:
There are plenty of other web resources out there for game information. The four above are focused on information and community for professional game developers.
The following are leading books about game design (in order of our recommendation). The books are not required to complete the program. Rather reading them can provide a valuable, optional, supplement to the curriculum.
When you are confronted with a problem use all the resources at your disposal to solve it. Here are some leading sites to use when stuck:
Whether studying full-time or working around a busy schedule, CG Spectrum’s virtual learning model allows you to study when you want, where you want.
Learn from highly experienced and passionate mentors who are actively working in the industry on major feature films and AAA video games.
Our specialized, custom-built digital art courses and hands-on teaching method ensure the skills you gain are exactly those that studios are looking for.
Your education is an investment. We offer various payment options to help you pursue your passion, hone your craft, and start working sooner.