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Game Art and Animation, BFA

Game Art and Animation offers students an opportunity to master visual arts and animation within the game medium. The program focuses on developing the depth of knowledge required to be successful in a highly competitive industry.

  • Academics
  • Experiences
  • Interests

Game Art and Animation offers students an opportunity to master visual arts and animation within the game medium. The program focuses on developing the depth of knowledge required to be successful in a highly competitive industry. The continuing revolution in digital computing and animation has produced a rapidly evolving field for artists who create aesthetics, characters, and environments for games. The major encourages students to think critically and work collaboratively in multidisciplinary teams. The collaborative approach helps all team members to understand the context in which their asset contributions are used and to develop visual design skills in the service of larger experiential goals. Students have many opportunities to collaborate with their peers and work with students in the BS in computer science and game development and BFA in games majors, culminating in a two-semester senior capstone. Students will have a home college in the College of Arts, Media and Design but will have a minimum of four interdisciplinary courses where students interact and work together with students in the other degrees.

Working in the interdisciplinary game areas, the program fosters experiential learning opportunities utilizing diverse intersections of skills merging artistic practice and expression blended with technology. Focus is on establishing core skills that engage critical thinking in preparation for professional practice in game art and asset creation or moving on to advanced study. Students will have an opportunity to develop tools to succeed, eagerness to innovate, and skills to become next-generation entrepreneurs in an ever-changing games and media landscape. Practical and technical experiential training will be offered via Northeastern’s world-renowned co-op program.

Declarative Knowledge

Knowledge of facts and concepts that can be stated or declared

1. Apply foundational principles of art making, including two-dimensional compositional strategies and visual metaphor.
2. Use foundational principles of art, including three-dimensional form, volume and spatial elements.
3. Identify visual, spatial, sound, motion, and temporal elements and features, to combine these elements in the creation of game art assets.
4. Ability to use narrative, non-narrative, and other information/language structures to evoke narrative concepts in the game medium.
5. Apply knowledge of the history of games, their artistic and technological evolution.
Procedural Knowledge

Knowledge of how to use various methods, approaches, procedures, theories

1. Research the characteristics and capabilities of methods and technologies used in 3D Digital animation for games, Motion Capture, and scripted animated behaviors.
2. Use concepts and processes for the development, coordination, and completion of animation assets in the game medium.
3. Create effective and conceptual directions in environmental, character and animated game assets.
4. Use scenarios, personas and psychological constructed matrixes in character design.
5. Understand and apply procedural processes for the creation of game art asset.
6. Use procedural processes for the creation of interior and exterior virtual environments using natural, manmade and geographical features.
7. Collaborate and communicate within teams to create game based and interactive projects.

Contextual Knowledge

Knowledge of when to apply various methods, approaches, procedures, theories

1. Apply basic principles, concepts, tools, techniques, procedures, and technologies sufficient to produce game art assets from concept to a finished product that communicates ideas to a viewer or to an audience.
2. Relate relevant aesthetic and critical theory, cultural forces and contemporary models to the history of games.

View University Course Catalog

Interests of Game Art and Animation, BFA Students

  • 3D Printing
  • Apps
  • Augmented Reality
  • Branding
  • creative coding
  • creativity
  • data
  • data analysis
  • design
  • digital design
  • Ergonomics
  • Games
  • Human-centered Design
  • information design; Design
  • Interaction
  • interactive media
  • Mixed Reality
  • Product design
  • research
  • technology
  • User Experience
  • Virtual Reality
  • visualization

Co-op Opportunities

  • Philips Research (HealthTech and Lighting)
    Cambridge, MA
  • Thomson Reuters
    Cambridge, MA
  • MIT facilities
    Cambridge, MA
  • The Broad Institute
    Cambridge, MA
View all co-ops for Art + Design

Career Opportunities

  • Multidisciplinary Skills
    • Visual communication: information design, semiotics, typography, graphic design
    • Technical skills: data analysis, programming visual interfaces and visualizations, interactive techniques
    • Research: history and theory of information design, design resarch
    • Programming
    • Scripting
    • User mapping
    • User stories
    • User observation
    • Personas
    • Human factors
    • 3D modeling
    • User testing
  • Careers of Tomorrow
    • Experience Designer
    • web designer
    • data visualization
    • Interaction Designer
    • Entrepreneur
    • Designer

Game Art and Animation, BFA Requirements

Art and Design Learning Community

*For complete program course listing, visit the University course catalog.

Resources for Current Students

Course Catalog

Visit the Registrar website for a course catalog and information on university core requirements.

View University Course Catalog

Program Coordinators:

Jamal Thorne

Assistant Teaching Professor - Art

[email protected]

Department Chair:

Jason Donati

Full Teaching Professor, Interim Department Chair

[email protected]


Nhora Delgado

Administrative Assistant

[email protected]

Zohreh Firouzabadian

Academic Manager

[email protected]

Academic Advisors:

Jocelyn Faber

Academic Advisor

[email protected]

Greg Zuch

Academic Advisor

[email protected]

Co-op Advisors:

Michelle Hagopian

Associate Co-op Coordinator

[email protected]

Kellianne Murphy

Senior Faculty Member

[email protected]

View Art + Design faculty and staff