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. 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.

Complete all courses listed below unless otherwise indicated. Also complete any corequisite labs, recitations, clinicals, or tools courses where specified and complete any additional courses needed beyond specific college and major requirements to satisfy graduation credit requirements.

University-Wide Requirements

All undergraduate students are required to complete the University-Wide Requirements.

NUpath Requirements

All undergraduate students are required to complete the NUpath Requirements.

NUpath requirements Creative Expression (EI), Interpreting Culture (IC), Societies and Institutions (SI), and Analyzing/Using Data (AD) are met through the major course requirements. All other NUpath requirements must be met through electives. 

Game Art Courses

Art and Design Learning Community
ARTF 1000Art and Design at Northeastern1
Art and Design Foundation
ARTF 11222D Fundamentals: Surface and Drawing (with optional ARTF 1123)4
ARTF 11243D Fundamentals: Structure and Drawing (with optional ARTF 1125)4
ARTF 22204D Fundamentals: Sequence and Drawing (with optional ARTF 2221)4
ARTF 22235D Fundamentals: Experience and Drawing (with optional ARTF 2224)4
ARTF 1120Observational Drawing4
GAME 1110Games and Society4
ARTH 1111Global Art and Design History: Renaissance to Modern4
ARTH 2212Survey of the Still and Moving Image4
Art History Elective
Complete one of the following:4
Interactive Media and Society
Global Art and Design History: Ancient to Medieval
Modern Art and Design History
Contemporary Art and Design History
Nineteenth-Century Art
History of Graphic Design
Contemporary Art Theory and Criticism
Issues in Contemporary Art
Contemporary Visual Culture
Media Arts Requirements
GAME 2500Foundations of Game Design4
ARTD 2100Narrative Basics4
or GAME 2355 Narrative for Games
ARTD 2370Animation Basics (with optional ARTD 2371)4
Complete one of the following:4
Photo Basics (with optional ARTD 2361)
Video Basics (with optional ARTD 2381)

Animation Courses

ARTD 3470Animation 14
ARTD 3472Character Design for Animation4
ARTD 3473Animation for Games4
ARTD 4570Animation 24
ARTD 4575Animation 34
Complete three of the following:12
Game Design
Experimental Game Design
The Business of Games
Introduction to Game Research Methods
Games Criticism and Theory
Games and Social Justice
Game Studio
Playful Design
Game Interface Design
Level Design and Game Architecture
Rapid Idea Prototyping for Games
Game Concept Development and Production
Designing Imaginary Worlds
Art and Design
Programming Basics
Art and Design Abroad: Studio
Art and Design Abroad: History
Special Topics in Art and Design Studio
Interactive Media and Society
Nineteenth-Century Art
Issues in Contemporary Art
Contemporary Visual Culture
Sculpture Basics
Painting Basics
Figure Drawing
Drawing in Mixed Media
Photography 1
Animation 1
Video: Sound and Image
Photography 2
Studio Photography
Alternative Photographic Processes
Digital Sculpture and Model Making
Graphic Design 1
Business Literacy for Design and Media
Physical Computing
Time-Based Design
Fundamentals of Computer Science 1
and Lab for CS 2500
Foundations of Psychology

Capstone Requirement

ARTD 4530Media Arts Degree Project 14
ARTD 4670Media Arts Degree Project 24

Supporting Course

MATH 1260Math Fundamentals for Games4

Writing Requirement

ENGW 3314Advanced Writing in the Arts, Media, and Design4
or ENGW 3315 Interdisciplinary Advanced Writing in the Disciplines

Digital Art and Game Design Major Credit Requirement

97 semester hours required in the major

Program Requirement

133 total semester hours required

Sample Five Years, Two Co-ops in Spring/Summer 1.  Sample

ZA Plan of Study Only

Year 1
ARTF 10001ARTF 1122 (with optional ARTF 1123)4 
ARTF 11204ARTF 2220 (with optional ARTF 2221)4 
ARTF 1124 (with optional ARTF 1125)4GAME 11104 
GAME 25004Elective (MATH 1260 suggested)4 
ENGW 11114  
 17 16 
Year 2
ARTF 2223 (with optional ARTD 2224)4ARTD 34734 
ARTD 2370 (with optional ARTD 2371)4ARTD 34704 
GAME 23554ARTH 11114 
ARTH elective4Elective4 
 16 16 
Year 3
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer 1Hours
ARTD 45704Co-opCo-op
ARTD 34724  
ARTH 22124  
Advanced Writing in the Disciplines4  
EEAM 20001  
 17 0 0
Year 4
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer 1Hours
GAME or A + D elective4Co-opCo-op
GAME or A + D elective4  
 16 0 0
Year 5
ARTD 45304ARTD 46704 
ARTD 45754Media arts elective4 
GAME or A + D elective4Elective4 
 16 16 
Total Hours: 130