Advice for students to be successful in Game Design & Development at RIT

One question I often get from students and parents is “what should I/my child do to prepare themselves for a degree in game design?” Not an easy answer to give for sure. Preparation varies from student to student. I’ll give my take on the issue and offer some pointers. This is by no means an end-all-be-all list, only things I’ve seen work for others and myself.

First, you should care about your grades. You definitely want to take high school (and college!) seriously. Challenging yourself academically by doing your best in classes and taking AP or IB or college level courses is a good way to get prepared for college level work at RIT. Another suggestion is to do extra-curricular activities (after school stuff). I myself was on the FIRST Robotics team 1126 (go SparX!) for three years. Much of college consists of life outside the classroom and finding other things to spend your time on can make you well-rounded and help you build friendships with others. In addition, when you come to RIT you can look forward to joining one of the 250+ clubs and organizations we have on campus!

Another great thing that you can do to be get prepared - make games! It might sound easy, but that’s because it is. Your games don’t have to look nice or even be very playable. What’s important is that you tried. We’ll be here to teach you the technical skills you need for the industry. However, we can’t teach you how to have passion and drive for something you truly want to do. It isn’t a requirement by any means to have tried to make a game, but if you can show you really care about making games by at least attempting it on your own, it’s a pretty good indication you’re ready for our program. There are plenty of free resources on the internet to help you get going and some of them don’t even require programming.

If you have more questions about how to prepare, getting in touch with IGM faculty, staff, or the IGM Ambassadors is a great place to start. That’s what I did before I came to RIT and I would like to think it helped a lot. We offer group visits every Friday during the academic year and you can sign up for those here: https://www.rit.edu/gccis/igm/visit-us. In addition, if you’ve already been accepted, visit us for the RIT Accepted Student Open Houses in early April (https://www.rit.edu/emcs/admissions/visit/on-campus/accepted-openhouse)!