High School Programs

NYU Game Center offers hands-on game design programs for high school students each Spring and Summer.

Spring: Future Game Designers is an intensive, free, hands-on 12-week workshop designed to introduce talented high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors to the process of digital game development and the game industry.

The program is free to participants and will take place at the NYU Game Center’s facilities in Downtown Brooklyn.  The workshop will introduce students to three core areas of study at the NYU Game Center: games literacy, non-digital game design, and digital game design. Students will play and design both digital and non-digital games using everything from dice and tokens to scripting and code. Over the course of the 14 weeks, students will work alone and in groups to create a series of digital prototypes, culminating in a final polished game building on the lessons learned throughout the semester. This is a hands-on, primarily lab-based workshop, and so the focus is on learning-by-doing rather than on reading and discussion. Up to 16 students will be selected to participate, and we are focused on recruiting groups that are underrepresented within the game industry, particularly students from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

The workshop will also introduce students to the growing game development scene in New York City, and the evolving game industry.  There will be a focus on learning effective collaboration and communication techniques, consensus building and decision-making, and working creatively in a team. All students will leave with a working game prototype that can be used in creative portfolios and college applications.

Applicants must demonstrate:
  • Strong previous interest and/or participation in games, game design or criticism, or the game industry
  • Academic achievement
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Willingness to collaborate
  • A firm commitment to the entire 14-week program, which will run on Saturdays from February to May
  • Check the Tisch Future Game Designers page for full application requirements.

Applications for Future Game Designers open each May and are due in December.
APPLY for the Future Game Designers program.

Summer: The Tisch Summer Game Design Program is a 4-week, residential game design program for college credit.

This program is for high school students who want to get the full NYU experience over the summer. Learn the creative and technical skills of digital game development. With a hands-on approach to teaching, the summer program covers the various skills and disciplines that are brought together in modern game development: game design, programming, visual art, animation, sound design, and writing.

The NYU Game Center is dedicated to the exploration of games as a cultural form and game design as creative practice. This unique program invites a select group of students to become a part of the next generation of game designers, developers, and entrepreneurs. Students each take three 2-credit courses, Game Literacy, Game Design Workshop, and Game Development Workshop.

Game Literacy:
In this class, students learn to develop fundamental critical literacy about games from a formal, cultural, and social perspective. Students will look at games from multiple perspectives and look at games discussion on multiple platforms; The course will help students define and articulate their own critical frameworks when they approach games through play, readings, writing, and discussion.

Game Design Workshop:
This class will provide an introduction to the underlying principles of game design outside the context of any particular technical platform. Students learn how to craft a compelling interactive experience through rules and play by creating non-digital games in a number of different formats.

Game Development Workshop:
Students are introduced to the fundamentals of creating a playable digital game from start to finish. This will include an introduction to the basics of programming, working with engines and tools, organizing a complex creative technical project, as well as collaboration and creative teamwork.

Applications open each August and are due in January.
APPLY for the Tisch Summer Game Design program.