Gaming is a multibillion dollar industry and the number of gaming consoles, devices and games out in the market are proof of the global popularity of video games.
In Malaysia, there are plenty of game studios making waves on the gaming scene.
Some of the award-winning games produced by Malaysian studios include Police Sentri, Postknight, and Gigabash!
If you love to game and aspire to create your own game one day, then Game Design courses should be perfect for you.
Let us give you an in-depth look into studying game design in Malaysia and the career opportunities after graduation.
What is Game Design?
Game design is all about creating visuals and animation for games in entertainment, education, exercise or experimental purposes.
This field of study provides students with the skills and tools to create games for laptops, PCs, mobiles as well as tablets.
It is a design specialisation which is also a subset of the field of video game development.
Game Design requires game designers to apply design elements, design aesthetics, as well as programming principles to provide users with an interactive gaming environment.
Why Should You Study Game Design?
Passion for gaming
You’re a gamer, and you know what gamers want in a game.
To create a game, designers need to visualise characters, creatures as well as backdrops in order to have an engaging game in place.
A Game Design course will enable you to design the game from scratch, whether it’s a character or the backdrops.
Passion, patience, and persistence are essential in this line of work as you will need all three of these to sustain you during peak working periods.
Stickler for details
Designers begin with a concept, and from there they grow the storyboard.
They also take into consideration details such as target audience, requirements, deadlines and budgets.
Video game designers typically look at the planning and defining all the elements of a game, whether it’s the structure, design, or characters.
Desire to showcase creativity
Every game studio is racing to put the Next Best Game out.
To do that, the best game designers are hired and their creativity plays a key role in attracting people to play their game.
Do you have the Next Best Idea for a game?
Studying a Game Design course will help you in turning your idea into reality.
What Do You Study in Game Design?
Game design is a field of study that encompasses mathematics, graphic design, computer science and programming, creative writing, and psychology.
You will learn industry trends and practices on 3D, experiential design, various gameplay elements as well as game development concepts.
This in-depth knowledge will allow you to design characters, game rules, game environments, puzzles, art and animation.
The four common subjects taught in a Game Design programme are as follows:
You will be taught on game specific design issues and basic game concepts.
You will learn many skills such as how to design game assets, how to choose or design the right sound effects for a game and how to present your game story.
This course also covers the principles behind designing specifically for the games industry, the concept of ‘playability’ as well as how to use industry standard authoring software such as Unity Development Engine.
This course scrutinises the common gameplay elements in various games.
You will learn about the playable features of analogue and digital games and what makes the games interesting to play.
Among the skills that you will obtain from this course are programming concepts, data structures, online networking, game graphics programming, virtual and augmented reality as well as fundamental game art and design subjects.
The concept of ‘experiential’ design is where user interaction takes place in a physical but computer controlled environment.
This is done by using pressure pads, microphones, webcams or other external devices to control the user experience and interaction.
This course will prepare you with the ability to design and create experimental physical user experiences for abstract or ‘real-world’ applications or uses.
Game Art handles the visual components of games, whether 3D and 2D.
Gone are the days of grainy and pixels-based graphics. Nowadays, most games that attract the public’s attention have high-resolution graphics.
You will be introduced to the concepts and practice of the 3D modelling pipeline that goes into the production of games, animations and interactive media.
You will also obtain in-depth knowledge of 3D tools used by the industry and learn how to apply to their proposed final visual aesthetics.
What Are the Popular Game Design Pathways?
After completing SPM or equivalent qualification, you may study Foundation in Science or Arts for 1 year or a Pre-University (A-Level, SACE, STPM, etc.) course for up to 2 years.
You can then continue to do a Bachelor’s Degree in Game Design.
Alternatively, you may also pursue a Diploma in Game Design for 2.5 years, where you’ll be able to immediately enter into employment or continue with a degree course in Year 2.
So what does your pathway look like?
Diploma in Game Design
To qualify for a diploma course, you only need to have:
- SPM / O-Level: min. of 3 credits, including a pass in Bahasa Melayu and History.
Diploma courses usually take between 2 to 2.5 years to complete and cost from RM 23,000.
You can enter the workforce immediately after graduation.
Bachelor’s Degree in Game Design
For degree courses, you will need to have SPM/O-Level qualification and the following pre-university course:
- STPM: min. of 2Cs
- A-Level: min. of 2Es
- CIMP: min. average of 55% to 60% in 6 subjects
- Relevant Foundation: min. CGPA of 2.00
- AUSMAT/SACEi: ATAR of 55 – 60
A pre-university course can take up to 2 years to complete and cost from RM 16,000.
Once you’ve completed your pre-university course, you can then move on to the degree course.
Degree courses take 3 years to complete and cost from RM 69,000.
Diploma students who want to continue their studies can do so with a degree course and they begin in Year 2.
For further assistance and enquiries, you can contact an advisor by using the Live Chat function.
What Are the Skills Required in Game Design?
Creativity and imagination
In Game Design, creativity is everything.
To fuel your creativity, having the ability to imagine the game scene is critical.
Once you are able to picture it in your head, then you need to turn that idea into a story.
In video games, storytelling helps the players immerse themselves into the game.
The visuals and audio combine to make gameplay more compelling, as evidenced by the success of games like Valorant and Fortnite.
Video games are a perfect example of the importance of teamwork.
Developing a video game requires cross-discipline skills and knowledge about design, development and production, as well as the ability to turn an idea into a complete product that can be adopted by wide audiences.
You will be required to work with programmers, designers, and other departments so having a strong teamwork will ensure that tasks are completed on time.
To succeed in the world of video game design, you need to anchor your knowledge in software design and programming.
Beyond coding, you need to have a flair for design.
As graphics and animation play a huge role in video games, game designers need to be familiar with character design, scenery design and user interface design.
Possessing the artistic and technical chops in these areas will help you to create a game that is vivid and life-like with realistic animation, helping it to stand out in the competitive marketplace.
Top Game Design Universities in Malaysia
UOW Malaysia KDU University College
UOW Malaysia KDU is part of the University of Wollongong Australia’s global network which has been operating for more than 38 years in Malaysia and is committed to becoming a pre-eminent provider of higher education in Malaysia.
Its syllabus is the same as the programmes offered at the main campus in Australia.
Game Design courses offered:
- Foundation in Arts
- Foundation Studies (Art & Technology – Communication)
- Bachelor of Game Development (Hons) specialised in Game Art/Design
Asia Pacific University of Technology & Information (APU)
APU has been given a 5 star SETARA rating by the Ministry of Higher Education and a Premier Digital Tech University status by MDEC.
Students who are under Bachelor’s Degree Programme will have the option to opt-in for the APU-De Montfort University Dual Degree Scheme.
Game Design courses offered:
- Foundation Programme (Computing & Technology Pathway)
- BSc (Hons) in Computer Games Development
UCSI University and College
UCSI ranked 77 in the QS Asian University Ranking 2023.
Its co-op programme works with 4,200 companies for industry placement annually.
Degree students will get exposure to at least 3 organisations throughout their course.
Game Design courses offered:
- Foundation in Arts (Arts & Design)
- BA (Hons) Game Design
Things You Need to Know About Game Design Career
Game design is an exciting, rewarding and multi-faceted field with promising job prospects.
However, becoming a game designer can be a challenging journey.
It takes a lot of effort and skill to produce a video game.
Creating an excellent game requires a basic understanding of programming, animation, visual design and storytelling.
After completing your education in game design you can work as a game artist, game designer, game developer etc.
Popular Game Design-related Jobs
According to Payscale, a fresh graduate game designer’s average monthly salary is RM 1,167 which is accumulated to an average annual pay of RM 35,000.
However, Glassdoor states that the median pay for a game designer in Malaysia is even higher with an estimated total pay of RM 7,000 per month.
The average salary is RM 3,000 per month with an estimated additional pay of RM 4,000 per month that includes cash bonus, commission, tips and profit sharing.
For example, a quick browse on JobStreet shows some listed game designer jobs for fresh graduates:
- Game Artist
- Game Designer
For more details about Game Design courses, feel free to reach out to us on WhatsApp or message us on our social media.
We’ll be happy to assist you.