Note: University regulations apply to all students at Laurier. If there is any discrepancy between the program or progression requirements outlined on this page and those in the university's academic calendars, the academic calendars are the official sources of information. The information below is from the latest calendar, and you may be following progression requirements from an earlier calendar. Students are responsible for checking the appropriate calendar. Contact your program coordinator should you notice any discrepancies.
Honours BFAA in Game Design and Development
The Bachelor of Fine and Applied Arts in Game Design and Development will introduce students to all of the skills necessary to conceptualize, create, adapt, and promote a game and use games to create transformations in the social and cultural spaces they inhabit. Graduates will be well positioned to communicate across the spectrum of gaming professions and understand the unique contributions brought by programmers, designers, storyboarders, editors, etc.
The Honours BFAA in Game Design and Development degree program is only available at the Brantford campus.
The Honours BFAA in Game Design and Development degree requires 20.0 credits, of which no more than 7.0 credits may be at the 100 level and at least 9.0 credits must be at the senior level. The program consists of 10.5 credits in Game Design and Development, which includes 3.0 required credits from Conestoga College.
All students in the program must successfully complete the Foundations curriculum.
Note: For any academic concerns or help understanding program requirements, contact Academic Advising.
A. 6.5 credits including:
- DD101: Game Design Foundations
- DD102: Analog Gaming and Interactivity
- DD220: Introduction to Interactivity
- DD300: Ethics in Gaming
- DD350: Project Management
- DD410: Capstone Project in Gaming
- DD411: Capstone Project in Digital Entrepreneurship
- JN202: Cross-Media Storytelling
- JN252: Designing Digital and Social Media
- KS215: Game Cultures
- MB115: Information Technology
- OL224: Organizational Leadership
- UX271/JN271: Research in User Experience Design
B. 1.0 required credit (2 x 0.5-credit courses) must be completed from the following list of courses:
- DD312: Special Topics
- EN201: Children's Literature
- EN210: Literature and Social Change
- EN281: Cyborg Fictions
- EN285: Tween Literature and Culture
- FS245: Documentary Film
- FS260: Youth Culture in Film
- JN327: Social Documentary
- HS219/HR219: Critical Disabilities Studies
- WS203: Girls, Women and Popular Culture
C. An additional 3.0 senior credits in Game Design and Development offered through Conestoga College on the Brantford campus of Laurier are required. Enrolment in Conestoga Game Design and Development courses is only permitted by Honours Game Design and Development students. Students who do not meet GPA requirements and are removed from the program are only permitted to repeat Conestoga courses at the discretion of the Game Design and Development Program Co-ordinator.
Progression and Graduation Requirements
Students must achieve a cumulative GPA of 5.0 (C) overall and 5.0 (C) in the Game Design and Development program to progress until the end of Year 2 (after the completion of 10.0 credits).
Progression in Conestoga classes requires a minimum grade of 65% in each Conestoga class, and is subject to the discretion of the Game Design and Development Program Co-ordinator.
Progression from Year 3 (after completion of 15.0 credits) to Year 4 requires a cumulative GPA of 5.0 overall (C) and an Honours GPA of 7.0 (B-) in the Game Design and Development program. Students who do not meet Honours progression requirements are permitted to proceed to Year 4 only at the discretion of the Game Design and Development Program Co-ordinator.
Students who do not meet progression requirements will be placed in the General Bachelor of Arts without designation. Students who do not meet Honours progression requirements after completion of 15.0 credits and who meet graduation requirements for the General Bachelor of Arts Degree without designation may choose to graduate from the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences with the General Bachelor of Arts Degree without designation.
Students must achieve a 5.0 (C) overall and an Honours GPA of 7.0 (B-) in the Game Design and Development program in order to graduate with the Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts in Game Design and Development degree.
A student who has completed the course/program requirements of the Game Design and Development Degree program, but who has not obtained the necessary GPA, may elect to receive a General Bachelor of Arts without designation from the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences.
The Role of Foundations in the Game Design and Development Program
Think about the Foundations courses as the training levels for how you can engage the world you are trying to change. The 100-level courses prepare you for explaining to others and the media how your games engages contemporary society, and the 200-level courses prepare you for dealing with academia and give you the tools to better process information and communicate your ideas. Your games to change the world will be challenged by others. Because the Foundations courses will help you understand how others see the world, how they defend their position, and how they argue, they will help you to justify what you create.
We strongly recommend that you take BF190 and BF199 in your first year, and BF290 and BF299 no later than your second year.
BF190 and BF199: Thinking Critically About the World
BF190 introduces key ideas that shape the way modern people understand themselves and make sense of their world, while BF199 looks at ways that contemporary people diagnose social problems and articulate responses to them.
In order to make games that can change the world, you need to have the intellectual tools to think critically about the world. You'll be positioning your game in a world that can be skeptical about people who want to make a difference by using new media. As you draw attention with your game, you may be contacted by the media, and understanding how to frame the importance of what you are doing can turn the media into allies instead of opponents.
These two courses will provide intellectual context to help you understand and explain the intervention you want your game to make. This will enable you to tackle controversial issues with your games and succeed against those you take issue with your work.
These courses prepare you for some of the courses you will take in your second year, so they should be taken in your first year.
BF290 and BF299: Building Skills to Survive in Academia
As you may be creating games designed for an academic setting, you also need to understand how to justify those ideas on the academic battlefields. There are ways that scholars present arguments and resources that are different from how the media presents this information, and these courses will help you with those skills.
BF290 will help you build the skills needed to position your game as a learning object. This is a different approach than you would take if you were bringing in the news media, and you will understand how to select and cite reliable resources and avoid the trap of basing the justification for your games on "junk" science.
BF299 will help you learn how to argue. Games bring out passion in people, and understanding how to present a fact-based argument will help you deal with people who don't appreciate your approach. There are some basic strategies used in argumentation, and building those skills will allow you to engage others upon multiple argumentative fronts. This will allow you to create different justifications for the games you create so that you are prepared to engage with those who are skeptical.
You can't just rely upon making a good game – if someone doesn't believe what you have created has value, they won't even look at it. The Brantford Foundations courses will expose you to skills that can help you explain and justify the importance of your game to the media, to academia and to investors or employers, helping you turn skeptics into allies and doubters into backers.