Are you ready to discover your college program?
More than 227 million Americans play video games — a team of professionals designed and developed those games. Video game designers and developers enjoy strong average salaries. According to Payscale, game designers earned an average annual salary of $63,640 as of February 2022. Game programmers made an average $63,640 per year. These salaries can increase significantly with experience.
Gaming bootcamps can help career switchers or new professionals get started in the field. Like other coding bootcamps, video game bootcamps offer short, skills-focused training.
Searching for the right gaming bootcamp demands time and effort. This guide provides a list of the best bootcamps along with information about salaries, skills, and jobs in the industry.
What Is a Gaming Bootcamp?
Gaming bootcamps introduce participants to the tools, techniques, and elements of video game architecture. Bootcamps offer short-form, hands-on, career-focused education. An associate or bachelor's degree, by contrast, offers broader coursework and a deeper dive into computer theory.
Not all bootcamps are alike, though. Game design bootcamps can familiarize students with creative components like storytelling, illustration, and animation. Game development bootcamps focus on coding and programming.
Bootcamps can last from one week to over six months. A 2019 RTI study found that the average bootcamp takes 16.5 weeks to complete. Students can attend online, in person, or in a hybrid format.
Enrollees may study at their own pace or on a full-time or part-time schedule. Independent learners may prefer an online program's flexible approach. Full-time students may want to study in person. Learn more about bootcamps below.
Skills Learned in Game Design Bootcamps
The game development cycle requires various skills, including coding, 3D art, animation, and programming. Gaming bootcamps cover many of these skills. They also introduce students to new computer languages, techniques, and programming tools. These programs teach students to write, design, and develop programs for original video games.
Video game programmers need to know how to code. Popular coding languages include C++, C#, Java, and Python. Often, C# or C++ is the first language required for video game programming. Gaming bootcamps may offer courses in these or other languages specific to game development engines.
Interactive game animation creates on-screen characters' lifelike movements. Choreographing, keyframing, and multi-character interaction all make this skill especially complex. In a game design bootcamp, learners can study animation art, design, and technology.
Music composition, sound design, and audio mixing contribute to the video game experience. Crafting unique audio means designing and placing music, voice, and sound. Students can learn the tools and techniques they need to navigate the audio development in a video game bootcamp.
Game Development Engine Management
A game development engine is a framework for developing video games. It may include tools, features, libraries, and support programs. CryEngine and Unity are two popular engines. In a gaming bootcamp, students can learn to use an engine's physics, tool set, and character controllers.
Top Online Programs
Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.
How Much Does a Gaming Bootcamp Cost?
According to RTI, the median cost of a full-time bootcamp was $13,500 as of 2019, with part-time programs charging a median of $7,500. However, bootcamps vary in cost according to length, course load, program format, and other factors.
Some bootcamps may also charge fees beyond tuition. These additional costs may cover software, hardware, and other materials like textbooks. Students may also need to pay application or prep course fees.
Video game bootcamps offer various payment options. RTI notes that 89% of bootcamps advertise financial aid programs. These programs can include loans, deferred tuition, income share agreements, and upfront payment discounts. Some bootcamps provide job guarantees or require no money upfront.
- Get more details about bootcamp costs
- Learn how to pay for a coding bootcamp
- Explore financial aid and scholarship options
- Use the GI Bill to pay for a coding bootcamp
What Jobs Can I Get After a Game Design Bootcamp?
Gaming bootcamps can open the doors to exciting tech careers in video game design and development. After graduating, new professionals can pursue work at indie companies, mobile game companies, and major game publishers. Video game developers, designers, and testers may work from home or in a traditional workplace.
Video Game Designer: Video game designers draft the concepts, stories, and art that programmers bring to life. These creative professionals write a game's plot, create characters, and design maps and challenges. They also devise rewards and penalties for player performance. Game design bootcamps can cover digital media, design worlds, and other gaming elements.
Average Annual Salary: $66,420 (February 2022)
Video Game Programmer: Video game programmers write code to bring the designer's work to the screen. These programmers turn raw art and story into a playable game. This career demands skills with coding, game development technology, processes, and frameworks. Game development bootcamps can include training in C#, rendering, physics, animation, and audio.
Average Annual Salary: $63,640 (February 2022)
Video Game Quality Assurance Tester: Video game quality assurance testers identify technical problems in beta versions of new games. These detail-oriented professionals must report bugs to the developers while maintaining corporate security. They may also suggest potential solutions for the problems they identify. Generally, video game testers work for game development companies.
Average Annual Salary: $54,230 (February 2022)
Other Computer Science Education Options
Students can access educational paths beyond game development bootcamps. For example, a computer science degree offers a more in-depth curriculum. Traditional college programs develop problem-solving skills along with computer theory knowledge. Degrees may help graduates land advanced tech jobs or management roles.
Associate Degree in Computer Science: A two-year associate in computer science can help students save time and money while exploring the field. Graduates may pursue some entry-level positions or transfer their credits into a bachelor's degree in computer science.
Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science: This four-year degree provides the fundamental background for many entry-level tech jobs. Students usually take a mix of general education and computer theory courses. Bachelor's programs may include practical learning experiences.
Master's Degree in Computer Science: A master's degree requires about two years of study beyond the bachelor's degree. These programs delve deeper into computer science and its subfields. A master's can prepare students to pursue roles as technology managers or advanced technicians.
Ph.D. in Computer Science: Ph.D. candidates in computer science perform original research under the direction of an academic researcher. This degree helps prepare students for roles as computer science teachers, researchers, and policy analysts.
Explore Other Coding Bootcamps: Coding bootcamps develop entry-level professional skills in tech fields like programming, data science, cybersecurity, and software development. These experiences can prepare graduates for jobs as computer programmers, software developers, database administrators, and data scientists.
2022's Game Design and Game Development Bootcamps
Gaming bootcamps generally cover coding and game engines. These programs often include extensive projects. Because they provide more information than short coding courses, the bootcamps on our list last between four weeks and 20 months.
Video game bootcamps usually focus on the most popular game engines, Unreal and Unity. Programs that cover both engines may prepare graduates for more job opportunities.
Explore the most popular game development and game design bootcamps for 2022, listed alphabetically.
CNM Ingenuity created Deep Dive in 2013 to provide accessible technology bootcamps. Deep Dive focuses on community, practical skills, and networking.
Deep Dive Intro to Game Design & Development
This intensive four-week bootcamp explores how to develop games using the Unity engine. Students begin with prototypes. Next, they learn game psychology, mechanics, and design to create a workable game.
Enrollees must complete pre-work courses before the first day. Learners without prior coding experience may review online tutorials. Throughout the program, students enjoy personalized instruction, career coaching, and guest speaker events. Deep Dive provides opportunities for students to present their work to industry professionals.
Format: 100% online (synchronous); full time
Length: 4 weeks
CIRR Member: No
Other Courses Offered by Deep Dive
- Data Science
- Digital Media
- Full-Stack Web Development
- Internet of Things
- Video Production
- Java + Android
- Business Animation
- IT Professional
- Salesforce Administrator
- UX/UI Design
Deep Dive's Job Placement Assistance
Deep Dive's career support resources include resume-building workshops and public speaking practice. Students benefit from networking opportunities and exclusive job listings.
Holberton Tulsa is a recent addition to Holberton's global software engineering school network. The institution emphasizes peer learning and project-based education.
Computer Science and Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
This 20-month program covers programming fundamentals and game development. Students with prior Unix system and programming experience can opt for a shorter 12-month curriculum. Both bootcamps teach whiteboarding, technical writing, and professional development. Enrollees use C# and Unity to complete various projects, including a 360 video and a virtual reality experience. Students engage in hands-on learning. Graduates can pursue careers as immersive experience designers, mobile game developers, and gameplay programmers.
Format: 100% online or hybrid; full time
Length: 20 months
CIRR Member: No
Other Courses Offered by Holberton
- Computer Science and Front-End Web Development
- Computer Science and Back-End Web Development
- Computer Science and DevOps Engineering
- Full-Stack Web Development
- Full-Stack Web Development
- Linux Programming, Advanced Algorithms, and Blockchain
- Machine Learning
Holberton's Job Placement Assistance
Holberton's career development office connects graduates with potential employers. Students can also seek help with resumes, interview skills, and job hunting.
CEO Dan Butchko founded Playcrafting to create a game development network. The company develops games, hosts events, and educates aspiring developers.
Online Unity Course
This game development bootcamp focuses on C# coding for Unity. Playcrafting has trained over 200 developers since offering this course in 2015.
The curriculum includes four sections, each lasting two weeks. Students first create a pachinko game with the Unity editor before advancing to a 2D platformer game. The next section covers a 3D horror game, the Unity Asset store, and complex programming. Enrollees spend the final two weeks creating their dream game.
Format: 100% online (synchronous)
Length: 8 weeks
CIRR Member: No
Other Courses Offered by Playcrafting
- Designing Video Games for Social Impact
- Business of Indie Games
The Tech Academy
The Tech Academy began as the Prosper I.T. Academy in 2013 with four students. The institution now offers courses online and at campuses in Oregon and Utah.
Game Developer Bootcamp
The rest of the bootcamp focuses on C++ and C#, the most common game development programming languages. Enrollees spend about 180 hours learning to code, build, and create with each language. They also complete two live projects, each lasting two weeks. Students apply C++ knowledge to develop a game with Unreal Engine and C# skills to build Unity games.
Cost: $11,660 (full time); $14,000 (part time)
Format: On campus, hybrid, or online (self-paced)
Length: 22 weeks (full time); 40 weeks (part time)
CIRR Member: Yes
Other Courses Offered by The Tech Academy
- Mobile App Developer
- Data Science
- Software Developer
- UI/UX Designer
- Python Developer
- Java and Android Developer
- C# and .Net Framework
- Front-End Web Developer
The Tech Academy's Job Placement Assistance
The gaming bootcamp's final course explores how to format resumes, write cover letters, and excel at interviews. Graduates also work with the job placement staff to find relevant tech jobs.
Video Game Bootcamp Questions
What is the difference between game design and game development?
Game designers are responsible for a game's creative aspects. They need skills in storytelling, illustration, and animation. Game developers focus on a game's technical components, like coding.
Can I teach myself game design?
The internet makes learning game design on your own more accessible. Courses, gaming bootcamps, and degrees may make learning game design much easier and faster, though. Formal education and credentials may also improve job prospects.
What are the prerequisites for game development?
Game developers need a background in game design. They should also understand game art, animation, and illustration fundamentals. Game programmers need to be able to code.
Is coding required for game development?
Not every game developer needs to code. Artists, animators, producers, and managers, for example, may not need coding skills. Programmers, however, should be able to code using a language such as C++, C#, Java, or Python.
Take the next step toward your future.
Discover programs you’re interested in and take charge of your education.