Diploma in Game Art and Development

Full Time
2 Years
NZQA Level 7
Auckland / Wellington

Want a programme that teaches you how to create stunning video games from scratch? Our Diploma in Game Art is the ultimate offering.

Game design is one of the fastest growing industries on the planet, and this course will open doors to its most visionary gaming studios.

Each year you will study for 37 weeks. You will create games in teams in a studio style setting, develop your graphical style and express your stories through games. By the end of the programme you will have developed an interactive portfolio that will show off your creative works.

For International Students, please read our application process page


button for easy access to information about this qualification

Course Details

Entry Requirements close

To gain direct entry into the Diploma in Game Art and Development, you need to prove to us how passionate you are about game art and/or animation. Plus you need to have successfully completed one of these ACG Yoobee qualifications:

  • Diploma of Animation (Advanced) (Level 6)

  • Diploma in Advanced 3D Graphics (Level 7)

  • OR an equivalent qualification from another education provider

We will also consider you if you’ve successfully completed one of these:

  • Diploma in Digital Design - Animation and Film Production (Level 5)

  • Diploma of Computer Graphic Design (Level 6)

  • Diploma of Web Development (Level 6)
  • OR an equivalent qualification from another education provider

You’ll also need to demonstrate proficiency in Maya and provide samples of your portfolio or work to show us you have the skills you need to succeed on this programme.

*If English is not your first language an IELTS 6.0 Academic (no subtests lower than 5.5) or equivalent is required. You can also sit for a free Online English Placement Test as an alternative proof of English level. Contact us for more details.

Course Components close


  • Fundamentals of Game Design: cultural contexts of game design; NZ and international audiences for video games; testing and rectification methods.

  • Character and environment art assets: designing 2D characters; environment art assets; 3D textured characters; rationales for game design decisions.

  • User interface art assets: deployment platforms and their impact on creating UI art assets; UIs for a range of devices.

  • Animation: animating 2D and 3D characters, using specialist industry software in accordance with design brief.

  • Applied project: create and produce parts of a level design, as part of a team, in accordance with a specific brief.


  • Workplace simulated project - pre production: producing art design documents that include 2D concept art assets for a game level: producing a project plan to guide design and development of art assets.

  • Workplace simulated project - production: creation of game assets for a game level, from specification to compliance with design brief: working as part of a team on a game development pipeline.

  • Portfolio and development blog: production and presentation of a portfolio of game asset art to an industry standard.


Collaborate with your classmates to create an original and innovative game that showcases your game art capabilities. Leading mentors from the games industry will work alongside you, providing technical guidance throughout the production pipeline. You’ll graduate with an extensive portfolio of games you’ve designed and produced, interactive prototypes and visual and written supporting documentation.


Assessment is competency based, so you’ll need to meet all the standards set for a particular task. There are no marks or examinations. All projects must be produced to a commercial standard. You’re encouraged to develop technical skills and your own design style.Reassessment opportunities are available. Minimum 80% attendance requirements apply.

Equipment & Software close


  • High-spec PC computers.
  • Wacom tablets


You'll use these game engines:

  • Unreal Engine 4: used in BioShock Infinite, Borderlands: The Pre-sequel, Infinity Blade, Mass Effect 3, Unreal Tournament Series and many more.
  • Unity: used in Slender, Wasteland 2, Dead Trigger 2, Dragons of Elanthia, Deus Ex: The Fall, Poly Bridge, Cities:Skylines, Mini Metro and many more.

And these softwares:

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Renderman
  • Maya
  • Z-brush
Start Dates close


  • 12 Feb 2018 - 14 Dec 2018 (Year 2 only)


  • 12 Feb 2018 - 14 Dec 2018 (Year 1 only)
  • 30 April 2018 - 19 April 2019 (Year 2 only)


  • 23 July 2018 - 5 July 2019 (Year 2 only)



Fees close


Domestic Students: $16,668.44

International students: $18950 (Year 1) + $1,600 resource fee, $18950 (Year 2) + $1,600 resource fee 

Course fees subject to change.


Some of these costs might vary depending on the brand you buy and your individual needs. Have a chat with your tutor before you go shopping

Items provided by ACG Yoobee

  • Software manuals
  • 300 print credits
  • Monthly internet quota

Essential items to purchase

  • External Firewire hard drive – up to $200
  • One Wacom Medium Pro Tablet – approx. $400

Other stuff you might need:

  • Sundry stationery - upto $100
  • Extra print credits - upto $50 (if you exceed provided quota)
  • Extra internet quota - upto $100 (if you exceed provided quota)