Game Design & Development Schools - Production Excellence 2021

Game Design & Development Schools - Production Excellence 2021

2021 Update! The Best Schools and Colleges in the World to learn game design development in a production environment.

The 2021 Best Game Design & Development - Production Excellence Schools and Colleges in the World rankings is something we take very seriously and no external influences or payments are entered into at any point. Our rankings focus on the quality of students portfolios that are submitted to our judging panel which best reflect the recruitment interview process.

We feel that traditional school rankings that include peer and employer reviews, faculty to student ratio, citations and other data are not adequate when ranking the best creative schools. For a complete breakdown of how we rank the best schools for 2021 please read how we rank the best schools and how we analyse the data in the sections located at the bottom of this page.

So what is Production Excellence?

Production Excellence is an accolade awarded to the very best schools that focus on working as a team to create short films and short form projects. Many schools focus on teaching the core skills of game design and development, however it takes quite a different approach to creating an immersive experience that replicates a production studio.

We believe that schools that replicate a production studio experience provide a great advantage to students because it encourages team work, a strong understanding of pipelines, scheduling experience, resource management and problem solving.

During the Rookie Awards 2021, entrants were eligible to submit work to Film of the Year categories in either Visual Effects or 3D Animation. Each of these films were reviewed by an official judging panel consisting over 150+ industry experts. The judges reviewed films based on criteria such as creativity, technical skills, story, production quality and originality. Based on these results a range of finalists and winners were selected and a first pass of schools were shortlisted for this award.

School of the Year Trophies

The Rookies World School Rankings® are not like other education based ranking systems. They are driven and judged by industry professionals without the interference of paid advertising dollars that cloud the judgement of other ranking sites.

Scott Thompson, founder of Think Tank Training Centre.

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Top Schools and Colleges in 2021 for Production Excellence

The official rankings for 2021 have been calculated based on the performance of student team based projects submitted to our industry panel. Full details can be found further down the page about how we calculate and rank schools.

Rank School Location Score
1 New3dge France 105.52
2 The Animation Workshop/ VIA University College Denmark 81.34
3 ISART Digital France, Canada 78.50
4 University of Huddersfield United Kingdom 73.44
5 PlaygroundSquad Sweden 72.86
6 HKU University of the Arts Utrecht Netherlands 71.78
7 Brigham Young University United States 70.59
8 ECV Creative Schools & Community France 70.11
9 RUBIKA France 67.81
10 Breda University of Applied Sciences Netherlands 66.41

Top Schools and Colleges in 2021 for Production Excellence

The official rankings for 2021 have been calculated based on the performance of student team based projects submitted to our industry panel. Full details can be found further down the page about how we calculate and rank schools.

Rank School Location Score
1 ISART Digital France, Canada 89.36
2 The One Academy of Communication Design Malaysia 86.92
3 The Game Assembly Sweden 86.86
4 Laval 3DiFrance60.71
5 Academy of Art University United States 54.65
6 MAGES Institute of Excellence Singapore 47.86

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Top entries submitted by Game Design & Development Schools - Production Excellence students from these schools and colleges

Follow these links below to view some of the incredible entries that our judging panel were tasked with reviewing. These entries showcase the quality of work created by students which helped rank their schools.


Holey Ship! is a couch co-op game where two players attempt to survive enemy attacks and save their sinking boat as a pair of pirates chained together.


Arid is a gritty, open world survival experience that challenges players in surviving the most arid place in the world. This is a student project from third year students at Breda University of Applie...


Liberosis is a third person platforming adventure game made in Unity for PlayStation 4. The game is set high up in the skies with floating islands filled with lush greens, ruins of the past and beauti...

Soul Weaver

Soul Weaver is a gradutation project made by 5 artists, Mélanie Laurain, Yann Masson, Mathilde Bernard, Loïc Lefranc, Maria Angeles Maestre during our last year in New3dge. Inspired by indie games su...

Védelem: The Golden Horde

We are a student team at the Breda University of Applied Sciences. We have 17 team members working on the project 4 days a week. At the beginning of our academic year, 2020 till 2021, we got a bri...


Zensus is an immersive experience that allows the person to enter a small world through VR, where they can connect with their senses and relax.

Melodramatica! A Victorian themed management game

Melodramatica is a student made game, from concept to release. Step in the shoes of a Victorian stage manager and manage your troupe of actors to perform the best shows you can! Explore the backstag...

Spirit of Africa

This VR safari ride experience through the African plains acts as an Immersive Therapy experience for Hospice and Palliative care patients in Savannah, GA. With stunning visuals and over 10 animal int...

DripperZ League

DripperZ League is a New3dge student graduation project made by a team of 5 girls : The Peach Factory!

Slay the Dragon!

In "Slay the Dragon!", you play as Maj, who sets out on a journey to rescue her younger brother from the clutches of an evil dragon. To do so she must traverse fantastical landscapes, overcome mighty ...


Heka is an end-of-year project carried out with a team of 8 people, François Larrieu, Yutian Li, Kevin Chidiac, Maxime Lecas, Théau Guettier, Alexandre Benyahia, Antoine Zavagno and Joe Rodrigues. Thi...

Last Resort

Last Resort is a co-op first person shooter created by a team of 29 students at the Breda University of Applied Sciences over the course of 1 academic year. The game is set on near-future Mars where h...

Cyrah's Ascent

Cyrah's Ascent is a third-person combat game with high mobility. Imbued with magical essence, Cyrah must defeat the Laust and avenge her people.


AXIS is a game cinematic trailer rendered in Unreal Engine. A robotic bounty hunter is tasked with assassinating the leader of a tyrannical military that controls the solar system. His mission takes h...

Project PULSE

Project PULSE is a co-op rhythm action game that takes the innate rhythm elements of combat and pulls them into a thematic world. Play with your friends and choose characters that represent Melody, Ba...

Step Back in Time

Step Back in Time is a floor projection mapping that uses the technology of LIDAR and ultrashoot projector. The purpose of the installation is to allow users to feel and experience the changes of Klan...

How we calculate the school rankings

Our rankings focus on the quality of short films submitted to the Rookie Awards 2021 as teams, rather than individuals. Each short film receives a score by the judging panel and contributes to each Schools overall Production Excellence score.

Important details about how a school score is calculated:

  • Schools must submit a team project.
  • Each entry receives a final project score. Max 50 points.
  • Each entry receives a team work score. Max 50 points.
  • Each category finalist receives 5 bonus points toward School Score.
  • Each category runner up receives 10 bonus points toward School Score.
  • Each category winner receives 15 bonus points toward School Score.

Is your school missing?

For Students: Please put us in touch with the right person at your school.
For Faculty: Our team is here to help showcase your school to the world. Talk to us today about how to get your school certified, to promote your sucess stories and to make sure you rank highly next year!

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