The 2020 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 2018 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 completed computer games as part of their curriculum. 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 2020, entrants were eligible to submit work to Game of the Year categories in either Console & PC, Mobile or Immersive Media. 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 Rookie Awards are the most important student award and ranking globally as it has a credibility that others just don’t have. It doesn’t let advertising budgets create higher school rankings, it uses industry to assess and judge student work and discounts for any school flooding the awards with entries. Having the ‘employability of the Artist’ as a judging criteria is key, for in the creative fields you can be free of constraint and let the ideas flow but getting and building a career requires an additional ability to be practical and having ideas that can be executed and maintained.
Darryn Melrose, former Chief Executive of Media Design School

Console & PC Games
Top Game Design & Development - Production Excellence Schools and Colleges in 2020

The official rankings for 2020 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 University of Hertfordshire United Kingdom 104.61 Learn More
2 ISART Digital France, Canada 91.05 Learn More
3 New3dge France 86.41 Learn More
4 Savannah College of Art and Design United States 82.79 Learn More
5 The Animation Workshop/ VIA University College Denmark 72.70 Learn More
6 The Game Assembly Sweden 72.17 Learn More
7 ArtFX School France 71.27 Learn More
8 Howest University of Applied Sciences - Digital Arts and Entertainment Belgium 71.06 Learn More
9 Breda University - IGAD - (BUAS) Netherlands 63.92 Learn More
10 Escape Studios United Kingdom 63.62 Learn More

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Top entries submitted by Game Design & Development - 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.

The Devil's Denim

Have you ever wanted to be a pair of pants? Well, now you can! The Devil's Denim is a third-person action/stealth platformer featuring a playable pair of demonic bell-bottom jeans. Do the Devil’s bi...


Uplink is a game cinematic rendered in Unreal Engine, following an engineer and his mechanical companion on their mission through a derelict settlement on Titan. Together, the duo face off against an ...


Zoélie is an Action Puzzle Platformer that tells the story of a young girl exploring her town of La Colina alongside her imagination-powered quilt , Sueño.

Harbinger of Spring

Harbinger of Spring is a first person multiplayer FFA shooter. Gameplay is a mixture of old school arena mechanics and modern mobility systems. Set in an ancient alien temple, players compete against ...

Anura (Frog RPG Game)

An RPG experience set in a world inhabited by Frogs! From friendly frog folk to dangerous beasts, the Anura RPG Game project being developed by a team of Hertfordshire University students looks to off...


Ozias is a fantasy exploration game about a young boy whose parents were once great warriors. They told him of an ancient tale about a slumbering dragon in the mountains. Now older, Ozias is seeking o...

AUTOcracy | Stealth Game

AUTOcracy is a stealth game set in a dystopian future. Sneak, hack and translocate your way through a guarded museum filled with appropriated cultural artefacts. This project was developed by a tea...

Planetary Pest Control

An asymmetrical coop adventure set on an uncharted planet, designed for 2 players. Wrench and E.V. wake up to find themselves surrounded by hordes of hostile aliens. With only each other to rely on, y...

We Went Back

We Went Back is a time-looping horror game in which you wake up in an abandoned space station utterly alone. The exit door is locked and you must find a way to escape what lurks within. Find clues, ex...

Tinker and Spell: Seekers of the Lost World

Tinker and Spell: Seekers of the Lost World is a 2D animated side-scrolling, creature collecting RPG.


Banana wars is a couch co-op game. The game is played on an island where each player plays a different type monkey. The goal of the game is collecting the most bananas. Each monkey type has his own ...

Kid Fury vs. the Dodgeballians

Kid Fury vs. The Dodgeballians is a single-player top-down action game for PC. It was developed in four weeks as a part of a game project at Futuregames in Stockholm, Sweden. As the Kid, you need t...

Kari: stranded on the shores of Vanaheim

Explore mysterious lands after a magical storm strands you on the shore of Vanaheim. Seek out help from the gods inspired by Norse Mythology in a Singleplayer Combat-Free Adventure-Puzzle Game. A game...

Equinox: End of Days

A recent string of unexplained disappearances leads Edward Travellion to uncover an ancient cult that seeks to use sacrificial blood magic to purge society and start anew...


Detritus is a local co-op game, where two players can team up. One is the brains, the other the brawn. Together they have to fight and craft their way out of a tomb full of monsters.

Path of the Sramana

‘Path of the Sramana’ is a fantasy platformer game, following a young shaman journeying through the spirit realm, as she searches for her father’s soul.


Embody a violinist and awaken a gigantic, forsaken world in this highly poetic platformer! Using your violin and bow, move towards the core of the realm to understand your role in this universe and pl...

Spellbound Spire

Go on an immersive VR Journey into a magical tower in Al-Andalus filled with corruption. Progress the tower's mind-bending walkways and reality-altering moments using your magical gloves. Can you solv...

Bedtime Breakout

The goal of this project was to create a couch co-op game with fun as the main factor. The game was completed over the course of 10 weeks by 5 students of which 2 programmers and 3 artists.

Detailed information about the top schools and colleges for Game Design & Development - Production Excellence

The following schools are the top Game Design & Development - Production Excellence educational facilities for 2020 and offer great courses and curriculum that produces students that are ready for the challenges faced by professional artists working in Game Design & Development - Production Excellence. Follow the links below to find out more about these schools, their facilities, team, success stories, student artwork and more.

University of Hertfordshire

1. University of Hertfordshire

The School of Creative Arts is the oldest part of the University of Hertfordshire, and its roots date back to 1890 with the formation of St Albans School of Art that later merged with the University in the 20th century. The School prides itself on its devotion to teaching creativity and the skills required to enable students to reach the goals they want from a degree and future career. It combines a wealth of physical resources that cover all aspects of creative arts production from animation, games and film, to fashion, print making, ceramics and architectural design to name a few.

A large base of talented staff with working experience of the industries they teach in allows students to gain knowledge from those who have already worked in the areas they wish to enter after graduation. The School maintains close links with many companies in the creative industries, allowing students to be part of live projects, company visits, guest lectures on specialist cutting edge topics and to get to meet the people and companies who inspired them to begin their journey into art in the first place.

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ISART Digital

2. ISART Digital

ISART Digital is an international school of higher education in video games and 3D-VFX animation. The school is based in Paris & Montreal and has a partnership with the Tokyo University of Technology. The school is ranked number 1 in Europe and Quebec (Canada) by LinkedIn, on professional integration in the Game and Interactive Media Design market. This leading position is the result of a studio-oriented policy: - Professional experience is at the heart of the studies, in an alternating structure of a week at school and a week in the workplace, throughout the year.

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3. New3dge

New3dge, located in Paris, is a private school of higher education specialized in the fields of Game Art, 3D Animation&VFX and Concept Art. We have tailored our student program and our teaching methods alongside some of the major players in these fields. We recruit our educators from our network of respected professionals around the globe. At New3gde, we give our students the opportunity to learn skills and work with cutting edge technology in an ever-evolving environment, guaranteeing their integration in the video game, 3D animation/VFX field and Concept Art. Our current placement rate is 92% More infos at :

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Savannah College of Art and Design

4. Savannah College of Art and Design

The Savannah College of Art and Design exists to prepare talented students for professional careers, emphasizing learning through individual attention in a positively oriented university environment.SCAD visionThe Savannah College of Art and Design, an institution with distinctive yet complementary locations, will be recognized as the leader in defining art and design education. By employing innovation in all areas, SCAD will provide a superior education through talented and dedicated faculty and staff, leading-edge technology, advanced learning resources and comprehensive support services.SCAD valuesBeing a student-centered institution.

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The Animation Workshop/ VIA University College

5. The Animation Workshop/ VIA University College

The Animation Workshop/VIA University College (TAW) enjoys a strong and wide reputation due to the top educations we provide for the international film industry, yet we are much more than a school. The Animation Workshop is located in Viborg, Denmark. It is a part of VIA University College’s School of Business, Technology and Creative Industries and has expertise in the areas of education, culture, communication, and business development. To this effect, it benefits from a strong international network of artists, professionals, companies, funding institutions, and partner schools.

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The Game Assembly

6. The Game Assembly

The Game Assembly is a Higher Vocational Education situated in Malmö, Sweden, and we have educated 7% of the Swedish games industry.We educate game artísts, game programmers, level designers, game animators and technical artists. 50% of their education is individual development where the students dive into their handicraft and 50% is focused in how to make games together. We are strong believers in the group effort to get the best result - a fun to play game.The Game Art program at The Game Assembly focuses mainly on creating 3D game models. Within game art there are plenty of opportunities during the game projects to appeal to a wide audience, whether you like drawing concept art, modeling 3D models, animating characters, etc.

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ArtFX School

7. ArtFX School

ArtFX is a private digital arts college, training its students in CGI, VFX, 3D Animation and Video Games. Located in Montpellier (France), the school was created by professionals of the film, video games and visual effects industries.As the only school in Europe specializing in compositing CGI into live-action footage, ArtFX is a reference for CGI and CG animation training. At ArtFx you will develop professional level skills and build a solid network of contacts thanks to our close partnerships with professional artists. Thanks to these connections our graduates also have a 99% placement rate in major post-production studios within France and around the world.As a private establishment of higher education technical training, ArtFx is a member and co-founder of the Network of French Film An

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Howest University of Applied Sciences - Digital Arts and Entertainment

8. Howest University of Applied Sciences - Digital Arts and Entertainment

Digital Arts & Entertainment (DAE) is a state-of-the-art, yet accessible, English-taught Bachelor’s degree. Fully accredited, 3 years, amounting to 180 ECTS credits. DAE is taught at Howest, a modern and unconventional university of applied sciences, situated in a small but beautiful historic city in Flanders, Belgium, in the heart of Western Europe. At DAE you can choose between 4 study majors: Game Development, Game Graphics Production, Independent Game Production or 3D Production & VFX. It is an industry-approved and award-winning curriculum, with alumni in leading companies and studios all over the world, such as Blizzard, Bungie, Ubisoft, DICE, Rocksteady, Guerrilla Games, Larian, Unity, Studio Gobo, Sumo Digital, ILM, MPC, DNeg and many more.

We offer an open, inclusive and international community where you will work on real-life, team-based and industry-assessed projects and assignments. We focus on a practically-oriented education where you receive training by qualified experts. This, together with international guest lectures by key industry speakers and state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, makes for an ideal environment to become an expert in the industry.

Our campus is located at the heart of Western Europe, based in the small, comprehensive, safe and beautiful historic city of Kortrijk, at the banks of the river Leie, where over 1000 years of history meet with modern architecture and design. Here we offer our high-quality degree for a comparatively very low tuition fee. Graduating from our industry-approved and award-winning curriculum, many of our alumni work in leading companies and studios all over the world. This is strengthened by our unique technical artists profile. No matter what major you choose, you will have a good grasp of what your colleagues are up to, which makes cooperation easier.

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Breda University - IGAD - (BUAS)

9. Breda University - IGAD - (BUAS)

1 to 1 coaching by industry veterans of AAA industry . Latest technology from Sony, Nintendo & Microsoft . Features all relevant game development skills for a practical multidisciplinary education . Partnering with leading game companies around the world . International classroom, completely English-taught, 25% of students and 80% of staff is international . A tradition of winning game awards over the past year (Unity Awards, GGJ, Sumo Digital, Brains Eden, Microsoft, Dutch Game Awards) . Top rated in Dutch higher education . The best and motivated talents are selected to start (180 students per year) . Officially accredited degree by the Ministry of Education, students enter the program in one of three study paths: Visual Art, Programming or Design & Production

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Escape Studios

10. Escape Studios

At Escape Studios, we offer undergraduate, postgraduate and short courses in Visual Effects (VFX), Game Art, Animation and Motion Graphics. We work with an impressive list of industry partners to design and deliver our courses, from MPC, DNEG, Framestore and The Mill, through to Jellyfish Pictures, Milk and BlueBolt, to name just a few! Do you have raw talent and big aspirations? If you're willing to put in the time, passion and hard work necessary, we can promise you a highly vocational, industry-focused training experience, giving you the skills you need to graduate job-ready.

Study in the heart of London's creative scene in our state-of-the-art facilities using professional tools and techniques for a real-life studio experience. Our tutors are experts and have all worked in successful studios. Packed with everything from The Dark Knight to Harry Potter, Thor: Ragnarok and multiple PlayStation titles, their CVs don't get much cooler! Through our industry partners, you'll get to meet, receive feedback and learn from some of the most creative and influential names in the industry as we invite guest speakers and tutors to the studios from the likes of Framestore, Creative Assembly or DNEG.

Our short courses are strongly vocational, designed to give you professional studio experience and train you to the latest standards. After most of our full-time programmes, you'll get a full package of career development support for 12 months after your course.

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How we calculate the school rankings

Our rankings focus on the quality of computer games submitted to the Rookie Awards 2020 as teams, rather than individuals. Each game production 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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