Game Design Instructor, Ms. Murphy

January 19, 2023

The Game Design and Development course is brand new this year to Fairfax Academy. This course teaches all facets of game design and development. Students gain substantial knowledge of industry standard software, specifically the Unity 3D game engine. However, they explore more than just a game engine and how to program a game, although that is a big part of it.

Students learn game theory, history, and mechanics. They learn how to tell stories to create player engagement. They look at the many different roles in the game design industry, such as level designers, riggers, and game writers. Students learn about the different related career opportunities outside of the game industry, too. These include architecture, graphic design, and visualization, just to name a few. Students explore aspects of design such as modeling and layout.

Students complete the course with a capstone group project where they design a playable game from start to finish with their team.  Through projects, critiques, and group assignments, students gain an in-depth understanding of the game industry. 

New for the 2023-2024 school year, will be an Advanced Game Development and Design section.

Ms. Murphy

Mrs. Murphy spent the majority of her younger years moving along the east coast for her father’s work. During that time, she attended five elementary schools, three middle schools, and two high schools. Mrs. Murphy graduated high school in Central Florida and spent most of her adult life there. She left briefly for College in Sarasota Florida where she received her BFA in Graphic and Interactive Communications from Ringling College of Art and Design.


Mrs. Murphy worked at several design firms as well as freelancing around the Central Florida area before moving to Fairfax, Virginia for the first time in 2013, where she continued to freelance. Mrs. Murphy and her family fell in love with Fairfax at that time, but when her father fell ill, they made the tough decision to move back to Central Florida to be close to family.

During that time Mrs. Murphy took a job in San Jose California as Design Patent Examiner. She would super commute between Northern California and Central Florida. Eventually the situation proved too difficult, and Mrs. Murphy resigned to take a position at a local boarding school, Montverde Academy, as a Media Arts teacher, where she taught game design, VFX, computer animation, and 3D Design for grades 9 through 12. There is where she fell in love with teaching. While at Montverde Academy she began grad school for Computer Animation at Savannah College of Art and Design.


In 2021 an opportunity to return to Fairfax presented itself and Mrs. Murphy and her family moved back to Fairfax so she may teach Game Design at Fairfax Academy while continuing to pursue her MFA. Mrs. Murphy, her husband, their daughter and their red husky, Charlie, are loving their new home. She is excited for the opportunity to bring her knowledge and experience to the young people of Fairfax and to grow with them through the unique experience that Fairfax Academy affords its students.


Mrs. Murphy comes to Fairfax, Virginia with her husband, two daughters, and their two-year-old red husky, Charlie. She is excited to experience all four seasons, and to have a break from the relentless hot weather of Florida.