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BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology

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Meet your lecturers, find out more about the course and view academic and social facilities at an Open Event.

University of Suffolk on Ipswich Waterfront
UCAS code: 
I660
Institution code: 
S82
Location: 
West Suffolk College

Duration: 

Three years full-time.

Five/Six years part time.

Typical Offer: 

2018 entry: 112 UCAS tariff points (or above)

BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).

Please see Entry Requirements below.

Introduction

The BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology offers the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills sought after by the games industry. The course aims to provide a balance of topics blending games technology architecture with games programming, creative techniques and games production. The course emphasis is on producing graduates who not only have the knowledge of technology but an ability to create games allied with an understanding of how the industry works.
 

The course covers essential topics for an aspiring Game Developer including Game Engines, Graphics, Modelling, Animation, Artificial Intelligence, Physics, Platform Architecture and Audio. Students develop games on various platforms with the programming and creative tools that games industry professionals use to deliver awesome entertainment experiences.
 
 

 

The courses have been designed in line with the Computing Subject Benchmark Statement (QAA, 2007) provided by The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) who monitor standards and quality of higher education in the UK.
 
In addition, the courses take into account the advice and requirements of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT and Creative Skillset,

Our facilities include computing labs across the campus, where you will be able to use specialist equipment and software. In addition, our subscriptions to the academic programmes offered by Cisco, Microsoft and VMWare enable us to offer you the opportunity to use learning materials and high-end professional tools in our labs and on your own personal computer.

Course modules

Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.

Game Engines

Game Engines now a play vital role in the development of many computer games. This module will explore the impact of Game Engines on the Games Industry and the features available within a Game Engine to support game developers in the production of their games. The module takes a hands-on approach and provides the opportunity to develop a game using the tools available within a Game Engine.

Indicative Content and Technology: Game Engines, for example, Unity, Programming for games with C#, Scenes and assets within Game Engines, etc.

 

Game Asset Design and Creation

The Game Asset Design and Creation module considers the design and refinement of game assets such as characters, vehicles, props, and the environment, from design brief and initial ideas through to final product. This module provides a practical opportunity to develop skills in the creation of game assets.

Indicative Content and Technology: Design brief, Visual reference, e.g. mood boards, drawings, etc., Storyboarding, Narrative, Designing for characters, props, backgrounds, levels, etc.

 

Game Production and Workflows

A complete view of the production process is key to developing a successful, professional and team-based approach to the creation of computer games. This module introduces the workflows and strategies used within the games industry with an emphasis on gaining practical experience of the many facets of game production and ensuring the timely delivery of a completed game.

Indicative Content and Technology: Game Production Process, Games Industry, Game Studios, etc.

 

Experience Design

Creating technology experiences around the needs of the user is of paramount importance in today’s digital world. The experience design module introduces the topic from different perspectives by investigating User Experience Design (UX), Interaction Design and the customer experience. The module also explores the design and prototyping of experiences for current platforms.

Indicative Content and Technology: UX, Interaction Design, prototyping tools.

 

Digital Tools

Mastery of digital tools is essential in order create, manipulate and manage media elements including icons, images, illustrations, audio and video within software and documentation. The module emphasises the importance of applying design principles to produce high-quality media elements for application software, computer games, and web sites.

Indicative Content and Technology: Design and creation of media elements for software, computer games and the web, design principles, and creative tools, e.g. Adobe CS/CC, platform-specific software design tools, etc.

 

Computing Fundamentals

The purpose of this module is to provide learners with knowledge of the core concepts and principles associated with computation and computer technology including computer systems, number systems, data and file formats and storage, algorithms and data structures, operating systems, networking and security. The module will encourage learners to explore and evaluate different approaches to solving a problem and effectively communicate the results of their studies.

Indicative Content and Technology: Fundamental aspects of computing / computer science, networking, security, and operating systems, e.g. Linux, etc.

 

Game Programming

An understanding of high-level games programming using an industry standard programming language and code libraries is essential for game programmers. This module delves deeper into underlying concepts and principles of data structures, algorithms and technologies used when developing computer games.

Indicative Content and Technology: High-level programming languages and APIs used for game development, e.g. C++, C#, DirectX, OpenGL, etc., Graphics Pipeline architecture, Mathematics for game programming, Programming with game peripherals, e.g. Game Pad, etc., Object Oriented techniques for game programming, Data structures and algorithms for game programming, etc.

 

Game Tools and Services

The productivity of game development teams can be affected by the tools and services that are utilised when building games. Game tools and services will be discussed, making reference to tool chains and their interoperation, and the opportunity given to gain experience in the construction of game tools and services.

Indicative Content and Technology: Design and development of game tools, e.g. Level editors, etc., Application UI Frameworks and APIs, Object Oriented techniques for game tools, Cloud-based services for games, Data and databases for game tools, Plug-ins, SDKs, etc.

 

Modelling, Rigging and Animation

The process of modelling, rigging and animating a three-dimensional model for a computer game requires planning, skill and attention to detail. This module will provide a grounding in technical terminology and relevant computer graphics theory alongside an exploration of modelling, rigging and animation practices.

Indicative Content and Technology: Polygonal modelling, e.g. primitives, meshes, polygon count, level of detail, etc., Alternative techniques, e.g. curves, surfaces, sculpting, etc., Construction of models, e.g. characters, vehicles, props, realism, etc., Rigging, e.g. bones, kinematics, etc., Animating models, e.g. poses, gestures, etc., Software tools such as 3ds Max, Mudbox, etc.

 

Texturing, Rendering and Lighting

The application of appropriate texturing, lighting and rendering techniques to affect the appearance of surfaces and the environment is an essential element in the graphical quality of a computer game. This module presents the technical terminology and theory of texturing, lighting and rendering alongside their creative within the context of a computer game.

Indicative Content and Technology: Creating textures and applying to models, Texture mapping, Procedural texturing, Surface representation, e.g. mood, realism, style, etc. Lighting, Reflection, Shading models, Shadows, Global Illumination, HDR, Shaders, Shading languages, etc.

 

Industry, Professional and Project

The purpose of this module is to provide learners with the opportunity to develop personal, professional and project management skills in relation to their intended industry sector. The project will reflect those found within each industry sector as closely as is reasonably practicable. The module provides the opportunity for students to work with those in their own and other disciplines. In addition, learners will be able gain an insight into the theories of project management, methodologies and team dynamics.

Indicative Content and Technology: Project management theories, methodologies and wider issues, such as Agile, Scrum, Lean, DevOps, Law, Ethics and Professionalism, etc. Working in a cross-disciplinary team with students from the Software Development, Computer Games Technology and IT Service Management degrees.

 

Skills in Research and Problem Solving

This module encourages learners to perform research, analyse findings, critical evaluate and effectively present outcomes, conforming to academic standards. Learners will be required to select appropriate, high quality sources for their research and to employ established analysis techniques in order to produce and present information, arguments and outcomes in a variety of forms. This module also prepares learners for higher level study and their final year project.

Indicative Content and Technology: Investigation of an area of interest within Computing, as chosen by the student, using research publications from sources such as the ACM Digital Library (which provides academic journals, conference proceedings, magazines, and e-books).

 

Contemporary Games Technology

A growing number of professionals in various disciplines are taking advantage of new and emerging technologies and techniques to create gaming experiences that differ from the accepted norms. This module examines novel approaches employed by game developers within both entertainment and more serious domains of application.

Indicative Content and Technology: Current applications of new technology within games, e.g. Sensors, VR Headsets, etc., Contemporary techniques, e.g. 'handcrafted' levels, etc., Application of games technology within other fields of endeavour, e.g. healthcare, business, education, etc., Innovative uses of Games Technology, Gamification, Simulation, etc.
 

Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship

This module explores innovation and entrepreneurship in the digital space. The nature of innovation and entrepreneurship, and the digital economy will be examined. Potential ideas for harnessing technology in order to meet an identified need or opportunity will be considered, highlighting the need for professionalism and good practice within research and development.

Indicative Content and Technology: Innovation and entrepreneurship in the digital space. 'Tech Start-ups', networking, planning, funding, research and development, globalisation, sustainability.

 

Low Level Game Architecture

This module provides students with in-depth coverage of game architecture. Emphasis is placed on understanding the specifics of game hardware, performance analysis and code optimisation. Consideration is also given to the low-level architecture of gaming devices, peripherals and associated internal and external hardware.

Indicative Content and Technology: Game Platform Architecture, Low-level game architecture, e.g. platform, graphics, audio, networking and peripheral hardware architecture, etc., Programming of computer game hardware using low-level techniques, Tools and Libraries, e.g. Visual Studio, DirectX, Assembly languages, etc., Implementation of game code and impact of hardware, e.g. CPU, GPU, audio, networking, etc., Performance Analysis, Debugging and Optimisation Techniques, etc.

 

Simulation and Behaviour

The simulation and behaviour module focuses on the design and implementation of Physics and Artificial Intelligence for Computer Games. Data structures, Algorithms and Tools used for simulation and behaviour of varying complexity are examined in order to build understanding and essential skills for the game developer.

Indicative Content and Technology: Introduction to Game AI and Physics, Movement, e.g. steering behaviours, etc., Pathfinding, e.g. A*, etc., Decisions, e.g. state machines, fuzzy logic, etc., Tactics and Strategy, e.g. waypoints, etc., Learning, e.g. prediction, etc., Mathematics for game physics, Motion and Forces, Rigid-Body physics, Collision detection, Collision resolution, Tools for simulation and behaviour, etc.

 

Final Project

The final project gives students the opportunity to explore areas of interest in computing and to build on knowlegde gained from other modules on the course. The research may involve, for example, the development of a computer game or game tool, or the advanced use of gaming technology.

Indicative Content and Technology: The proposal, planning, research, development, and presentation of a dissertation and related work. The technology used will be selected by the student, as appropriate to the project.

 

Career opportunities

On completion of your Computer Games Technology degree you will be well suited to jobs in the games and media industries but the core skills learned are also excellent preparation for a wide range of computing careers. These include games developer, graphics, artificial intelligence or technical programmer, IT consultant, and network support or research and development roles in the games industry.

Fees and finance

2017-18

  • Full-time Tuition fee: £9,250 p.a.
  • Part-time Tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credits (Please contact the Infozone for further information).
  • International Tuition fee: £10,080 p.a.

2018-19         

Subject to approval of maximum fee by parliament                    

  • Full-time Tuition fee: £9,250 p.a.
  • Part-time Tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credit module (Please contact the Infozone for further information).
  • International Tuition fee: £13,000 p.a.

Further Information                                                       

  • Detailed information about Tuition Fees
  • Find out more about Financial Support eligibility.
  • Also see Loans and Grants.
  • At University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with your course that you will need to budget for. See Course Costs.

 

    Entry requirements

    Academic Requirements

    2018 entry: 112 UCAS tariff points (or above), BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).

    Also see How to Apply.

     

    International Requirements

    IELTS 6.0 overall (minimum 5.5 in all components) where English is not the students' first language.

    Also see International and EU.

     

     

    Staff

    Course Leader BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology