Taught course

Game Development (Design)

Institution
Kingston University · Computing and Information Systems
Qualifications
MSc

Entry requirements

Applicants are normally required to have a good honours degree in humanities, art and design, multimedia, media production or the academic equivalent. All applicants must be able to demonstrate, either through qualifications or portfolio of works a solid understanding of digital media. Exceptionally applicants may have no first degree but more than five years working in the field and/or a portfolio of works. In this case, there must be strong evidence that the applicant has the motivation to complete the course and the ability to work at this level. Experience in digital media or the games industry is particularly valuable.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

This course, one of a suite of digital media courses, enables you to study professional digital media practice in a microstudio environment with a focus on the design skills necessary for the field of games development. Through a student-centred project-based curriculum, you work as a games designer to develop your specialist skills while working as part of an interdisciplinary team with students from across the full programme.

  • This course has been developed in consultation with our industry panel, which includes representatives from Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, DreamWorks and Samsung Design Europe. We are also an active member of TIGA, the games industry's representative body, and the British Interactive Media Association (BIMA).
  • This course has been designed to utilise the best digital media expertise and resources from across the University, and will prepare you for employment in the digital media industry, where teams of specialists work together to develop and author innovative digital media projects.

What will you study

Students on both courses will design and create computer games, alone and in teams, using industry-standard production management tools and techniques that stimulate a professional environment of collaboration to deliver a product on time. You will also develop vertical-slice prototypes using new technologies, such as computer vision and stereoscopy, and will learn how to present yourself to potential employers through your professional presence and portfolio.

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

  • Digital Studio Practice

You will work with a multidisciplinary group of students as appropriate for your course (User Experience Design MSc, Game Development (Design) MA, Game Development (Programming) MSc and Computer Animation MA); involved with the digital media production process in response to a project brief developed in consultation with the industry panel and/or research staff. Projects concern contemporary platforms, such as iPhone, Android, Windows, Playstation, Xbox and Next Generation controllers and innovative input devices. You also develop a professional profile (online CV/portfolio) fitting for your role and intended destination which you maintain throughout the course.

This flexible module gives each you the chance to develop your unique interpretation of professional practice that captures your specific interests or niche within your course field.

  • Possible specialisms for User Experience Design include: information architecture, web prototyping (Javascript, HTML, CSS etc), mobile-user testing, remote user research, visual design, interaction design, content strategy, service design, branded Ux and information design.
  • Possible specialisms for Games Development (Programming) include: tools and plug ins; pathfinding algorithms; graphics programming; physics; game server backends; traffic/flocking/crowd AI.
  • Possible specialisms for Games Development (Design) include: concepts; mechanics; levels, narrative; gameplay; world and system design; interface and navigation; casual, serious and game studies.
  • Possible specialisms for Computer Animation include: storyboarding; character development; visual narrative; match moving; lighting; art; environments; levels and props; motion capture; rigging; particles, dynamics and fluids; tools and plug ins.
  • Game Design
    This module deals with the game design principles such as narratology versus ludology; interactive fictions; understanding play and engagement; level design and game flow; motivation, jeopardy and reward; to present ideas verbally, on paper and in technical demos, in a range of 2D and 3D graphics and animation packages, with some programming skills at scripting level.
  • User Experience Design (Content) This module focuses upon user research, participatory design and prototyping for new interaction concepts, particularly those for multi-user or multi-modal interaction with media-rich information sources for personal and ubiquitous computing platforms. The emphasis is upon qualitative insight and creativity for user engagement and persuasion across the end-to-end user journey, particularly in mobile contexts.

  • Digital Media Final Project

The Digital Media Final Project, as a capstone project, consolidates the knowledge gained in earlier modules and is informed and supported by prior learning.

You will interpret the coursework into a practical solution and demonstrate skills in defining, analysing and developing a substantial solution to an individually defined design related problem. You will utilise an advanced understanding of contemporary digital media practice. The research and documentation of the project is an integral part of the submission; reflecting on the process, as well as the critical analysis and methodology of the research itself. The research will be conceptually integrated within the practical work. Individual project topics are expected to be wide ranging and provide the opportunity to fully investigate a practical situation, underpinned by a critical report on the work produced. Topics must allow the opportunity to position work with respect to business, social and cultural goals and identify and apply appropriate technology as a means of delivery.

Information for international students

All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirements. For this course it is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no element below 5.5. Please make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we'll consider: http://www.kingston.ac.uk/international/studying-at-kingston/language-requirements/

Fees and funding

Please see http://www.kingston.ac.uk/postgraduate-course/games-development-design-ma/fees-and-funding.html for further details.

Qualification and course duration

MSc

full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Phone
08448 547683/+44 (0)20 3308 9931