Games Development (MSc)
Why take this course?
Computer games companies have dictated the advancement of computer graphics hardware and software over the last decade. The MSc in Games Development will give you an in-depth knowledge of Computer Graphics foundations, advanced programming techniques for the games industry and how to use state of the art software and technology as part of computer games development and CGI (computer generated imagery). This MSc is an excellent platform to a career in the games and entertainment industries. However, it can also serve as an entry for a PhD Degree in Computer Graphics or in related topics such as Computer Vision, Medical Imaging and Human Computer Interaction.
This course is designed for students with a degree in computing* who wish to gain specialist knowledge in advanced Computer Graphics, Virtual Environments and Computer Games Development. Applicants should have some experience in programming (C/C++ or JAVA) whilst graphics programming experience (OpenGL, DirectX, XNA) is a bonus though not essential.
*or a good degree in engineering, mathematics or physics with additional programming experience.
Students have on average 15 hours of contact time per week with teaching staff through lectures, laboratory sessions and seminars, though this may vary depending on module choices. Additionally, students should allocate at least 25 hours per week for study, coursework assignments and projects.
Teaching and Assessment
Course modules cover a wide range of topics including games architecture, games engines, games physics, GPUs and shader languages, character animation, motion capture, collision detection and response, specialist input/output devices (e.g. haptic/force feedback, stereoscopic displays, HMDs, motion tracking), virtual environments, advanced rendering, movie animation and special effects. Development platforms taught include OpenGL with C/C++, XNA (Game Studio) with C# (Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 7) and Apple iOS development. 3D Studio Max and Maya are also used for geometry creation and character animation. Coursework exercises and projects are incremental hence leading to a number of final products, including 2D/3D games and animation videos for student’s future portfolios.
Additionally, the course offers two different streams:
Stream 1 - Games Programming: This stream is aimed at students mainly wishing to strengthen their programming skills to prepare them for programming jobs in the games industry.
Stream 2 – Games Modeling: In the past, the games industry merely recruited either programmers or artists. However, during the last couple of years, games companies also have started to recruit employees with ‘hybrid’ skills, i.e. those who have a solid grounding in computing science and some programming skills, but also have decent modeling and/or artistic skills. It is the aim of this stream to hone your skills in each of these two areas. Seminars provided from a games artist's perspective include character animation, texture and face modeling and stop motion.
Some project work may be done with collaborating games companies
A sample selection of recent project/dissertation titles: - Virtual humans for crowd simulations - Virtual human and avatar technology - Controlling vehicle animation - Parallel Algorithms: CPU versus GPU - Motion capturing for 3D game animation - Motion capturing of dance movements to create the ‘dancing avatar’ - Game-playing for linked image retention in education - iPhone/iPad apps development
The School has an excellent record in both post-BSc and post-MSc placements and most of our recent graduates have found jobs in the entertainment and games development industries, some of which we are in active collaboration with.
This programme has full Chartered IT Professional (CITP) accreditation (Further Learning Element) as well as leading to Chartered Engineer (CEng) status from the (BCS - The Chartered Institute for IT).