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Antony Chacko
19 Apr 2016 1.6K 2 mins Share

A degree in gaming: Ways to break into the games industry

Gaming – Know what it takes to be a computer game designer and explore career opportunities in the field of animation and gaming.

19 Apr 2016 1.6K 2 mins Share
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Did you know that the largest percentages of people who play video and computer games are older than 20 years? That this makes the gaming industry larger than the film industry in terms of gross revenue abroad? And that most blockbusters today owe their commercial success to the excellent computer generated imagery used in these movies?

Creating these wonderful masterpieces requires a delicate blending of art with science by teams of highly skilled professionals, including artists, animators, writers, designers, engineers and software developers working with cutting-edge technology and tools.  

Why study gaming?

Experts have projected enormous potential for the growth of the domestic gaming and animation industry in India through outsourcing and production opportunities. The global gaming industry too offers huge potential for qualified professionals and the number of jobs available is expected to double in the following years.

So if you are passionate about gaming, there is every reason for you to take it seriously and make a career out of it! There is a constant need for designers to upgrade their skills to develop high-quality games that meet the demands of customers.

What does a gaming course cover?

If you have finished your year 12 studies and have studied computer science, you can opt for an undergraduate  degree in gaming. If you already have a UG degree in either computer science or gaming, you can further enhance your skills by doing a postgraduate degree in game development.

At the UG level, students are given a solid grounding in computer science and a cross-disciplinary background in game development. The gaming portion of the course usually covers game production, visual design for games, computer animation, video game programming, game hardware architectures, introductory and intermediate game design, and two semester-long final game projects. On finishing the degree you will be able to engineer next-generation games and simulations. You can also choose to study further by doing a postgraduate degree in game development.

At the masters level, you are exposed to state-of-the-art graphics and animation technologies, as well as interactive media design principles, product development methodologies and engineering entrepreneurship. This degree programme will prepare students for positions requiring multi-disciplinary skills such as designers, technical animators and directors and game programmers.

Through the Game Specialization courses, students will learn the technology, design fundamentals, and development process of digital games, as well as the history, social impacts, and business of games. Students will also gain valuable skills in communicating and collaborating in team-based projects while building a strong portfolio of games. This program will cover some fundamental concepts of Data Structures and programming in C++ and Java technologies.

A Master of Science in Game Design and Development covers the following core areas of study: Creative Arts and Design; Computer Science, Systems and Technology; Product Design Development and Production; and Business and Entrepreneurship.                     

Where can you study gaming?

Good gaming courses are offered by reputed universities as well as private institutions in the USA, the UK, Australia, Sweden, Canada and Singapore. Some institutions that you could consider are:

  • Algoma University, Canada.
  • DePaul University, US
  • Penn Computer and Information Science, Philadelphia.
  • Rochester Institute of Technology, US
  • Michigan State University, US
  • University of Southern California
  • Informatics Academy, Singapore
  • Anglia Ruskin University, UK

Career opportunities

Currently there are very few academic programmes at universities adequately preparing students for positions in the professional gaming industry. This has caused an increased demand for people qualified in game development. Companies prefer hiring them, as against students with just a computer science or engineering degree, these graduates have been taught game design. Graduates will find employment as game designers, game programmers, storyboard and visualization experts and game testers.

Latest trends

Serious games are now being used to engage the user, and contribute to the achievement of a defined purpose other than pure entertainment. The additional purposes could be education, training, health care or marketing.

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