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COMPUTER GAMES DESIGN AND PROGGRAMING

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Become a key player in computer games design and programming
    “The growing games
    industry is constantly
    looking for skilled workers
    to undertake new work
    on new computer games.
    As the sector is becoming
    so complex, much more
    skilled work is needed;
    this university course has
    taught me everything I
    need to know (and more)
    to be successful within the
    industry.”


    Lliam Green
    BSc(Hons) Computer Games
    Design




2
put yourself at the forefront of
computer games design and programming




            Right across the computer games industry, Staffordshire University’s
            Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Technology has a reputation for
            creating graduates with the technical skills, creative abilities and necessary
            vision to succeed in what has to be one of the world’s most vibrant and
            rapidly-evolving entertainment sectors.

            With today’s movie tie-in, RPGs, massive multiplayer games and almost
            insatiable appetite for fantasy, sci-fi and stealth shoot-out scenarios, it’s not
            surprising to discover that 30,000 people are employed in the games industry
            in the UK alone.

            A global pastime – one spanning all ages and abilities - gaming will continue
            to innovate, challenge, expand and evolve. And with the UK already a hotbed
            of games design, animation and programming talent, computer entertainment
            really is the exciting place to spend your future.

            With IET and BCS-accredited courses, developed in conjunction with major
            players across the sector, enviable industry partnerships and that reputation
            for well-proven expertise throughout computer games design, animation and
            programming, Staffordshire University is widely acknowledged as the place to
            study for your degree or masters award.

            Always influencing and inspiring - as well as responding to industry trends - we
            are also better placed than many to ensure that whether the future ultimately
            lies in complex high-definition role-play, low-polygon modelling for hand-
            held consoles, massive multiplayer online games, or serious simulations
            for healthcare, military and police activities, you will hold an award that is
            respected internationally.




                                                                                                3
    Staffordshire University graduates are in high demand throughout
    the UK computer games industry, for their solid skills and games
    application expertise. They can be found at such names as Sony,
    Codemasters, and the THQ co-operative, not-to-mention a myriad of
    other industry-leading games developers.
4
a pedigree of
passion, excellence and expertise




           Staffordshire University has a long, proud history of excellence in
           computing and - more recently – in computer games design and
           programming.

           As the very first university to offer a computing degree back in the 1960s, we
           made the natural progression into games design and programming awards
           in 2002, with degree courses built around in-depth knowledge, skills and
           expertise.

           Assisted by RazorWorks – the Oxfordshire-based video games developer
           associated with genres such as flight simulation, car racing, retro gaming and
           arcade games – our dedicated tutor team began creating a range of degree
           courses that would set new benchmarks and establish new standards.

           Passionate, inspired, enthusiastic – and never afraid to innovate – they
           developed a series of totally bespoke awards that are continually reviewed,
           quality audited and purpose-designed to satisfy the very real needs of the
           games design and programming sectors.

           The result? Compared to those institutions that simply offer multi-media
           awards with a twist in order to provide a games design or programming
           specialism, you can be confident that by choosing to study at Staffordshire
           University you will gain:

              •	 a	thorough	understanding	of	the	sector
              •	 a		thorough	understanding	of	the	games	industry		
              •	 the	skills	to	become	a	3D	modeller,	animator	or	games	programmer




                                                                                            5
key partnerships with major players
       RARE
       Britain’s leading games development company has its motion capture studio
       at Staffordshire University. This unique on-campus presence underlines RARE’s
       belief in our capabilities, provides an unequalled learning environment for
       students and positions Staffordshire University as RARE’s motion capture
       technicians.


       Microsoft XNA
       Staffordshire University is a proud member of Microsoft’s XNA pilot group.
       XNA is a set of tools that allows students and hobbyists to build games for
       Windows and XBox 360. As a member of the pilot group, we are pioneering the
       incorporation of XNA into our games programming curriculum.


       Monumental Games
       We are proud to be associated with Britain’s only multiplayer games engine
       suite developer – an association that is a major influence in our multiplayer
       awards programme. As a demonstration of their faith in our expertise,
       Monumental Games recently provided a £150,000 games development engine
       for use by Staffordshire University students.


       RazorWorks
       This Oxfordshire-based video games developer, renowned for its flight
       simulation, car racing, retro gaming and arcade games expertise, assisted us in
       creating a range of degree courses that set new standards.


       Astraware
       A local games company, based in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Astraware create
       games for handheld PDAs and Smartphones, including Palm OS®, Windows
       Mobile®, and Apple® iPhone™. The company was founded in 1993 by Howard
       Tomlinson and David Oakley and is now a part of the Handmark Group.
       Astraware has been a tremendous support to Staffordshire University, helping
       develop our Computer Games Design and Programming award.




6
high quality teaching and
course delivery




           Regardless of the course you choose, you will receive high quality,
           highly appropriate teaching by our academic staff, many of whom enjoy
           international reputations for research and consultancy within their specialist
           fields.

           Across the discipline of games design, all courses are modelled as closely as
           possible on industry practice. That means working in similar-sized development
           teams as typically found in industry, whilst using the same pipelines and design
           methodologies to create vital game assets.

           More focused on the core skills required to write computer programs, our games
           programming courses embrace the fields of graphics, artificial intelligence,
           game play, networking, audio integration and graphical user interfaces. You will
           learn a variety of programming languages, including Java, C++ and C#, and use
           development	environments	for	XBox,	Playstation,	hand-held,	mobile,	PDA	and	
           PC gaming.

           As a games student, you will develop a portfolio of work to help you secure your
           first	job.	Depending	on	your	chosen	award,	your	portfolio	could	include:	

           •	   A	java	applet	and	3D	animation	in	Semester	1	of	your	first	year
           •	   A	3D	graphics	application	in	Semester	2	of	your	first	year
           •	   Games	in	C++	and	C#	from	your	second	year
           •	   High	and	low	polygon	models	in	3DS	Max
           •	   Game	and	level	design	documentation
           •	   Games	engines	modifications	using	Half-Life	2,	Unreal	3	and	Monumental




                                                                                              7
highlights in our course delivery
                      There are some very distinctive features in the way we deliver our courses
                      that have been designed to enhance and enrich the student experience.
                      They include:

                      •	 Visits	by	key	speakers	from	the	games	industry
                      •	 A	full	placement	year	in	which	to	gain	invaluable	real-work	expertise
                      •	 A	major	project	in	your	final	year,	which	could	involve	developing	a	
                         game, or creating a new graphics or artificial intelligence algorithm
                      •	 The	opportunity	to	develop	a	portfolio	of	work	throughout	the	course
                      •	 Whole-class	lectures,	hands-on	practicals	and	problem-solving	tutorials	




    “As soon as I found out about this university, I knew it would be the one
    that I would join. Everything about it seemed to be better than others,
    available equipment and resources, quality of teaching and the courses
    themselves. After being here for a year now, I feel I have learnt a lot and
    very much look forward to my next year’s modules.”

    Ken Stott, First Year, BSc(Hons) Computer Games Programming


8
equipped for excellence




           Industry-leading games design facilities:
           •	 150	computers	dedicated	to	games	design
           •	 RARE	motion	capture	studio	with	RARE	motion	capture	suite
           •	 Measurand	fibre-optic	motion-capture	suite
           •	 Dedicated	games	network	with	separate	server	for	map-level	and	game-
              play testing
           •	 Dedicated	games	lab	and	3D	modelling	rooms	with	software	including	
              3DSMAX	and	Z-Brush
           •	 Autodesk	motion	builder

           Outstanding programming facilities:
           •	 Purpose-built	Computer	Science	building	with	over	500	computers
           •	 Dedicated	laboratories	for	games	programming,	mobile	application	
              development, artificial intelligence and networking
           •	 Suite	of	Playstation	development	kits
           •	 XNA	Game	Studio	for	PC	and	XBox	development
           •	 High-spec	PCs,	running	both	Windows	and	Linux	operating	systems

           Combined resources include:
           •	 Multiplayer	online	games	lab
           •	 Monumental	suite
           •	 Nintendo	Wiis,	XBox	360s,	Playstation	3s	and	PSPs
           •	 Comprehensive	games	library	
           •	 Usability	lab	–	created	to	assist	local	industry	with	game-play	techniques	
              and responses




                                                                                            9
 placements and employment
                Staffordshire University students typically secure placements
                and employment with leading names across games design and
                programming, as well as other industries.

                The organisations we work with include:

                •	   Astraware
                •	   Asylum	Entertainment
                •	   Blitz	Games
                •	   Climax
                •	   Codemasters
                •	   Endrant
                •	   EuroCopter	
                •	   Gusto
                •	   i2Ltd.	
                •	   Jagex	
                •	   Jester
                •	   Juice	Games
                •	   Kuju	Entertainment
                •	   RARE	
                •	   Simulation	Systems	Ltd.
                •	   Sony	Computer	Entertainment	Studios
                •	   THQ

                Jobs	undertaken	include:	3D	Modellers,	Level	Designers,	Assistant	
                Producers, Programmers and Games Designers.




 “For my placement year, I was based within the R&D department at
 Kuju Entertainment Ltd. I worked on developing and maintaining the
 Engine and Tools technologies that are used in the various games
 studios across the company. After my placement finished at R&D, I
 managed to secure several months extra work in the company’s Zoë
 Mode music and party games studio, working on an upcoming title.”

 Daniel Vary, final year student BSc(Hons) Computer Games Programming.




10
the end game:
making sure you are highly employable




             At Staffordshire University, we never lose sight of the fact that our real role
             lies in preparing our students for long and successful futures.

             That’s why, whatever your chosen career in computer entertainment, you can
             rest assured that our study environments reflect the real world of work as much
             as possible.

             By providing the very best amenities, we also know we can bring out the very
             best	in	you.	However,	we	don’t	stop	there.

             We have established broad relationships with local, national and international
             companies right across the field of games design and programming.

             As a result, we are able to arrange the opportunities and placements
             that provide real-world expertise and can often lead to exciting offers of
             employment and highly fulfilling careers.

             Our approach ensures we are always fully-up-to-date with the latest industry
             trends and developments – and are able to anticipate and embrace new
             approaches beyond the world of academia.

             Our approach is also sufficiently flexible to enable any occasional freelancing
             (such as games modification or new level/new world creation) to count towards
             your studies.




                                                                                               11
 starting your own business
       Through SPEED (Student Placements for Entrepreneurs in Education), we can
       even assist you in starting up your own business during the placement year of a
       sandwich degree course instead of going into industry.

       Introduced	in	2006	–	and	a	collaboration	between	13	universities	and	other	
       partners across the UK and Ireland – SPEED has proved highly popular at
       Staffordshire	University,	with	92	students	so	far	being	given	the	chance	to	learn	
       about enterprise and entrepreneurship, all while being able to start their own
       business.

       For more information about the SPEED scheme:
       t: 01785 353495
       e: s.a.rowe@staffs.ac.uk
       www.staffs.com/enterprise




12
undergraduate courses




          BSc(Hons)/MEng/BEng(Hons)	Computer	Games	Design
          Providing	a	balanced	mix	of	games	design,	3D	graphics	and	animation	
          expertise, modelled on industry and using the latest software, this course will
          give	you	the	skills	to	become	a	3D	modeller,	animator,	or	set	you	on	the	way	to	
          becoming a successful games or level designer.

          Choose this course to gain a good overview of the rapidly growing computer
          games industry as well as a clear idea of the area in which you wish to work.

          At	Level	1	you	will	learn	about	the	reverse	engineering	of	current	games,	
          level design based on the principles of architecture and games design
          documentation.	You	will	gain	a	good	grounding	in	3D	modelling	and	motion	
          capture, followed by an understanding of games engines and physics. You’ll
          also be able to study how manga characters are created.

          At	Level	2	you	will	learn	about	high	concepts,	pre-production,	production	
          and	game	testing.	You	will	also	learn	3D	facial	and	body	modelling	as	well	
          as	computer	and	character	animation	in	3D	Studio	Max.	There	is	also	the	
          opportunity to investigate multiplayer online games in more depth.

          At	Level	3	there	will	also	be	the	opportunity	to	learn	advanced	modelling	skills	
          both high polygon for next generation games, and handheld modelling for
          casual gaming. You may also learn audio for computer games or further motion
          capture skills.

          Study	at	Level	4	involves	investigating	interface	and	platform	development	of	
          games, the study of game playing, known as ludology and an individual project.




                                                                                          13
 undergraduate courses
           BSc(Hons)/BEng(Hons)	Computer	Games	Programming
           Graduating from our Computer Games Programming course opens up
           opportunities within computer games companies. It also enables you to set up
           your own games company or to do contract work within the industry. The broad
           grounding in computing skills will also allow you to pursue a more traditional
           computing career.

           Games programmers play a vital role in the production of computer games,
           taking a game design and transforming it into a running program that delivers the
           game to the player. Utilising industry links, this award is focused on developing
           people with the core software engineering skills to program current and future
           generations of computer games hardware.

           In Years 1 and 2, you will gain a solid foundation of technical knowledge and skills
           in computing and computer games programming, including work in physics and
           graphics programming. Options allow you to further your games specialisation;
           areas	covered	include	both	OpenGL	and	DirectX.	Specialised	development	for	
           game	consoles	is	introduced	using	Microsoft	XNA	Game	Studio.

           In year three you will develop more specific games programming skills, including
           AI, graphics and animation, with options once again available. The final year
           project will involve building a substantial software product to demonstrate the
           skills you have developed over your course.


           BSc(Hons)	Multiplayer	Online	Games	Design
           There is an explosive demand by industry for creative and technical development
           skills on a range of gaming platforms. Completion of this award equips you
           with a range of technical and creative skills required by the games industry,
           enabling individuals to play a key role in the design and development of the next
           generation of multiplayer online games. Successful completion of the networking
           elements results in a CISCO qualification, widely respected worldwide.

           This course has been designed and co-developed with industry to meet the
           growth in demand and is aimed at taking students with a passion for designing
           online games – giving them the opportunity to develop into rounded multiplayer
           online games designers.

           Online gaming accounts for a quarter of all game types sold worldwide and is
           projected to more than double in the coming years. There is an established and
           ever expanding demand for online gaming in America and Asia with Europe set
           to become the largest growth area.

           The fundamentals of multiplayer game design and development are studied.
           You are able to put this knowledge into practice by rapid prototyping and game
           content through the use of scripting languages and the dedicated monumental
           multiplayer games engine.

           The influence of psychology and marketing of multiplayer online games is studied
           along with exploration of distributed communications systems for multiplayer
           games. A final year project allows you to research and develop a specific area
           within the field.

14
undergraduate courses
          BSc(Hons)/BEng(Hons)	Multiplayer	Online	Games	Programming	
          This degree teaches you the skills needed to create massive multiplayer fantasy
          worlds and collaborative games. Graduates will be prepared for employment in
          game studios creating multiplayer games, or in the wider computing industry
          in a technical distributed system or network-development role. You have the
          opportunity to gain CISCO professional qualifications in networking – respected
          by industry globally.

          This award is intended for students interested in developing multiplayer online
          games, and related collaborative and virtual community computer applications.
          It covers the game software engineering and computing concepts essential for
          general game development, plus the specific technical skills needed to create
          virtual worlds and allow players to interact and communicate within them.

          You will learn several of the programming languages most widely used in the
          games industry and apply them to game animation, physics, artificial intelligence
          and graphics rendering. You will also learn the networking concepts that will allow
          you to build distributed multiplayer games.

          You will start developing games from your very first semester, building up a
          portfolio,	which	could	include	Java	applets,	graphics	applications	using	OpenGL	
          and	DirectX,	and	multiplayer	games	on	PCs,	consoles,	mobile	phones	and	other	
          portable devices.

          In your final year project, you might build a complete multiplayer game, or
          research and demonstrate an advanced technique for multiplayer interaction.

          BSc(Hons)/BEng(Hons)	Game	Artificial	Intelligence	
          This course teaches you about different theories of artificial intelligence and how
          they can be applied in writing games software and other intelligent simulations.
          Graduates can use their AI and computing skills as specialists in games studios,
          and in the wider knowledge and decision-support sector.

          Artificial intelligence is the next “big idea” in creating games – how can computer
          controlled characters be made to behave more like human ones? This course
          gives you a solid theoretical framework for addressing complex problems in
          navigation, planning, strategy, pattern recognition and knowledge management.

          You will learn to identify and specify the key features of complex problems and to
          apply appropriate methods from artificial intelligence in a range of applications
          both within the field of computer games development and beyond.

          After learning fundamental software engineering, games development and
          artificial intelligence concepts, you will study advanced topics including Artificial
          Intelligence	Engines	for	Games,	Decision	Theory	and	Cybernetics,	Neural	
          Networks,	Genetic	Algorithms,	Character	AI,	and	Strategic	and	Tactical	Thinking	
          for Games.

          In your final year project, you might build a complete computer game that
          incorporates several AI algorithms, or research and demonstrate advanced AI
          techniques.

                                                                                             15
 undergraduate courses
           BSc(Hons)	Games	Audio	Design	
           Audio	Design	and	the	ability	the	integrate	sound	and	music	is	an	increasingly	
           core aspect of the production of modern computer games. With a clear eye
           on the mix of skills required for the growing number of audio designers and
           programmers we have developed an award that combines games design and
           documentation, sound production and composition, and the modification and
           application of sound in engines. This course will give you the skills necessary to
           produce the audio assets for a variety of game types and genres with the aim of
           becoming	an	Audio	Designer	or	Programmer	on	graduation.	

           At	Level	1	you	will	learn	composition	techniques	for	computer	music	and	
           acoustomatics, along with introduction to using studio equipment in
           Audio Processing. This is combined with studying design documentation
           to understand the different aspects of computer games. You will also be
           introduced	to	FMOD,	the	industry	standard	audio	design	package	for	games.

           At	Level	2	you	will	continue	learning	about	acoustomatics	and	studio	
           techniques, along with recording Foley sounds. You will contribute to a games
           design group to produce the audio for an original game, while learning to
           utilise	the	audio	API,	FMOD	Expert.

           At	Level	3	you	will	study	audio	programming	along	with	producing	your	
           Research	Dissertation,	and	your	Entertainment	Portfolio,	which	will	focus	your	
           audio design and audio programming into the area you wish to take to a
           greater depth of knowledge.

           BSc(Hons)	Games	Concepts	Design	
           This	course	concentrates	on	the	techniques	used	in	translating	traditional	2D	
           concept	design	skills	into	3D	modelling	skills	in	a	variety	of	subjects.	It	will	arm	
           you with a range of technical and creative skills necessary to become a Games
           Concept	Artist,	Concept	Artist,	3D	Designer,	2D/3D	Games	Artist,	Illustrator,	
           Character	Modeller,	Level	Designer	and	Environmental	Artist.	

           This degree has been designed and developed in association with noted
           games concept artists to provide a course capable of producing the next
           generation of multi-skilled game concept artists.

           If you are required to design and develop futuristic buildings, vehicles or
           characters for a next generation game console, you need a fundamental
           understanding of the design principles underpinning these structures.
           Consequently, you will develop traditional creative concept artist skills and
           expand them to include the development of the game concept resources
           beyond	original	2D	concepts.	Using	3D	applications	such	as	3D	Studio	Max	
           and	Zbrush	you	will	model	and	texture	your	ideas	then	bring	them	to	life	in	the	
           latest games engines such as Unreal 3.

           At	Levels	1	and	2,	you	will	become	proficient	in	the	use	of	2D/3D	applications	
           such	as	Photoshop;	Digital	Matte	painting;	Painter	and	3DS	Max	software;	
           explore game engine structure; anatomical structure and develop functional
           game resources.

           At	Level	3,	you	will	embark	on	a	substantial	individual	project	that	will	be	key	in	
           demonstrating your skills to future employers.
16
undergraduate courses




          BSc(Hons)/BEng(Hons)	Portable	Games	Programming
          This course is all about developing games for mobile phones and handheld
          game consoles. On graduating you could end up working for a large game
          studio, creating your own games company, or applying your knowledge in the
          wider mobile and embedded devices industry.

          Portable gaming - games for mobile phones and handheld consoles - is one of
          the fastest growing sectors in the computer games industry. Portable Games
          Programmers need to learn all the computing skills needed for PC or console
          game development, as well as how to overcome the extra challenges posed
          by portable game devices. They are small, with limited displays, memory and
          processor speed, and have challenging input systems. You will learn several
          of the programming languages most widely used in the industry and apply
          them to game animation, physics, artificial intelligence and graphics rendering.
          During	the	course	you	consider	the	design,	hardware,	interface	and	networking	
          issues needed to make a successful portable game. You will start developing
          games from the begining, building up a portfolio which include Java applets,
          graphics	applications	using	OpenGL	and	DirectX,	and	games	on	a	variety	of	
          mobile devices and handheld consoles.

          In your final year project, you might build a complete mobile or handheld
          console game, or research and demonstrate techniques which take advantage
          of the latest portable device hardware and operating systems.




                                                                                         17
 undergraduate courses
           BSc(Hons)/BEng(Hons)	Arcade	Game	and	Simulator	
           Development
           If you don’t want to limit yourself to making PC and console games, this course
           will provide you with the expertise to create in-depth gaming and virtual reality
           experiences	using	specialised	input	devices	and	3D	displays,	movement	and	
           surround sound.

           The	Arcade	Game	and	Simulator	Development	award	is	all	about	creating	
           immersive gaming and virtual reality experiences. After graduating, you will
           be able to pursue opportunities in games development using new console
           peripherals, simulators or specialised arcade platforms, or applying
           your skills in creating non-game computer-controlled systems and simulations.

           You will gain core game software development skills, including several of the
           programming languages most widely used in the games industry, and learn low-
           level programming, data acquistion and computer control techniques. You will
           specialise in the technicalities of how to obtain and apply input from a variety
           of devices (not just keyboard and mouse!), simulate movement using dynamics
           and kinematics, and feed back to the player through immersive visual displays,
           surround sound and vibration. Advanced topics include large scale simulator
           design and virtual reality systems.

           In your final year project, you might build a complete simulation or immersive
           application, or research and demonstrate an advanced technique for interfacing
           with peripheral devices.


           EDEXCEL	BTEC	HND	Computer	Games	Programming	
           This course gives you the foundations in computing and game development
           necessary for a career in games programming, including developing engines,
           tools and games for PCs and games consoles. On completion of this two-year
           programme, you could decide to go into employment in the computer game
           industry or continue your studies to an ordinary or honours degree in Computer
           Games Programming.

           Taking this course will provide you with a solid foundation of technical knowledge
           and skills in computing and computer games programming. It covers the
           expertise required to transform a game design into a working program that
           delivers the game to a player on a variety of hardware platforms. As such, it is a
           vital career role in the computer game industry. Completing this course will open
           up opportunities within computer games companies, while the broad grounding
           in computing skills will also enable you to pursue a career in a more traditional
           computing field should you wish to do so.

           Successful	completion	of	this	Higher	National	Diploma	also	enables	entrance	to	
           the final year of the ordinary degree of the same name. The top-up to honours
           takes a further six months full-time or may be completed part-time over a year.
           Additionally, you may also opt to undertake a one-year placement during your
           studies, which will result in a sandwich award.


18
HND	Media	Technology:	Games	Design
The	HND	Media	Technology:Games	gives	you	an	insight	into	the	skillset	
required in production roles in the Games industry as Computer Games
Animators,	Computer	Games	3D	Modellers.	Your	skills	will	allow	you	to	work	in	
an	environment	ranging	from	creating	3D	models	and	animations	to	creating	
industry standard game/level designs and documentation. You also have a
knowledge of games programming, games engines and the physics of games.
You will develop skills in the technology involved in games design and animation,
with	modules	in	3D	Applications,	facial,body	and	character	modelling,	level	
design	and	game	documentation.		Whilst	your	are	studying	an	HND	and	there	
are modules that help developp you study skills you will study a number of
modules	with	the	degree	students	on	the	Computer	Games	Design	awards.		The	
culmination of your studies will be an individual project in the field of games
design and animation.

The	award	is	designed	in	conjunction	with	the	Honours	degrees	in	Games	Design		
to the extent that some modules are shared; this ensures that on completion of
the	Diploma	you	would	be	eligible	to	progress	onto	a	Top	Up	course	that	will	lead	
to	an	Honours	degree	in	Computer	Games	Design	or	Computer	Games	Design	
and Programming




                                                                               19
 postgraduate courses
           MSc	Computer	Games	Design:	
           MSc	in	Computer	Games	Design	aims	to	provide	students	the	opportunity	to	
           acquire knowledge and learn state of the art techniques within the context of
           the computer games industry and to develop research perspectives relevant to
           computer games design and development. The games industry itself prefers to
           take people from a range of backgrounds in order to maintain its vibrancy. This
           award has been designed to be flexible and can be tailored to students’
           research aspirations and allows graduates from many different backgrounds to
           benefit from this MSc and ultimately benefit the games industry.

           The	MSc	is	basically	split	down	into	three	areas	of	study,	Ludology,	Interface	
           and	Platform	Development	and	Games	Creation.

           Ludology	is	the	study	of	game	play.	To	start	of	with	you	will	look	into	the	current	
           research and thinking in areas, which includes study of games, the systematic
           approach to games analysis and forecasting the future of gaming. It is then
           taken one step further by applying the ludology methodologies to multiplayer,
           serious games and developing new approaches to such issues as handicapping,
           games as art and semiotics of narratology

           Interface	and	Platform	Development	looks	at	the	cutting	edge	developments	
           of the link between the Game Play and hardware interfacing with regards to
           Platform Comparisons, Multiplatform Gaming, Player Profiling and Games
           Engines Research

           Games Creation looks at the process of making a simple game. Games
           mechanics	are	looked	at	in	terms	of	‘Three	Hooks’	and	reward	mechanisms.	
           When these are analysed you will then create your own game in small groups
           using the ‘scrum’ method of project management and completed with a set of
           full games design documentation.

           You will also be able to take a variety of options from Games AI and Motion
           Capture	Data	handling	to	Audio	for	Games	to	satisfy	your	particular	interest	in	
           a	variety	of	aspects	of	Computer	Games	Design.	Once	these	taught	modules	
           have been completed you will then embark on an MSc Thesis, which will be
           done in conjunction with a supervisor who specialises in the subject area you
           have chosen.

           With the understanding of gameplay analysis and games mechanics from this
           award coupled with your undergraduate skills we would expect you to enter the
           games	industry	in	role	such	as	Assistant	Producer	or	Junior	Level	Designer.




20
postgraduate courses
          MSc	3D	Games	Modelling
          The	MSc	in	3D	Games	Modelling	provides	you	with	the	opportunity	to	acquire	
          knowledge and learn state of the art techniques within the computer games
          industry	and	develop	complex	3D	objects	for	current	generation	games.	The	
          games industry prefers to employ modelers and designers with fantastic work
          examples and portfolios; this award has been designed to be flexible and can
          be tailored to your aspirations, ultimately producing fantastic demo work.
          The digital modelling industry is specialising, demanding a need for advanced
          skills	in	all	areas	of	Computer	Graphics.	The	MSc	in	3D	Games	Modelling	
          provides you with the opportunity to develop skills that are state of art
          alongside your academic study. There is a significant amount of “negotiated
          study” where your work will be building on your current skills and consolidate
          them	in	the	area	of	3D	modelling	under	the	guidance	of	your	academic	
          supervisors.

          The broader Computer Graphics industry prefers to take people from a range
          of backgrounds in order to maintain its vibrancy. This award has been designed
          to be flexible and allows you to tailor your research aspirations, resulting with a
          final semester demo reel which will help complete your study and progression
          into industry. The award also aims to instil sound academic and professional
          skills related to lifelong learning and development.

          MSc Computer Games Programming
          The MSc in Computer Games Programming gives graduates of computing-
          based degrees the opportunity to acquire the specialist computing knowledge
          needed for a career in games programming, and to develop research
          perspectives relevant to game software development. You will apply your
          existing knowledge of programming languages and software engineering to
          develop a portfolio of game artifacts throughout your course. Topics studied
          include	real-time	3D	graphics	rendering,	animation,	game	physics,	audio	
          and artificial intelligence, multiplayer game programming and game industry
          practice. You will develop games for various PC and console platforms, mobile
          devices, and networked systems.

          At	the	PgC	and	PgD	stage	of	the	award	you	will	study	a	total	of	eight	core	and	
          option modules. You can then undertake a twelve month placement, before
          completing a dissertation specific to your own interests in the field of game
          programming.

          On completion you will find yourself employable in Game Industry software
          development roles such as Gameplay Programmer, Artificial Intelligence
          Programmer,	or	Game	Engine	Developer,	as	well	as	in	the	wider	Computing	
          Industry.	High	achieving	students	may	also	pursue	specialist	topics	in	game	
          programming	at	the	PhD	level.




                                                                                                21
 postgraduate courses
           MSc	Computing:	Games	Development
           The	MSc	in	Computing:		Games	Development	gives	graduates	of	Games	
           Design,	Games	Production,	or	related	entertainment	technology	degrees	
           the opportunity to gain technical software development skills, as well as to
           develop a research interest in games development. You will apply your new
           skills, along with your knowledge of games gained in your first degree, to
           create a portfolio of PC and console games.

           You will learn the fundamentals of programming in an intensive preliminary
           study period. You will then, in the PgC, study advanced aspects of software
           development in the context of game programming, and technical hardware,
           software	and	networking	issues	in	computer	systems.			In	the	PgD	stage	
           you study more specialised topics such as artificial intelligence engines and
           techniques for collaborative game software development. Following this you
           could undertake a twelve month placement, before completing a dissertation
           specific to your own interests in the field of games development.

           On completion you could find yourself in a large games company fulfilling
           a	role	such	as	Games	Programmer	or	Middleware	Developer,	or	using	your	
           broad games development knowledge in a smaller studio or even your own
           business.		High	achieving	students	may	also	pursue	specialist	topics	in	game	
           development	at	the	PhD	level.




22
everything we do is for you

                Choosing a university is one of the most important decisions
                you’ll make.

                That’s why everything in our course guide has been designed to
                help make finding and picking the course that’s right for you as
                easy as possible.

                In fact, from the way our courses are described, to the opinions
                of real students, we’ve done everything possible to help you
                make the right choice.

                At Staffordshire University, we’re proud of what we do and
                we’re especially proud of our students.

                We’ve ploughed millions into facilities. We run over 800 highly
                respected courses.

                And you can take it as read that as well as helping you achieve
                a superb qualification, we want you to thoroughly enjoy the
                experience of studying with us.

                To find out more about us, and our facilities,
                visit www.staffs.ac.uk




“I had a great time at Staffordshire University and enjoyed
the social life as well as the educational side. I can definitely
recommend staying in the halls of residence.”

Paul Sharman




                                                                                   23
exceeding your expectations
      At Staffordshire University, we make sure the learning environment and
      facilities not only match your expectations, but also exceed them.

      In fact, we have recently invested over £5 million in new buildings and facilities to
      help make sure the opportunities we provide remain first class.

      Our	Libraries	and	IT	Centres	are	located	at	Stoke,	Stafford,	Lichfield	and	
      Shrewsbury campuses, where you can use computers, take out and reserve
      books, plug in your laptop, access special collections and short loan items, use
      printing	and	photocopying	facilities	and	visit	Help	Desks.

      You can also go on our training courses and borrow professional presentation
      and audio-visual equipment.


      online information
      As well as iPac (the library catalogue, where you can search books, journals,
      videos	and	CDs,	DVDs	and	access	your	library	account),	we	provide	access	to	
      many databases, e-journals and texts and a vast range of other research and
      learning	material	available	only	to	HE	users.

      As a student, you’ll also enjoy free Internet access, free University email and
      access to our Information Services web pages. Access to some network services
      and your University email is available on any PC anywhere with access to the
      Internet.


      For more information, please visit:
      www.staffs.ac.uk/infozone or
      www.staffs.ac.uk/uniservices/infoservices/library/offcampus

      You can also contact us by phone and email and use our web pages for
      information, advice and support.




24
what you need...
When considering you for a place on a course, we don’t just look at
your qualifications. We look for…

•	 Motivation
•	 Commitment
•	 Willingness	to	learn

Entry requirements
Our specific entry requirements vary according to the award you plan to
study. All applicants are individually assessed on their qualifications, skills and experience.

Undergraduate Courses:

BSc(Hons), BEng(Hons)/MEng awards:
Typical	applicants	would	have	studied	2	or	3	A	levels,	a	BTEC	National	Certificate	or	Diploma	
or equivalent qualifications.

A	typical	three	A	level	or	BTEC	National	Diploma	offer	will	be	between	200	and	280	UCAS	
tariff points depending on the course.

HND awards
Typical applicants for the HND awards would have studied a minimum of 1 A level, a BTEC
National award or equivalent qualifications.

A typical offer would be 100 UCAS Tariff points.

Masters awards
Typical requirements are a degree at least equivalent to a UK Upper Second Class Honours
degree in any subject. Some awards require your Undergraduate degree to be in a related
subject.

If you do not meet the above but have significant appropriate experience, your application
will be considered, provided that you satisfy the University that you are capable of
responding to the challenge of postgraduate work.

We value your work and life experience…
Rest assured, we won’t ignore your life experiences. You may be able to use these to gain
credit towards your course. We take into account Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning
(APEL). You can use previous study or work, community or volunteer experience as credit to
enable you to achieve qualifications in a shorter time. By converting informal learning into
certificated learning, APEL provides cost-effective routes to qualifications. It has potential
significance for people who, through life and work experience, have gained knowledge, skills
and analytical abilities that are comparable to those with a higher education award. Please
discuss this opportunity with us.
contact us:

contact us:
                                                                                                  25
Stafford campus map

       Key to Buildings
      The Beacon Building                                                                       Blackheath Lane
       Student Information Centre                                                                Vice-Chancellor’s	Office
       Careers and Employability Service                                                         Enterprise	and	Commercial	Development
       Student Recruitment Centre (FCET)                                                         AimHigher
         – Faculty of Computing, Engineering                                                     Marketing and Corporate Communications
           and Technology                                                                        Press Office and Public Relations
       Terrace Café                                                                              Faculty	of	Health,
       DolcHe	Vita	Coffee	Bar                                                                    SURF,	HE	Full	Circle
       The Gallery Restaurant                                                                    Food for Thought Restaurant
       Counselling Service                                                                       General	Teaching	and	Lecture	Rooms
       Disability	Advisory	Service
       Multi-Faith Chaplaincy
       Students’ Union Facilities:                                                       A518
         Reception and Union Offices                                                     TO UTTOXETER,
         Student Shop, Student Advice Centre,                                            A50, A51, M1
         One Stop Shop
       Student Guidance Officer
      Students’ Union Building –
       	 Legends	and	The	Lounge
       General	Teaching	and	Lecturing	Rooms
      Television Centre                                                                                      �
      The Ruxton Technology Centre                                               �
      JCB Centre


                                                                        �


                              �

                                                                         �
                                          �                                               �
                                         �
                                                                  �


                                                      �
                                                          �                                                  �
                                                                                          �
                                                                                                                �

                                                              �
                                  A51
                                        3	to
                                                	M6
                                                                                  �
                                                   	J14

      The Octagon
       Business
       Computing
       Information Services                                                                             Key to Features and Landmarks
       General	Teaching	and	Lecture	Rooms
                                                                                                            All-weather Sports Pitch
      Student Accommodation
                                                                                                            The Terrace Café
      Accommodation Reception                                                                              Food for Thought Restaurant
      Nelson	Library                                                                                   	   DolcHE	Vita	Coffee	Bar
                                                                                                        	   Security	Lodge
      Health	Centre                                              Stafford Town Centre
      Childcare Service                                                                                     Bus Stop
      Aston Common Room
                                                                                                        S1 Yarlet
      Sports Centre, including Fitness Suite                                                           S2	 Stafford Court
      Business	Village
      Recycling Centre
      Car Parks




26
Approach route to the Stafford campus




                                        27
Contact Details
Faculty of Computing,
Engineering and Technology
Staffordshire University
Beaconside
Stafford ST18 OAD

t: 0800 195 1799

e: fcet@staffs.ac.uk
                             M1091 JA 03/09




www.staffs.ac.uk/fcet

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: Computer Games Design computer games games design game design game development Computer Science core modules games programming Computer Game Design 3D Modelling Entry Requirements serious games games industry Staffordshire University Stage 4 software design games editing teaching and course delivery