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Game Development (Design) MA

Mode Duration Start date
Full time 1 year January 2017
September 2017
Part time 2 years January 2017
September 2017

Choose Kingston's Game Development (Design) MA

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.

Assessment

Vertical slices, prototypes, demos, videos, presentations, design documents, essays.

PlayStation FirstKingston University is an educational partner of Sony through PlayStation First.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Modules

  • 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.

    • Coursework: report, prototype, and presentation (group and individual)
    • Schedule: allow one weekday per week in the first semester
    • Class size: approximately 20–30
    • Staff: course staff
     
  • 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.
    • Coursework: design report, artefact (video, prototype, design documentation, or empirical data as appropriate), presentation
    • Schedule: allow approximately one weekday per week in the second semester
    • Class size: approximately 20–30
    • Staff: course staff
     
  • 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.  

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Develop and carry out effective and appropriate research and testing methodologies in relation to practice.
    • Apply game theory to practice in such a way as to confidently inform design decision making processes.
    • Use new and existing technologies to enhance the communication of design processes and resolutions.
    • Identify, analyse and critically reflect on game design practices and processes in such a way as to enable the evaluation of career opportunities and individual direction within the gaming industries globally.
     
  • 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.

    • Coursework: design report, prototype, presentation
    • Schedule: allow approximately one day a week in the second semester
    • Class size: approximately 20–30
    • Staff: Dr Martin Colbert
     
  • 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.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Critically apply theoretical knowledge of design and evaluate contemporary discourse on the subject.
    • Demonstrate the application of design research methods in formulating concepts and ideas.
    • Originate design propositions through the application of appropriate design ideologies, research principles, methods, materials and technology, forms, means, actions or interventions.
    • Engage in the critical reflection of own work and in peer review related to the development and production of the major project, employing skills of evaluation, contextualisation and communication.
    • Disseminate the research process and outcomes of the final project with appropriate currency and consideration of audience.
     

You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

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Admissions team

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road and Knights Park

View Penrhyn Road and Knights Park on our Google Maps

Contact us

Admissions team

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road and Knights Park

View Penrhyn Road and Knights Park on our Google Maps
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