Computer Gaming Technology (Extended)
Course overviewOur extended degree course features a general foundation in computing and technology in year 1. It is designed to meet the needs of people who wish to study for any Computing or Technology-related degree within the Faculty of Science and Technology at Anglia Ruskin University, but who may not have the appropriate educational background.
After successful completion of the Foundation year, students may opt to transfer to any of the Computing or Technology courses offered by the Faculty, or indeed continue with BSc (Hons) Computer Gaming Technology.
This first year provides a broad foundation. You will have the opportunity to study modules in a range of key areas of scientific enquiry as well as specialist areas that relate to your future degree course. It will equip you with the knowledge and skills required to begin studying at degree level, but more than that, it will also introduce you to university life and help you to enjoy the experience of learning within this stimulating and exciting environment.
If you remain on this degree course, you will continue years 2 - 4 of your study in Computer Gaming Technology are described below. If you choose to transfer to another Computing or Technology degree course within the Faculty you can choose from the following courses:
BSc (Hons) Audio and Music Technology
BEng (Hons) Electronics
BSc (Hons) Computer Science
BSc (Hons) Information Security and Forensic Computing
BSc (Hons) Business Information Systems
BSc (Hons) Network Infrastructure and Security
Additional course informationYears 2 - 4, BSc (Hons) Computer Gaming Technology
Currently worth almost £4bn, the UK video game industry is continuing to grow, and is projected to reach $86.7 billion in 2014. Our course, with its mix of theory and application, will focus on real world scenarios and give you a rounded experience in the complete development process of video games, from initial concept to development, quality assurance and possible publication.
Interested in pursuing a career in game developing, you will already be skilled in Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills. Maths is an important part of our degree, as such skills will allow you to make much more interesting and innovative games.
Studying at our Cambridge campus, you will be surrounded by a dynamic and stimulating environment which hosts a mix of large and small studios and developers, including Sony, Frontier, Jagez, Inertia Games Studios, Eidolon Studios and PTM games.
You will make use of our dedicated Game Development Studio, which simulates a commercial studio, and boasts team computer desks and a large computer screen, developing your understanding and practical skills in creating interactive video games.
You will use our specialist software, which includes Unity 3D, Unreal Development Kit, Cry Engine, 3d Studio Max and development tools for C# and C++, version control and bug tracking software. You will also have access to a motion capture system, audio recording studios and video editing suites.
In year one you will develop programming skills and become familiar with a commercial game engine. You will consolidate your maths knowledge and learn how to develop rigorous test procedures and record detailed and reproducible bug reports. You'll then apply this knowledge to the production of a complete game.
In year two you will develop more advanced programming skills and formal software design principles. We will introduce you to the basics of 3D modelling and animation to facilitate communication with specialist artists. You will work with other students, including those from other disciplines, to create a substantially larger game by the end of your second year.
In year three you will complete a major innovative technical project related to game development. You will study several techniques in artificial intelligence in order to enhance the complexity of your games and you will also develop a portfolio in preparation for seeking employment.
You will have the opportunity to undertake a work placement on a flexible basis, and we are able to accommodate this when positions become available. We can often tie in placements to certain modules so they can be used towards credits for the degree.
By the time you graduate, you will be able to apply your programming and production skills to create virtual worlds of your own design. Crucially, these skills are no longer applicable just to games, but are increasingly valued by industry for use in teaching, marketing and simulations and serious games.
Level 3 core modules
- Analytical Essentials.
- Core Skills
- Essential Electronics
- Foundation Mathematics
- Foundation Audio Technology
- Fundamentals of Computing
- Foundation Gaming Technology
Level 4 core modules
Across the worldwide games industry, there are many development environments within which games and interactive experiences can be developed. These environments, or 'engines' can be complex environments, and act as the core stage in a long and potentially, complex production pipeline. A working knowledge of a game engine is vital in order to be able to implement even the simplest digital video game. Every game engine has its strengths and weaknesses. Some game engines are particularly strong at displaying large continuous open worlds; others may be optimised for the current generation of games consoles, while others are of particular interest when creating multi-platform games at minimal cost. This module seeks to provide students with an understanding of the common and transferable concepts within game engines and how such engines integrate into the production pipeline within a commercial games studio. Students will develop this understanding to a level where they will be able to understand the features of a commercial game engine and match these to the requirements of a specific project and in the process, select the most appropriate engine. Students will also gain a working knowledge of a commercial game engine and learn through first-hand experience, the typical tools and techniques for working effectively within a commercial game engine. These core skills will be transferable across a range of technologies and will serve as a strong foundation for future technical studies on the pathway. Assessment in the module will involve the implementation of a specified design within a commercial game engine.
This module provides an introduction to high level programming, requiring no prior programming experience. Students will use industry-standard tools and techniques to design, implement, test and document simple programs using a current programming language such as C#, Java or C++. The module will enable students to understand the principal components of a high-level program, laying the foundation for subsequent modules requiring structured programming ability. It will emphasise the principles of good programming practice and introduce the techniques required to develop software which is robust, usable and efficient.Assessment will consist of two staged assignments, with feedback to the student being provided at each stage to support the development of sound programming skills. By the end of the module, students should have sufficient mastery of a high-level programming language to allow them to design, implement and test simple programs. The skills taught within the module are intended to be directly transferable to the workplace and to provide a suitable foundation for students who will be expected apply programming skills in their later studies and future career.
This module is essential for students who need a solid background in basic mathematical techniques and analysis in order to pursue a degree programme in technology, physical, life or social sciences, economics or business studies. The module will help students to assess their existing mathematical skills and enable them to remedy any basic deficiencies. It will then develop the core mathematical skills needed for successful study at degree level in science, technology or business studies and also provide a basis for those students needing to undertake further mathematical study later in their degree. The module will be assessed by two in-class tests.
This module is an introduction to the study of gaming and development of computer games. The module uses standard computer platforms suitably equipped with 2D and 3D games development environments in which students implement a range of simple games. The teaching and learning of the module covers two separate, but mutually-dependent strands of study and activity. A theoretically-based strand of study looks at the fundamentals of game analysis, design, the requirements of interaction and an outline of game theory with its ideas of states, goals and strategies These ideas are foundational for both the analysis and design of games and will recur throughout subsequent modules. Alongside this analysis of game genre, forms, their historical and cultural significance provides an informed understanding of the user response to games. The practical strand of activity introduces the student to implementing a game using current specialist game development technologies. This practical strand helps (in concert with other modules not specific to gaming) to develop the fundamental skills of computer games development. These strands come together in the assignment for the module, a working game designed and built by the student. This will require the student to apply knowledge gained from the theoretical aspects of the module to survey and analyse existing games, to produce a theoretically well-founded games design, to plan the practical implementation of the game in a suitable technology, to carry out that implementation and to test and evaluate the result. The final game implementation will also include a design document and report outlining the process of game development and process.The student will be expected to demonstrate application of the theoretical concepts within the documentation and final game.
Creating video games is an extremely complex task requiring the co-operation of gameplay programmers, graphics programmers, AI programmers, artists, modellers, animators, and many other professions. Integrating assets from all these inter-dependent fields into an environment in which players can interact in unpredictable ways, inevitably creates a situation where errors or design flaws are discovered. The first task many players undertake when they first purchase a game is not to play it, but to download a patch to fix all the errors which were discovered in between sending the game to the publishers and for that game to reach the high street shelves. The games industry has, partly due to these challenges, gained a reputation for releasing commercial products which still contain many unresolved or undiscovered errors. Mistakes can also be costly during the development process. Errors or design flaws introduced early on in development can prove extremely expensive to rectify when they are finally discovered later in development. All major game developers and publishers have specialised Quality Assurance (QA) teams who spend many hours checking all aspects of the game to discover as many errors as possible prior to release. QA itself is often undervalued and less well recognised, but is in fact a vital part of the development process to ensure players have an enjoyable experience.This module seeks to introduce students to the importance of Quality Assurance within the development process of games. Student will learn how to test games effectively and learn how to communicate issues clearly and in a way that those errors can be reproduced by other developers. Students will also learn the how to use common bug tracking software and the common terminology used within QA departments. The assessment for this module will require students to develop and implement a test strategy, for a video game.
Level 5 core modules
The number, size, and application domains of computer applications have grown and most people depend on the effectiveness of software development. Therefore software products have to be efficient, of very good quality and to help us to be more efficient and productive. Software Engineering is a form of engineering that applies the principles of computer science and mathematics to achieving cost-effective solutions to software problems. The aim of this module is to give to students a realworld experience in software engineering. This module will provide students with the intellectual tools to be able to design, implement and test software systems. Built on Fundamentals of Design and Introduction to Programming, they will go through all the phases of the life cycle by taking case studies and building real software applications based on them. CASE tools are used to study topics including analysis and design in UML and managing the OO software development process. The assessment is coursework based and involves working in a team on a specific project. Students have to demonstrate that they are able to work in groups to create an application from a case study going through the whole software lifecycle.
Using an integrated, industry-standard 3D modelling and animation package supported by a full suite of multimedia tools, students work with their tutor to specify and develop an animated 3D product or model for a specific purpose. Typically this will be a virtual realisation of an existing entity, model or concept for a project not yet created. The design requirements for the project will be negotiated with the tutor who will specify a set of benchmarks by which the final production will be judged. The student will be required to evaluate the virtual animated model against a design brief for the product and an agreed set of standards. The student will specify, design and develop a product, undertaking background research into the subject on which the virtual model is based. Typically this involves working from photographs, original drawings, plans, film and / or the physical entity on which the model or concept is based. Examples include computer-based illustrations of how things are constructed or operate, an electrical or mechanical device, a steam locomotive valve gear, part of a vehicle engine, a production line, a computer visualisation illustrating a physical exhibit in the Science Museum or a simulation for film such as a star ship, a transformer, a real or simulated galactic world or a model of a period from the geological time scale. Most of the taught time will be used in demonstrating advanced techniques supplemented by web based tutorials. Students will spend a great deal of their own time devising and testing visualisation experiments, working to improve their skills and knowledge, in the use of a wide range of advanced features offered by the package. These include animated surface and image mapping, creating textures, video, lighting techniques, using cameras, joint articulations, nurbs and inverse kinematics. The assessment encompasses the key aspects research and the quality of the final product judged against design goals. On successful completion, students would be able to work in a variety of professional model creating situations, designing exhibits for museums and galleries, virtual walk throughs of realisations for television programmes, TV adverts, promotions and set creation for video gaming. By extending the module with further study by selecting 3D Character Animation, the student would be able to contribute to work in the design of computer games or as a team member animating 3D characters for films or advertisements.
This module provides the student with a formally rigorous approach to the design of computer games, and provides a sound understanding of the development and delivery technologies which underpin modern high performance games. The theoretical aspects of the module involve understanding the development and management processes required to create a modern computer game. Students will also gain an understanding of how to represent games in formal, game-theoretic terms, and also the computational models and architectures which underpin modern games. Mathematical aspects include core concepts for implementing interactions within a game environment. These are introduced through the practical needs of simple interactive games which provide a rationale for trigonometry, vector manipulation, algebra and problem solving with algorithms. A key theoretical part of the module involves an understanding of the architecture and function of modern game engines. This theoretical knowledge is applied in the practical aspects of the module. These practical aspects require the student to develop a game from a specified genre, utilising a carefully managed production cycle, and to become familiar with the range of tools which underpin games production: level editors, game engines and scripting languages. This rigorous approach is central to the skill set of contemporary professional games developers. The assessment programme for the module consists of the production of a working game, with an emphasis on the development of a clear underlying game model, the disciplined development of the game from this model, and the production of high-quality documentation. The game will be developed as part of a group project, simulating conditions in the games industry. The module uses a wide range of resources, since it is important for students to be exposed to a number of different development tools and game engines, as these typically have restricted and specialised functionality. In addition to a proprietary game development environment, extensive use is made of open source development tools.
C++ (and its language precursor, C) is arguably the most common programming language in industry, and graduates who are good C/C++ programmers are often much sought after in the IT sector (systems programming, embedded software, graphics and games programming). The reason for the popularity of C++ is partly historical, partly because the programmer can produce fast, memory-efficient programs, and partly because of its flexibility to support different programming styles. This module provides an introduction to C++ or those already with some programming experience in another language such as Java or C#. Following procedural introduction students will be expected to use an objectoriented style of programming including the necessary design considerations. Code will be written using an appropriate development environment (such as Visual C++, Dev C++, or C++ Builder) and be mainly confined to ANSI/ISO C++ and use of the standard library so as to promote source code portability to other platforms. Students will learn how explicit types of memory allocation can be used to manipulate data and how this can influence computer resources, and thus will gain an understanding of the underlying architecture behind how other high level programming languages manage their data. There is a multi-phased coursework which includes assessed class practical/seminar work and a major assignment involving an application that requires development and manipulation of common data structures.
Level 6 core modules
This module aims to provide an understanding of the issues, opportunities and problems which have arisen as a result of the computerisation of wide areas of human activity. It is designed to enhance advanced computer reflective thinking in both computer science specialists and others, and is a key part of the programme of professional development for computer scientists and others seeking to embody professional values and approaches in the IT and computing fields. The course covers relevant and current topics in Computer Law (e.g. Data Protection; Intellectual Property Law; Computer Misuse) and other social, ethical and legal topics such as considering the causes and effects of systems failures (including but not limited to computer systems failure). Other aspects such as the ethical and professional responsibilities of graduates - particularly those from IT and computing disciplines - will be critically appraised. Topics may also cover the technical development and social effects of computer technology from c1936 to the present day, as the basis for an informed discussion of the issues. Later in the module students will choose topics and lead time-constrained seminars on a selected narrow topic area within the module's remit, which will form the fine graded assessment for the module.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) covers a broad range of disciplines ranging from cognitive science and philosophy to more pragmatic engineering subjects. It takes its inspiration from human and other biological behaviour that exhibit intelligence, such as problem solving, planning, decision making and optimization, and seeks to create systems that can perform similar intelligent tasks. The module covers all the main areas of AI such as behaviour, genetic algorithms, neural networks, fuzzy logic and other topics. The course is intended to be quite practical with an emphasis on interactivity in terms of code development and within a wider context of game development. This reflects that whilst a mainstream approach to the subject is taken the module will also have a gaming emphasis. The module assumes a basic level of mathematical ability and physics background (e.g. equations, trigonometry, vectors, equations of force) and whilst no expertise in any particular language is presumed some familiarity in one common high-level programming language is expected (such as C#, C++ or Java). The assessment will require students to develop an AI solution to a given problem providing suitable documentation for the development process. Additionally students will write a separate critical review on one aspect of AI to include recent research in the area. The practical sessions will involve code development and exploration of basic AI principles. In addition a weekly seminar/laboratory session may involve more specific tools supporting interactive game development dealing with issues such as controlling non-player character behaviour, route finding and other areas where interactive simulation requires advanced problem-solving techniques.
This module allows students to demonstrate their ability to create a professional quality artefact in a relevant aspect of their area of study. Based on the idea of creating a creative arts 'show reel the final work will demonstrate attainment in technical, professional and market knowledge. In this module students are required to take on a quasi-professional role in the development of a substantial piece of work which will include research, specification, design, documentation, development and evaluation. A key element is for students to evaluate their skill set, and, if necessary, specify and undertake a learning programme to gain the skills they need. As far as possible students will use real world market and commercial requirements to guide the development process from initial idea to the final deliverable. Weekly seminars will be used to guide and monitor progress with the emphasis on supporting appropriate learning activities rather than delivering content. Lectures on particular technologies relevant to student project topics may be covered as well as generic issues such as legal, professional and project management. The module will provide an opportunity to develop new skills or take existing knowledge further within a supportive framework. This might include the creation of a website, desktop application or complete game, either individually or as part of a small team. The assessment of the module is based on the research, justification, process, documentation, implementation and evaluation of an agreed artefact. This will be measured by three deliverables the initial research / feasibility plan; an account of the project process, specification, design, implementation, skills development and professional issues; the finished artefact and presentation. Where group work is specified the contribution of each individual will be assessed separately. A professional and real world approach is encouraged and work can be undertaken for third party clients and practitioners of the industry.
The individual Final Project module allows students to engage in a substantial piece of individual research and / or product development work, focused on a topic relevant to their specific discipline. The topic may be drawn from a variety of sources including: Anglia Ruskin research groups, previous/current work experience, the company in which they are currently employed, an Anglia Ruskin lecturer suggested topic or a professional subject of their specific interest (if suitable supervision is available). The project topic will be assessed for suitability to ensure sufficient academic challenge and satisfactory supervision by an academic member of staff. The chosen topic will require the student to identify / formulate problems and issues, conduct literature reviews, evaluate information, investigate and adopt suitable development methodologies, determine solutions, develop hardware, software and/or media artefacts as appropriate, process data, critically appraise and present their finding using a variety of media. Regular meetings with a project supervisor should take place, so that the project is closely monitored and steered in the right direction. The project developed in this module is the most substantial piece of work that the student will produce during their undergraduate studies. Thus, the choice of project topic and the quality of the work is likely to bear a great influence on the student's career/employability. Therefore, the module will also include aspects of Personal Development Planning (PDP) and CV preparation. Students are strongly advised to allocate appropriate attention, time and effort to this module. The successful completion of the module will be of great benefit to the student, as they will acquire skills directly applicable to real world projects.
AssessmentAssessment in the Foundation Year is a mixture of coursework including practical work, in-class tests, presentations, and examinations.
Assessment in years 2 - 4 of Computer Gaming Technology (extended) is based chiefly upon the production of a number of specified games and applications. Evidence of appropriate analysis and design and use of appropriate tools and techniques will be evaluated.
Assessment is also via a mix of examination, personal learning plan and undergraduate major project.
FacilitiesThe university has recently invested £1.2 million in brand new Gaming and Recording studios. These are equipped with industry standard hardware and software throughout.
We also have extensive computing facilities and laboratories featuring a mix of Apple Mac and PC computers. There is also a fully equipped Electronics laboratory.
Special featuresOur Department of Computing and Technology in Cambridge is in the heart of a diverse technical, media and gaming industry. Where Microsoft has a research centre, Sony has a development studio, JAGEX runs the Runescape MMORPG, and PS3 developers Ninja Theory, amongst others are in this locality.
Links with industry and professional recognitionOur department is a member of TIGA the association for games developers in the UK and is a member of 'Games Eden' the special interest group for game developers and associated industries in the East Anglia region.
Associated careersInformation on careers in Computer Gaming is given below.
For information on careers in other subject areas offered by the Faculty, please see the relevant course page listed below:
BSc (Hons) Audio and Music Technology
BEng (Hons) Electronics
BSc (Hons) Computer Science
BSc (Hons) Information Security and Forensic Computing
BSc (Hons) Business Information Systems
BSc (Hons) Network Infrastructure and Security
Careers in Computer Gaming TechnologyOur course prepares you for entry into the computer game industry, and other related multimedia and animation industries in technical areas such as systems developer, programmer, designer, and in creative areas such as game design, content creation, 2 and 3D modelling and animation. We provide a broad based technically focused degree, but expect you to use options, projects and portfolio topics in your Level 3 modules to reinforce your skills for your target career.
Additionally the graduate skills of independent research, communication and teamwork are in high demand by all employers. So we expect you to progress rapidly from graduate and entry level posts in any of the technical and creative industries.
Work placementsOur full-time degree supports you if you choose to take a year out to work in industry while completing your studies. Currently there are no formal arrangements for gaining work placements through our University, but we do have industry contacts and have supported students who have transferred from full-time to part-time, to accommodate work commitments.
|UCAS Tariff points:||40|
|Additional Requirements:||GCSE(s) Required: 3 GCSEs at grade C including English and Maths|
Please note AS levels are acceptable only when combined with other qualifications.
Applicants without the above requirements will also be given consideration and other prior learning / experience / work experience may be taken into account.
How to apply
This course is available to UK & EU applicants only
Open DaySaturday 22 June
Undergraduate Open Day
FacultyScience & Technology
DepartmentComputing & Technology
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- Ask our University