A games development degree prepares you to join the industry of designing, developing and releasing a game. You’ll learn, in essence, how game mechanics work, the incentives or rewards to include, and how to use design to engage players. All these attributes will decide whether your game is a success or a flop.
So, what makes a game stand out? Let’s take a look at some examples: Grand Theft Auto gives us an open-world experience with ultimate control like no other. Minecraft is a sandbox video game (based on creativity to complete tasks) that allows you to build anything from simple homes to castles. Another great video game taking the world by storm is Fortnite, a multiplayer adventure where you can engage and battle with other users.
The gaming industry is huge. As humans will never tire of this kind of entertainment and were confined to their homes for the best part of during this pandemic, the global video gaming industry was valued at US$159.3 billion last year. A games development degree is a good place to start if you plan to join this explosive industry.
At the undergraduate level, you can choose between a bachelor of arts and bachelor of science. For a BA (Hons) you need to have at least BBB in your A Levels or equivalent (the International Baccalaureate). Additionally, a GCSE or equivalent in English Language or Literature and Maths at grade 4 or above is required.
For a BSc (Hons) you will BBB in your A Levels (or the International Baccalaureate with a minimum of 27 points). They should come from science or technical subjects such as maths, physics or computer science.
If English is not your first language, you’ll need to prove you have the language proficiency to follow the above programmes. Most unis require an IELTS score of at least 6.0
What you’ll study
If you take a BA (Hons) from Falmouth University, you’ll be introduced to all the skills and disciplines in game development before taking on one of six specialisms: Art, Audio, Design, Production, Programming and Writing. Bath Spa University’s BA (Hons) Games Development starts with the building a tabletop game and a portfolio of mini game prototypes; followed by building a 2D, a 3D, and a VR game in year two and ends with a serious game, a tangible game, and a playful interactive entertainment experience in the final year.
A BSc in Games Development will focus on the design and animation of games with the fundamentals on strategy, creativity, advanced technical skills and code languages. While a BA is focused on art, audio and design, a BSc is the 3D modelling, storytelling and animation using map editors, databases, proprietary scripting languages and design documents.
Jobs and salaries
How do you bring characters to life on screen? A game animator does this by combining art and technology. This could make you an average of US$63,803 a year. If you have a creative flair, you can be a game designer where you’d be brainstorming ideas, building prototypes and creating interactive narrations. You can expect a salary of US$90,270 a year.
As a multimedia programmer, you’d be creating products to use on a large scale and this could rake in US$79,158 a year for you. Another career option is software development, with an annual average salary of US$107,510.