This year will take you through fundamental games design processes and the technical foundations of 2D and 3D programming, as well as planning. You’ll share theoretical units with students on the Games Art course.
This unit introduces you to key digital art and design skills to compliment your technical skills with which you’ll develop ideas into assets for computer games. You'll learn how to approach problems creatively using a range of sources for inspiration and reference. Your outcomes will demonstrate your conceptual approach, a range of design skills and technical understanding.
This unit introduces you to the fundamentals of digital systems and programming for computer games; it is explicitly technical and specialist being specific to the BSc (Hons)Games Technology course. You will gain a solid grounding in gaming systems and platforms, the system architecture of these platforms and the similarities between these. You'll be introduced to fundamental mathematics for computing before moving on to Procedural and Object-Orientated Programming. You'll also demonstrate your technical understanding through this unit by producing simple games.
This unit introduces you to interaction through the fundamental concepts of gameplay, computer games design, and computer games scripting and coding. You'll produce outcomes that demonstrate your technical and conceptual skills through exploration of game interaction.
Moving Image Culture: Understanding and Interpretation
You'll be introduced to a range of key concepts central to an understanding of historical and contemporary moving image culture, from celluloid film to computer games and digital media. Exploring influential artworks and relevant theoretical and critical writings, you will analyse some of the cultural and artistic contexts of the moving image and become familiar with technical innovations and conceptual transformations, before and after the so called digital shift. The unit provides an introduction to formal analysis and the aesthetic interpretation of the moving image, as well as to narrative and genre. It also considers the ideologies, institutions and cultural practices that shape the production and experience of cinema, computer games and networked media.
Year 2 will build upon your planning, design and prototyping skills. You’ll start to specialise in a defined area, and continue to undertake shared units with students on the Games Art course.
Through this unit you will further build on your knowledge of digital systems and the programming skills you gained in Year 1. Specifically, you will be introduced to C++ gaining understanding of its key concepts and features and demonstrating your understanding in response to briefs. Complementing the explicitly technical focus of this unit you are encouraged to be creative – your work may be entrepreneurial or speculative, you might look beyond gaming for entertainment to areas like ‘serious games’ or ‘games as art’.
This unit introduces you to contemporary games production practices and workflows. The first part introduces the process of making a game environment and the roles of those involved, specifically you will learn game environment production techniques and workflows. In groups and in response to the unit brief you will create a prototype, you will do this in an iterative fashion as you would in contemporary game production practice. The second part challenges the group to successfully pitch a game concept, then develop a game prototype or ‘vertical slice’. Each member of your group will need to specialise in a specific area appropriate to their skills and interests, however all members should be involved in the production.
Gaming in Contemporary Culture
This unit explores concepts and issues central to the historical, theoretical and aesthetic dimensions of the gaming practice. It critically examines the position of computer games and gamers within culture and society, exploring gaming's relationship to gender, ethnicity, conflict and capital, before turning a critical eye inwards to discuss ludology and its attendant concepts, including immersion, procedural rhetoric and cyber-individualism.
Your third year will introduce you to the economics and management of the industry, as well as copyright, patents and legal concerns. You’ll work as part of a team to produce a prototype game, and you’ll also write a practice-based dissertation.
Final Major Project: Pre-production
You will begin this unit by developing a project proposal through which you will define the concept, scope, audience, and purpose of your Final Major Project, you will present this through a pitch to your tutors and peers. Alongside this proposal you will produce a detailed production schedule committing to project milestones.
Final Major Project
In this unit you will build upon the work you have undertaken in the previous unit to produce a fully resolved body of work, you will do this either individually or as part of a team. This unit represents the culmination of your study of Games Technology at UCA. Through it you will demonstrate your creativity, skill, knowledge and understanding of recognised games industry practices and pipelines producing outcomes to a professional standard.
You'll undertake a substantial period of sustained, individually negotiated research on a subject related to the contextual and/ or theoretical concerns of your discipline or chosen area of practice, towards the provision of structured written argument.
Farnham is ideally located ten miles west of Guildford, described as ‘the Hollywood of video games’ by the Guardian. We value our links to local AAA studios, including Lionhead and Electronic Arts (EA), but also value and nurture an entrepreneurial indie attitude through which we can challenge convention and inform the future of gaming.