Digital Games BA(Hons)

UCAS Code
0Q23
Location
Penryn Campus
Length
3 years full-time
Direct line
01326 213730

Are games your passion? BA(Hons) Digital Games at Falmouth builds the skills you need to turn that passion into a profession, whether you want to be a programmer, designer, artist, animator, writer or sound designer. 

We'll work with you to help decide which route matches your interests and then put those skills into practice to make completed games.

Benefits

  • Working in multi-skilled teams to produce completed games
  • Use professional facilities and software
  • Gain fluency in communicating your game ideas
  • Develop commercial awareness
  • Learn from industry leaders

Course Outline

Game development depends upon a huge range of skills working together to produce a final product. You'll be introduced to these skills in your first year, enabling you to have an informed overview of development to apply to your own practice. Given the diversity of the field, we ask students to select one of six areas to focus on during their studies. This pathway should reflect the area of the game development process that most interests you. You'll move from small projects to games with more challenging scope as the course progresses, with team-led projects at the heart of the learning experience.

In addition, you'll have modules appropriate to your specialism. For those enrolled on Animation, Audio and Writing routes, you'll share specialist modules in the 1st year with students from those departments to ensure you pursue the right route for your interests. Changing routes is possible throughout the first year.

Routes

  • BA(Hons) Digital Games: Art
  • BA(Hons) Digital Games: Animation
  • BA(Hons) Digital Games: Audio
  • BA(Hons) Digital Games: Design
  • BA(Hons) Digital Games: Programming
  • BA(Hons) Digital Games: Writing

Digital Games: Art

Ideally suited to those who have a passion for both art and games, successful applicants to this route will have Art or Game Art qualifications. Visual design lies at the heart of most games from concept to completion. This route will teach you the core abilities required to become a skilled game artist, from concept art to character and environment modelling, both 2D and 3D, using industry-standard packages, processes and pipelines. You'll graduate with a professional portfolio, developed in concert with a multi-discipline team of other developers so you can show your work in context.

Digital Games: Animation

Animation brings characters and worlds to life, no matter how fantastic they may be. This route focuses on 2D and 3D animation, one of the most sought after skillsets in the gaming industry. You'll graduate with a portfolio of game animation, which you'll have worked on closely with other artists, designers, programmers, writers and sound artists, giving you a thorough understanding of the animation pipeline and its place in the broader context of game development. Previous qualifications in Art, Media and/or ICT provide a good grounding for this route.

Digital Games: Audio

Music and sound effects create the atmosphere necessary for games to become immersive experiences and are often used as a means of feedback on a player's actions. If you recognise the importance of audio in games and want to make sound environments and scores to electrify players, then this is the route for you. You'll graduate with a portfolio of audio for a number of completed games on which you have worked closely with a multi-disciplined development team and have first-hand experience of the development pipeline. Previous Qualifications in the area of Music provides good grounding for this route.

Digital Games: Design

If working out the rules, systems, puzzles and challenges that shape a player's experience in a game is what you get excited about, then Digital Games: Design is for you. You'll graduate having had extensive experience as a game designer from paper concept to the finished article, with a portfolio of completed games on which you have worked closely with all the other development team disciplines. No specific subject area is required for this route in terms of previous qualifications, but a good, passionate understanding of games and the ability to understand and interpret software is advantageous.

Digital Games: Programming

Digital Games are only possible because of the programming skills that turn imagination into reality. This route allows you to learn programming and apply that knowledge to the specific context of making games in a team. If games are your passion and you want to become a games programmer, rather than take a more generic computing degree, then this is the route for you. You'll learn to program in C# and work with animators, artists, designers, sonic artists and writers to make completed games. Our programming course is designed to be highly accessible, and anyone with the desire to put in the work to learn to code can flourish on it. Certainly, a background in doing some IT, Computing or Maths will prove helpful if you choose this route.

Digital Games: Writing

Back stories, dialogue, quest texts, story arcs - digital games tell powerful stories unlike any other medium and need writers that can forge ahead in this burgeoning area of expertise. If writing for games is your dream job, then this is the route for you. You'll learn essential creative writing skills, and look into how these transition into the specific context of writing for games . As a game writer you will work with a full, multi-disciplined development team to make completed games, but you'll often be expected to pitch in as a designer or developer beyond the story. Previous qualifications in the area of English provide a good grounding for this route.

How the course is taught

Game development demands a huge range of skills to be brought together to produce a publishable game. A flavour of all these skills will be tasted in your first year, enabling you to communicate effectively with development team members. You’ll also specialise in one of six areas that are integral to game development. If you have enrolled for Design, Art and Animation routes you will share some further specialist modules in the first year to ensure you pursue the right route for your interests. You will move from 2D to 3D as the course progresses, with project team work at the heart of your learning experience.

What you'll do

Year 1

We'll introduce you to the major components of digital games and game development. You'll learn about what is needed to make a game, about asset creation, project management methodology and pipelines, pitching game ideas and theories exploring what games are and how they engage players. You'll develop specialist skills relevant to your chosen route and practise those skills in cross-disciplinary groups where you'll pitch a game concept to tutors and make a game together.

  • Game Development - Principles, roles and commercial context
  • Reading Games - Concepts, theoriess and approaches to game analysis
  • Route Module - Developing technical skills through practice

Year 2

With greater confidence in your various skills, in the 2nd year you’ll tackle a larger game project, working in a multi-skilled group, as occurs in professional game development. Made over the entire year, this extended project will allow you to research and experiment with various approaches and create innovative features. You’ll investigate theoretical strategies to player experience and will learn more about the games industry, what currently drives game development and trends from visiting industry professionals. You’ll continue to develop your specialist skills to inform your game making practice.

  • Game Form & Player Experience - Theory to support your practical work
  • Group Project - Develop your route skills in a solo project
  • Route Module - Further your specialist knowledge through workshops

Year 3

The Major Project lies at the heart of year 3, which sees you work in teams to produce a completed, potentially publishable game, as well as complete a smaller personal game project. You'll pitch those games to industry professionals, who will provide feedback on the work. You'll research a topic relevant to your game project and write an essay investigating the topic through the lens of theory. You'll also benefit from an industry mentor to sharpen your insight into working in the game industry and help you build contacts for your career after graduation.

  • Games as Culture - Engage in the place of games in culture, from ethics to representation
  • Major Game Project - the majority of this year is the building of a potentially oublishable game project by your team
  • Professional Practice - Learn about working in the sector and how to establish an indie games company through industry mentoring

Facilities

Our game development studios house the latest technology

  • Modern Development PCs equipped for game creation in our teaching spaces and studios
  • Industry-standard game engines including Unity and Unreal 4
  • Industry standard software including Zbrush, Blender and Adobe Suite

Staff

You’ll be taught by a dedicated team of game practitioners and academics. Collectively, their experience spans roles at Square-Enix, Io-Interactive, Riot Games, ZeniMax/Bathesda, Blizzard Entertainment and Octopus 8 Studios, having worked on titles such as Hitman, League of Legends, World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XII. You’ll also benefit from their extensive research expertise and pioneering approaches to game studies.

Assessment

Team work features heavily to reflect industry operations. Game making is the primary form of assessment.

  • Continuous assessment with no formal examinations
  • Visual, verbal and written assignments
  • Portfolio of project work

Careers

We anticipate that graduates will work within the games industry, either working within established studios or as self-employed game developers in the following roles (dependent on route):

  • Artist
  • Animator
  • Audio Producer
  • Game/Level Designer
  • Producer
  • Programmer
  • Technical Artist
  • Writer
  • Postgraduate research
  • Digital media industry

Interview and selection process

We invite successful applicants to post-offer meetings. These allow you to visit the campus and meet Tanya Krzywinska, Professor of Digital Games. These are optional and don’t have a bearing on offers made. 

Post-offer meeting dates for September 2016 applicants will be published soon.

Please contact the admissions team for bookings: admissions@falmouth.ac.uk

Student Mentor Scheme

Falmouth's Student Mentor Scheme matches new starters with a second year student, to help you settle in and find your feet. Our student mentors are now on Facebook. To chat to a mentor about the course, living in Cornwall or what to expect at Falmouth, check out the Digital Games group. You'll need to join the group before you can post.

If you don't have access to Facebook please email your name and proposed course to: studentmentors@falmouth.ac.uk

For more information about the application process, portfolios, interviews and selection days, please contact our admissions team using our enquiry form