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SSR - Games Development FdSc - Games Development

Games Development FdSc

Qualification – FdSc Games Development (awarding body: University of Bolton).
Academic Partner – University of Bolton
Duration – 2 years full-time, or 3.5 years part-time
Mode of Study – Part Time & Full Time
Time of Study – Daytime
Available atManchester

Select Campus for Course Details

Hours of Study – Generally, for each 20 credit module you undertake, you will be required to spend 200 studying; these hours will be divided between contact hours (time spent at SSR with staff) and independent study hours. On average 60-70 hours of contact time is timetabled per module.
Start Date – 18th September 2017
Entry Requirements – 64 UCAS Points, achieved from at least one, but preferably two GCSE A2 levels (or equivalent) in any subject. You should also have 5 GCSEs at Grade C or above (or equivalent, to include English and mathematics. Applicants will also be invited to an interview, with subject experience and enthusiasm the primary basis on which applicants will be selected. Once your application has been processed you will be sent a letter stating the date you that you are required to attend, and what will be required of you. If it is not possible for you to attend on the date proposed, please contact us to rearrange a date or agree alternative arrangements.

European applicants may not be able to attend an interview in the UK; once your application has been processed, you should submit an e-portfolio, CD or DVD of your recent work by arrangement with us; this will be followed by a telephone interview. If English is not your first language, English at IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) will be required. Please ask for details.

This course is open to UK and EU students. Applications from International students cannot usually be accepted because SSR does not have a Tier 4 licence. Therefore, if you require sponsorship under Tier 4 (i.e. a Tier 4 international student visa to study in the UK) then unfortunately we will be unable to consider your application for this course.
Tuition Fees – £9000 per year (full time), and £1500 per module (part time). Total costs for the course are £18,000 (full time and part time).
Funding – Information on funding for this course can be found here.
Apply Now

Application Details
Applications to this course are made via the UCAS system. To start your application click here.

You will need this information for your application:
UCAS Code: G450
UCAS Institution: B44
Campus code: R

If you need any further help or advice on the application process, please contact sarah.bradney@s-s-r.com or call us on 0161 276 2100.

ABOUT THE COURSE


Maybe you’re hooked on the beautiful simplicity of Monument Valley, or perhaps it’s the thrill of battle in Call of Duty that gets you; whatever your preference we designed this course with one major goal: to get you into the games industry.

You’ll have all the tools you need in our specially designed games suite, but we’ll also provide direct contact with big names from the worlds of games development, production and publishing so you can train from the experts in design, programming, art, animation, and production.

You’ll master software packages like Unreal Engine, Unity, Autodesk 3DS Max, Adobe Photoshop and ZBrush to develop your ideas all the way from concept sketches to full-blown environments, characters and animations, for use in your own game productions. We’ll also teach you the fundamentals of game scripting, so you can build on the problem-solving skills needed to transition seamlessly between the various disciplines of game development. In class, you'll work in a team-based environment that closely matches a real world studio, following professional workflows that ensure everyone operates with a single purpose with a strong emphasis on producing high value portfolios. Then in second year you can build your industry experience further with a work placement and some real life industry briefs.

And if you want more, there’s an opportunity for further study to a full BSc Honours degree with a third year option.

Whether you plan to be a valued member of an established AAA studio, or become an overnight sensation as a rock-star Indie developer with your creative vision, by the end of the course you’ll be on top of your game in every aspect of developing, marketing and shipping products that can compete across computer, console and mobile spaces.

Course Content
The course is split into modules over two levels (years):

Year 1 (HE4 modules):

Introduction to 3D Computer Graphics
In this module you will consider the limitations of real time rendering and the freedoms of non-real time rendering. You will also consider how this impacts on 3D model and texture creation and its bearing on production workflow. You will learn how to create 3D models and 2D textures through the manipulation of digital imagery, with industry standard software for appropriate deliverables. Study will focus on 3D modelling basics and asset creation, 2D digital image manipulation and industry standards and practices.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Create 3D models using industry standard construction techniques.
2. Create and place appropriate materials and textures on the surface of 3D models.
3. Render 3D in either real time or none real time.
4. Deliver assessments on time.
5. Describe your own work and demonstrate reflective learning and an ability to discuss and present experiences and elements of work.

Assessment: A portfolio of model work, and a report.

Introduction to Level Design
This module equips you with the core skills to be able to design and implement your own levels in modern industry standard level editors. You will be taught from the basics up to a level where you can create your own fully 3D levels including interactive elements, different game modes, lighting, single player, multiplayer, sound, and importing your own game assets. You will also explore the underlying theory behind the structure and design of levels, including but not limited to, prototyping and designing with both paper and digital tools, pacing and flow of gameplay, progressive difficulties, and implementation of basic mechanics. This module also forms the start of your portfolio by means of the assessment which includes an extensive amount of level design.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Demonstrate skill in the use of level editing tools.
2. Apply the relevant level design theory to the game content you create.
3. Provide the rationale behind your design choices relating to design theory.

Assessment: A portfolio of work.

Object Oriented Games Programming
This module uses your basic programming skills and introduces you to additional programming concepts and techniques, using an appropriate high-level programming language. You will learn and apply techniques to improve program design, including the use of functions, parameter passing, dynamic data structures (and their memory management issues) and the use of an Object Orientation (OO) approach to development. You will also learn how to document programs using appropriate OO techniques. You will use a suitable framework/library for developing 2D games, and by the end of the module you should be able to produce a 2D game and understand primary object-orientated concepts, such as association and aggregation, and more advanced object-orientated concepts such as inheritance.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Understand and use primary Object Orientation within programs.
2. Understand and use more advanced Object Orientation within programs.
3. Understand and use Object Orientation documentation.
4. Develop a 2D game from appropriate specifications.
5. Demonstrate a developed game and answer technical questions regarding its development.

Assessment: A portfolio, and a practical skills assessment.

Introduction to Digital Sculpting
This module will introduce you to digital sculpting techniques. The main focus will be on modelling and texture painting character, or character related assets. You will start with the initial theory through to applying it to practical projects. You will also be taught how these toolsets relate to current industry pipelines; case studies of existing industry titles will be used to demonstrate this. You will be taught the theory behind character creation for video games as well as other digital art forms such as film and TV. The practical knowledge taught in this module will be applied to a series of assignment tasks, which will involve both modelling and texturing. You will be expected to come up with your own concepts that fit in with the assignment criteria and then create these in the sculpting software.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Display knowledge of digital sculpting packages for games asset creation.
2. Deliver assessments and portfolio work that correspond to a set criteria.
3. Describe and reflect on the creation of your sculpted assets.
4. Explain the benefits and limitations involved in creating assets using sculpting software.
5. Demonstrate knowledge of the theory of character creation for a variety of different media.

Assessment: A portfolio of character modelling and a report.

Sound for Games
This module aims to provide an introduction to the principles of sound design and production for use in various visual media; in particular it has an emphasis of sounds within a computer game environment. You will be expected to develop awareness of the role of sound in a range of visual media and through effective analysis, planning and time management, implement appropriate solutions to a given brief within the specified deadlines. Production techniques and encoding formats are taught with reference to industry standards and requirements for the various media. This module is intended to enhance your portfolio of skills so that you can offer yourselves as a more rounded practitioner in the workplace. This will allow you to maximise your potential within games production teams and ultimately become more employable.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Plan, capture and record sound for a variety of game production scenarios.
2. Use industry-standard tools to process audio content and output in a number of file formats.
3. Describe the production work flow process from capture and recording to release for visual media output.
4. Manage your time and workflow.
5. Assess the use of sound and soundtracks within visual media for games.

Assessment: A soundtrack project, and a report.

Scholarship
This module will introduce the scholarly requirements of study at HE level. It concentrates on key scholarly requirements in terms of study skills (e.g. academic writing, giving a presentation), information skills (retrieving and referencing information, researching) and self-management skills (knowing one’s learning style, producing a personal development plan). You will develop these skills within the context of games development. By the nature of the module, you will experience learning in different contexts: in lectures, participation in seminars, engaging in smaller group work, one-to-one support, blended learning and, more generally, operating within a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and additional digital resources.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Demonstrate appropriate subject knowledge and practical skills in an area of relevance to the particular cluster.
2. Discuss relevant information and ideas obtained from a variety of historical and theoretical sources in order to contextualise key concepts.
3. Communicate with competence in various academic contexts, both written and oral.
4. Access and use effectively electronic information tools for communication, research and assessment.
5. Assess your own personal skills for the development of self-management skills.

Assessment: A portfolio of written work and presentation.

Year 2 (HE5 modules):

Environment Modelling for Games
In this module you will apply your existing knowledge to the creation of realistic and convincing environments for games. You will take environment designs through from concept to completion following industry standard project pipelines and using industry standard software. You will learn about model and texture creation for environments, looking at specific techniques and theories in current videogame environment production. Aesthetically you will look at key issues for level creation including scale and consistency. You will also be introduced to lighting theory and the techniques within game engines for lighting environments; lighting theory will include the study of real world examples, how light is used in media as an aesthetic tool and how it can enhance level design. You will also expand upon your material creation knowledge so that you can create effective environment scenes.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Produce models that are suitable for use in real-time games environments in response to a set criteria.
2. Show creativity in the development of games related assets for use in real-time games environments.
3. Evaluate the production of your real-time environment scene.
4. Summarise the theory and production pipelines involved in creating environment assets for games.
5. Demonstrate knowledge of lighting and material theory in real-time games environments.

Assessment: A portfolio of environment work, including a report.

Digital Sculpting for Games
This module further develops your skills in digital sculpting software, specifically for modelling and texture painting. You will also expand on your knowledge of anatomy through life drawing classes and will then apply this to a sculpted character in your assignments. The majority of study in this module is learning how to apply sculpting theory to assets that can actually be utilised in a real-time scene, so you will be taught how to make a character model and the relevant assets suitable for rigging, while also examining existing games’ polygon counts and topology. You will be expected to produce character concepts as part of your assignment that fit within defined criteria; you will then create them in the sculpting package and follow the taught pipeline to finalise the models for use in a real-time scene.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Create character assets that follow industry pipelines and can be utilised in real-time scenes.
2. Produce anatomy related traditional art portfolio based on life drawing sessions and anatomy reference.
3. Apply anatomy knowledge to concept designs and sculpted character work.
4. Criticise and reflect on the production of your coursework.
5. Summarise and analyse the pipeline involved in creating character related art assets using digital sculpting software for videogames.

Assessment: A portfolio of life-drawings and character sculptures, including a report.

Intermediate Games Scripting
This module equips you with the skills required to produce scripted artefacts using a game environment. You will also be exposed to scripting IDEs, leading to the production of a scripted artefact and environments, which includes concepts of visual literacy and camera placement and control. You will also learn about scripted events, and be introduced to the concept of scripting within a games engine. Typically, you will develop a game which includes a user interface, in-game player interaction and simple mechanics. In addition to these major skills you will be able to develop your communication and teamworking skills.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Understand the elements of visual literacy that are relevant to the creation of artefacts in games.
2. Produce documentation to precisely define the direction of a scripted artefact.
3. Communicate effectively with other members of a team.
4. Reflect on the application of skills in the course of the module.
5. Demonstrate skill in the use of scripting environments, as well as applying standard programming notations and conventions.

Assessment: Two projects; a scripted artefact and a game environment with accompanying documentation.

Data Structures for Games
This module will provide you with an introduction to the data structures, algorithms and programming constructs underpinning computer games software development. The purpose of the module is to prepare you for designing, analysing, implementing and using appropriate data structures and algorithms to solve commonly needed tasks in computer games. You will continue with the Object Orientated approaches from previous work, and include the use of Polymorphism to enable abstract classes and interfaces to be used within your programs. You will be introduced to more advanced data structures and their respective advantages and disadvantages, and you will analyse algorithms in terms of their efficiency to use appropriate algorithms within your code. By the end of the module, you will be able to use and justify appropriate data structures and algorithms for a specified game.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Design, analyse and use Object Orientation within programs.
2. Design, justify and use Object Orientation within programs.
3. Implement a standard algorithm.
4. Justify and use appropriate data structures and algorithm.
5. Develop a 2D game from appropriate specifications.

Assessment: A set practical exercise, and a game portfolio using data structures and algorithms.

Portfolio Project
This module will help you develop enterprise and employability skills through the development of a showcase piece of work, and engage you in personal development planning. The main vehicle for this will be the development of a piece of work that will form the centrepiece of your ‘show reel’ or portfolio of work that will be initiated in this module and developed across the remainder of the course. The artefact to be generated will involve the development of skills employed during your study so far, enabling you to experience on an individual basis the set of skills required to undertake work in your chosen field.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Produce conceptual designs, specification and planning documents.
2. Reflect on past achievements and identified personal and professional aims and objectives for remainder of course and transition to employment.
3. Demonstrate an ability to manage projects effectively, within the constraints set by a design brief.
4. Demonstrate creativity and efficiency in the production of artefact(s).

Assessment: A portfolio, and a report.

Work-based Learning
This module aims to enable you to acquire skills and knowledge through work-based learning, which will extend and reinforce your understanding of games development. You will be expected to explore potential vocational opportunities and consider how you can progress from your studies to work in the wider world, and explore links between what you have learned on the course and games development in the working environment. The work-based learning can either be with an employer, or on a self-employed or freelance basis, for instance by preparing work for submission to a competition or festival, or undertaking a commissioning opportunity, or working on a community media project. The field of work you choose to expand your knowledge and understanding of media production is up to you.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Explain working practices in a specific workplace.
2. Explain the business and/or wider community environment in which an organisation operates.
3. Assess how an organisation achieves its aims with reference to the style and structure of internal management including the definition of staff responsibilities, communication methods and overall workplace culture.
4. Apply concepts, knowledge and/or analytical skills developed in your course to some element of the whole situation or experience.
5. Evaluate your experience, especially the relevance of your existing skills and knowledge to the requirements of the placement, and identify points of personal development and learning.

Assessment: A portfolio presented within the class, and which details a period of work placement.
Key Information
Qualification – FdSc Games Development (awarding body: University of Bolton).

Tuition Fees – £9000 per year (full time), and £1500 per module (part time). Total costs for the course are £18,000 (full time and part time).

Funding – Information on funding for this course can be found here.

Duration –2 years full time, or 3.5 years part time

Start Date – September 2017

Entry Requirements – 64 UCAS Points, achieved from at least one, but preferably two GCSE A2 levels (or equivalent) in any subject. You should also have 5 GCSEs at Grade C or above (or equivalent, to include English and mathematics. Applicants will also be invited to an interview, with subject experience and enthusiasm the primary basis on which applicants will be selected. Once your application has been processed you will be sent a letter stating the date you that you are required to attend, and what will be required of you. If it is not possible for you to attend on the date proposed, please contact us to rearrange a date or agree alternative arrangements.

European applicants may not be able to attend an interview in the UK; once your application has been processed, you should submit an e-portfolio, CD or DVD of your recent work by arrangement with us; this will be followed by a telephone interview. If English is not your first language, English at IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) will be required. Please ask for details.

This course is open to UK and EU students. Applications from International students cannot usually be accepted because SSR does not have a Tier 4 licence. Therefore, if you require sponsorship under Tier 4 (i.e. a Tier 4 international student visa to study in the UK) then unfortunately we will be unable to consider your application for this course.

Contact Hours – Generally, for each 20 credit module you undertake, you will be required to spend 200 studying; these hours will be divided between contact hours (time spent at SSR with staff) and independent study hours. On average, 60-70 hours of contact time is timetabled per module and each module might be split like this:



Associated costs
– We will not charge you any additional fees or ask you to pay any additional costs that are mandatory for the completion of your course.* In addition to the course fees, there are some further costs which you may incur as a student on this course. These costs are optional and are not mandatory to your studies. These might involve buying for example:
  • USB/flash/pen drives; some submissions will require work to be submitted on these, and while you will have them returned to you eventually this may take some time (buying in bulk will save money and an 8GB might be as little as £2-£3)
  • Unreal/Unity Marketplace assets; although we will provide as many 3D assets and animations as we can, you may wish to reserve around £100 for specific assets to enhance your game projects
  • In year two, attendance at the Develop Conference in Brighton is encouraged; entry can be up to £800 for an Access All Areas pass, but there is also a level of free access available. Travel to and from Brighton is around £80 (not including accommodation)
*Terms and conditions apply, please see http://www.bolton.ac.uk/fees for further information

Contact details - For an informal discussion and further details about the course please contact the course leader:
Darby Costello - darby.costello@s-s-r.com  
Tel: +44 (0)161 276 2100
Apply
Applications to this course are made via the UCAS system. To start your application click here.

You will need this information for your application:
UCAS Code: G450
UCAS Institution: B44
Campus code: R

If you need any further help or advice on the application process, please contact sarah.bradney@s-s-r.com or call us on 0161 276 2100.


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Course Information

Subject Area
Games Development
Course Modules –

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