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Game Design and Development MS

Semester Requirements

Tona Henderson Director
(585) 475-7243, tahics@rit.edu

Jessica Bayliss, Graduate Program Coordinator
(585) 475-2507, jdbics@rit.edu

http://igm.rit.edu/

Program overview

The master of science degree in game design and development explores the entertainment technology landscape, along with other related areas of software development. The program has its technical roots in the computing and information science disciplines, while simultaneously covering the breadth of the game development field through course work in topics such as computer graphics design, human-computer interaction, interactive narrative, and game design. The degree is specifically for students whom aspire to careers within the professional games industry or a related field such as simulation, edutainment, or visualization.

This is a two-year, on-campus, cohort-based program in which students are admitted through a portfolio review process. Upon completion of their course work, students form development teams that construct a working game engine and software title as the program capstone experience. This requirement includes both individual and group expectations. The capstone culminates in a private defense before program faculty, as well as a public exhibition. Combined, these requirements provide a unique and comprehensive educational experience for individuals who aspire to a career in the game development industry.

Curriculum

The program's curriculum consists of required courses followed by advanced electives, and a capstone experience.

Capstone experience

During the second year, students complete a team-based capstone experience where students present and defend their work. This presentation includes a private faculty review, which constitutes the capstone defense, a public presentation, and a demonstration.

Game design and development, MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
IGME-601 Game Development Processes 3
IGME-602 Game Design 3
IGME-603 Gameplay and Prototyping 3
IGME-695 Colloquium in Game Design and Development 2
  Advanced Electives 9
Second Year
IGME-788 Capstone Design 3
  Advanced Electives 6
IGME-795 Game Industry Themes and Perspectives  1
IGME-789 Capstone Development 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 33

Advanced electives

Students choose five of the following advanced electives:

IGME-670 Digital Audio Production
IGME-671 Interactive Game Audio
IGME-680 IGM Production Studio
IGME-681 Innovation and Invention
IGME-720 Social and Pervasive Game Design
IGME-730 Game Design and Development for Casual and Mobile Platforms
IGME-740 Game Graphics Programming
IGME-750 Game Engine Design and Development
IGME-760 Artificial Intelligence for Gameplay
IGME-790 Graduate Seminar in IGM
IGME-796 Advanced Topics in Game Design
IGME-797 Advanced Topics in Game Development
IGME-799 Independent Study

Admission requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS in game design and development, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Hold an undergraduate degree in a relevant field, such as information technology, computer science, software engineering, or computer graphics. Students with undergraduate degrees in related disciplines such as computer animation or human-computer interaction may be considered.
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.25 or a first-class international degree with distinction.
  • Submit a portfolio that includes evidence of individual and group projects (clearly marked as such) relevant to the area that the individual wishes to study within the degree program.
  • Complete a graduate application.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A minimum score of 570 (paper-based) or 88 (Internet-based) is required. International applicants also are required to submit scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).

Due to the cohort nature of the program, students are admitted in the fall semester only. Admission to the program is highly competitive. While GRE scores are not required, students may submit scores to strengthen their application. Those applicants with a GPA below 3.25 are required to submit GRE scores.

Additional information

Prerequisites

Students are expected to have at least one year of significant programming experience in a current object-oriented language—preferably C++ or Java—and a solid working knowledge of website development and interactive multimedia concepts. If students do not have these prerequisites, additional course work may be recommended to bridge any educational gaps.

Maximum time limit

University policy requires that graduate programs be completed within seven years of the student's initial registration for courses in the program. Bridge courses are excluded.

[arrow] Click to view program requirements in the Quarter Calendar

Quarter Curriculum - For Reference Only

Effective fall 2013, RIT will convert its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. The following content has been made available as reference only. Currently matriculated students who began their academic programs in quarters should consult their academic adviser for guidance and course selection.

Program overview

The master of science degree in game design and development allows students to explore the entertainment technology landscape, along with other related areas of software development. The program has its technical roots in the computing and information science disciplines, while simultaneously covering the breadth of the game development field through course work in topics such as computer graphics design, human-computer interaction, interactive narrative, and game design. The degree is specifically for students whom aspire to careers within the professional games industry or a related field such as simulation, edutainment, or visualization.

This is a two-year, on-campus, cohort-based program in which students are admitted through a portfolio review process. Upon completion of their course work, students form development teams that construct a working game engine and software title as the program capstone experience. This requirement includes both individual and group expectations. The capstone culminates in a private defense before program faculty, as well as a public exhibition. Combined, these requirements provide a unique and comprehensive educational experience for individuals who aspire to a career in the game development industry.

Curriculum

The program's curriculum consists of a seminar sequence of required courses followed by a core course sequence, a minor, and a capstone experience.

Seminar sequence

Students will complete a sequence of five required courses that provide a foundation in game design and development. The sequence is designed to bring students of various cohorts together to investigate industry issues. The required courses are: History and Critical Analysis of Computer Games and Interactive Entertainment (4085-791), Online Identity, Social and Community Behavior (4085-794), Emerging Themes in Entertainment Technology (4085-790), Development Processes in the Games Industry (4085-792), and Business and Legal Aspects of Game Development (4085-793).

Capstone experience

During the second year, students complete a 20-week, team-based capstone experience where students present and defend their work. This presentation includes a private faculty review, which constitutes the capstone defense, a public presentation, and a demonstration.

Semester conversion
Effective fall 2013, RIT will convert its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. Each program and its associated courses have been sent to the New York State Department of Education for approval of the semester plan. For reference, the following charts illustrate the typical course sequence for this program in both quarters and semesters. Students should consult their graduate program adviser with questions regarding planning and course selection.

Game design and development, MS degree, typical course sequence (quarters)

CourseQtr. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
4085-791 History and Critical Analysis of Computer Games and Interactive Entertainment 4
4085-794 Online Identity, Social and Community Behavior 4
4085-790 Emerging Themes in Entertainment Technology 4
  Core Sequence Course 1, 2, 3 12
  Minor Course 1, 2, 3 12
Second Year
4085-792 Development Processes in the Games Industry 4
4085-793 Business and Legal Aspects of Game Development 4
  Core Sequence Course 4, 5, 6 12
4085-887 Capstone Design 4
4085-888 Capstone Development 2*
Total Quarter Credit Hours 62

* The number of capstone credits does not fully represent the expected level of effort and work involved (i.e. more than 6 credits of course work) in successfully completing the development of a game.

Game design and development, MS degree, typical course sequence (semesters), effective fall 2013

CourseSem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
IGME-601 Game Development Processes 3
IGME-602 Game Design 3
IGME-603 Gameplay and Prototyping 3
IGME-695 Colloquium in Game Design and Development 2
  Advanced Elective I, 2, 3 9
Second Year
IGME-788 Capstone Design 3
  Advanced Elective 4, 5 6
IGME-795 Game Industry Themes and Perspectives  1
IGME-789 Capstone Development 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 33

Core course sequence

Students choose one of the following core course sequences: game engine development or artificial intelligence. These courses provide a foundational focus for the student's study in the program.

CourseQtr. Cr. Hrs.
Game engine development
4005-761 Computer Graphics I 4
4005-762 Computer Graphics II 4
4085-834 2D Graphics Programming 4
4085-835 3D Graphics Programming 4
4005-763 Computer Animation: Algorithms and Techniques 4
4085-836 Game Engine Design and Development 4
Artificial intelligence and simulation
4005-750 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence 4
4085-891 Advanced AI: Evolutionary Computing 4
4005-752 Artificial Intelligence for Interactive Environments 4
4005-759 Topics in Artificial Intelligence 4
4005-756 Genetic Algorithms 4
4005-755 Neural Networks and Machine Learning 4

Minor

Students complete a minor consisting of three courses. The minor gives students an opportunity to investigate a game-related specialty track of the student's interest. Students may select one of the pre-approved minors, or they may create a minor with the approval of the program director.

CourseQtr. Cr. Hrs.
Asset creation and management
2014-721 3DDG Modeling 4
Plus two courses from the following:
   2014-722    3DDG Interactive Motion 4
   2014-731    3DDG Lighting 4
   2014-732    3DDG Shading 4
   2014-733    3DDG Character Design 4
   2014-747    3DDG Rendering 4
   2014-798    Production Pipeline 4
Content authoring for games
4085-728 Interactive Narrative 4
4085-732 Game Design 4
4085-744 Building Online Communities 4
Human-computer interaction
4004-745 Foundations of Human Computer Interaction 4
4004-748 Usability Engineering 4
4004-749 Usability Testing 4
Database architecture and design
4002-720 Data Object Development 4
4002-784 Foundations of Database Client/Server Connectivity 4
4002-785 Fundamentals of DBMS Architecture and Implementation 4

Admission requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS in game design and development, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Hold an undergraduate degree in a relevant field, such as information technology, computer science, software engineering, or computer graphics. Students with undergraduate degrees in related disciplines such as computer animation or human computer interaction may be considered.
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.25 or a first-class international degree with distinction.
  • Submit a portfolio that includes evidence of individual and group projects (clearly marked as such) relevant to the area that the individual wishes to study within the degree program.
  • Complete a graduate application.
  • International applicants, whose native language is not English, must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A minimum score of 570 (paper-based) or 88 (Internet-based) is required. Scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) must also be submitted.

Due to the cohort nature of the program, students are admitted in the fall quarter only. Admission to the program is highly competitive, and applicants are selected in a manner that ensures balance among the various curricular tracks and specialties. Students may use GRE scores to strengthen their application and those applicants with a GPA below 3.25 are required to submit GRE scores.

Additional information

Prerequisites

Students are expected to have at least one year of significant programming experience in a current object-oriented language—preferably C++ or Java—and a solid working knowledge of website development and interactive multimedia concepts. If students do not have these prerequisites, additional course work may be recommended to bridge any educational gaps.

Maximum time limit

University policy requires that graduate programs be completed within seven years of the student's initial registration for courses in the program. Bridge courses are excluded.