Game Design and Development Bachelor of science degree

bc216712-af82-435a-b920-18ae71de747c | 128779

Overview

Dual Degree

Aspire to a career within the professional games industry or a related field such as simulation, edutainment, or visualization.


Game design and development emphasizes game programming within a core computing education to prepare students for careers in the game, simulation, modeling, training, and visualization industries. The emphasis on computing fundamentals gives students more career options and also prepares them for graduate school. Students gain a breadth of knowledge in game design, interactive media, user interaction, animation, modeling, math, science, and design in the context of computational game development. Students can further specialize in engines, graphics, audio, narrative, and more with elective choices that span the entire university.

The game design and development major allows students to explore the entertainment technology landscape and related areas, while still pursuing a broad-based university education. The degree is intended specifically for students who aspire to hold careers within the professional games industry or a related field, such as simulation, edutainment, or visualization. This degree also provides students with a core computing education that prepares them for graduate study or employment in a number of computing fields.

With an emphasis on game programming, the major exposes students to a breadth of development and design processes. Students complete a core of required course work and then pursue advanced studies that can be customized to individual interests and career goals. Students can further specialize their major by taking electives in areas such as game design, production, engines and systems, graphics programming and animation, mobile, web, audio, and more. This depth of course work also enables students to build a robust portfolio of games and other interactive projects.

Cooperative education

Cooperative education is full-time, paid work experience that provides students with an opportunity to learn on the job in real-world industry setting—a definite edge when applying for jobs after graduation. Students are required to complete two blocks of co-op, which may start after their second year of study. Although students usually complete co-ops during the summer term, they may also be completed during the academic year.

Industries


  • Computer Games

  • Internet and Software

  • Electronic and Computer Hardware

  • Movies, TV, and Music

  • Defense

Typical Job Titles

Game Developer Game Designer
Mechanic Designer Level Designer
Programmer Modeler
Audio Programmer Producer
Quality Assurance Tester Technical Artist
User Interface Programmer Tools Programmer
Network Programmer Graphics Programmer
Artificial Intelligence Programmer Lead Programmer
Developer Software Engineer
Mobile Engineer Interactive Developer

86%

outcome rate of graduates

$64.5k

median first-year salary of graduates

Latest News

Curriculum

Game Design and Development, BS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
IGME-105
Game Development and Algorithmic Problem Solving I
This course introduces students within the domain of game design and development to the fundamentals of computing through problem solving, abstraction, and algorithmic design. Students will learn the basic elements of game software development, including problem decomposition, the design and implementation of game applications, and the testing/debugging of their designs.
4
IGME-106
Game Development and Algorithmic Problem Solving II
This course furthers the exploration of problem solving, abstraction, and algorithmic design. Students apply the object-oriented paradigm of software development, with emphasis upon fundamental concepts of encapsulation, inheritance, and polymorphism. In addition, object structures and class relationships comprise a key portion of the analytical process including the exploration of problem structure and refactoring. Intermediate concepts in software design including GUIs, threads, events, networking, and advanced APIs are also explored. Students are also introduced to data structures, algorithms, exception handling and design patterns that are relevant to the construction of game systems.
4
IGME-110
Introduction to Interactive Media
This course provides an overview of media in historical, current and future contexts. Incorporating lectures and discussion with hands on work involving written and interactive media assets, students examine the role of written and visual media from theoretical as well as practical perspectives. The course also provides an introduction to interactive media development techniques, including digital media components and delivery environments. Students will be required to write formal analysis and critique papers along with digital modes of writing including collaborative editing and effective presentation design.
3
IGME-119
2D Animation and Asset Production
This course provides a theoretical framework covering the principles of animation and its use in game design to affect user experience. Emphasis will be placed upon principles that support character development and animations that show cause and effect. Students will apply these principles to create animations that reflect movement and character appropriate for different uses and environments.
3
MATH-131
LAS Perspective 7A (mathematical): Discrete Mathematics
This course is an introduction to the topics of discrete mathematics, including number systems, sets and logic, relations, combinatorial methods, graph theory, regular sets, vectors, and matrices.
4
MATH-185
LAS Perspective 7B (mathematical): Mathematics of Graphical Simulation I
This is the first part of a two course sequence that aims at providing the mathematical tools needed to manipulate graphical objects and to model and simulate the physical properties of these objects. Topics from linear algebra, primarily in two and three dimensional space, analytic geometry, and calculus will be presented. The emphasis is on linear algebra, particularly its application to problems in geometry and graphical systems.
3
PHYS-111
College Physics I
This is an introductory course in algebra-based physics focusing on mechanics and waves. Topics include kinematics, planar motion, Newton’s laws, gravitation; rotational kinematics and dynamics; work and energy; momentum and impulse; conservation laws; simple harmonic motion; waves; data presentation/analysis and error propagation. The course is taught using both traditional lectures and a workshop format that integrates material traditionally found in separate lecture, recitation, and laboratory settings.
4
YOPS-10
RIT 365: RIT Connections
RIT 365 students participate in experiential learning opportunities designed to launch them into their career at RIT, support them in making multiple and varied connections across the university, and immerse them in processes of competency development. Students will plan for and reflect on their first-year experiences, receive feedback, and develop a personal plan for future action in order to develop foundational self-awareness and recognize broad-based professional competencies.
0
 
First Year Writing
3
 
LAS Perspective 1 (social)
3
 
LAS Perspective 2 (artistic)
3
 
Wellness Education*
0
Second Year
IGME-099
Co-op Preparation Workshop
This course helps students prepare for co-operative education employment (“co-op”) by developing job search strategies and material. Students will explore current and emerging aspects of IGM fields to help focus their skill development strategies. Students are introduced to RIT’s Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education, and learn about professional and ethical responsibilities for their co-op and subsequent professional experiences. Students will work collaboratively to build résumés and digital portfolios, and to prepare for interview situations.
0
IGME-202
Interactive Media Development
In this course, students will learn to create visually rich interactive experiences. It is a course in programming graphics and media, but it is also a course on the relationship between ideas and code. Students will explore topics in math and physics by building programs that simulate and visualize processes in the natural world. Assignments will include major programming projects, such as building a virtual world inhabited by digital creatures that display observable behaviors.
3
IGME-209
Data Structures and Algorithms for Games and Simulations I
This course focuses upon the application of data structures, algorithms, and fundamental Newtonian physics to the development of video game applications, entertainment software titles, and simulations. Topics covered include 3D coordinate systems and the implementation of affine transformations, geometric primitives, and efficient data structures and algorithms for real-time collision detection. Furthermore, Newtonian mechanics principles will be examined in the context of developing game and entertainment software where they will be applied to compute the position, velocity and acceleration of a point-mass subject to forces and the conservation of momentum and energy. Programming assignments are a required part of this course.
3
IGME-219
3D Animation and Asset Production
This course provides an overview of 3D game asset production. Basic ideas learned within the first asset production course are also revisited within the 3D environs. Topics covered include modeling, texturing, skinning and animation. Emphasis is put on low polygon modeling techniques, best practices in game art production, and effective communication strategies between artists, programmers and designers.
3
IGME-220
Game Design and Development I
This course examines the core process of game design, from ideation and structured brainstorming in an entertainment technology context through the examination of industry standard processes and techniques for documenting and managing the design process. This course specifically examines techniques for assessing and quantifying the validity of a given design, for managing innovation and creativity in a game development-specific context, and for world and character design. Specific emphasis is placed on both the examination and deconstruction of historical successes and failures, along with presentation of ethical and cultural issues related to the design and development of interactive software and the role of individuals in a team-oriented design methodology. Students in this class are expected to actively participate and engage in the culture of design and critique as it relates to the field.
3
IGME-235
Introduction to Web Technology for Game Developers
This course introduces web technologies commonly used in the production and distribution of both content focused web sites, and in the creation of interactive applications and games. Students will create web sites and web-native interactive experiences, and publish them to the web. Programming projects are required.
3
IGME-236
Interaction, Immersion & the Media Interface
This course examines the concepts of interface and interaction models in a media-specific context, with particular emphasis on the concept of the immersive interface. This course explores concepts such as perception, expectation, Gestalt Theory, interactivity, Semiotics, presence, and immersion in the context of media application development and deployment. In addition, underlying concepts of cognitive psychology and cognitive science will be integrated where appropriate. These theories are then integrated in the exploration of the immersive interface, and with related concepts such as user-level-interface modification, augmentation of identity, and the interface as a social catalyst.
3
Choose one of the following:
3
   MATH-171
   Calculus A
This is the first course in a three-course sequence (COS-MATH-171, -172, -173). This course includes a study of functions, continuity, and differentiability. The study of functions includes the exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions. Limits of functions are used to study continuity and differentiability. The study of the derivative includes the definition, basic rules, and implicit differentiation. Applications of the derivative include optimization and related-rates problems.
 
   MATH-181
   Project-Based Calculus I
This is the first in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers functions, limits, continuity, the derivative, rules of differentiation, applications of the derivative, Riemann sums, definite integrals, and indefinite integrals.
 
   MATH-181A
   Calculus I
 
   MATH-186
   Mathematics of Graphical Simulation II
This is the second part of a two-course sequence that aims at providing the mathematical tools needed to manipulate graphical objects and to model and simulate the physical properties of these objects. Topics from linear algebra, primarily in two and three dimensional space, analytic geometry, and calculus will be presented. The emphasis is on analytic geometry and calculus, as applied to geometric and physical simulations.
 
 
LAS Perspective 3 (ethical)
3
 
LAS Perspective 4 (scientific principles)
3
 
LAS Perspective 5 (artistic)
3
 
Undergraduate Cooperative Education (summer)
Co-op
Third Year
IGME-309
Data Structures and Algorithms for Games and Simulations II
This course continues the investigation into the application of data structures, algorithms, and fundamental Newtonian mechanics required for the development of video game applications, simulations, and entertainment software titles. Topics covered include quaternion representation of orientation and displacement, cubic curves and surfaces, classifiers, recursive generation of geometric structures, texture mapping, and the implementation of algorithms within game physics engines for collision detection and collision resolution of rigid bodies, and the numerical integration of the equations of motion. In addition, advanced data structures such as B+ trees and graphs will be investigated from the context of game application and entertainment software development. Programming assignments are a requirement for this course.
3
IGME-320
Game Design and Development II
This course continues to examine the core theories of game design as they relate to the professional field. Beginning with a formalized pitch process, this course examines the design and development paradigm from story-boarding and pre-visualization through rapid iteration, refinement, and structured prototyping exercises to further examine the validity of a given design. Specific emphasis is placed on iterative prototyping models, and on methodologies for both informal and formal critique. This course also explores production techniques and life-cycle in the professional industry.
3
IGME-330
Rich Media Web Application Development I
This course provides students the opportunity to explore the design and development of Media Rich Internet Applications (MRIAs). This course moves beyond client and server side web development, and explores issues of presentation, interactivity, persistence, and extensibility common among such applications. Specifically, items explored include framework characteristics, data management, persistence, data binding, information manipulation, as well as data presentation.
3
 
LAS Immersion 1, 2
6
 
LAS Electives
6
 
Advanced Elective
3
 
Free Electives
6
 
Undergraduate Cooperative Education (summer)
Co-op
Fourth Year
 
Advanced Electives
9
 
Free Electives
9
 
LAS Immersion 3
3
 
LAS Electives
9
Total Semester Credit Hours
124

Please see General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.

‡ Students will satisfy this requirement by taking either a 3 or 4 credit hour lab science course. If a science course consists of separate lecture and laboratory sections, students must take both the lecture and the lab portions to fulfill the requirement.

Advanced electives

IGME-340
Multi-platform Media App Development
Interactive media applications are no longer restricted to personal computers. They can now be found on many distinct hardware platforms including mobile, tablet, wearable, and large-screened computing devices. In this course, students will learn to design, prototype and develop media rich interactive experiences that can be deployed to a wide variety of hardware devices. Programming projects are required.
IGME-420
Level Design
This course introduces level design theory and best practice through game level analysis, evaluation, and creation. Students will learn by analyzing game levels from existing games and discussing what made those levels successful or unsuccessful. Through their analysis and hands on experience, students will gain an understanding of overall level design including layout, flow, pacing, and balance. They will enhance their understanding of level design principles by creating their own game levels.
IGME-421
Tabletop Game Design and Development
This course explores issues pertaining to design, mechanics, development, and production of analog, tabletop hobby games, which include board games, card games, wargames, and other non-digital games catering to multiple players. Students will analyze and apply concepts and mechanics of modern tabletop game design, and build and test tabletop games. Students will work with development and prototyping tools, explore component design and art direction, and work with desktop publishing technologies. In addition, they will work directly with board game publishing and manufacturing technologies and services, and study factors pertaining to the business of tabletop games.
IGME-423
Games for Change
This course provides students with the opportunity to explore games and simulations for social change and learning. Students will explore various research, design, and development techniques for applying games to addressing issues and problems in communities, from local to global. Students will learn to design and develop games and simulations as well as how to gather and analyze data about the games’ usage. Topics may include issues-based organizing and advocacy, place-based learning, and games for civics. In addition, students are exposed to current debates in the field of Games for Change.
IGME-430
Rich Media Web Application Development II
This course provides students the opportunity to continue the exploration of Media Rich Internet Applications (MRIAs). Topics include communications for media ecologies, distributed web application frameworks, advanced interactivity, data transformation, representation, automation, persistence, and large scale systems deployment. In addition, students are exposed to concepts and technologies related to the next generation of MRIA development.
IGME-440
Online Virtual Worlds and Simulations
Students will create online virtual worlds and simulations using 3D development technologies. Critical to the exploration of this area, students will learn to utilize 3D constructs for the presentation of and interaction with interactive content and dynamic experiences. The course allows students to integrate prior knowledge in design, programming, and interaction for the creation of such experiences. Individual and group projects will be required.
IGME-450
Casual Game Development
This course explores the design and construction of casual game experiences. Topics include modes of casual game play, mechanics for casual games, characteristics of successful games, development processes, and the distribution of casual games. Students will create casual games, and employ technologies to address issues of scalability, presentation, social interconnectivity, and game analytics.
IGME-451
Systems Concepts for Games and Media
This course focuses on systems-based theoretical models of computation in the context of a media-delivery modality. Students will explore concepts such as memory management, parallel processing, platform limitations, storage, scheduling, system I/O, and optimization from a media-centric perspective. Particular emphasis will be placed on the integration of these concepts in relation to industry standard hardware including game consoles, mobile devices, custom input hardware, etc.
IGME-460
Data Visualization
Our world is flooded with data, and making sense of it can be a challenge. Visualizations help by exposing information, trends, and correlations that might otherwise go unnoticed in the raw data. In this course, students will learn to collect, clean, organize, and filter data sets of their own choosing. They will learn and apply principles from multiple fields including visual design, the psychology of perception, user experience design, and ethics. They will create static and interactive visualizations with a variety of information structures (hierarchies, maps, timelines, etc.). Students will learn to develop exploratory experiences that tell the story within the data. Programming projects are required.
IGME-470
Physical Computing and Alternative Interfaces
The rich variety and widespread adoption of gestural touch screens, motion-sensing devices, weight-reactive surfaces, wearable digital devices, and similar interface products demonstrates the demand for well-integrated devices and services that seamlessly couple people and environments. Such products can interface computers with real-world inputs and outputs, and give people new ways of controlling and experiencing their devices and information. This course provides a rapid technical introduction to basic electronics (components, circuits, microcontrollers, etc.) and emphasizes the application of interface design concepts to physically interactive and innovative product development. The course requires solo and team projects that blend electronics, programming, and design.
IGME-480
Current Topics in Interactive Development
Interactive media development is a rapidly evolving field. This course provides an opportunity for students to learn and experiment with emerging themes, practices, and technologies that are not addressed elsewhere in the curriculum. Topics covered in this course will vary based on current developments in the field. Students will explore, design, and develop creative interactive experiences pertaining to the semester's domain area. Programming projects are required.
IGME-529
Foundations of Interactive Narrative
This course focuses on the major elements of narrative for interactive environments. Students in this course explore the basics of narrative in the context of interactive games and media, with examination of digital storytelling in games and interactive environments of several varieties. Branching narrative, hypertext, multi- and non-linear concepts are also explored with an emphasis on balancing immersive and interactive aspects of digital narrative.
IGME-531
Aesthetics and Computation
Students will design and build creative applications, while studying the history of computation in the visual arts, music, and other relevant areas. Technical topics include advanced audiovisual programming techniques, while theoretical topics include foundational discussions on artificial life, generative art, microsound, participatory and process-based art, programming as performance, and computational creativity. Individual and/or group projects will be required.
IGME-540
Foundations of Game Graphics Programming
Students will explore the use of an advanced graphics API to access hardware-accelerated graphics in a real-time graphics engine context. The course will involve discussion of scene graphs, optimizations, and integration with the API object structure, as well as input schemes, content pipelines, and 2D and 3D rendering techniques. Students will also explore the advanced use of the API calls in production code to construct environments capable of real-time performance. Students will construct from scratch a fully functional graphics engine, with library construction for game development.
IGME-550
Foundations of Game Engine Design and Development
This course will provide students with theory and practical skills in game engine design topic areas such as understanding the graphics pipeline as it influences engine design, hardware principles and the relationship to game engine construction, mathematical principles involved in game engine design, scene graph construction and maintenance, texture and materials management, collision systems, physics systems, particle systems, and control systems. Furthermore, this course will examine software and toolsets that assist game engine designers in their tasks. Students will be expected to design and implement a game engine in teams as well as properly document their design and development strategy.
IGME-560
Artificial Intelligence for Game Environments
This course explores introductory artificial intelligence concepts through both a theoretical and practical perspective, with an emphasis on how to apply these concepts in a game development context. In particular the course focuses on applying concepts such as search, reactive intelligence, knowledge representation, and machine learning to real-time situations and applications as relevant to the field of entertainment technology and simulation.
IGME-570
Digital Audio Production
Technologies and techniques for producing and manipulating digital audio are explored. Topics include digital representations of sound, digital audio recording and production, MIDI, synthesis techniques, real-time performance issues, and the application of digital audio to multimedia and Web production.
IGME-571
Interactive Game and Audio
This course provides students with exposure to the design, creation and production of audio in interactive applications and computer games. Students will become familiar with the use of sound libraries, recording sounds in the studio and in the field, generating sound with synthesizers, and effects processing. Students will create sound designs for interactive media, integrating music, dialog, ambient sound, sound effects and interface sounds within interactive programs.
IGME-580
IGM Production Studio
This course will allow students to work as domain specialists on teams completing one or more large projects over the course of the semester. The projects will be relevant to experiences of the interactive games and media programs, but will require expertise in a variety of sub-domains, including web design and development, social computing, computer game development, multi-user media, human-computer interaction and streaming media. Students will learn to apply concepts of project management and scheduling, production roles and responsibilities, and their domain skill sets to multidisciplinary projects. Students will complete design documents, progress reports and final assessments of themselves and their teammates in addition to completing their assigned responsibilities on the main projects.
IGME-581
Innovation and Invention
In this course, students explore the process and products of innovation and invention. Each semester a multi-disciplinary team of students conceives and develops a different outside the box project. Readings, projects, scholarly term papers, and pragmatic challenges of collaboration and communication across disciplines provides direct experience of the interplay of technology, human nature, and a human environment in which emerging technologies and new modes of interaction are pervasive and ubiquitous. Artists, natural scientists, social scientists, and technologists are guided through a series of collaborative experiences inventing, designing, implementing and studying emerging technologies. Presentations, projects and individually-written research papers are required. The faculty staff and resources of the Center for Student Innovation are significant assets for this course.
IGME-582
Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software Development
This course provides students with exposure to the design, creation and production of Open Source Software projects. Students will be introduced to the historic intersections of technology and intellectual property rights and will become familiar with Open Source development processes, tools and practices. They will become contributing members of humanitarian software development communities such as the One Laptop Per Child and Sugar communities. Students will actively document their efforts on Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software community hubs.
IGME-583
Legal/Business Aspects of FOSS
The entertainment and software industries are grappling with the impacts of free software digital distribution. Agile development, 3D printing, the Internet and other technologies are changing the face of how business is done, as well as what business can charge for and hold onto. Disruptive technologies, emerging interfaces, and real-time, on-demand product creation and distribution are transforming our entertainment, telecommunications and manufacturing landscapes. This course will examine the impacts of these new technologies and the new thinking that are taking us into these new worlds.
IGME-584
Software Development on Linux Systems
Students will learn how to package software for release and engage in version maintenance within the FOSS community. Topics such as Linux package management, version control systems, potential license conflicts, development vs. production releases, bug tracking, maintenance management, forking, patching and future development will be covered in from both a management and end-user perspective in lectures, lab exercises and a project.
IGME-585
Project in FOSS Development
Free and Open Source Software development is an internationally growing methodology for distributing work across multiple developers. The process can be applied to small garage-sized teams (small utility packages, multimedia plugins, simple games) or teams of hundreds (Mozilla, Java, Linux). This course builds on the introductory experience provided in the prerequisite to provide hands-on open-source development experience in a large-scale, project that will be prepared for open-source distribution. The actual projects and domains addressed will vary offering to offering, but will be along the lines of those listed above.
IGME-588
New Media Team Project
This course is designed to engage the new media major in a capstone production experience. The instructor will form interdisciplinary student teams that will design, plan, prototype, and implement new media projects. Student groups are required to test their product with users and provide written feedback and analysis.
IGME-589
Research Studio
This course will allow students to work as domain specialists on teams completing one or more faculty research projects over the course of the semester. The faculty member teaching the class will provide the research topic(s). Students will learn about research methodology to implement, test, and evaluate results of projects. Students will complete research reports and final assessments of themselves and their teammates in addition to completing their assigned responsibilities on the main projects.
IGME-590
Undergraduate Seminar in IGM
This is intended to allow for special one-time offerings of undergraduate topics or to allow faculty to pilot new undergraduate offerings. Specific course details (such as the course topics, format, resource needs, and credit hours) will be determined by the faculty member(s) who propose a given special-topics offering.
IGME-599
Independent Study
The student will work independently under the supervision of a faculty advisor on a topic not covered in other courses.
IGME-621
Board and Card Game Design and Development
IGME-622
Game Balance
This course is an in-depth exploration of the sub-field of game design known as balance. Topics include: transitive mechanics and cost/power curves; economic systems in games; probability and the psychology of randomness; pseudorandom numbers; situational balance; level/XP curves, advancement and pacing; tuning; statistics, metrics, and analytics; intransitive mechanics, game theory, and payoff matrices; and the applied use of spreadsheets.
IGME-624
Tabletop Role-Playing Game Design and Development
This course explores the concepts and mechanics of analog role-playing games, such as tabletop "pencil-and-paper" and live-action role-playing games, from a practical, hands-on perspective. In this project-based course, students will develop their own rule systems to facilitate various facets of role-playing and associated game mechanics, then playtest and publish their games. Students will also use desktop publishing tools to produce game rules and supplemental materials suitable for publication. Note that this course assumes that students have extensive experience in playing tabletop role-playing games.
IGME-670
Digital Audio Production
Technologies and techniques for producing and manipulating digital audio are explored. Topics include digital representations of sound, digital audio recording and production, MIDI, synthesis techniques, real-time performance issues, and the application of digital audio to multimedia and Web production.
IGME-671
Interactive Game and Audio
This course provides students with exposure to the design, creation and production of audio in interactive applications and computer games. Students will become familiar with the use of sound libraries, recording sounds in the studio and in the field, generating sound with synthesizers, and effects processing. Students will create sound designs for interactive media, integrating music, dialog, ambient sound, sound effects and interface sounds within interactive programs.
IGME-680
IGM Production Studio
This course will allow students to work as domain specialists on teams completing one or more large projects over the course of the semester. The projects will be relevant to experiences of the interactive games and media programs, but they will require expertise in a variety of sub-domains, including web design and development, social computing, computer game development, multi-user media, human-computer interaction and streaming media. Students will learn to apply concepts of project management and scheduling, production roles and responsibilities, and their domain skill sets to multidisciplinary projects. Students will complete design documents, progress reports and final assessments of themselves and their teammates in addition to completing their assigned responsibilities on the main projects.
IGME-681
Innovation and Invention
In this course, students explore the process and products of innovation and invention. Each semester we conceive and develop a different outside the box project in a multidisciplinary tinkerer's lab. Readings, lectures, student presentations, and discussions deal with the interplay of technology, human nature, and a human environment in which emerging technologies and new modes of interaction are pervasive and ubiquitous. Students from multiple disciplines are guided through a series of collaborative experiences inventing, designing, implementing and studying emerging technologies and their educational and artistic potential. Presentations, projects and individual research papers are required.
IGME-690
IGM Graduate Seminar
This is intended to allow for special one-time offerings of graduate topics. Specific course details (such as the course topics, format, resource needs, and credit hours) will be determined by the faculty member(s) who propose a given seminar offering. (Varies)
ISTE-454
Mobile Application Development I
This course extends the material covered in the Foundations of Mobile Design course and provides students with the experience of creating interesting applications for small-size form factor mobile devices such as smartphones These devices are exceptionally portable, have unique sets of hardware and communications capabilities, incorporate novel interfaces, are location aware, and provide persistent connectivity. Students are encouraged to make creative use of these unique device characteristics and operating properties to develop innovative applications. Programming projects are required.
ISTE-456
Mobile Application Development II
This course extends the Foundations of Mobile Design course in that students will learn to apply mobile design skills to develop applications in the Android platform. Students will design, develop, and test mobile applications using the Android Studio IDE. This course covers the major components such as activities, receivers, content providers, permissions, intents, fragments, data storage, and security. Programming projects are required

Accelerated dual degree option

Accelerated dual degree options are for undergraduate students with outstanding academic records. Upon acceptance, well-qualified undergraduate students can begin graduate study before completing their BS degree, shortening the time it takes to earn both degrees. Students should consult an academic adviser for more information.

Game Design and Development, BS/MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
IGME-105
Game Development and Algorithmic Problem Solving I
This course introduces students within the domain of game design and development to the fundamentals of computing through problem solving, abstraction, and algorithmic design. Students will learn the basic elements of game software development, including problem decomposition, the design and implementation of game applications, and the testing/debugging of their designs.
4
IGME-106
Game Development and Algorithmic Problem Solving II
This course furthers the exploration of problem solving, abstraction, and algorithmic design. Students apply the object-oriented paradigm of software development, with emphasis upon fundamental concepts of encapsulation, inheritance, and polymorphism. In addition, object structures and class relationships comprise a key portion of the analytical process including the exploration of problem structure and refactoring. Intermediate concepts in software design including GUIs, threads, events, networking, and advanced APIs are also explored. Students are also introduced to data structures, algorithms, exception handling and design patterns that are relevant to the construction of game systems.
4
IGME-110
Introduction to Interactive Media
This course provides an overview of media in historical, current and future contexts. Incorporating lectures and discussion with hands on work involving written and interactive media assets, students examine the role of written and visual media from theoretical as well as practical perspectives. The course also provides an introduction to interactive media development techniques, including digital media components and delivery environments. Students will be required to write formal analysis and critique papers along with digital modes of writing including collaborative editing and effective presentation design.
3
IGME-119
2D Animation and Asset Production
This course provides a theoretical framework covering the principles of animation and its use in game design to affect user experience. Emphasis will be placed upon principles that support character development and animations that show cause and effect. Students will apply these principles to create animations that reflect movement and character appropriate for different uses and environments.
3
MATH-131
Discrete Mathematics
This course is an introduction to the topics of discrete mathematics, including number systems, sets and logic, relations, combinatorial methods, graph theory, regular sets, vectors, and matrices.
4
MATH-185
Mathematics of Graphical Simulation I
This is the first part of a two course sequence that aims at providing the mathematical tools needed to manipulate graphical objects and to model and simulate the physical properties of these objects. Topics from linear algebra, primarily in two and three dimensional space, analytic geometry, and calculus will be presented. The emphasis is on linear algebra, particularly its application to problems in geometry and graphical systems.
3
PHYS-111
College Physics I
This is an introductory course in algebra-based physics focusing on mechanics and waves. Topics include kinematics, planar motion, Newton’s laws, gravitation; rotational kinematics and dynamics; work and energy; momentum and impulse; conservation laws; simple harmonic motion; waves; data presentation/analysis and error propagation. The course is taught using both traditional lectures and a workshop format that integrates material traditionally found in separate lecture, recitation, and laboratory settings.
4
YOPS-10
RIT 365: RIT Connections
RIT 365 students participate in experiential learning opportunities designed to launch them into their career at RIT, support them in making multiple and varied connections across the university, and immerse them in processes of competency development. Students will plan for and reflect on their first-year experiences, receive feedback, and develop a personal plan for future action in order to develop foundational self-awareness and recognize broad-based professional competencies.
0
 
First Year Writing (WI)
3
 
LAS Perspective 3 (globall)
3
 
LAS Perspective 4 (social)
3
Second Year
IGME-099
Co-op Preparation Workshop
This course helps students prepare for co-operative education employment (“co-op”) by developing job search strategies and material. Students will explore current and emerging aspects of IGM fields to help focus their skill development strategies. Students are introduced to RIT’s Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education, and learn about professional and ethical responsibilities for their co-op and subsequent professional experiences. Students will work collaboratively to build résumés and digital portfolios, and to prepare for interview situations.
0
IGME-202
Interactive Media Development
In this course, students will learn to create visually rich interactive experiences. It is a course in programming graphics and media, but it is also a course on the relationship between ideas and code. Students will explore topics in math and physics by building programs that simulate and visualize processes in the natural world. Assignments will include major programming projects, such as building a virtual world inhabited by digital creatures that display observable behaviors.
3
IGME-209
Data Structures & Algorithms for Games & Simulations I
This course focuses upon the application of data structures, algorithms, and fundamental Newtonian physics to the development of video game applications, entertainment software titles, and simulations. Topics covered include 3D coordinate systems and the implementation of affine transformations, geometric primitives, and efficient data structures and algorithms for real-time collision detection. Furthermore, Newtonian mechanics principles will be examined in the context of developing game and entertainment software where they will be applied to compute the position, velocity and acceleration of a point-mass subject to forces and the conservation of momentum and energy. Programming assignments are a required part of this course.
3
IGME-219
3D Animation and Asset Production
This course provides an overview of 3D game asset production. Basic ideas learned within the first asset production course are also revisited within the 3D environs. Topics covered include modeling, texturing, skinning and animation. Emphasis is put on low polygon modeling techniques, best practices in game art production, and effective communication strategies between artists, programmers and designers.
3
IGME-220
Game Design & Development I
This course examines the core process of game design, from ideation and structured brainstorming in an entertainment technology context through the examination of industry standard processes and techniques for documenting and managing the design process. This course specifically examines techniques for assessing and quantifying the validity of a given design, for managing innovation and creativity in a game development-specific context, and for world and character design. Specific emphasis is placed on both the examination and deconstruction of historical successes and failures, along with presentation of ethical and cultural issues related to the design and development of interactive software and the role of individuals in a team-oriented design methodology. Students in this class are expected to actively participate and engage in the culture of design and critique as it relates to the field.
3
IGME-235
Introduction to Web Technology for Game Developers
This course introduces web technologies commonly used in the production and distribution of both content focused web sites, and in the creation of interactive applications and games. Students will create web sites and web-native interactive experiences, and publish them to the web. Programming projects are required.
3
IGME-236
Interaction, Immersion, & the Media Interface (WI)
This course examines the concepts of interface and interaction models in a media-specific context, with particular emphasis on the concept of the immersive interface. This course explores concepts such as perception, expectation, Gestalt Theory, interactivity, Semiotics, presence, and immersion in the context of media application development and deployment. In addition, underlying concepts of cognitive psychology and cognitive science will be integrated where appropriate. These theories are then integrated in the exploration of the immersive interface, and with related concepts such as user-level-interface modification, augmentation of identity, and the interface as a social catalyst.
3
IGME-499
Undergraduate Co-op (summer)
Cooperative education is a work experience designed to supplement the educational process. Students may select from a range of activities designated as cooperative education, including relevant industrial experience, internships, entrepreneurial activities, as well as faculty-supervised research and innovation opportunities.
0
 
LAS Perspective 1 (ethical)
3
 
LAS Perspective 2 (artistic)
3
 
LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles)
3
 
Mathematics Course†
3
 
Wellness Education*
0
Third Year
IGME-309
Data Structures & Algorithms for Games & Simulations II
This course continues the investigation into the application of data structures, algorithms, and fundamental Newtonian mechanics required for the development of video game applications, simulations, and entertainment software titles. Topics covered include quaternion representation of orientation and displacement, cubic curves and surfaces, classifiers, recursive generation of geometric structures, texture mapping, and the implementation of algorithms within game physics engines for collision detection and collision resolution of rigid bodies, and the numerical integration of the equations of motion. In addition, advanced data structures such as B+ trees and graphs will be investigated from the context of game application and entertainment software development. Programming assignments are a requirement for this course.
3
IGME-320
Game Design & Development II
This course continues to examine the core theories of game design as they relate to the professional field. Beginning with a formalized pitch process, this course examines the design and development paradigm from story-boarding and pre-visualization through rapid iteration, refinement, and structured prototyping exercises to further examine the validity of a given design. Specific emphasis is placed on iterative prototyping models, and on methodologies for both informal and formal critique. This course also explores production techniques and life-cycle in the professional industry.
3
IGME-330
Rich Media Web Application Development I
This course provides students the opportunity to explore the design and development of Media Rich Internet Applications (MRIAs). This course moves beyond client and server side web development, and explores issues of presentation, interactivity, persistence, and extensibility common among such applications. Specifically, items explored include framework characteristics, data management, persistence, data binding, information manipulation, as well as data presentation.
3
IGME-499
Undergraduate Co-op
Cooperative education is a work experience designed to supplement the educational process. Students may select from a range of activities designated as cooperative education, including relevant industrial experience, internships, entrepreneurial activities, as well as faculty-supervised research and innovation opportunities.
0
 
LAS Immersion 1, 2
6
 
LAS Electives
6
 
Advanced Elective
3
 
Free Electives
6
Fourth Year
IGME-795
Game Industry Themes and Perspectives
This required course prepares students for a career in the field of game design and development. Students will attend lectures by and discussions with RIT faculty and visitors and produce material to assist in their career preparation.
1
IGME-601
Game Development Processes
This course examines the individual and group roles of the development process model within the game design and development industry. Students will transform design document specifications into software and hardware needs for developers, testers, and end users. Students will examine team dynamics and processes for technical development, content development, testing, deployment, and maintenance. Students will explore the design process through the deconstruction of the game industry's software lifecycle model.
3
IGME-602
Game Design
This course presents students with core theories of game design, informed by research results from media theory, narrative methods and models, theories of ideation, and the nature of games, play and fun. Specific emphasis is placed on the examination of historical successes and failures, along with presentation of ethical and cultural issues related to the design of interactive software. Students will engage in formal critique and analysis of media designs and their formal elements.
3
IGME-603
Gameplay and Prototyping
This course explores the pragmatic issues of creative concept development through story-boarding, pitching, prototyping and play-testing. Students will use various tools and techniques to build game prototypes that they will evaluate through play-testing in an incremental design process informed by market research and analysis.
3
IGME-695
Colloquium in Game Design and Development
This required colloquium will introduce students to a range of emerging topics and themes in the field of game design and development. Students will attend lectures by and discussions with RIT faculty and visitors, complete related readings, and offer both oral and written responses to readings and presentations.
1
 
Graduate IGM Electives
6
 
Free Elective
3
 
LAS Immersion 3
3
 
LAS Electives
9
Fifth Year
IGME-695
Colloquium in Game Design and Development
This required colloquium will introduce students to a range of emerging topics and themes in the field of game design and development. Students will attend lectures by and discussions with RIT faculty and visitors, complete related readings, and offer both oral and written responses to readings and presentations.
1
IGME-788
Capstone Design
This course allows students within the game design and development program to develop a capstone proposal and design document. The capstone design document specifies the scope and depth of the capstone project. In addition, it defines the group and individual responsibilities for the cohort capstone project experience.
3
IGME-789
Capstone Development
This course provides master of science in game design and development students with capstone project experiences. Students are expected to work in cohorts towards the implementation of a game system that properly illustrates proficiency in the application of theory and practice towards a large-scale project. For each student, individual responsibilities for the group project will be defined in consultation with both the group and the faculty. Students must successfully complete the Capstone Design course and present a satisfactory capstone project proposal to the faculty before enrolling in this course.
3
 
Graduate IGM Electives
9
 
Free Electives
6
Total Semester Credit Hours
148

Please see General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.

† Student may select one of the following math courses: Mathematics of Graphical Simulation II (MATH-186), Calculus A (MATH-171), Project-Based Calculus I (MATH-181), or Calculus I (MATH-181A).

IGM/Graduate Advanced Electives

IGME-621
Board and Card Game Design and Development
IGME-622
Game Balance
This course is an in-depth exploration of the sub-field of game design known as balance. Topics include: transitive mechanics and cost/power curves; economic systems in games; probability and the psychology of randomness; pseudorandom numbers; situational balance; level/XP curves, advancement and pacing; tuning; statistics, metrics, and analytics; intransitive mechanics, game theory, and payoff matrices; and the applied use of spreadsheets.
IGME-624
Table Top Role-Playing Game Design and Development
This course explores the concepts and mechanics of analog role-playing games, such as tabletop "pencil-and-paper" and live-action role-playing games, from a practical, hands-on perspective. In this project-based course, students will develop their own rule systems to facilitate various facets of role-playing and associated game mechanics, then playtest and publish their games. Students will also use desktop publishing tools to produce game rules and supplemental materials suitable for publication. Note that this course assumes that students have extensive experience in playing tabletop role-playing games.
IGME-670
Digital Audio Production
Technologies and techniques for producing and manipulating digital audio are explored. Topics include digital representations of sound, digital audio recording and production, MIDI, synthesis techniques, real-time performance issues, and the application of digital audio to multimedia and Web production.
IGME-671
Interactive Game and Audio
This course provides students with exposure to the design, creation and production of audio in interactive applications and computer games. Students will become familiar with the use of sound libraries, recording sounds in the studio and in the field, generating sound with synthesizers, and effects processing. Students will create sound designs for interactive media, integrating music, dialog, ambient sound, sound effects and interface sounds within interactive programs.
IGME-680
IGM Production Studio
This course will allow students to work as domain specialists on teams completing one or more large projects over the course of the semester. The projects will be relevant to experiences of the interactive games and media programs, but they will require expertise in a variety of sub-domains, including web design and development, social computing, computer game development, multi-user media, human-computer interaction and streaming media. Students will learn to apply concepts of project management and scheduling, production roles and responsibilities, and their domain skill sets to multidisciplinary projects. Students will complete design documents, progress reports and final assessments of themselves and their teammates in addition to completing their assigned responsibilities on the main projects.
IGME-681
Innovation & Invention
In this course, students explore the process and products of innovation and invention. Each semester we conceive and develop a different outside the box project in a multidisciplinary tinkerer's lab. Readings, lectures, student presentations, and discussions deal with the interplay of technology, human nature, and a human environment in which emerging technologies and new modes of interaction are pervasive and ubiquitous. Students from multiple disciplines are guided through a series of collaborative experiences inventing, designing, implementing and studying emerging technologies and their educational and artistic potential. Presentations, projects and individual research papers are required.
IGME-690
Graduate Seminar in IGM
This is intended to allow for special one-time offerings of graduate topics. Specific course details (such as the course topics, format, resource needs, and credit hours) will be determined by the faculty member(s) who propose a given seminar offering. (Varies)
IGME-720
Social and Pervasive Game Design
This course presents students with core theories of sociology, psychology, economics, law, and politics in the context of social and pervasive (or "alternate reality") games. Students will engage in formal critique and analysis of media designs and their formal elements.
IGME-730
Game Design and Development for Casual and Mobile Platforms
This course explores the design and development of casual and mobile game applications. Students will begin by exploring the design practices relevant to casual and mobile games, including hardware constraints, player expectations, play experiences, mechanics for casual and mobile experiences, as well as the aesthetics and presentation of casual and mobile game elements. As students learn the theoretical concepts, they will also learn the development process for casual and mobile games. Development topics will include technology platforms, physical and logical interface control, graphics and interaction, tools and APIs, connectivity, data management, data persistence, delivery mechanisms, and systems integration with desktop and web-based platforms.
IGME-740
Game Graphics Programming
Students will explore the use of an advanced graphics API to access hardware-accelerated graphics in a real-time graphics engine context. The course will involve discussion of scene graphs, optimizations, and integration with the API object structure, as well as input schemes, content pipelines, and 2D and 3D rendering techniques. Students will also explore the advanced use of the API calls in production code to construct environments capable of real-time performance. Students will construct from scratch a fully functional graphics engine, with library construction for game development. Advanced topics will be explored, including real-time special effects, custom shading pipelines, and advanced deferred rendering techniques.
IGME-750
Game Engine Design and Development
This course will provide students with theory and practical skills in game engine design topic areas such as understanding the graphics pipeline as it influences engine design, hardware principles and the relationship to game engine construction, mathematical principles involved in game engine design, scene graph construction and maintenance, texture and materials management, collision systems, physics systems, particle systems, and control systems. Furthermore, this course will examine software and toolsets that assist game engine designers in their tasks. Students will be expected to design and implement a game engine in teams as well as properly document their design and development strategy.
IGME-753
Console Development
This course explores the history and modern implementation of software for game consoles. Cross-platform development will be emphasized along with software concepts such as memory management, scheduling, parallelization, graphics, and virtual reality. Programming projects are required.
IGME-760
Artificial Intelligence for Gameplay
This course explores artificial intelligence concepts and research through both a theoretical perspective and a practical application to game development. In particular the course focuses on AI concepts and paradigms such as search and representation, reasoning under uncertainty, intelligent agents, biologically inspired computing and machine learning to real-time situations and applications as relevant to the field of entertainment technology and simulation.
IGME-790
Graduate Seminar in IGM
This is intended to allow for special one-time offerings of graduate topics. Specific course details (such as the course topics, format, resource needs, and credit hours) will be determined by the faculty member(s) who propose a given seminar offering.
IGME-796
Advanced Topics in Game Design
This course examines current topics in game design. Specific course details (such as prerequisites, course topics, format, learning outcomes, assessment methods, and resource needs) will be determined by the faculty member(s) who propose a specific topics course in this area.
IGME-797
Advanced Topics in Game Development
This course examines current topics in game development. Specific course details (such as prerequisites, course topics, format, learning outcomes, assessment methods, and resource needs) will be determined by the faculty member(s) who propose a specific topics course in this area.
IGME-799
Independent Study
The student will work independently under the supervision of a faculty adviser on a topic not covered in other courses.

Admission Requirements

Freshman Admission

For all bachelor’s degree programs, a strong performance in a college preparatory program is expected. Generally, this includes 4 years of English, 3-4 years of mathematics, 2-3 years of science, and 3 years of social studies and/or history.

Specific math and science requirements and other recommendations

  • 4 years of math including pre-calculus required
  • Requires chemistry or physics and strongly recommends both.
  • Computing electives are recommended

Transfer Admission

Transfer course recommendations without associate degree

Courses in computer science, calculus, liberal arts; calculus-based physics, chemistry, or biology

Appropriate associate degree programs for transfer

AS degree in computer science, engineering science, or liberal arts

Learn about admissions and financial aid