Concentration in Game Development
Game development at UNO is helmed by a recognized expert in the field who does active research in artificial intelligence applied to interactive narratives. This provides a unique opportunity for students to participate in ongoing research in our Narrative Intelligence Lab (NIL). Additionally our department stays in contact with local game studios to ensure that the curriculum reflects industry needs. We have a strong and passionate student community motivated to work together and build games.
The Video Game industry is one of the nation’s largest growing businesses, generating over 21 billion dollars of revenue in 2014. There’s an incredible demand for proficient, competent game developers to fill jobs paying an average of $71k/year. Game development is both a technical and a creative field with a diverse market supporting multiple levels of employment opportunities from small indie studios to large international companies. The Greater New Orleans tech industry is rapidly expanding with world leaders such as Electronic Arts, Gameloft, High Voltage Software, and Turbosquid opening studios in the area. Careers in game development cater to both versatile programmers and programmers who wish to specialize in just a particular domain. It’s a very competitive market, and this concentration will train you to succeed.
Game Development is not just about making video games, it is the process of constructing complete computer-generated, interactive environments that can be tailored for both entertainment and serious applications. Game programmers draw from a variety of complex domains to build these interactive environments, including graphics programming, physics modeling, artificial intelligence, system resources optimization, UI design, computer networking, and game design.
Objectives of Game Development Concentration
- Create skilled computer scientists with an expansive knowledge in the design patterns and algorithms used to develop games
- Train students in an array of industry standard tools, frameworks, and game engines
- Teach students effective team-based methodologies and practices with an emphasis on collaborating with nontechnical team members
- Provide students with a portfolio featuring a capstone game project
Highlights of Game Development Concentration
Graphics - Obtain knowledge of the underlying spatial maths used for modeling computer graphics, including Linear Algebra and Computational Geometry. Experience with graphics APIs such as OpenGL, and shader languages such as GLSL to create, process, and display 2D & 3D vector graphics. Exposure to applications used to design 3d models and animations such as Maya, 3D Studio Max, and Blender.
Physics - Use knowledge of Calculus and Physics to create logic that calculates & controls forces on simulated entities, which is then used to simulate effects like motion, gravity, and collisions.
Game Design - Introduce and explore the concepts of what defines a game and how to create a system of rules, challenges, and goals that govern an interactive experience.
Artificial Intelligence - Learn to program the intelligent virtual agents that populate a game. Create experiences that adapt and respond to players’ actions, providing dynamic and engaging gameplay. Example applications for AI include: pathfinding, decision-making, and procedurally generated content.
Agile Software Engineering - Build the skills needed to collaborate with the other members of a multidisciplinary team to deliver a project by a specified deadline. This requires breaking the project down into smaller tasks that can be completed incrementally within weekly timeframes.
Audio - Use system programming knowledge to create engine logic that allows for the sequencing of sound clips, manages when sounds are triggered, and what effects must be applied to a playing sound file.