The Graduate Diploma of Game Development is a course that has been purpose-built in conjunction with New Zealand’s major game design studios, to produce graduates with a pragmatic skill-set for studio production processes and pipelines, and with a strong working knowledge of industry ‘best practice’.
The course has specialist streams covering two main aspects of game development – Game Art and Game Programming. Whichever stream you choose, you will be prepared for placement into commercial, AAA game design studios around the world.
Game Art focuses on 3D modelling, texturing and animation for games (using industry standard software like Autodesk Maya), interactive storytelling and the creative and production processes involved in game art design.
Game Programming covers programming in C/C++ and HLSL along with the skills and knowledge required to implement game engines, mechanical physics, artiﬁcial intelligence (AI) and graphics with visual effects..
As Game art students and game programming students you will come together using your specialised expertise, to produce a game during the ﬁnal six months of the school’s course under simulated industry conditions. Yep, sounds exciting right?
Throughout our Game Development qualification you’ll be taught a world-leading curriculum by experienced industry veterans. Additionally, you’ll have access to cutting-edge game development kits for Sony PlayStation Portable as well as Emergent’s Gamebryo and LightSpeed middleware, allowing you to create games using the same tools used by the games industry. You’ll enter the game development industry with both PC and console development experience, increasing your game’s chance for a development deal after you graduate.
Graduates from the Game Development course could expect to find employment opportunities primarily in the following areas:
- Game Programmer (Programming Stream)
- Software Engineer (Programming Stream)
- Game Artist (Art Stream)
- Game Modeler (Art Stream)
- Game Texture Artist (Art Stream)
In the future:
- AI Programmer
- Physics Programmer
- Network Programmer
- Graphics Programmer
- Lead Programmer
- Technical Director
- Senior Artist
- Lead Artist
- Art Director
Game Industry Operations and The Basics Weeks 1-7
For the first seven weeks of the course, both the Game Art and Programming streams learn game industry operations and basics such as Photoshop, 3D basics, game art basics, audio and programming – together. From here you’ll split into your chosen speciality stream.
Game Programming Weeks 8-24
The Game Programming stream is full steam ahead in these weeks, covering: C++, Object oriented analysis and design, algorithms and data structures, framework development, artificial intelligence, 3D fixed function rendering, Meshes and data management, 3D mats, Scene graphs and Animation.
Game Art Weeks 8-24 (continued)
The Game Art stream looks at concept art, 2D sprites and 2D isometric games, before adding a new dimension! From week eleven you’ll cover the 3D pipeline, textures and materials, 3D props, envirnoment art, vehicle and character. Got it? Let’s hope so, because week 24 brings the beginning of rigging, animation and physics.
Game Programming Weeks 25-33
From lighting and shaders you’ll do a week of advanced math and physics before starting on engine development. Weeks 29-33 will be busy, with graded projects on physics middleware and engine development, while at the same time you’ll be preparing your game pitch with the Game Art stream.
Game Art Weeks 25-33 (continued)
You’ll continue with rigging animation and physics for three weeks before turning to level layout and maps. From week 29 you’ll study game interface theory and design, and level design, at the same time preparing your mini 3D-project game pitch with the Game Programming stream.
Final Productions Weeks 34-64
This is what it all comes down to. Both the Game Art and Programming streams come together to create some amazing games. You’ll start off with a mini-3D project (2 weeks pre-prod and 4 weeks production) to build confidence and skills in a tight deadline driven environment. Critique and lessons learnt from the mini-3D project segue-way into the final major 6-month team game project that rounds off the course.
Minimum 19 years
A tertiary qualification in a related technical/creative field, or evidence of prior knowledge gained in a related industry. You must be able to demonstrate personal and professional attributes required by industry.
Game Art: Evidence of digital art, visual effects and illustration skills, including sketches, paintings, illustrations, digital imagery, animations or multimedia. Examples of work created with Maya are required.
Game Programming: Evidence of programming knowledge through a technical solution.
Note: Media Design School recommends that if you don’t meet the above requirements for this graduate programme, complete a Media Design School diploma level qualification first. The Diploma in Interactive Gaming provides skills for entry into the game programming stream. The Diploma of 3D Computer Animation provides skills for entry into the game art stream.