The bachelor's degree in Video Game Design and Development course aims to give students the necessary tools to develop an entire game, while also providing the training required to integrate into a team of video game developers and interact with any other teams involved.
In the last 20 years, the video game world has moved from being a hobby to while away time in the garage to a flourishing, avant-garde industry involving many professionals, such as writers, artists, designers, programmers and distribution and marketing experts. Today, the development of a commercial video game is a multi-disciplinary project requiring specific training. In the bachelor's degree in Design and Development of Video Games, students will receive the training needed to integrate into a team of game programmers overseeing all aspects of a video game’s development. Moreover, the bachelor's degree course will give you the necessary tools to interact with any other teams working on a video game, as well as the ability to develop an entire game. Graduates will thus have gained a comprehensive education in all aspects of development, with particular emphasis on the design and development of a video game.
The bachelor's degree in Design and Development of Video Games should therefore be of interest to you if:
- You want to be part of the development team of a video game publisher.
- Wants to learn how to create a video game in all its aspects.
- You want to be part of a leading and strategic industry for the future.
- Wants to learn from very experienced researchers.
Study profiles and professional profiles
Studies in video games can be categorised into two major areas: art and computer science. Our course concentrates on the latter. Although the curriculum includes the subjects of art, character creation and narrative (among other artistic aspects), the main focus is on the technical aspect.
The three main teams involved in the development of a video game (besides producers, scriptwriters and other ad-hoc specialists) are the art team, the gameplayteam and the programming team (aka developers). The bachelor's degree in Design and Development of Video Games at UdG teaches students how to form part of the gameplay and programming teams, while the artistic-oriented subjects would allow incorporation into the art and gameplay teams.
Accordingly, gameplay acts as the link between artistic and computer science subjects, but the fundamentals of programming are always needed: video games don’t run on magic. Every time you press a button and open a door, or when you hang from a rope and it breaks, a series of scripts are executed to produce these actions. For the simplest actions, only basic programming is needed. However, to design and program more complex behaviours and actions, such as those which rely on artificial intelligence (enemies, friends, main character companions), more extensive eduction in computer science is required.
What subjects will I find?
The bachelor's degree in Design and Development of Video Games shares common core subjects with the bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering; as such, this course includes introduction to programming, methodology, software development, data structures, algorithm creation, and others. But there are other more specific subjects, like video console architecture, visual culture and media, video game narratives, graphics, multimedia and user interfaces, artificial intelligence, game engines, 2D, 3D and character design, multiplayer systems and a host of other subjects that will allow the student to easily join a development team of a video game publisher as well as understand and interact with all other teams involved, from design to marketing.
The OECD defines digital content as a predominant factor in socio-economic development and has stated that the creative industries and activities are strategic in an information economy.
On the one hand, the world of video games (and in particular online games) is increasingly becoming the leader in entertainment. Video games across the world achieved estimated sales in 2009 of €45 billion and the industry is expected to grow globally by 9% per year (Global Entertainment and Media Outlook report). The "Casual Gaming Market Update" report by Park Associates concluded that 34% of adult users in the USA play online every week.
On the other hand, the serious games sector is witnessing a boom. More than 250 companies in Europe and America are producing and selling serious games (GALA, "Gaming and Learning Alliance") and the global market of serious games was expected to be worth €10 billion in 2015 (IDATE).
In the report "The video game development industry in Spain 2010. Updated summary of the opportunities in the sector", carried out by the Asociación Española de Empresas Productoras y Desarrolladoras de Videojuegos y Software de Entretenimiento (Spanish Association of Video Game and Entertainment Software Developers and Manufacturers). The following points were highlighted:
- More than half of the applications developed for the iPhone are games and games are the most requested content for this device.
- Businesses have increased their interest in advergaming: development of a game centred exclusively on a given brand.
- Video games and animation contributes greater experience in the development of applications (serious games) in sectors like medicine, refinery, defence and education.
- Video games can be important tools in therapies and learning.
At the national level, the 2009 Annual Report on Digital Content in Spain confirmed that Spain was seventh in the world and fourth in Europe in turnover per video game player. The video game sector in Spain currently holds 53 % of the audiovisual and interactive entertainment market.