The field of digital entertainment has grown from using small teams of just a handful of developers for an entire game to using large teams of one hundred or more on a single title. This large increase in the size of teams, scope, and investment in digital entertainment titles has naturally resulted in more and more specialization into the roles of engineer, artist, and designer. Despite this increased specialization overall, the digital entertainment industry has also seen a growing demand for a hybrid engineer/designer: someone who has strong programming and mathematics skills, combined with formal training in game design. This type of developer is the bridge between the scientific and creative sides of game development, able to work as an engineer or designer as needed.
Graduates of this program will be trained to write computer programs in core languages such as C and C++, as well as the scripting languages commonly used by all designers. Graduates of this program will be well-versed in programming game logic, user interfaces, artificial intelligence, databases, and design tools. Graduates will also be well versed in game design theory for digital and non-digital games, level design, system design, and behavior design, with their strong foundation in programming and mathematics generally making them strong system and behavior designers. Graduates will have extensive experience testing, iterating, and polishing both digital and non-digital designs, through the completion of many individual projects and multiple team game projects.
Graduates of this degree program will be prepared to enter the video game industry as entry-level Software Engineers and Game Designers. Possible entry-level position titles include Software Engineer, Software Developer, Software Development Engineer, Software Development Engineer in Test, Software Analyst, Computer Programmer, Gameplay Programmer, Artificial Intelligence Programmer, User Interface Programmer, Tools Programmer, Game Scripter, Technical Designer, System Designer, Level Designer, Content Designer, Encounter Designer, and Game Designer. This degree program also includes secondary training that can contribute directly to a graduate obtaining positions with titles such as Producer, Program Manager, Technical Program Manager, and Technical Writer. After many years in the industry, graduates may obtain titles such as Lead Engineer, Lead Designer, Technical Director, Creative Director, and Director.