FAQs: Interactive Media Design

» What is Becker College’s game design program all about?
» Can I specialize in other areas of game design?
» What kinds of courses does Becker College offer that are game related?
» How many game-related courses are offered?
» What types of skills do students learn in the game design and development major?
» Do students work in teams?
» Do students create any games prior to graduation?
» Would I be involved in any type of research?
» What kind of computer labs does Becker College have?
» What kind of software, technologies, and engines does Becker College use?
» What is the Massachusetts Digital Game Institute (Mass DiGi)?
» What types of jobs are available to Becker College graduates from the game design program?
» How is the Becker College game design program different than programs at other colleges?
» Who should I contact for more information about the Becker College Video Game Design program?

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Q: What is Becker College’s game design program all about?

Becker College’s unique blend of design and programming coursework with a general education and liberal arts curriculum, along with small class sizes, allows students to focus on their passion – whether it is art or computer programming or both. Students may concentrate in computer game programming, which is programming and development-based, or in computer game design, which is an art-based concentration.

Students use the same state-of-the-art technology that video game companies use, including a high-performance computer lab, a six-camera video motion capture system, a full range of 3D design software and more.

Q: Can I specialize in other areas of game design?

Yes. Becker College’s dedicated game design major may include specializations in game audio, game writing, business of games, and serious games, which focuses on how interactive media design can improve both physical and mental development.

Q: What kinds of courses does Becker College offer that are game related?

Critical Game Studies Graphics
Games and Society 3D Modeling
Game Design Animation
Game Programming Game Engine Scripting
Visual Design Game Research
Audio Design Music Scoring
Interactive Storytelling Project Courses
Business of Gaming Serious Games
Game AI Math for Games
GPU Programming

Graphics
3D Modeling
Animation
Game Engine Scripting
Game Research
Music Scoring
Project Courses
Serious Games
Math for Games

Q: How many game-related courses are offered?

Currently, twenty-two courses are being offered, and more are being added all the time.

What types of skills do students learn in the game design and development major?

Art creation software engineering
Level design practices (scrum)
Software graphics
Visual design hardware architecture
3D audio design
Object-oriented programming serious games
AI production practices

Q: Do students work in teams?

Agile and scrum techniques are employed and students from different game design disciplines work together in teams. Students complete group projects in real-world environments in most courses.

Q: Do students create any games prior to graduation?

Each student must craft several complete games as part of course work prior to graduation, including a capstone game in their senior year.

Q: Would I be involved in any type of research?

Students get involved in course-based research projects, paid research assistantships, internal student research grants, independent study or project work, education-based games designed for outside companies, serious games designed for outside companies, and, in the near future, students will assist in rapid development efforts for game companies under the auspices of the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute.

Q: What kind of computer labs does Becker College have?

Mac lab (10 seats and tablets)
High performance computing and design PC lab (28 seats and tablets)
Standard PC labs (42 seats)
Motion capture and green screen lab
3D Printing lab
Audio development lab

Q: What kind of software, technologies, and engines does Becker College use?

C++ Softimage Fraps
Java Game Maker 8 Neverwinter Nights
Maya Arena (motion capture) Hammer
Action Zigntrack Sims
Unreal Engine Silverlight & SDK Second Life
Flash Moviestorm Maya 2012
Unity Python Zbrush
XNA Audacity Mudbox
Torque HalfLife & Source SDK AutoDesk 2012
GameMaker Audiokinetics (Wwise) Perforce
WinRar ProTools iPhone SDK
Sketch-up Poser 8.0 Motion builder
Adobe CS5 Master Collection

Q: What is the Massachusetts Digital Game Institute (Mass DiGi)?

MassDiGi is a statewide center for academic cooperation, economic development, and job creation in the Massachusetts digital games cluster, based at Becker College. Mass DiGi is the result of innovative collaboration among academia, state government, and industry, aimed at fostering the growth of the creative economy in Massachusetts. In addition, MassDiGi is a US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration University Center. Since starting up, Mass DiGi has launched several initiatives that support entrepreneurship and enhance the talent pipeline between higher education and the digital games industry. Specific initiatives include the Reverse Sabbatical and Virtual Production Lab Programs which bring student teams and industry professionals together to work on creative projects in a real game development environment.

Q: What types of jobs are available to Becker College graduates from the game design program?

The majority of Becker College game design graduates get jobs in a game or game-related field. Some have started their own companies, and some have gone on to graduate school. Graduates from the Becker College game design program work at the following companies:

38 Studios Seven45 Studios
Blizzard StudioX [with Rick Goodman]
Blue Fang Turbine
Demiurge Turtleboy Games (indie)
Harmonix Horseplay (indie)
Nukefile (indie)

Q: How is the Becker College game design program different than programs at other colleges?

The Becker College game design program has always been non-traditional. The program teaches students how to create games that matter. Students at Becker College have state-of-the-art tools and resources common to cutting edge video game design schools, but Becker College goes further. The flexible curriculum allows each student to express his/her own creativity in the way that is most suitable for him/her. The on-campus Massachusetts Digital Games Institute ensures that students work shoulder to shoulder with industry professionals, so they will be prepared for life in the real world. Students work on a wide range of video game projects from entertainment to serious business.

Becker College combines a best-in-class game design program with a solid foundation in the liberal arts and sciences. The Becker College experience is based on the three pillars of global citizenship: academic excellence, social responsibility, and creative expression. In doing so, it provides students with a superior basis upon which to build a distinguished career – a career which will have a transformative impact on the industry of the student’s choice.

Q: Who should I contact for more information about the Becker College game design program?

Paul D. Cotnoir, PhD
Director, design program
Becker College
61 Sever St.
Worcester, MA 01609
877.523.2537 ext. 9400
508.373.9731 (direct)
paul.cotnoir@becker.edu

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