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Worcester, MA 01609
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Becker College has been called “a destination for game designers” by U.S. News and World Report. Becker College has been consistently ranked by The Princeton Review for the past eight years as a top undergraduate school to study game design–#5 in the world in 2016; our game design and game development and programming majors are among the most innovative and best in the nation.
The video game industry represents $93 billion in worldwide sales, and expects to reach $111 billion by 2015; surpassing previous projections. This rapid growth has created a high demand for well-trained interactive media designers, who create visual graphics that allow user participation on a variety of electronic media—websites, games, cell phone applications, and more. Modern video games have also transitioned beyond entertainment into a wide array of other intersecting industries, leading to employment at companies developing health care, education, and training software.
In addition, Becker College is home to the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI), a statewide institute representing a strong partnership between the digital games industry, academia, and the public sector. Massachusetts represents the fourth largest video game industry cluster in the U.S., which presents tremendous employment opportunities for Becker College graduates. Community internships for Becker College video game development students provide valuable portfolio experience. To date, Becker College student-created games are in use by the UMass Medical School-City of Worcester Mobile Safety Street Bus, Old Sturbridge Village, the Danforth Museum, and others.
Students choose from four interactive media design program concentrations: game arts, game development and programming game production and management or game design. Game development and programming focuses on the technical aspects of game development, while the game design concentration focuses on the scheme of the project. Students use the most industry-current technology, including a high-performance computer lab, a six-camera video motion capture system, a full range of 3D design software, and more.
Game Studio / Live Studio
The centerpiece of the Becker College Interactive Media Design degree program V2.0 is the studio experience built into the curriculum. All students are required to complete six semesters of the Game Studio and have the option of using program electives to take advanced Live Studio courses. These are described below.
Game Studio and Live Studio represent Becker College curricula which concentrate on the development, iteration and launch components of interactive media property development.
Students work in teams, across interactive disciplines (programming, design, art asset creation, and production), and across experience levels, (sophomore, junior, senior), to develop video games of publishable quality. Students may work on the same teams and on the same or new game projects from semester to semester. Student assignments to game projects are made by faculty as part of the course registration process. Students are required to complete at least 18 credits of Game Studio to be eligible for graduation.
Students work in teams on existing, externally supported projects through Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI) or other partners. Live Studio teams represent students from all the interactive disciplines (programming, design, art asset creation, and production), and all experience levels, (second semester freshmen, sophomore, junior, senior), and may include individuals from industry or from other colleges. Student eligibility for participation in Live Studio projects is based on the attainment of advanced game development skill sets commensurate with honors-level academic performance. Students may work on the same different teams and on the same or new game projects from semester to semester. Eligible students are required to submit an on-line application well in advance of the semester registration deadline each semester they are interested in taking the course; Faculty will select eligible students and register them for sections of Live Studio. Teams are then assigned based on consultation between faculty and MassDiGI/other partners. The 3-credit Live Studio course may be used by students to meet their Interactive Media and/or Open elective requirements. Students may take and get credit for multiple instances of Live Studio during their undergraduate career at Becker. Live Studio courses may not be used to fulfill Game Studio credit. Faculty and/or approval of the Dean/Associate Dean of the School of Design and Technology are required for participation.
FAQ – Game Studio & Live Studio
While the overall objectives and learning outcomes for Game Studio and Live Studio are both the same, there are some differences in methodology, approach and operation between the two (see comparison chart). Both studios provide students with the opportunity to experience what it is like to work at a genuine, real-life video game studio. In addition, the work students complete in both studios has the opportunity to culminate in credit for a publicly disseminated game. Game Studio classes encompass the entire scope of the game development process from ideation to launch of new games, while Live Studio concentrates on the iteration and launch components of existing commercial properties, with a focus on monetization and analytics through the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (Mass DiGI).
In order to graduate with the BA in Interactive Media Design (IMD), each student is required to complete a minimum 18 credits (6 classes) of Game Studio. Typically students enroll in a section of Game Studio in each semester of their sophomore, junior and senior years. Live Studio classes are not required for graduation. Students may use Live Studio classes in order to meet their IMD or Open elective requirements. Students may take Live Studio classes at any time, and may take Live Studio classes multiple times during their time at Becker.
Registration for Game and Live Studio classes is held just before pre-registration for the upcoming semester.
Both Game and Live Studio have special registration processes separate from normal class registration. In addition, enrollment in Live Studio classes is a competitive application process which requires a separate application and the recommendation from faculty or the Dean/Associate Dean of the School of Design and Technology. Your academic advisors are more than happy to assist you with this process. (will add a link for this to applications).
No. Typically, team roles are based on your experience, expertise and concentration selection and are assigned by faculty in both Game and Live Studio classes.
In general, no. In Live Studio, team assignments are based on your experience, expertise and concentration selection and are assigned by faculty. In Game Studio classes, if you are part of a student development team whose game idea has been “green lit” you may work on a development team of your choice, more typically, however, Game Studio team assignments are also based on your experience, expertise and concentration selection and are assigned by faculty.
In Game Studio, you and your development team have the opportunity to “pitch” a game idea to faculty. If your idea is selected as a “Green Light” Game, you may be allowed to work on a game of your own design with a team of your choice. This is a competitive process and is available only available in Game Studio. Your academic advisors are more than happy to assist you with this process.
In Live Studio, you are working on games and properties already owned by a publisher or by Mass DiGI, therefore students working on these games do not have ownership of the IP. In Game Studio, unless you are working on a “Green Light” game, students do not have ownership of the IP, as the game concepts often come from faculty or outside, 3rd parties.
No, in both Game and Live Studio games and applications are developed to satisfy a wide range of needs ranging from entertainment, education, simulation and other serious and non-serious development spaces.
At a minimum, you will spend on average 10 hours per week working on your Game Studio and Live Studio projects.
Yes, Students enrolled in catalog years prior to FA2017 may still use credit earner in Live Studio to meet their Game Studio graduation requirement.
Game Studio – Live Studio Comparison
|Feature||Game Studio||Live Studio|
|Work in student development teams on real games of publishable quality.||♦||♦|
|Work with Mass DiGI in conjunction with faculty.||♦|
|Meets Game Studio graduation requirement.||♦|
|Work on existing properties concentrating on iteration and launch of commercially viable applications.||♦|
|Work on faculty-, third party-, and student- sponsored projects.||♦|
|Opportunity to work on your own “Green-Lit” project, with your own team.||♦|
|Work alongside industry professionals.||♦||♦|
|Use industry-standard hardware and software tools for development, versioning and analytical modeling.||♦||♦|
|May meet internship requirement.||♦|
|Development with full commercial stack||♦||♦|
|Work on pre-production of games||♦||♦|
|Performance reviews in addition to grade||♦||♦|
|May be taken multiple times in the same semester.||♦||♦|
|Work on new properties with emphasis on the entire game design and development process from ideation to launch||♦|
|Opportunity for exploration of a wide variety of research and non-commercial game applications.||♦|
|Opportunity for student ownership of intellectual property.||♦|
|Requires pre-registration each semester.||♦||♦|
|Requires a special application and faculty/dean reference each semester.||♦|
|Opportunity to earn a spot in the credits of published games and produce high quality portfolio worthy materials.||♦||♦|
|Opportunity to network with game companies for potential internship and employment situations.||♦||♦|
|Opportunity to plug into Mass DiGI industry network as well as advance notice and potential to attend Mass DiGI-sponsored events.||♦|
|One-on-one career mentorship and portfolio evaluation by Mass DiGI staff.||♦|
Develop industry skills in operating computer game development tools and assessing their advantages and disadvantages
Use theoretical concepts and perspectives to explain and evaluate the development of games in various settings
Critically evaluate various approaches to game design and identify the elements that are likely to make for effective games
Design or engineer prototypes of computer games for a variety of environments
Effective collaborative strategies including components of the Agile Mindset
To learn more about the Becker College interactive media design program, call 877.523.2537 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.;
View the Becker College design program: game design.Learn more about the game design program at Becker
View the Becker College design program: game development and programing.Learn more about the game development program at Becker
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