The business of game development in the United States has recently
passed $13 billion dollars in annual sales, almost twice the annual
sales of motion pictures. The game industry is fast growing with
opportunities for a wide variety of jobs. A number of "hot spots" for
game development exist throughout the country. The greater Boston area
is one of these spots with several major studios.
Creating computer programs using animated graphics is a challenging
and fascinating process. It is very exciting to see others play the
games you created!
The Animation and Graphic Game Programming (AGGP) curriculum focuses
on programming and the technical computer aspects of game development.
Successful game development programmers possess a high level of skill
and expertise in programming, math, and physics to make the artistic
come to life. An introduction to tools and skills for game development
and game production will be provided to support team projects. This
introduction to common tools and skills will include those used by
artists and designers.
This program prepares students for:
- entry level computer programming jobs in the entertainment business
or a wide range of industries such as medical, forensics, architectural,
training development, advertising or any industry incorporating
animation and graphics to improve communication; and/or
- the opportunity for advanced education in the field of animation and
graphics via degree granting schools or specialized schools focused on
the entertainment fields.
The AGGP program focuses on C\C++, the main programming language used
to develop games. Students will learn strong C++ programming skills
including data structures with pointers, Windows application
programming, and Microsoft's DirectX programming. Other important
programming and scripting languages used to in development and
production of games. This will include Adobe Flash Actionscript,
Microsoft C#, Sun Java, and Epic's Unreal Script.
The students will be introduced to game development with Adobe Flash
and Actionscript. An example of what is possible for students to create
in the first course of the AGGP curriculum is available at the
following link: http://www.metrocast.net/~mtibbals/.
Math and physics play a key role in game development and are
incorporated in all related courses. Students are required to take a
specific course blending math, physics, and game programming. Having a
course devoted to this topic is relatively unique in game development
curriculums at the community college and bachelor levels.
Students will have an introduction to 2-D and 3-D programming using
Microsoft's XNA Game Studio. XNA Game Studio is a software framework for
game development built on top of Microsoft .NET technology. Using XNA,
students will learn cross platform programming among Windows PCs, Xbox
360s, and Windows 7 Phone devices. Students programming with XNA who do
exceptional and polished work will find an opportunity to submit their
work for sale on Xbox Live Indie Games Marketplace and the Window 7
Phone Application Marketplace.
The students will learn to utilize Epic's Unreal Engine, the leading
state of the art 3-D engine used in a large portion of the industry. The
Unreal Engine and games using the engine have has won numerous
prestigious industry awards, including several "Game of the Year"
awards. Students will learn to create custom content and maps using 3ds
Max and the Unreal Engine tools. Students are required to take a second
course on 3-D application design using the Unreal Engine and Unreal
Script, a C++ and Java like language created to script the Unreal
Engine. Students will be provided an opportunity to use the Unreal
Engine for their capstone team project.
In the past few years, game development has exploded in the areas of
web based multi-player games and hand held devices. These changes have
been fueled by advancements in new technology and lower barrier of entry
including a significantly smaller team sizes. The massive adoption of
social networks such as Facebook and the increasing use of new smart
phones and other hand held devices with health application creation
support have provided new ways to serve content to users. Students will
be introduced to these emerging technologies and work with leading
platforms associated with Apple's iPhone, Google's Android, and the
Microsoft Windows 7 Phone. As with XNA Game Studio described above,
students who do exceptional and polished work with these technologies
will find an opportunity to submit their work for sale in application