Students in bachelor's degree programs that cover game development gain practical skills in digital game design through the study of gaming technology, game design processes, animation and level design. These programs often include a team project where students create a working game. Admissions requirements typically include a high school diploma, one or more letters of recommendation and a personal essay.
Bachelor's Degree in Game Software Development
Whether a student pursues a computer science degree or a program specifically in game software development, the curriculum typically combines technical and design courses. Students study programming concepts, game and simulation programming along with game tools and techniques. Students also complete general education coursework. Topics of study might include:
- Game and simulation programming
- Object-oriented design
- Data structures
- Operating systems theory
- 2-D graphics programming
Popular Career Options
Graduates of bachelor's degree programs in computer science or game software development should be prepared for entry-level employment in software development and game design for education, training or entertainment. They might concentrate on developing video games, including character and level design, or they might write the code that makes up the game. Possible careers include:
- Computer software engineer
- Game designer
- Lead programmer
Game software development students also develop skills that could lead to careers in related fields. This could include jobs in computer animation, software engineering, multimedia or sound design.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Very fast job growth is expected for applications developers at a rate of 19% and systems software developers at 13% during the 2014-2024 period, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). PayScale.com reported in January 2016 that games software developers earned a median annual wage of $66,665.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates of bachelor's degree programs in game software development might want to pursue a Master of Science in Computer Science with a concentration in game development. These programs might focus more on research areas, such as immersion, cognition and video game infrastructure. Individuals often are required to develop a working game. These graduate programs can generally be completed in two years.
Studying game software development at the bachelor's degree level may occur through the major specifically or as an area of emphasis within a computer science degree program. Aspiring game software developers gain the programming and design skills needed to pursue careers as engineers, designers or programmers.