Game software development bachelor's programs are available as fully online programs through a variety of schools and typically take four years of full-time study to complete. Majors that include game software development courses include game design, game art and design, game programming and software development. Depending on the program, students may complete an optional or mandatory work experience project or take courses in an off-site location.
Since this is a technological field, students typically need to purchase or have a computer that possesses additional field-specific software or hardware. Additionally, given the advancements in the field of game design, students may want to look for online programs that are up-to-date in techniques or meet the requirements of national associations, like the International Game Developers Association.
Game Software Development Programs
In this type of program, students learn skills like how to program software to render 3D animation and graphics, create a game from concept to prototype and design and market games. Both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees are available, with some programs awarding a computer science degree with a gaming concentration. Students who are interested in a game software development program may also want to consider a program in other gaming-related areas, such as the psychology and marketing of games or the business of gaming.
Information and Requirements
Online bachelor degree programs typically take four years to complete when the student is enrolled full-time. These programs utilize online classroom software that is accessed through a web browser, though textbooks are used to teach course content as well. While all coursework is conducted online, in-person internships may be arranged through the school as well, usually in the student's senior year. Before enrolling in a program, it's important to know the specific technological requirements regarding computer type, available hard-drive memory, operating systems and browsers.
Some general education classes will be required in topics such as composition, mathematics, public speaking and history. Besides these, students in a gaming development program will also take classes in areas like information technology, computer programming and business. Below are some examples of the types of classes that may be required.
This type of class teaches students how to create the environment in which a game takes place. A focus may be placed on rendering in 3-D. Topics like lighting, terrain generation and virtual reality concepts may be discussed.
The focus of this class may be on either the business applications or gaming applications of artificial intelligence. Topics may range from knowledge reasoning and representation, character following, searching and planning to mining data and collaborative software agents.
This type of course teaches students about basic computer knowledge like CPU architecture and operating systems as well as maintenance issues and input/output devices. This course may also prepare students for industry exams, such as the CompTIA A+ Essentials certification.
Upon graduation, students will be prepared for entry-level positions with gaming software companies. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that application software developer positions in the U.S. would increase much faster than the average - about 19% - between 2014 and 2024. It also estimated that application software developers made a median annual wage of $98,260 as of May 2015.
Continuing Education Information
For those who wish to pursue their education further, master's programs in game design and game development skills are also available online. The master's program covers topics such as storyboarding, graphical user interfaces and programming languages. Legal and ethical issues involving the use of computer simulations are also covered.
There are multiple online bachelor's degree programs that offer game design and technological training for future game software developers. Some programs focus more heavily on the IT aspects of the field, while others are more focused on the artistic side, but all provide sufficient education for entry-level jobs in video game creation.