The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Game Design combines coursework in computer science, including writing computer programs in core languages such as C and C++, with a solid grounding in the humanities, social sciences, and fundamentals of art. This program exposes students to a variety of tools and processes used by professional designers, including proprietary scripting languages, level and map editors, databases, and design documents. Students in the BS. in Computer Science and Game Design program design, prototype, and iterate their projects in a collaborative, deadline-driven environment, helping them develop the communication and team skills necessary to succeed in a real-world studio setting.
The field of digital entertainment has grown from using small teams of just a handful of developers for an entire game to using large teams of one hundred or more on a single title. This large increase in the size of teams, scope, and investment in digital entertainment titles has naturally resulted in more and more specialization into the roles of engineer, artist, and designer. Despite this increased specialization overall, the digital entertainment industry has also seen a growing demand for a hybrid engineer/designer: someone who has strong programming and mathematics skills, combined with formal training in game design. This type of developer is the bridge between the technical and creative sides of game development, able to work as an engineer or designer as needed. This degree program prepares graduates for precisely this “technical designer” role.
Graduates of this program will be trained to write computer programs in core languages such as C and C++, as well as the scripting languages commonly used by all designers. Graduates of this program will be well versed in programming game logic, user interfaces, artificial intelligence, databases, and design tools. Graduates will also be well versed in game design theory for digital and non-digital games, level design, system design, and behavior design, with their strong foundation in programming and mathematics generally making them the strong system and behavior designers. Graduates will have extensive experience testing, iterating, and polishing both digital and non-digital designs, through the completion of many individual projects and multiple team game projects.
Graduates of this degree program will be prepared to enter the video game industry as entry-level software engineers and game designers. Possible entry-level position titles include software engineer, software developer, software development engineer, software development engineer in test, software analyst, computer programmer, gameplay programmer, artificial intelligence programmer, user interface programmer, tools programmer, game scripter, technical designer, system designer, level designer, content designer, encounter designer, and game designer. After many years in the industry, graduates may obtain titles such as lead engineer, lead designer, technical director, creative director, and director. This degree program also includes secondary training that can contribute directly to a graduate obtaining positions with titles such as producer, program manager, technical program manager, and technical writer.
Graduates of this program will be prepared to seek employment in the video game industry in a variety of entry- and intermediate-level roles, including:
- Game Designer
- Gameplay Programmer
- Level Scripter
- Level Designer
- Experience Designer
- Tools Programmer
Students applying to the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Game Design program must be skilled writers, passionate designers, and analytical thinkers, and have a strong foundation in math and science. The ideal candidate will have completed math through pre-calculus prior to attending DigiPen. Courses in English composition, computer science, and physics are recommended.