Games Design & Development
Application Deadline: 05 Jun 2014
Computer games now come in all shapes, sizes and flavours and given the right sort of content, can and do appeal to an increasingly diverse set of audiences. Significantly, new games titles which manage to demonstrate true innovation in design, accessibility, story or emotional depth are often the most critically acclaimed and can be the most commercially successful. Along with the massive explosion in small independant projects and increasing range of distribution opportunities, all these factors are key drivers in expanding and diversifying the game-playing audience even further.
There is consequently a genuine thirst for innovation – in design, form, theme and content – and a deficit of talented individuals with the right creative and technical skills to meet the substantial challenges that lie ahead.
In response to these needs, the National Film and Television School has developed a ground-breaking new MA course in Games Design and Development. Combining existing NFTS expertise in character creation, storytelling, design, animation, sound, visual effects, and more, with the input of established games industry experts, the course perhaps for the first time ever genuinely bridges the gap between the worlds of film, television and games in a media production education environment widely acknowledged as one of the best in the world.
A playthrough of the first ever NFTS Games MA project: The Hello World environment.
Head of Department is Jon Weinbren FRSA has nearly twenty years’ experience across computer games, interactive media, film and broadcast television as a writer, producer/director, game designer, creative director, educator and consultant. He is currently a member of the BAFTA Games Committee.
Regular visiting tutors include Chris Hill (CG Art and Animation Specialist); Sion Lenton (Project Management Specialist); Pamela Golden (Observation and Invention Tutor); Richard Fine (Unity3D Specialist); John Dower (Mentor on the “Moments of Consequence” Interactive Drama Project) and Adele Cutting (NFTS graduate and Game Sound Specialist).
This two-year MA programme integrates three crucial game development disciplines: Game Design, Game Production and Game Art/Animation. Students undertake a range of practical projects which develop skills in depth all areas, as well as the ability to work effectively across multi-disciplinary teams. Taught modules focus on game design and development, from both creative and commercial standpoints. Core topics include game theory, game mechanics, genre studies and gameplay formulation, as well as the essentials of concept design, presentation and pitching, game pre-production and prototyping. Further projects and workshops develop topics such as interactive storytelling, scenario scripting, and game world specification. All aspects of game asset development will be covered in the art and animation strands, including non-linear and behavioural animation, interactive objects and entities, environment design and of course in depth training in 3D modelling and animation. We also offer structured classes in practical art skills in life drawing, observation and invention. Essential business know-how such as market research, the development lifecycle, testing and quality assurance, product promotion and marketing; important ancilliary subjects such as sound and music for games. All students take a short primer in programming and technology in order to gain a working knowledge of the technical underbelly of contemporary computer games development
The course takes a sophisticated approach to game narrative and draws on lessons from other creative industries, particularly film and television. With a strong focus on originality, creativity, artistry and technical excellence, you’ll be encouraged to develop new ideas, new genres and new forms of game experience. You’ll move from practical projects in concept design, development, pitching and production to full-scale design and production of playable prototypes. Graduation project teams will be provided with a modest budget to buy in specialist programming expertise should they choose to do so. The NFTS will also facilitate external collaborations with both industry partners and with courses specialising in programming where logistically feasible.
You’ll graduate with an advanced portfolio, an informed view of the games industry, and the creative and technical skills and expertise not only to contribute to the games industry today, but also the vision to help shape its future.
Unlike other schools, all production costs are met by the School. In addition you will be given a cash Production Budget. NFTS students are engaged in more productions as part of the curriculum than any of our competitors.
- Study games design and development working alongside the film and television industry’s best and brightest future prospects.
- Build up an in depth fluency in all games design and development disciplines.
Develop industry contacts through studio visits, conferences, event attendance, trade association involvement and visits from industry practitioners and luminaries.
Gain a working knowledge of games software development techniques, with opportunities to collaborate with specialist software engineers from partner institutions.
- Work on high profile solo and group projects, with plenty of opportunities to experiment, innovate and excel.
- Unlike other schools, all production costs are met by the School.