Masters in Game Programming degree focuses on various advanced concepts in graphics, visualization and artificial intelligence. Students enrolled in this program will learn about project management, storytelling and networking to prepare for a career ahead in this field. The program spans over 2- years and is offered by both regular as well as online institutes.
Learners who live in distant places and cannot attend regular schools can opt for online programs in this area of specialization. Also, the online programs in Game Programming can be a suitable option for professionals who are engaged in part time or full time jobs and seek to upgrade their skills to qualify for more rewarding careers. Students who earn this advanced degree can find a number of lucrative career opportunities and become senior-level programmers.
Students in masters in Game Development go through a number of advanced courses. They learn about game engines, lighting effects, visualization, game project management, multiplayer game architecture and advanced graphics. Other courses may include preproduction, game play and level design and programming and implementation. Students will cover the curriculum through traditional classroom lectures as well as practical sessions. Alongside theoretical learning, it is necessary for students to develop skills and gain hands on experience. Some colleges have special learning software and programs to help students learn in an interactive digital environment. Remember the coursework may vary slightly from college to college.
Here are a few courses and their description:
Information technology and digital games
This course is designed to provide students with a thorough understanding of various game genres and interface designs. Students will learn how artificial intelligence and technology are changing the landscape of the gaming industry.
This course is aimed at providing students with knowledge of programming languages. Students will acquire an understanding of animation and game editing.
In this course, students will focus on the programming and creative aspects of game animation. Much of the content is covered in computer labs. Students will gain hands on experience through practical implementation of animation techniques.
Fundamentals of information technology
This course is geared towards equipping students with a brief understanding of information technology and its application in game programming. Some of the topics covered in this course include assurance and security, web systems, information management and information technologies.
Introduction to software development
Students enrolled in this course will learn how to design and implement computer programs. Topics such as business, engineering applications, problem-solving techniques, and communication will be covered.
This course will provide students with introductory knowledge of advanced topics such as the following: skeletal animation, shaders and materials, linear algebra, visual effects, etc.
Students must cover all components of the curriculum and earn a minimum number of credit hours. The credit hour requirement will vary slightly from college to college. Other requirements may include completion of field work and assignments and a research project.
By the end of the program, students will be able to:
Apply game programming principles and techniques
Apply contemporary computer architecture to software problems
Write codes in programming languages for game development
Modify and create prototypes
Modify computer programs and scripts for games
Develop portfolio of games with the help of experimentation and innovation
Gain a deep technical understanding of game internals and design
What skills will you acquire?
In a master’s degree in game programming, you will get the opportunity to develop a broad set of technical skills. Through practical learning, you will strengthen your design skills, creative skills, decision-making skills, analytical skills and team-working skills. Some universities also include internship programs in their curriculum to help students gain professional exposure and training. Students can opt for internships in fields relevant to their specialization and career goals.
Benefits of enrolling in an online master’s degree in game programming
It may not be possible for students to enroll in traditional campus-based colleges due to various constraints. In such cases, pursing an online degree is the suitable option. Online degree programs have become popular due to many reasons, such as:
Students enrolled in online programs can study according to their own schedule. Many professionals who work full-time are pursing degrees online. If you don’t have time to commit to a traditional college or don’t wish to sacrifice your career for further studies, enroll online.
How long does it take to complete a master’s degree in game programming?
Typically, it takes two years to complete a master’s degree. However, students can go for a shorter masters program by enrolling in an accelerated degree-track. Accelerated masters programs can be completed in 12 to 18 months. You can check with prospective schools to learn more about the exact duration of the program and their admission requirements.
To enroll in masters in Game Programming, students must hold a bachelor's degree. They may also need to have a portfolio of software or code samples. Other requirements for admissions may vary from one school to another. Here are a few other admission requirements:
Minimum GPA of 3.0
Letters of recommendation
Earning masters degree in Programming can lead students to a number of rewarding job opportunities. They can work as lead programmer, porting programmer, network programmer or game engine programmers. Game programmers can seek employment in software firms, information technology companies, etc.
There is no data available regarding the salary of game programmers. However, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics,
Computer Programmers made a Median Annual Income of $77,550 in 2014.
Software Developers made a Median Annual Income of $95,510 in 2014.
The exact income will vary from place to place and will also depend on other factors such as specialization.