Games Development (Art) BA(Hons)

2021-22 (also available for 2022-23)

Places available in clearing. Find out more.
Places available in clearing. Find out more.

Start date

20 September 2021

Duration

3 years full-time
4 years inc. placement year

About the course

Do you see yourself as an artist? Do you love the idea of creating the visual elements of a game? From characters to environments, props to vehicles, in both 2D and 3D, good computer game artists create intricate pieces of art through visual storytelling and cohesive design to engage and immerse a player in another world.

On this course, we will explore what is possible with games art and development, learn more about conceptualisation, creative production, character and environment art, level design and prototyping with game engines, all of which are built through ever advancing technology. We’ll encourage you to get creative and ambitious with your designs and develop visionary artwork.

Our three Games Development courses share a common first year, so you will gain a thorough understanding in the basics of the game development process, including how to plan, design and create game ideas and concepts. Learning to produce design prototypes, concept and artwork, scripting and playtesting all to learn the skills of the entire game production cycle. We’ll also aim to introduce new technologies and developments that emerge in the games industry, as well as exploring the subject in context, exploring current research, issues and ideas. As the course progresses and you develop a broader appreciation for all art disciplines and as your understanding evolves you will become more specialised in your chosen area. Producing art and design prototypes you’ll work both on your own but also in a group setting so we can support you in developing your team working abilities, which reflects the way the industry operates. Developing an understanding of the entire game production cycle leads to a more efficient and industry employable game developer.

Our Games Development (Art) course explores various art techniques: * Visual design * Character creation * Environmental design * Digital sculpting * 2D Asset creation

During your studies, you’ll also have the chance to take part in lots of internal Game Jams. We’ll also encourage you to get involved in externally organised events like the Global Game Jam, Grads in Games and Game Republic.

Your course is designed for the real world – it carries the ‘ScreenSkills Tick’, which identifies courses best suited to prepare you for a Creative Industries career. We know you'll graduate aiming to gain a job in the industry, so we maintain active links with business and industry figures. If you’d like to take what you’ve learnt out into the real world, we also give you the opportunity to spend a placement year working in the industry.

Our Placement Unit can help you find a position that’s right for you. Alternatively, we have a small number of placements available in our in-house games development studio, Canalside Studios, where you could find yourself working as part of a team developing games for a range of platforms including mobile, iPhone /Android and VR development with latest VR technologies. Previous students have also developed commercial titles as far back as the Xbox 360 to Steam and Nintendo Switch.

Finally, if you’re a student from within the UK, you could even think about starting your own small business while you’re here by applying for the Enterprise Placement Year (EPY).

As one of the world's largest entertainment sectors, the video games industry is always looking out for talented, creative people to design and develop the next generation of games.

Games Development (Art) allows you to create beautiful pieces of art that have the potential to reach a greater audience than ever before. The games industry is continually growing and improving. Games are one of the only interactive mediums that can both be entertaining as well as emotionally impactful.

None

Matt Novak, Course Leader, Games Development (Art)

Course detail

Core modules:

Concept Development 1

This module aims to introduce you to a broad spectrum of methods and practices, used when generating ideas for games and developing game concepts. You’ll explore topics such as play, game concepts, rules and game mechanics. You’ll be encouraged to evaluate and critique both traditional and digital games, whilst being supported in gaining practical skills in the development and refinement of original concepts. Interactive design methods, design documentation and visual and verbal presentation skills will also be covered in this module.

Games Team Project 1

The Games industry relies on professionals who work effectively in multi-disciplinary teams. This module aims to gives students early experience of both developing game assets and working as part of a team in which such artefacts are planned, designed, implemented and evaluated. The module aims to provide the student with an understanding of industry best practices within the games industry. This includes reflective and peer assessment of contribution to the team effort. Students gain introductory experience of a product development cycle, technology limitations, and possible future developments relevant to the course.

3D Games Asset Development

This module has been designed to introduce you to the principles of 3D asset creation for current generation video games and integration into real time rendering engines. Asset development will include things such as environmental props and weapons as well as entire game scenes. You’ll examine workflows and methodologies for artist driven pipelines and technologies to aid in the production of game ready assets. You’ll be offered the opportunity to gain an understanding of the requirements of developing assets to specific design briefs, styles and technical limitations.

Visual Studies (for Video Games)

The aim of this module is to give you a broad introduction to the key theoretical principles of visual design for computer games. Using a wide range of traditional and digital tools you'll be supported to develop core practical and software skills in design, development and the asset production processes. The module covers topics including 2D asset production, researching, resourcing and creating 2D textures for 3D objects and presentation techniques (sketchbook development and design layouts).

Games Prototyping 1

The module aims to develop your technical skills and knowledge in game engine prototyping, using a state-of-the-art game engine, to design and develop a game prototype. Practical studio themes will be developed by tutors which are aimed at helping you to gain an understanding of how the theory fits in with computer games design. You will be introduced to the concepts and principles that underpin the creation of game prototypes and will use a visual scripting language to control actions, interactions and animations.

Introduction to 3D and Animation

Working with software of an industry standard, this module will introduce you to the principles and techniques involved in the development of 3D objects and environments. You’ll be encouraged to gain skills in developing multilayered textures suitable for animation, computer games, architectural and technical design. You’ll have the opportunity to develop skills in understanding how to create animated characters, materials, lighting, rendering and the production of simple animation solutions.

Entry requirements

To find out if you’re eligible to start this course in September 2021 and get more information on how to apply, please see our Clearing pages or call our Clearing Helpline on 0333 987 900001484 472777.

If you’re interested in studying this course in September 2022, please view the 2022-23 course information.

Placements


This course offers you the chance to undertake an optional placement in Year 3. This opportunity helps you to build on the knowledge and skills developed on the course. You will be employed by the company for 12 months, but the actual number of weeks worked will be dependent on the annual leave entitlement you are given in line with the placement company’s policy.

The placement year is a valuable tool that can enhance your employability and help you to develop as an individual. It is acknowledged that graduates with industry experience are generally much more attractive to employers.

Our Placement Unit will be on hand to support you in finding suitable placement opportunities. They will assist you with preparing your CV and with interview techniques. They'll also be in contact with you during your placement so that you'll be fully supported while you gain the experience that employers value so highly.

The Placement Unit team are regularly in contact with local and national companies. We have a number of placement opportunities available in the University’s Canalside Studios, giving you an opportunity to work as part of a team undertaking research and developing games for a range of platforms. You can find more information on placements here.

Alternatively, if you are a student from within the UK, you could consider starting your own small business by applying for the Enterprise Placement Year in conjunction with the University’s Enterprise Team. You’ll have the opportunity to benefit from business advice, mentoring and networking sessions. Find out more information on the Enterprise Placement Year.

Your career


As a graduate of this course, you may consider employment in a wide range of sectors including the automotive, construction, manufacturing, design, medical and electronics industries. You could consider roles such as software engineer, design and test engineer and lead engineer to name a few.

Additionally, you may gain skills that are transferable to other industries and may be able to pursue any career that requires a good honours degree. You could go on to further study and the University has many options available for postgraduate study (including postgraduate teacher training) and research which may interest you.

* Percentage of graduates from this subject who are in work and/or further study fifteen months after graduating (HESA Graduate Outcomes 17/18, UK domiciled graduates).

 

89%* Graduates employed

Student support

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

Changes to a course you have applied for

If we propose to make a major change to a course that you are holding an offer for, then we will tell you as soon as possible so that you can decide whether to withdraw your application prior to enrolment.

Changes to your course after you enrol as a student

We will always try to deliver your course and other services as described. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below:

Changes to option modules

Where your course allows you to choose modules from a range of options, we will review these each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback or demand for certain modules. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let you know in good time the options available for you to choose for the following year.

Major changes

We will only make major changes to the core curriculum of a course or to our services if it is necessary for us to do so and provided such changes are reasonable. A major change in this context is a change that materially changes the services available to you; or the outcomes, or a significant part, of your course, such as the nature of the award or a substantial change to module content, teaching days (part time provision), classes, type of delivery or assessment of the core curriculum.

For example, it may be necessary to make a major change to reflect changes in the law or the requirements of the University’s regulators; to meet the latest requirements of a commissioning or accrediting body; to improve the quality of educational provision; in response to student, examiners’ or other course evaluators’ feedback; and/or to reflect academic or professional changes within subject areas. Major changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, such as a key member of staff leaving the University or being unable to teach, where they have a particular specialism that can’t be adequately covered by other members of staff; or due to damage or interruption to buildings, facilities or equipment.

Major changes would usually be made with effect from the next academic year, but this may not always be the case. We will notify you as soon as possible should we need to make a major change and will carry out suitable consultation with affected students. If you reasonably believe that the proposed change will cause you detriment or hardship we will, if appropriate, work with you to try to reduce the adverse effect on you or find an appropriate solution. Where an appropriate solution cannot be found and you contact us in writing before the change takes effect you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the University without liability to the University for future tuition fees. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

Termination of course

In exceptional circumstances, we may, for reasons outside of our control, be forced to discontinue or suspend your course. Where this is the case, a formal exit strategy will be followed and we will notify you as soon as possible about what your options are, which may include transferring to a suitable replacement course for which you are qualified, being provided with individual teaching to complete the award for which you were registered, or claiming an interim award and exiting the University. If you do not wish to take up any of the options that are made available to you, then you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the course without liability to the University for future tuition fees and you will be entitled to a refund of all course fees paid to date. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, along with the Student Protection Plan, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University.

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