BSc (Hons) Computing & Games Development - Course overview
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BSc (Hons) Computing & Games DevelopmentCGD logo

The course balances games development workshops with core computer science topics, supported by mainstream computing modules. We actively encourage enterprise activity and provide a professional studio environment tailored to support agile development across new and emerging platforms.  

We see our students working across the independent and commercial sector as agile developers with a passion for games and related interactive systems, but with realistic expectations. We have excellent links with a wide range like minded companies, with regular guest visits, placements and related events.
 

Work individually and as part of an interdisciplinary  team to hone your skills, develop your portfolio and deliver live projects as you carve a niche in this fast evolving sector.

Join Plymouth's indie developer scene and follow related events such as explay.

TIGA logoWe share core modules with BSc (Hons) Computer Science and expect to secure British Computer Society (BCS) Accreditation, in addition the program is recognised by TIGA the trade body for the games industry. 
 
Following initial consideration by the BCS,  it is anticipated that a graduate will be entitled to apply for membership of the BCS (MBCS) and will have fully met the academic requirement for Chartered IT Professional (CITP) registration and partially met the educational requirement for Chartered Engineer (CEng) registration.   
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TECHNOLOGY SUPPORTED LEARNING - ipad mini and ebooks

As a computing student at Plymouth, a key aspect is how we use the technology itself to support your learning. You will receive an Apple iPad mini to give you access to various additional resources that support your modules (e.g. podcasts, eBooks (see below)), as well as to enable you to participate in interactive activities such as in-class voting and feedback, and for accessing various University online systems such as module sites, the electronic library, and of course email.

Free eBooks for all first-year undergraduates on computing courses

First year computing students at Plymouth University have access to free of charge eBook versions of textbooks. The eBook package is worth over £300 and covers core first year modules and can be downloaded to computer, laptop, iPad, iPhone, Android phone or Android tablet.
 
This exciting initiative facilitates the learning process and enables lecturers and students to annotate texts and share their notes and views online.
 
The list of books currently available comprises:
  • Ambler -Agile database techniques: effective strategies for the agile software developer
  • Farrell - Microsoft Visual C# - An introduction to Object-oriented Programming
  • Gollmann - Computer Security
  • Goodrich -Data Structures & Algorithms
  • Silberschatz - Operating System Concepts
  • Stephens - Beginning database design solutions
  • Tavani - Ethics and Technology:  Controversies, Questions, and Strategies for Ethical Computing
  • Watson, Nagel, Pedersen & Reid  -  Beginning Visual C#
These eBooks are readable using Vitalsource Bookshelf (www.vitalsource.com), available for Windows, Mac OS X and for iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad) or Android devices (please check the Vitalsource website for full system requirements). There is also a Bookshelf Online portal that allows access through most devices that have a web browser. Please see the Vitalsource web site for further information.

Serious Games

Marius Varga using his final stage project“I always wanted to make games (especially 3D environments) and this was the best way to reach that goal. Working in the gaming industry requires a specific set of skills and this course is a great place to learn those skills. For me it was the best choice and people passionate about games will agree with me.”
 
Marius Varga
CGD Graduate
 
Marius developed a stunning final stage project, Gestalt Flight - an intuitive physical interface using a paragliding harness with a custom 3D game engine built in Direct X10 and C ++ featuring real time terrain generation, thermals to gain height, well balanced physics and an ambient sound scape.
 
The new dual boot studio

Development Studio 

Our new dual boot studio is the base camp for the course, this is a proper development environment with Industry strength tools and software developments kits, log in to OSX, Windows7 or Linux on the same machine, customise your account and whichever machine you use in the studio, your preferred setup will be available. We also have a dedicated server and dedicated developer support with a lightening speed turnaround for updates/installs and tweaks to support developers.
 
The new studio is shared with Computer Science, particularly in the final stage where Computing & Games Development students work alongside Computer Science and Robotics students on shared modules, of course as a games focused course we have various specialist kit on hand to support student projects, ask nicely and we'll show you the toy cupboard!

The studio being used for a lecture

​Resources

In addition to the main studio, students have access to a wide range of resources across the Faculty of Science and Technology, including electronics, robotics and related workshops to support for hardware based projects and interface prototyping. We also have a collection of novel interfaces, games controllers, consoles and even arcade machines to support innovation

ARdrone and ipod controller
​One of this years final stage development teams led by James Hayter proposed an AR game using the infamous ARdrone based on the arcade classic Defender, it was such a cool idea we had to buy one, well actually two … the original one took a bit of a hammering during extensive playtesting, open days and outreach events for local schools!

 Industry Perspective

"There is high demand for low-level engineering talent in console games/engine development, making a good understanding of C++ and processor architecture still relevant skills today. For more indie orientated development or budding game designers, a solid understanding of C# and Java makes the programmer conducive to smaller mobile/games projects built in a variety of existing frameworks such as XNA, Android or Unity."
 
Martin Darby
Product Development Director
Remode Studios
​“This new course offers many of the technical skills highly sought after in our industry.  From an employers perspective, this is exactly the kind of talent we're looking for, a unique blend of creative and dynamic ideas coupled with cutting edge technical skills.”
 
“The new studio looks like the perfect environment for creating, exploring and developing exciting and novel ideas using current and future technologies. I wish I could work there.”
 
Andrew Sargeant
Lead iPhone Developer
Mutant Labs Ltd

At the London Expo Showcase

​London Expo Showcase

We place great emphasis on real world experience, we have promoted our student team prototypes alongside some of the biggest names in the industry at London expo, many of these teams have gone on to form a startup company, using the expo as an opportunity to network with industry and road test a prototype to the general public. The expo runs at the Excel Centre, London Docklands, attracting over 30,000 visitors.
multitouch
Dr Nick Outram in the studio

Apps Development

The course team are actively involved in apps development; Dr Nigel Barlow leads Android development across Computing programmes and Dr Nicholas Outram (above) has been running iOS development courses all over the world, he also runs courses for local developers and delivers a core module ‘embedded systems’ in stage 2 of the course. We have development kits for both Apple and Android development our main studio.
Andy’s Sonic Moon for iPad
​Andy’s Sonic Moon for iPad (above) won a Media Innovation award this year 
 
“The iPad is just one example of the changing landscape of gaming devices.  The strict developing environment for iPad gives a good foundation in application architecture and industry standard programming methods. It also offers an excellent introduction to C based languages.”
 
Andrew Sargeant
Lead iPhone Developer
Mutant Labs Ltd

Dean Havelock's three player Serious game

​Games Based Learning

Final stage student Dean Havelock produced a three player Serious game for his major project. Play the spotter, navigator or pilot and collaborate as a team to complete air sea rescue missions. Dean built a custom game engine built in C#, & C++, The project used VR headsets and voice over IP to provide a truly collaborative immersive experience. Dean is now working for Cetsat http://www.cetsat.com/