The production of games requires programmers to write complex engines for graphics and artificial intelligence, among other functions. In order to develop these kinds of applications, programmers must have a broad range of skills in planning, design and implementation in different computer programming languages.
Dublin City University provides, within it’s four-year B.Sc. in Computer Applications, many of the core skills which games programming requires. Senior lecturer David Sinclair specified Computer Graphics, Artificial Intelligence, Concurrent Programming, Distributed Programming and Multimedia Technologies as being the most relevant modules on the course.
David, who used to teach a module on the course specifically aimed at games programming (now removed), mentioned that these modules cover programming concepts essential to games programming. The two most popular languages used for games programming (C++ and Java) are both taught on the course.
Regarding options, students choose between three threads in the second year of the course after completing the common core. The threads are Computer Science, Information Systems and Software Engineering, but Mr. Sinclair mentioned that all three threads cover the essential topics mentioned above.
We could not get information on any graduates who have entered into games development careers although some graduates are conducting relevant postgraduate research. The course can accept up to 300 applicants per year.
The final project is presented in fourth year and, while it must be pre-approved by the faculty, there is scope for games-related development within its requirements. In the past students have used the project to experiment with games related artificial intelligence.
There are no direct games industry links to speak of but Mr. Sinclair stated that this course produces software developers (“coders” in gaming rhetoric) who can transfer their skills to many industries not least interactive entertainment.
There is a part-time option (evenings) which provides the same qualification.
Location: Dublin City University, Glasnevin, Dublin 9.
Course: BSc. in Computer Applications
Duration: 4 years
Artificial intelligence, multimedia technology, advanced software engineering practices.
No specific games related modules.
More info: www.computing.dcu.ie