UEL Games

Computer Games Design
Computer Games Development

BA(Hons) Computer Games Design: Story Development is a course that shows you how to plan, design and implement computer games, with an emphasis on the role of story and narrative design as they apply to games. This program focuses on important aspects of games design including paper-based design and prototyping, iterative design methods, games asset production, digital scripting/prototyping, project and production management, multidisciplinary group work, and understanding and application of story and narrative structures to games design.

In addition to the shared games design core, this course focuses on narrative and story development for computer games, and the way that story combines with other elements of a game to create compelling gameplay experiences,  within the context of learning about the whole games design and development process. As part of the program you will be required to produce games design and development documentation, as well as plan and mange implementation of games prototypes, both individually and as part of a development team. The programme gives you a foundation in the entire games development process and allows you to acquire skills in 2D/3D graphics production, player/user/market analysis and targeted design, and makes use of industry standard games development environments to allow for prototyping without a background in computer programming. Our single honours course is unique in focusing on the skills and understanding between design and development and will equip you with essential skills for the growing games industry.  

This programme is designed to:

  • Enable students to understand the nature, function and context of story/narrative development in computer games
  • Develop in students the skills in computer games design and development practice – iterative, targeted design, planning, development and communication and management skills
  • Develop in students an understanding of and skills in critical practice in the games industry - not solely vocational 'how-to' skills but also the ability to think critically about 'why' and 'with what effect'
  • Develop in students the ability to work both independently and as part of a design and development team

Course Structure

All UEL courses are broken down into modules. The typical UEL games student studies 11 modules across three years of full time study, for a total of 360 credits (120 credits per year). The first year is shared between courses to give all students a foundation in all aspects of design and development. It is composed of two 45 credit modules and one 30 credit module. The second year has three shared 30 credit modules with each course studying an additional 30 credit specialisation module. In the third year of study, there is one 45 credit module, two 30 credit modules and a further 15 credit specialisation module.

Level 4 (Year 1)

The first year introduces  the basics of computer games design, games and audience analysis, story development/writing and games theory, as well as introductory graphics and prototyping production techniques and theories.

Games Research & Analysis

Introduction to key theoretical concepts and professional working practices associated games development and research.

Gameplay Development

Introduction to the process of designing and producing computer games including asset production and the scripting concepts associated with developing computer games via the design and development of a 2D computer game.

Introduction to Games Design

Introduction to a range of theoretical approaches to the study and design of games exploring interrelationships between elements and how they combine to make compelling and balanced gameplay. Students work as part of a team in the iterative design and development of a game.

Level 5 (Year 2)

The second year focuses on more detailed games design, planning, implementation, production management, prototyping and testing and further games programming skills including object oriented games programming, as well as dissertation planning and preparation. At this level multidisciplinary teams work to an industry brief for external clients.

Professional Practice (30 credits)

Introduction to the appropriate professional design and development processes, techniques and management for all stages of production, working as part of an interdisciplinary team to an industry brief.

Gameplay Events & Level Design (30 credits)

To explore the concepts, theories and practices associated with gameplay and level design through the research, planning and development of a 3D game level.

Digital Media Research Methods (30 credits)

Introduces research methods and concepts and data analysis techniques appropriate to games research in preparation for the final year dissertation. As part of this module students will formulate their dissertation topic and proposal for the following year.

Specialisation Module 1 (30 credits)

Computer Games Design (Story Devlopment) students take Narrative & Gameplay Design, exploring writing elements and techniques for digital and non-digital writing.

Computer Games Development students take Gameplay Programming, developing essential gameplay programming and system planning skills.

More information about these modules is available on the respective course pages.

 

Level 6 (Year 3)

The final year includes a large scale, multidisciplinary team-based production project with the opportunity to apply further develop skills learned in the first two years, in the design and development of an original game idea. At this level student undertake an independent research project and dissertation on a topic of their choice, and consider the exiting job market and the creation of a polished and targeted portfolio of work. Students on the Computer Game Development course also explore more advance games programming concepts, including games AI.

Games Studio (30 credits)

This module enables students to work collaboratively on a all stages of a large scale professionally informed games project as part of an interdisciplinary team. The module provides an environment indicative of recognised industry practices, using industry standard tools, underpinned by contemporary games design research and management and development practices.

Dissertation (45 credits)

In this module students devise and undertake an individual dissertation on a topic of their choice. As part of this research they will develop and test a digital prototype as part of primary research used to answer the question they set and develop under guidance from their specialist supervisory team.

Professional Games Portfolio (30 credits)

Encourages students to critically analyse existing and potential games markets and consider and apply the legal, ethical and political aspects relating to games production. Provides an overview of planning, scheduling, budgeting and cost benefit analysis of games development, and how to produce a targeted portfolio.

Specialisation Module 2 (15 credits)

Computer Games Design (Story Devlopment) students take Professional Games Writing, exploring technical games writing and documentation.

Computer Games Development students take Dynamic Gameplay Programming, further developing gameplay implementation and exploring concepts such as AI, multiplayer and multi-platform publishing.

More information about these modules is available on the respective course pages.

Specialisations

The specialisation modules that are part of our Games Design (Story Devlopment) programme are intended to help you understand the various forms of writing in the games industry.

Level 5: Narrative & Gameplay Design

This module aims to provide a broad appreciation for writing elements and techniques applicable to digital and non-digital writing. Student reproduce a number of projects exploring at elements of fiction including structure, plot, rhythm, characters, location and dialogue as they apply to games design.

Level 6: Professional Games Writing

This module explores technical writing and documentation including narrative outlines mapped with mechanics, and develop a story-based game prototype using professional development tools.

Further Information

For further information please contact the programme leader:

David Dorrington
School of Arts and Digital Industries
Docklands Campus
4-6 University Way 
London E16 2RD

Tel: 020 8223 2596
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

BA UCAS Info

UCAS Code: GWLF

Typical Entry Requirements
112 UCAS points

Programme Leader

David Dorrington
Tel: + 44 (0)20 8223 2596
Email: d.dorrington@uel.ac.uk