Tag Archives: Games

🃏 “Cartomancy Anthology” launch

Fede Fasce, programme lead for the MA in Independent Games and for the BSc in Games Programming, has been part of the release of “Cartomancy Anthology”, a game anthology available from today on Steam and itch.io.

Cartomancy Anthology is a collection of games inspired by the tarot major arcana. Fede (who is also passionate about tarot) has worked together with 3 of Cups Games to create a game about The Star, the team’s favourite tarot card. In The Star you take the role of someone shattered in two halves by trauma, in a journey to reconnect it and to find new hope. Fede has worked mostly as a game designer and developer in the game.

«Working on the Star with a team of extremely talented people has been an incredible experience. I really hope you’ll enjoy the game!»

Fede Fasce, Ma Independent Games programme leader

“Cartomancy Anthology” is the typical example of how a storytelling tool—as ancient and powerful as tarots cards are—can drive entire stories. And if further evidence that the games-related programmes at Goldsmiths are taught not just by academics, but by actual game developers with decades of industry experience.

  • You can find Fede Fasce on Twitter
  • You can find 3 of Cups Games on Twitter

The computer game to solve a biological puzzle

A computer game hoping to solve one of biology’s biggest mysteries is being developed by academics at Goldsmiths, University of London and Imperial College London.

Protein docking is one of the big unsolved biological problems that DockIt, the game currently under development, will aim to solve. Central to a protein’s biological activity is that it often docks onto another protein, forming a molecular structure, but the 3D shape of this remains difficult to model.

Understanding the docking of proteins can have major benefits to science – including improved knowledge of all cellular processes, and the practical application of drug design.

Read the full article here.

 

BSc Games Programming: Careers

If you are considering BSc Games Programming, you probably aren’t in much doubt about what you want to do after you graduate: you want to make video games, and in particular work as a games programmer. That is why we have designed the degree around the needs of an industry that is notoriously difficult to get in to. By giving you the skills that employers need we will maximise your chances of getting a game development job.

This week Mark Hope of games industry recruiter Aardvark Swift came to Goldsmiths to present the results of an industry survey they conducted last year. Programming is far and away the most in demand discipline among games companies, with over half the advertised jobs being for programmers. There is a serious shortage of programmers with the skills required by the games industry and so it is definitely the right path for getting into making games. When games companies are asked what the most important skills are for new programmers, the answer is always the same: C++ programming and Maths. That is why these two skills are the core of the degree. You will do more in depth Maths than any of our other degree programmes, studying the 3D maths that you need as a games programmer, but also how to use that maths to write 3D graphics software. We will also give you experience in programming C++ using industry standard game engines such as Cryengine. The third most important skill was communication and teamwork. That is why we have designed the degree so that, from the very beginning, you will be working in teams to develop games in a working environment that is modeled as closely as possible on a game development studio. Games companies said that they the thing the most important thing they look at when hiring programmers is their portfolio of work. That is why our entire degree is structured around developing that portfolio. Throughout the course you will be developing games, both individually and in teams, using C++ and industry standard development environments and learning how to present these games effectively on your portfolio website. 

We think that most of our graduates will want to become games developers, but you won’t be locked in to the games industry. Games programming is one of the most challenging fields of software development. If you can program games you can program anything and will be able to get jobs in any area of the software industry. This is particularly true of the digital media industry, from app development to interactive advertising, where the graphics and creative skills of games developers are particularly in demand.

 

An introduction to our new BSc Games Programming

We are building on the success of Msc Games and Entertainment and our close links with the Games Industry to launch our new BSc Games Programming. We have talked extensively to the games industry to know what they want out of the degrees for the next generation of games programmers. They said they want is strong technical computing skills that will enable graduates to develop AAA games on the latest platforms That is why we are developing a hardcore degree that teaches the programming and maths skills you will need as a games programmer.

The games industry, first and foremost, want strong programming and computer science skills which is why BSc Games Programming is our most technically challenging computing degree with a strong emphasis on programming. But industry also wants graduates that are passionate about games and know how to develop games. That is why we have designed the degree so that you learn everything you need to learn by actually creating games. From the very beginning you will develop games in an environment modelled on the industry and with a particular focus on team work. In your first term you will be developing a a mobile game based on your own design, which you will pitch to our games industry experts. From then on you will work with a variety of industry standard engines and platforms such as Unity3D, Cryengine, iPhone, Android and Xbox, each time developing a full playable game of your own design.

 

Game engines, Indie development and BSc Games Programming

As we are having two exciting new degrees starting next year (Games Programming and Business Computing) I will blog about the work we are doing to develop them, so that you can keep updated about them.

At the moment I am working on deciding what development environments will work for BSc Games Programming. The rise, in the last few years, of indie game development has been fantastic for students. It means that professional game engines aren’t just targeted at high end studios any more, they can be used by anyone. That means that you, as students, can use the same development environments as the pros, and who knows, you could be releasing your first indie game before you graduate (maybe even that is a bit late, we’ve had students release mobile games in their first year).

I’ll talk about some of the game engines we are thinking of using.

Unity3D

Unity is the hot game engine for indies at the moment. It is easy to use, with built in 3D modelling tools that integrate very easily with the scripting engine. The free version has plenty of features (physics, terrain engine, lightmapping, custom shaders) that make it possible to develop professional looking game for PCs, macs, consoles and web browsers (you have to pay a one off fee of $400 for iphone and android development).

Unity is a great engine for beginners. The only drawback as a teaching tool is that you can’t directly write code in C++ the hardcore programming language that the real pros use.

Unreal Engine

Unreal has been one of the most important engines for a long time, but it doesn’t shine for me as a student development environment. The learning curve is much steeper than Unity but the free version doesn’t let you access the hard core details of the C++ SDK so you won’t really be using the version the pros use (and the full version is only licenced to high end studios for lots of money).

Cryengine 3

Cryengine is my current favourite for 2nd and 3rd year students. It is a very powerful, cutting edge engine but the full version is free for students and indie developers, who only pay when their game starts making money. That means you will be working with exactly the same version as the pros using all the same C++ development tools.

HTML5

Finally, there is something that may be the future of casual and possibly even hardcore games. The new HTML5 standard has massively improved the 2D graphics capabilities of everyday web technologies and the 3D capabilities are developing fast. HTML5 is easy to develop and very easy to deploy as it can run in any browser including mobile browsers (you can even bundle HTML5 games as phone apps for the app store/android market). It may not be up to the pro engines quite yet, but it is one to watch. All our students learn HTML5 in the first term, so you will definitely have some experience developing on this platform.

Hope this is useful/interesting to some of you,

Marco

Marco Gillies, Director of Studies

Goldsmiths Course Survival Guide Part Un

This blog is for anyone thinking about joining MSc Computer Games and Entertainment and wants some insight into what they’re jumping into, some helpful resources, some of the mistakes I made and how you can avoid them and finally (if like me) you’re new to programming: how you can catch up and code like the best of them.
But first, introductions: Hello everyone, my name is Max Bye and I’m an alcoholic.
Eyes below for a picture.

Here I am asleep in your Computer Labs

Continue reading Goldsmiths Course Survival Guide Part Un