Gaming at Northeastern

Game design today looks greatly different than it did even a decade ago, with mobile and social media gaining adoption as viable platforms as increasing importance is placed on play psychology, middleware, graphics tools, innovative game mechanics, game evaluation methodology, evolving artificial intelligence techniques, and new narrative structures. Given these developments, gaming has extended its reach beyond traditional entertainment-seeking audiences to those looking to use game experiences in health, education, and training scenarios.

The Game Design program at Northeastern offers graduate-level studies focused not only on best practices in a popular new field of study, but a holistic approach to game design that positions graduates for entrepreneurial success as they join an ever-evolving creative community. The graduate curriculum seeks to:

  • Provide the timely education mentorship required to enter an innovative, competitive, and expanding field
  • Foster students to build their own creative projects and enable them to seek entrepreneurial careers within the game industry
  • Develop innovative computational techniques, scientific methods, and design ideas in all aspects of student work

The faculty of the Game Design program is composed of accomplished game researchers who have close ties to the game industry, and who are not only part of a vanguard for innovation in game design, but who are also passionate about building the next generation of professionals who will continue pushing the boundaries of game design.

Game Design students study in a diverse hands-on environment that incorporates both computer science and creative design methodologies. There are three graduate-level Game Design program options available to students:

  • Master of Professional Studies in Digital Media, offered through the College of Professional Studies
  • Graduate Certificate in Game Design, offered through the College of Professional Studies
  • Master of Science in Game Science and Design, jointly shared between the College of Arts, Media and Design and College of Computer and Information Science

Master of Professional Studies in Digital Media (coming January 2014)

The Master of Professional Studies in Digital Media, through the College of Professional Studies, provides state-of-the-art digital media courses in moving image, information design, and narrative structure— elements that are critical to producing and developing content-rich and interactive experiences. Complementing the degree’s core curriculum is a distinctive concentration in game design.

Differentiating this digital media master’s degree is its cohort format, a team-based structure that allows you to complete your degree with the same group of students. Designed to strengthen your project management and leadership skills, cohorts enable you to collaborate with your colleagues on complex, multi-media projects—preparing you to excel in an increasingly digital world.

Game Design Graduate Certificate (coming January 2014)

The Game Design Graduate Certificate, through the College of Professional Studies, offers a practice-oriented approach to the art and science of game making. The program emphasizes visual design and programming for video games, and fosters conceptual understanding of the principles of game design for all varieties of games – from educational board games to iPhone games.

The Graduate Certificate in Game Design is ideal for:

  • Tech industry professionals who want to expand their skill set to include game design and programming
  • Game artists, writers, and producers who want to learn to design games while deepening their understanding of other technical aspects of game development
  • Any college graduate who understands the fundamentals of programming and visual design and wants to explore career possibilities in the game design industry

Master of Science in Game Science and Design (coming Fall 2014)

Jointly shared between the College of Arts, Media and Design and College of Computer and Information Science, the game design program offers a Master of Science in Game Science and Design. This MS degree focuses on the science of game development, specifically on understanding players and measuring gaming product successes through player behavior. The degree weaves the design and technology necessary to build a game, but centers on the playability and analytics needed to create a successful, player-centric gaming experience.

The degree consists of several areas of game science and design, including:

  • Game Playability
  • Game Analytics
  • Game Technology
  • Game Design

Game Playability and Analytics encompass the Game Science aspect of the program. Game Technology denotes the computational aspects of the program. Game Design denotes the design aspect of the program. Each of these elements are blended into the standard curriculum for the degree, as the Game Design program seeks to involve Master’s candidates in all aspects of the science and design of games.