Unity Game Development

The Unity Engine has transformed the games industry, dramatically increasing the number of jobs open in game development. Whether you want to become a Unity specific developer – the seventh fastest growing job worldwide – or just learn how to craft compelling, immersive experiences, this program is for you.

Key Academic Contributors

Dr. Charles Severance

“Dr. Chuck” is a Clinical Professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Information. He is the former Executive Director of the Sakai Foundation and one of the world’s leading online CS educators. 

Dr. Colleen Van Lent

Dr. Van Lent is a Lecturer in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. Her honors include being chosen as a National Physical Sciences Consortium Fellow and a NASA Faculty Fellow. She has written three books about web design.

Fereshteh Forough

Fereshteh is the CEO and founder of Code to Inspire – A nonprofit coding and game development school for girls in Afghanistan. She is a recipient of the 2019 Global Gaming Citizen Award

Key Professional Contributors

Renee Gittins

Renee Gittins is the Executive Director of the International Game Developers Association and the studio head of Stumbling Cat. She was honored by Forbes as part of their 30 under 30 list.

Thomas O'Connor

 Thomas O’Connor is the Studio Director of PlayEveryWare, a rapidly growing game studio in Seattle that largely focuses on porting games between systems and designing assets for AAA game titles.

Corporate Advisors

Unity

Unity is the world’s most used game engine. It powers over 50% of Mobile games and 60% of all AR/VR content. The majority of courses in the Rize Game Development major were developed with Unity materials

IGDA

The International Game Developers Association is a nonprofit professional association which exists to support and empower game developers. This program was built to conform to the IGDA 2020 curriculum framework

PlayEveryWare

PlayEveryWare is a game studio which focuses on porting games between systems. PlayEveryWare provides internship opportunities to Rize Game Development students.

About the Major

We conducted interviews with multiple studio heads, game development professionals, and academics to identify the key needs in a comprehensive Game Development education. In doing so, we identified the following academic priorities:

  • Project-based learning.
  • A holistic understanding of game development.
  • A collaborative studio environment.
  • Strong technical skills.
  • Basic aesthetic understanding.

The Rize Game Development major is intended to provide students with the skills they need to successfully work in the games industry as a developer or producer. It deliberately focuses on providing students with a broad base of experience, in order to allow them to find success either at larger firms or with smaller developers: the latter of which is of tremendous contemporary relevance, as the majority of new jobs in game development are at small-to-medium sized studios.

There has been a dramatic spike in independent game development in the last 5 years, due to the rise in popularity of mobile gaming, and the proliferation of off-the-shelf game engines such as Unity. Platforms like Unity allow small studios to compete successfully with massive corporations and have resulted in a boom of successful small-to-medium-sized development firms which have produced wildly successful titles such as Minecraft, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Stardew Valley, The Bridge, Rocket League, and more. These studios often also work to produce assets for larger corporations on a contract basis, or re-build existing games for new platforms.

The Unity Engine is central to the Rize Game Development Major. Students will complete 15 credit hours of work in Unity, learning key principles of game design, systems design, and ultimately building their own fully functioning game as part of their capstone project. Along the way, they will learn to program in Python, C#, Javascript, HTML5, and CSS3 – all incredibly valuable languages in both the games industry and the larger technology space. Students will also build strong skills in application development, user experience design, web design and project management allowing them to pursue other careers in technology should they choose to do so. By the end of this degree program, students will possess the following certifications in addition to their bachelor’s degree:

  • Unity Certified User
  • Unity Certified Associate
  • Unity Certified Programmer

 

Learn Game Development and Programming

Enough classes to start Game Development from scratch – programming courses listed under Computer Science

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History of Games

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Systems Design

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Game Engines II

Advanced C#

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Intro to Game Design

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Game Engines I

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Practicum: Build a Game

Build a Portfolio

Every student graduating from this program will have built a functioning game to show prospective employers – empowering them to land their first job in the industry.