Program Overview

The real-time interactive simulation field, which includes the software and digital entertainment industries, is one of the fastest growing and most exciting career choices of the future. The video game, movie, and military industries are only a few of those that demand well-trained, enthusiastic programmers, designers, artists, and managers. DigiPen Institute of Technology is a key provider of these individuals, and the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation degree program prepares programmers for these industries. Designed and developed by industry experts and DigiPen faculty, the Institute's four-year BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation degree program is a computer science degree that is highly focused on the areas of graphics and simulations. Participants in the BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation degree program specialize in the skills and tools necessary to create real-time simulations of real-life events and imaginary situations.

The BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation degree program offers extensive training in mathematics and physics as a foundation for the various topics presented in general computer science and computer graphics. Throughout the degree program, BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation students participate in several team-based projects. These substantial projects are designed to give students concrete experiences in which they apply the theoretical knowledge gained from their courses. Forming the cornerstone of the program, these projects exemplify many of the skills necessary in the video game industry today: teamwork, design, implementation, follow through, and business knowledge, among others.

BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation students gain the experience of designing, programming, and testing a variety of simulations and games, including text based, scrolling, simulation, and 2D and 3D games.

Students in this degree program work both individually and collaboratively to learn the fundamentals of software programming, game design, and production. Additionally, they write game design documents and technical design documents, learn how to schedule tools and techniques, and participate in the full production of several games. These game-oriented productions are a perfect media to present complicated subjects in a format agreeable to students. These productions:

  • are graphics-oriented simulations, including 2D and 3D simulations.
  • can realistically reproduce or simulate natural phenomena and real-life events. Flight simulators are excellent examples of such simulations.
  • are highly interactive, requiring an elaborate and efficient graphical user interface (GUI). The development of a GUI requires the management of windows, menus, dialog boxes, and hardware resources including keyboards, mice, and display monitors.
  • react in real time. The implementation of such simulations requires a thorough knowledge of computer hardware and computer languages.
  • are story-based simulations requiring a plot in which game objects must interact intelligently with each other. Therefore, in order to make games challenging and interesting, students must design and implement good artificial intelligence algorithms, which serve as the cognitive processes for the computer-controlled game objects.
  • could be designed for either a single-player or multiplayer environment. The development of the latter requires the understanding of subjects such as computer networks, TCP/IP, and internet programming.
  • are excellent examples of large and complex productions. Teamwork is essential to the successful completion of such productions. Therefore, students are divided into teams and are rigorously trained in object-oriented programming languages, paradigms, and software engineering techniques and practices.

Graduates of this degree program will be prepared to enter the video game industry as entry-level computer scientists and software engineers. Possible entry-level position titles include Computer Scientist, Software Engineer, Software Developer, Software Development Engineer, Software Development Engineer in Test, Software Analyst, Computer Programmer, Gameplay Programmer, Engine Programmer, Physics Programmer, Graphics Programmer, Networking Programmer, Artificial Intelligence Programmer, User Interface Programmer, Tools Programmer, Web Programmer, or Game Scripter. After several years in the industry, graduates may attain titles such as Lead Engineer, Lead Developer, Development Manager, Principal Engineer, Technical Director, and Chief Technology Officer. This degree program also includes secondary training that can contribute directly to a graduate obtaining positions with titles such as Producer, Program Manager, Technical Program Manager, Technical Writer, and Technical Designer.