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Games Design parent pack

Parents and guardians of undergraduate students play an important role in supporting young learners at university.

With Games Design being a relatively new discipline we often get many questions from parents about their child's choices and future prospects in this field. The games design industry is thriving and growing, and in need of highly-skilled professionals.

Our Games Design courses are well-regarded in the industry, they are taught by professionals with experience in the industry, and they are up-to-date and relevant.

We have put together some key information and resources to help you understand gaming, the role of the games designer and how a degree in Games Design will equip your child with the skills and experiences required to succeed in this field.We hope you will visit the campus, learn about our Games Design courses, and have a positive impact on your son or daughter’s future.

What is a Games Designer?

A games designer plans all the elements of a game. Creative Skillset describes the role of a games designer as including: "creating the game specification: its setting; structure; rules; story flow; characters; the objects, props, vehicles, and devices available to the characters; interface design; and modes of play.

When the specification is ready the games designer communicates this information to the development team. Those members create the art and the programming code to bring the game to life so it can be played." Throughout the development, the games designer will make adjustments so that the game responds to technical constraints and other issues that may arise. 

What kind of job can you get with a Games Design degree?

Having a degree in Games Design can lead to a variety of careers within the industry and in allied industries

Further details about careers in games design can be found on the Creative Skillset website. Yet more indepth information about the thriving and successful games design industry can be found from Ukie - the trade body for the UK games and interactive entertainment industry, the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment.

Games Design is new to me. What's included in the course?

Games Design as an academic subject is a new idea to many parents, and some students too. On our courses you will have a core first year where you will cover all the basic skills needed to make and understand games. This will cover the creation of rules, art, software use, communication, writing and much more.

In the second and third year students have the choice to focus on Design, Art, Technology or Game Studies. By the end of the course graduates will have a range of skills sought after by the games industry for roles including game design, game production, game art, game development, game analysis and game research, as well as transferable skills relevant to broader fields.

Our Games Design students and academics have uploaded some videos on our Brunel University YouTube channel to explain what is studied on our Games Design courses and what life is like as a Games Design student at Brunel.

We also have information on our Games Design undergraduate courses pages.

Do you need a degree to be a Games Designer?

There are a variety of routes into the games design industry including apprenticeships and trainee placements, however as a whole workers the computer games industry are graduates and are highly qualified. According to statistics from Creative Skillset, 63% have a degree compared to 57% of the wider creative media workforce, and 37% of the wider UK economy in 2011.

Who teaches the Games Design courses at Brunel?

Brunel's Games Design staff are all avid games enthusiasts who are passionate about gaming. They all  have close connections with the gaming industry as well as their individual activities, expertise and research interests. The key staff on the Games Design courses are:

  • Chris Cox – Senior Lecturer - Chris teaches Games Design and Games Application. He is interested primarily in the player experience of gameplay, how a game is made to be engaging through mechanics and narrative combined. He is also interested in emergent gameplay and how player defined experiences can create exciting and lasting play.
  • Dr Thaleia Deniozou – Lecturer and Programme Director for the MA Digital Games Theory and Design. Thaleia's PhD research investigated the design of mobile game-based learning applications for adult learners. Thaleia is interested in indie, experimental and art-focused games. Some of her favourite games include: The Path, Machinarium, Limbo, The Unfinished Swan and 140.
  • Justin Parsler - Associate Dean of Quality Assurance. As well as lecturing, Justin presently works part-time as a consulting designer for Mediatonic.  Justin is particularly interested in agency in games (in all its multitude of forms); the use of games in unusual ways and the nature of interactivity.
  • Mario Michaelides – Senior Lecturer. Mario's teaching achievements have led him to be awarded Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Mario also frequently consults on commercial projects, providing creative input and prototypes, especially in regards to UX (User Experience).
  • Dr Mariza Dima – Lecturer. Mariza specialises in User Experience and User Interface design for developing meaningful and engaging interactions particularly using tangible, VR, AR and haptic technologies. She also consults on strategies for devising and developing digital projects and user interactions in the creative industries and has expertise in design methods for collaboration and co-creation.
  • Dr Andra Ivanescu – Lecturer. Andra teaches a number of game studies modules including Game Studies 1: Introduction to Game Studies, Game Genre, and Socio-Cultural Studies. Andra’s interests go beyond her primary focus of music in video games, and include appropriation and nostalgia, genre, gender studies, and film studies.

How much support is there for the wellbeing of Games Design students?

We take the wellbeing of our students very seriously. Our staff work closely with their students and they have an open door policy so students can easily approach them if they have any concerns. All Games Design lecturers have training in disability and dyslexia (DDS), and Brunel provides a range of support services for students.

May I attend an Open Day?

Yes. A great way for parents to ask questions and view facilities is to come to one of Brunel’s Open Days. An Open Day is the best way to find out what you really want to know about courses and universities. You'll find out more about our Games Design courses, and also about the accommodation and other facilities on offer. You can explore the campus, meet the staff and talk to current students about life at Brunel.

Learn more about Games Design at Brunel University London