The Master of Science degree in Games and Playable Media is a year-long (12 month) degree focused on combining technical and design innovation to create novel possibilities for the games of today, to enable new types of games, and to explore a wide variety of indie and next-generation playable experiences.
The degree admits students who have a background in computer science and knowledge of games. Target students include industry professionals seeking new knowledge (e.g., advanced AI techniques) and/or wanting to experience new roles (e.g., engineers seeking a move into design) as well as talented recent undergraduates who have completed technically-focused game degrees. The program will include:
- Making Innovative Games. A project-oriented, year-long course sequence in which students create innovative games, working in teams, critiqued and mentored by the Creative Director.
- Dedicated Placement and Professional Development. Professional development courses that help students understand the core issues for working in, managing, or founding a game development team or indie studio, taught by the Program Director (who also works to place incoming students in optional internships and help outgoing students find jobs or establish startups).
- Deep Tech Electives. Elective courses from the graduate curriculum of a research university with a leading game program (including areas such as machine learning, human computer interaction, game AI, security, databases, graphics and animation, natural-language interaction, computer vision, robotics, computational cinematography, etc). Students can learn how to datamine playtraces, generate levels, drive animatronics, and more.
- Media Creation Foundations. Specific courses in game art, game sound, and game narrative designed to give students with CS backgrounds the knowledge they need to create compelling prototypes and indie games, as well as the vocabulary necessary for communicating and collaborating with arts professionals.
- Silicon Valley Location. Deep interaction—including project collaboration and critique—with the wealth of game and technology talent located in the Silicon Valley / San Francisco Bay Area in particular and the West Coast generally.