Serious Games

Computer games are an increasingly important medium in our world, and for California as a cultural and economic leader. As games have grown in importance, game developers have found ways to design games that aim to impact measurable social goals — and businesses, nonprofits, and governmental entities have also sought to fund and develop games that serve purposes other than entertainment. These are broadly called “serious games” or “games for impact.” Learning to develop such games presents unique demands.

The Serious Games program will be formally launching Fall of 2019. Whether your passion is making educational, health, or scientific exploration games, this program is a great way to explore the world of serious games and impact the world around you. The program is about developing and analyzing serious games.

The following courses are required:

*Classes titled with “GAME” are offered at our Silicon Valley campus whereas those titled “CMPM” are offered at UCSC’s main campus in Santa Cruz.

Sample Schedule

Quarter I
Game Programming I (GAME 235)
Game Design Systems (GAME 200)
Games Proseminar (GAME 280A)
Quarter 2
Game Programming II (GAME 236)
Foundations of Serious Games (GAME 250)
Games Proseminar
(GAME 280A)
Quarter 3
Game Technologies
(GAME 231)
Serious Games Studio I
(GAME 255)
Professional Development for Game Makers
(GAME 221)
Summer Break
Internship or
Sponsored Project
Quarter 4
Serious Games
Studio II (GAME 256)
Games Proseminar (GAME 280A)
Quarter 5
Serious Games Studio III (GAME 257)
Games Proseminar
(GAME 280A)

All required courses will be offered at UC Santa Cruz’s Silicon Valley Campus location. Some electives, particularly Game Technology, will also be offered at the Silicon Valley Campus location, making it possible to complete the degree entirely with courses offered in Silicon Valley.

Capstone Project

The degrees culminate in a comprehensive, collaborative capstone project. Students work together in spring, fall, and winter quarters to learn fundamental game engineering and project management practices while also pitching and developing project ideas. Successful pitches are selected for completion during this sequence.