Leeds University has partnered with a number of local gaming specialists to provide a brace of new games courses aimed at filling what it sees as "a severe technical skills shortage in the UK."
The institution is premiering a four-year MEng and one-year Master's degree in Performance Graphics and Games Engineering alongside NVIDIA; Epic Games, Sumo Digital, Barog Game Labs, Team 17 and Weaseltron. Both courses are open for registration for the 2017 academic year.
"There are plenty of high-level university courses that teach students how to develop games, but there are very few in the UK and indeed the world that deliver anything like the level of technical skills that are needed to innovate with graphics, simulation, low-level performance and engine development techniques," said Barog director Simon Barratt.
"These are the skills needed to push the next generation of entertainment especially at the dawn of the VR and AR industries with their increased graphical requirements. There's an urgent and growing skills crisis - that's why we were keen to work with the University of Leeds to help put a programme together that we know will produce graduates with the technical skills the industry demands. As an employer, this is exactly the type of course we need to produce the next technical innovators."
"Gaming is such a fast-paced sector and continually benefits from rapidly evolving computer technologies," added Leeds University's David Duke. "It needs graduates with the right mix of deep academic knowledge and hands-on experience who understand how to generate new levels of visual realism and effects on cutting-edge hardware platforms and write the rendering engines that will power the next generation of games.
"This collaboration with industry will ensure our students will be the best-equipped to enter the employment market in the games development, animation and visual production industries."
Focus points for the course include:
- Understanding of the latest APIs, such as Vulkan and DX12 to get the most out of the hardware
- The foundations of graphics and renderers, so that students understand how the very latest techniques used in modern games and applications are implemented
- Analysis of game engine development and how to best map to the hardware while also providing a toolset for developers using the engine
- Complex visual effects, such as realistic simulation of cloth, fur, and hair
- Animation and behaviour modelling, including crowd simulation.