Video and computer game design programming courses offer certification and specific training for the amateur as well as students seeking careers in game design programming.
The complex environments for gaming and related visualization applications are growing fields which require a comprehensive course of study and an analytical approach to game engine architectures. Basic familiarity with computers and a minimum of high school level mathematics are the only prerequisites for starting a professional career in game design programming and development.
Career opportunities cover a broad array of digital entertainment and game design companies. Job functions can include working on a team to design, develop, test and produce video games, or creating animations and 3D scenes for use in the video game industry.
Most certification programs cover four main components of study, including programming languages, mathematics, graphics programming, and artificial intelligence (AI).
C++ is a computer language in which most games are written. It is harder to learn, but is known for both its power and speed, allowing greater control of the inner-workings of the computer. The Level I course teaches how to create a program written in this language.
Level II coursework includes Windows programming and the handling of errors in writing programs with computer code.
Students delve into Algebra, real numbers, analytical geometry and triangles as a primer to the more complex mathematics associated with graphics programming. Concepts such as 3D math, the transformation and lighting pipeline, how to initialize Direct3D, and camera management systems.
A Level II course in game design programming guides the student in DirectX 9 and higher versions of this key software program. Understanding the roles both software and hardware play in the creation of video games and multimedia projects is broken down into more detail.
This phase of game design programming deals with decision making. An AI programmer develops the logic a game will use in carrying out most of the actions. One of the most challenging aspects of game design, most of the video games today require over half their programming staff in the area of AI.