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In the U.S., retail video game sales reached $19.66 billion in 2009, report market researchers from the NPD Group. If playing video games is your passion, then you may be the perfect candidate for a career in the lucrative and expanding field of video game software development. Bachelor's degrees programs in computer science are one of several degree programs that can put you on that path.

Computer Game Programming

Bachelor's degree programs in computer science: What to expect

With bachelor's degree programs in computer science you'll cover the technical aspects of programming to the practical. Advanced math and computer skills are taught, as well as scheduling techniques and teamwork skills. With online bachelor's degree programs in video game software development you'll learn about animation, game prototyping and software testing.

  • Introduction to computer programming
  • Introduction to data structures
  • Introduction to computer science
  • Software engineering
  • Calculus
  • Discrete mathematics
  • Linear algebra
  • Operating systems
  • Object-oriented design
  • Programming in C, C++ and Java

Bachelor's degree programs in computer science: Career outlook for video gaming

Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn't collect data specifically for game software developers, the bureau states the median earnings for computer programmers in the software publishing industry in 2009 was $85,510. Some of the different types of positions held by computer science majors working in video game development are described below:

  • Game programmers write the code that provides the game's actions. They communicate to the computer via programming languages how the characters in the game should react to one another and their environment. They try to do this as efficiently as possible, in order to preserve memory while maintaining smooth game play.
  • Artificial intelligence programmers write code that makes characters behave realistically in a game's environment. They also write rules that determine how characters react to the player.
  • Game designers create the story of a game and oversee the game's development, providing unity of vision and helping the team to stay on task. Game designers write scripts for games and create storyboards in order to communicate exactly what the designer's intentions are for the game.
  • Sound designers create the soundtrack and sound effects in the game. They work with the programmers to get the timing of the effects right. They also must be able to write music that conveys the mood of the game without being too distracting.
  • Game testers play video games to test them for bugs and to ensure that they are ready for the market.

For more information, visit WorldWideLearn's Guide to College Majors, where you will find more information about majors in video game design and development. You can also browse below to compare online bachelor's degree programs in video game software development. When you see a program that interests you, simply fill out a form and an admissions representative from that school will contact you.

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