For other NFTS masters courses
Application Deadline: 09 Jul 2015
This course commences in January each year.
Computer games now come in all shapes, sizes and flavours and, given the right sort of content, can and do appeal to an increasingly diverse set of audiences. Significantly, new games titles which manage to demonstrate true innovation in design, accessibility, story or emotional depth are often the most critically acclaimed and can be the most commercially successful. Along with the massive explosion in small independent projects and increasing range of distribution opportunities, all these factors are key drivers in expanding and diversifying the game-playing audience even further.
There is consequently a genuine thirst for innovation – in design, form, theme and content – and a deficit of talented individuals with the right creative and technical skills to meet the substantial challenges that lie ahead.
In response to these needs, the National Film and Television School has developed a ground-breaking new MA course in Games Design and Development. Combining existing NFTS expertise in character creation, storytelling, design, animation, sound, visual effects, and more, with the input of established games industry experts, the course perhaps for the first time ever genuinely bridges the gap between the worlds of film, television and games in a media production education environment widely acknowledged as one of the best in the world.
NFTS Games Promo 2014.
*There are a number of different scholarships that support this course, including the Wellcome Trust Science Media Studentship. For more information see Scholarships and the Wellcome Trust.
Head of Department is Jon Weinbren FRSA has nearly twenty years’ experience across computer games, interactive media, film and broadcast television as a writer, producer/director, game designer, creative director, educator and consultant. He is currently a member of the BAFTA Games Committee.
Regular visiting tutors include Sion Lenton (Games Design and Project Management); Alan Thorn (Coding and Technical Design); Chris Holmes (3D Modelling and Art Development); and Adele Cutting (NFTS graduate and Game Sound Specialist).
This two-year MA programme spans across all the key game development disciplines: Game Design, Game Production, Game Art/Animation and Coding. Students undertake a range of practical projects which develop skills in depth in all areas, as well as the ability to work effectively across multi-disciplinary teams; alongside these we provide instruction and practice on the nuts and bolts of game design and development, from both creative and commercial standpoints. Further projects and workshops develop topics such as interactive storytelling, scenario scripting, and game world specification. All aspects of game asset development will be covered in the game art strands, including non-linear and behavioural animation, interactive objects and entities, environment design and of course in depth training in 3D modelling. We also offer classes in practical art skills including life drawing. Essential business know-how such as market research, the development lifecycle, testing and quality assurance, product promotion and marketing is delivered by a range of visiting specialists; and important ancillary subjects such as sound and music for games are covered by additional visiting experts. All students take a programming and technology primer in order to gain a working knowledge of the technical underbelly of contemporary computer games development, working towards gaining technical proficiency in scripting languages such as C#. The idea is to equip students with the essential principles of computer programming as well as practical experience of coding to enable them to develop games in whatever environment they need to in the future.
The course takes a sophisticated approach to game narrative and draws on lessons from other creative industries, particularly film and television. With a strong focus on originality, creativity, artistry and technical excellence, you’ll be encouraged to develop new ideas, new genres and new forms of game experience. You’ll move from practical projects in concept design, development, pitching and production to full-scale design and production of playable prototypes. Graduation project teams will be provided with a modest budget to buy in specialist expertise should they choose to do so. The NFTS will also facilitate external collaborations with both industry partners and with courses and graduates of other institutions where logistically feasible.
You’ll graduate with an advanced portfolio, an informed view of the games industry, and the creative and technical skills and expertise not only to contribute to the games industry today, but also the vision to help shape its future.
- Study games design and development working alongside the film and television industry’s best and brightest future prospects.
- Build up an in depth fluency in all games design and development disciplines.
- Develop industry contacts through conferences, event attendance, trade association involvement and visits from industry practitioners and luminaries.
- Gain a practical knowledge of games software development, and the ability to experiment with new pipelines and evolving technologies and techniques.
- Work on high profile solo and group projects, with plenty of opportunities to experiment, innovate and excel.
- Unlike other schools, production costs are met by the School.
We are looking for people with original ideas, a mix of creative and technical skills and the ability to manage projects effectively. Games students are drawn from a diverse array of backgrounds and prior experiences, and we are looking for people who can bring new perspectives to the practice of making games. You will be used to working together with others with a variety of specialist skills to develop ideas into tangible form. You should have a good first degree (or equivalent experience) and a portfolio of creative work. A good working knowledge of digital technology is obviously essential for this course.
- A critical analysis of a computer game of your choice. No more than two sides A4, typed.
- A brief outline of the kind of game project you wish to undertake
- A DVD/CD or portfolio containing samples of your work.
Feel free to contact the NFTS games department via firstname.lastname@example.org for any further information. You can also keep up to date with all our latest developments on the course blog at
www.nfts-games.com , our facebook page www.facebook.com/NFTS.Games or twitter feed @NFTS_Games.
How to Apply
You can apply directly to us at the NFTS by clicking on the link below:
- Apply for Games Design & Development course
- You can apply online, or download a word document of the application form to submit via email
When selecting your course, please ensure that you have read the entry requirements and details of the supporting materials that should accompany your application.
Timing your application
Applications are not considered until after the deadline has passed, so there is no advantage to submitting your application very early. Two months before the deadline, or less, is soon enough and making your application at that stage will also allow you to show us your latest work and tell us about your most recent filmmaking experience.