Simulation and game programmers are software developers who design, plan, and write video game or interactive simulation software. The specific job of the programmers is to turn ideas, art, sound, animation, and music into a game/simulation that actually works.
The simulation and gaming engineering technology program is designed for the student who wishes to work as a programmer/developer/analyst with expertise in realtime 3D graphics, simulation, multimedia, and visualization. The program is structured as a broad-based degree, giving students a primary mixture of computer science, computer programming, and 2D/3D graphics programming with additional classes in arts, design, math, physics, and other support classes.
Graduates of this degree program are able to work as game/simulation programmers, designers, and architects. The breadth of the graduates’ education allows them to also understand, appreciate, and participate in the entire game/simulation production process, but from a programmer’s perspective. Additionally, the strong computer science, computer engineering, and programming component of the degree allows graduates to obtain careers in many non-game related fields of computing.
Modern video games and simulations require that a broad range of skills and subjects come together in a coherent fashion. Skilled programmers, artists, and designers must work together, each understanding the other, to bring a project from concept to fruition. To create an educational experience that closely matches this real-world development environment, the students in the simulation and gaming engineering technology degree work closely with students in the simulation and gaming development arts program. The team-based open-ended project environment of the intertwined degrees allows graduates to become comfortable in a work setting with a diverse work force of other programmers, designers, and game artists.
Careers available to graduates of the simulation and gaming engineering technology program include:
- Game/simulation programmer
- Game/simulation technical lead/technical director
- Game/simulation engine developer
- Graphics programmer
- Medical/scientific/military simulation programmer
- Multimedia developer
- Applications programmer/analyst
- Software engineer
- Simulation research and development engineer