Computer Game Design and Development Program

The Bergoglio Hall game room provides an exciting venue for games competition.

Prof. Domenick Pinto, Director of the School of
Computing, helps gaming students choose courses.

Small classes and close faculty relationships are a hallmark of the Sacred Heart gaming program

Experienced professors lead small classes in all aspects of game development. Students receive a comprehensive foundation in computer and information science to prepare for a wide range of disciplines in the industry.   

Living and Learning Community offers game theory study

All entering game development freshmen have the opportunity to apply to the Gaming & Technology Living and Learning Community (LLC), a unique residential learning experience dedicated to the study of game development, technology and theory.

The Sacred Heart Gaming & Technology LLC provides valuable intellectual training for game development in this rapidly growing area of expertise. Economics, business and biology are just some of the fields where game theory is emerging as an important discipline. 

For more details about the LLC program, visit Gaming & Technology Living and Learning Community.

Indie studio developer Fablan Patino (left) and VR
specialist Hugh Seaton lead a discussion at a
recent Unity Meetup group.

Professional game developers on campus for interactive discussions with students

Education happens outside the classroom as well. Sacred Heart’s gaming program hosts a monthly Connecticut Unity meetup group which attracts area game development professionals to campus for discussions.  Topics include developing 3D objects in Maya; the game development path at an indie studio; and virtual reality’s status in future game development.

The visiting developers understand that part of their mission is to help provide students with real-world contacts that will help them as they search for internships and eventual permanent jobs.

For more information about the meetup group, go to https://www.meetup.com/Connecticut-Unity-Meetup/events/234817705/. Students interested in our program are encouraged to attend.

A Sacred Heart gaming student tries out new
software 
under the guidance of a German developer

Sponsored trips provide opportunities for international travel, networking, and educational adventure

We recognize that interaction with practicing professionals is an integral part of the student experience. Students in our game development program have the opportunity to travel with professors to obtain real-world experience and meet professionals in the field.  

For example, Sacred Heart game development students attended the international Game Developers Conference in Cologne, Germany, where they had an opportunity to attend seminars and network with professional game developers and studios from around the world. 

Opportunities for competitive gamers to practice their craft

While much of game development is about creation, there is also a side that is pure competitive fun.

Students can participate in the Collegiate Star League, an intercollegiate competition. Among the schools you will compete against are Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Connecticut, University of Rhode Island, Stony Brook, Rutgers and University of Maryland. Mike Delviscovo, who teaches in our gaming program, is coach of the intercollegiate teams.

There are also intramural competitive teams for those who would prefer to have a slightly less formal game team experience.

For a different type of game competition, you can join the annual game jam that is co-sponsored by Sacred Heart. In this competition student teams learn about a theme on Friday evening. They have the rest of the weekend to complete a game that is based on that theme.

In this screen shot from Phenomena, an alien
(visible in 
far right), visits the SHU campus to
learn about our 
university and report back to his
alien masters.

Game development studio gives students hands-on experience from concept to published 3D games

All game design and development program students are invited to participate in Gameheart, an indie development studio for students and professors. Studio team members meet weekly for joint work sessions and to review project status. Students are encouraged to pursue their special interests, whether it be coding, character development, animation, 3D level design, sound, optimization, textures, or any other aspect of development.

Gameheart also accepts outside commissions, which provides students with hands-on development experience and published credits that help build resumes.

Player and developer ethics study are an essential part of game designer’s education

All gaming majors take Computer Ethics: Computing and Society. The course includes a module on the ethical issues prevalent in game development and design. Design, story line, rules and character development and the selection of the environment constitute a computer game. It is through these that a player experiences the game. 

Students discuss the role and responsibility of the developer and the gaming community through the lens of the choices that they make regarding game creation and play. Some of the issues include gender bias, violence, stereotypes, rewards for antisocial acts like torture, rape, harassment and threats within the community.  Students examine these issues in light of old games and those currently on the market.  

Program Information