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Game Science and Design, MS

Focusing on the science of game development, students have an opportunity to learn the design and technological skills needed to build a game and develop a deep understanding of playability and analytics that make products successful in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

  • Academics
  • Experiences
  • Interests

The Master of Science (MS) in Game Science and Design is a program that seeks to give students a comprehensive understanding of how successful game products are created in a player-centric environment. Focusing on the science of game development, students have an opportunity to learn the design and technological skills needed to build a game and develop a deep understanding of playability and analytics that make products successful in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

The game industry has expanded to include social and mobile gaming; games in health, education, and training; and innovations in play psychology, middleware, graphics tools, game mechanics, game evaluation methods, and advanced artificial intelligence and narrative techniques.  It has become an increasingly competitive space.

The selectiveness of the industry and the diversity of the skills required mean that students seeking entry need both broad and deep skills. As an emergent industry using diverse technology and collaborative practices, the game industry needs professionals with interdisciplinary skill sets who can meld knowledge about development with knowledge about evaluation methods and players’ behavior and psychology.

Jointly offered by Northeastern’s Colleges of Arts, Media and Design and Computer and Information Science, the Master in Science in Game Science and Design is a one-of-a-kind interdisciplinary program that seeks to prepare students to meet this need by weaving together science and design. This is a two-year, 34-credit-hour program.

The degree offers three concentrations: 1. Game analytics: focusing on data analysis of gameplay and other game data to make the game successful; 2. Game user research: focusing on gauging the user experience to enable designers to develop an enjoyable game experience; 3. Game design and development: focusing on the design or technical side of game development.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

1. Concept/Expression Outcome: Conceptualize and create expressive and innovative games, playable experiences, and artifacts, developing a personal style via reflective design.
2. Craft Outcome: Hone craft and technical skills in a broad range of mediums, and justify the appropriate usage of techniques in the service of creating artifacts.
3. Research Outcome: Gather, organize, and articulate relevant research to inform design and analysis.
4. Process Outcome: Follow an iterative design process informed by user testing, external and self-critique for producing creative works.
5. Values/Context Outcome: Analyze the social, political, and cultural theories embedded in games, playable experiences, and artifacts, and articulate ethical reasoning during design and production.
6. Collaboration Outcome: Plan and manage the organization of people, timelines, tasks, repositories, and finances for multi-person creative projects, and constructively critique others’ work.

View University Course Catalog

Interests of Game Science and Design, MS Students

  • data
  • Engagement
  • Games
  • health science
  • Interactive Storytelling
  • play
  • Player Experience
  • technology
  • User Experience

Co-op Opportunities

  • Zynga
  • Turbine Inc.
    Somerville, MA
  • Splash Damage Games
    Somerville, MA
  • Massachusetts Digital Games Institute
    Worcester, MA
  • Hasbro
    Pawtucket, RI
  • Harmonix
    Boston, MA
  • Greenbrier Games
    Boston, MA
  • Demiurge Studios
    Cambridge, MA
View all co-ops for Art + Design

Career Opportunities

  • Multidisciplinary Skills
    • Systems thinking
    • teamwork
    • entrepreneurial
    • analytical skills
  • Careers of Tomorrow
    • User researcher
    • Independent game developer
    • Game Developer
    • Game Artist
    • Game Designer
    • Game Producer
    • Game Analyst

Resources for Current Students

Course Catalog

Visit the Registrar’s website for a course catalog and information on university core requirements.

View University Course Catalog

Program Coordinators:

Christoffer Holmgård

Assistant Professor

c.pedersen@northeastern.edu

Department Chair:

Tad Hirsch

Department Chair, Professor

tad.hirsch@northeastern.edu

Administrators:

Cathy Bright

Graduate Enrollment Manager

c.bright@northeastern.edu
617-373-2566

Co-op Advisors:

Michelle Hagopian

Co-op Coordinator

m.hagopian@northeastern.edu
617-373-6908

View Art + Design faculty and staff

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