Blocks 4 & 5 (Years 10 & 11)

For introduction in 2019

The global video game industry is predicted to be worth $180 billion by the end of 2021 and there are currently over 2,000 active games companies in operating in the UK. A key rationale of this qualification is to recognise the interdisciplinary and complex nature of Digital Game Design, and that the traditional approach of teaching these skills separately forces specialisation unnecessarily and too early.

The BAC in Digital Game Design allows students to choose learning pathways which suit their interests and strengths, whilst ensuring that they have firm foundations in each skill. The Block 5 project rewards interest, creativity and technical skills but has a strong elective element.

The three main strands are: coding, digital design, and entrepreneurship.

Unit 1 History and Theory of Games and Gaming

  • What is a game? What is pleasure or fun and how do we talk about it?
  • The history of games from antiquity to VR
  • Investigation of the impact of a game or the development of a game/series

Unit 2 Thinking Like a Coder

  • Computational Thinking
  • Logic
  • Binary

Unit 3 Coding

  • Strands taught depending on individual skill level: Scratch, Visual Basic, C++, Python etc. (Use of MOOCs to provide stretch and challenge)

Unit 4 Gaming as a Story

  • Narrative Construction and Characterisation

Unit 5 Digital Design, Photography and Video

  • Photoshop
  • Animation
  • Drawing Avatars
  • Video Editing

Unit 6 Business of Game Design & Marketing

  • Industry visit and CES/BETT Show
  • Case Studies: Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Sega, Nokia, Micropose and Capcom (covers manufacturers, developers, consoles, immersive and casual gaming)
  • The Finance of Gaming
  • App stores
  • Franchising
  • R&D

Unit 7 Independent Project (Strands for: Coding, Narrative, Design, Business, Apps)

A choice of an individual or collaborative project that could:

  • Write a code to…
  • Create an imaginary world and engaging game play
  • Make the digital art work for a new game, sequel or mod
  • Write a case study of an existing games house or write a business proposal for a new game
  • Design or write the code for an app

Each project will require a commentary and reflection on the learning and development process, reflecting the industry’s annotation of code.