Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation

Course Information
  • Subject: Games Design, Computing Science
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Type of Degree: BSc
  • Cost: EUR 13,500 2016/17

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation(BSCS) is a four-year computer science degree focusing on the technical aspects of computer graphics and simulations.

Students begin with a solid foundation in mathematics, physics, and programming, then apply that knowledge in yearly team-based projects where they design, programme, test, and finally release their own fully playable games to the public.

Those who successfully complete the BSc in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation programme will have gained the knowledge and skills to produce highly complex software systems at a professional level.

The ideal candidate for this programme will have strong math, science, and problem-solving abilities and have completed math through pre-calculus prior to attending DigiPen; additional courses in computer science and physics are recommended. 

Games and animations designed by DigiPen students

Programme Overview

The electronic and digital entertainment industry is one of the fastest growing and most exciting career choices of the future. The video game, movie, and military industries are only a few of those that demand well-trained, enthusiastic programmers, designers, artists, and managers.

DigiPen Institute of Technology is a key provider of these individuals, and the Bachelor of Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation prepares programmers for these industries. Designed and developed by industry experts and DigiPen faculty, the Institute's four-year R.T.I.S. programme is a computer science degree that is highly focused on the technical area of graphics and simulations. Participants in the R.T.I.S. programme specialise in the skills and tools necessary to create real-time simulations of real-world events.

The BSc in R.T.I.S. programme offers extensive training in mathematics and physics as a foundation for the various topics presented in general computer science and computer graphics.

Throughout the degree programme, R.T.I.S. students participate in several team-based projects. These substantial projects are designed to give students concrete experiences in which they apply the theoretical knowledge gained from their courses.

Forming the cornerstone of the programme, these projects exemplify many of the skills necessary in the video game industry today: teamwork, design, implementation, follow through, and business knowledge, among others. R.T.I.S. students gain the experience of designing, programming, and testing a variety of simulations and games, including text-based, scrolling, simulation, and two-dimensional and three-dimensional games.

Students in this degree programme work both individually and collaboratively to learn the fundamentals of game design, production, and programming. Additionally, they write game design documents and technical design documents, learn how to schedule tools and techniques, and participate in the full production of several games.

These game-oriented productions are a perfect media to present complicated subjects in a format agreeable to students. These productions:

  • Are graphics-oriented simulations, including two-dimensional and three-dimensional simulations.
  • Can realistically reproduce or simulate natural phenomena and real-life events. Flight simulators are excellent examples of such simulations.
  • Are highly interactive, requiring an elaborate and efficient graphical user interface (GUI). The development of a GUI requires the management of windows, menus, dialog boxes, and hardware resources including keyboards, mice, and display monitors.
  • React in real time. The implementation of such simulations requires a thorough knowledge of computer hardware and computer languages.
  • Are story-based simulations requiring a plot in which game objects must interact intelligently with each other. Therefore, in order to make games challenging and interesting, students must design and implement good artificial intelligence algorithms, which serve as the cognitive processes for the computer-controlled game objects.
  • Could be designed for either a single-player or multi-player environment. The development of the latter requires the understanding of subjects such as computer networks, TCP/IP, and Internet programming.
  • Are excellent examples of large and complex productions. Teamwork is essential to the successful completion of such productions. Therefore, students are divided into teams and are rigorously trained in object-oriented programming languages, paradigms, and software engineering techniques and practices.

Career Paths

Graduates of this programme will gain the skills required to successfully pursue entry-level careers in the rapidly growing world of computer technologies in general, and computer graphics and simulations in particular.

This degree prepares students to work in the computer and video game industry as intermediate-level programmers in graphics, artificial intelligence, networking, or general programming; beginning designers; or engineering tool staff members. Some of the job titles that graduates of this programme may aspire to are Solutions Architect, Compatibility/Playability Tester, Game Analyst, Quality Assurance Engineer, Quality Assurance Supervisor, Computer or Software Programmer, Software Engineer, Game Programmer, Engine and Tools Programmer, Game Graphics Programmer, Artificial Intelligence Programmer, Audio Programmer, Web Programmer, or Software/Lead Tester.

Rather than attempt to provide a broad, general education, this degree programme is an intensive educational experience in a specialised and highly technical area, and it prepares students for a career in several rapidly expanding industries.

Staff and faculty are prepared to guide students desiring more general education course work about supplementary opportunities available through other institutions.


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