By Sean Kelly
Sacred Heart University was ranked 43rd by the Princeton Review as one of the best universities in the country for their undergraduate game design program and 20th for their graduate program.
“One strength of our undergraduate program is that game designers get a computer science degree, so that means that when our students go to work for studios the studio knows that they know how to code very well,” said Robert McCloud, Ed.D, Associate Professor of Computer Science at Sacred Heart University.
“A lot of programs don’t require computer science education, so our program in essence is a more rigorous program than many others,” said McCloud “Another thing that sets Sacred Heart apart from many other universities is the motion capture lab, which allows students to create and animate their own 3D biped objects.”
Undergraduates in Sacred Heart’s game design program follow a computer science curriculum, learning how to digitally create and render 3D objects, generate all the art work involved in game design and how to develop a story.
“I have always been aware of the game design program at Sacred Heart and it’s always blown me away. When I was a freshman I had the privilege of sitting in on Andrew Jackman’s senior project, which consisted of the game that he had recently designed in class,” said senior Patrick Mahoney.
“As a long-time gamer, I found it was so interesting that a classmate of mine is making games just like the ones I’ve grown up playing. It’s really cool to go to an amazingly diverse school like Sacred Heart because you’re surrounded by students accelerating in so many fields,” said Mahoney.
“Sacred Heart University as a whole has encompassed diversity to the fullest. Nothing makes me more excited than to see success in a program like game design that was so new when I first started here at SHU,” said 2016 graduate Thomas Villirano.
The rankings have also attracted other students who are considering getting their masters in game design.
“I think this should not only be celebrated as a success, but rather a unique opportunity,” said senior Phill Zeller. “All my life I have been passionate about the game industry and how video games in particular are becoming more than just an entertainment phenomenon. I for one am excited about what this industry holds in the future with more blockbuster titles coming out.”
Working in the game design program is a unique opportunity that allows creative minds to collaborate with one another.
“Professor McCloud has been instrumental to the success of the game design program,” said Shanshan Wang, Assistant Professor of Communications and Media Arts at Sacred Heart.
“We share the same vision in providing students with the most advanced technologies,” said Wang. “Our interdisciplinary collaboration combines game design and cinematic narrative using the leading platform for virtual reality, providing students with new forms for creative expression as well as learning and practical opportunities.”