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Start Dates

  • September 03, 2024
  • January 09, 2025


Program Delivery

  • Face to Face - Synchronous
  • Online - Synchronous
  • Blended - Synchronous
  • Off-site
Tuition & Fees

Domestic: CAD $38,467
International: CAD $67,752


Program Description

Advanced Game Development is a full-time, two-year program comprised of industry-level courses covering game development’s core disciplines: art, design, programming, and production. Students will create various assignments, projects and games that will be assembled into a portfolio that is fit for working in the games industry.

Complete junior and industry-quality live action and full computer graphic (CG) shots. Apply practical lighting techniques within a full CG environment, film practical footage using industry-standard data acquisition, green screen, cinematography techniques, and fundamentals. Integrate student-crafted CG assets and animation into live-action plates and games. Design mechanics produce beautiful art and program functionality for over a dozen games and prototypes. Work under tight creative and time constraints to make your ideas into reality by producing engaging and interactive games.

Software and hardware taught and provided to students during this program:

  • Unity Engine
  • Unreal Engine
  • Visual Studio
  • C#
  • Machinations
  • Maya
  • Houdini
  • Marmoset Toolbag 3
  • Substance Painter
  • Substance Designer
  • Sketchfab
  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe XD
  • Git
  • Perforce
  • Confluence
  • Jira
  • MS Office
Course listings Request More Information How to Apply
Domestic Applicants

Welcome Centre
South Campus – Main Floor

International Learner Applicants

International Education
South Campus – Main Floor

Admission Requirements

  • High School Diploma or equivalent 
  • English 30-1, English 30-2 or equivalent


  • Portfolio submission of 15-20 pieces of artistic/technical work (e.g., sketches, renderings, games, design variations, code snippets) in digital format. The portfolio should showcase the applicant’s proficiency in digital design software, creativity, artistic range, and/or technical ability. Portfolios should reflect the applicant’s personal artistic interests and identity. Successful applicant portfolios will reflect a broad range of techniques, influences, styles, and subject matter. Submissions must represent the original work of the applicant; if an item is a collaborative piece, list all contributors and describe your contribution.
  • If you have questions or would like an informal pre-assessment of your portfolio, please email ceaportfolio@bowvalleycollege.ca. Watch this video for more information.

Learners who do not have adequate samples for the portfolio submission may wish to enroll in the Foundation in Entertainment Arts Certificate before pursuing a diploma.

English language proficiency requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, please review English language proficiency requirements.

Domestic Applicants

Welcome Centre
South Campus – Main Floor

International Learner Applicants

International Education
South Campus – Main Floor

Women Pivoting in Tech Entrance Bursary

Funded by the Alberta Women's Economic Recovery STEM grant, this bursary supports women pursuing careers in the STEM field of technology, aiming to reduce financial barriers.

Award amounts:

  • $5,000 in your first semester
  • $5,000 in each of your following semesters

Apply today and be eligible for the Women Pivoting in Tech Entrance Bursary.

Apply for Bursary

Course Listing

Full course outlines are available here.

Curriculum subject to change.

Term 1

Required CoursesCredit

Students will learn the fundamentals of game design and development by deep diving into core game design theory and principals such as game feel, player psychology, choice, and more. Throughout the course, students will produce design documents that familiarize them with the process of turning their creative ideas into tangible work.

Students will learn advanced features of the Unreal Engine and apply their knowledge of programming, art and design to create more technically inclined content, such as advanced AI, gameplay objects, terrain, foliage, physics objects, particle effects, and more. Each will be a piece for their technical design and technical art portfolio.

Students will discover the fundamentals of video game asset creation using industry-standard tools. In this course, students will create a game-ready environment, and props in Maya, and craft textures and materials in Photoshop and Substance Painter. These assets will then be brought forward to present in a portfolio setting.

Students learn the fundamental elements of programming in C#. Students will learn about variables, functions, loops, arrays and object-oriented programming. Students will learn about physics, animation, and handling player input. Using Unity and C#, students will learn how to make a small game from scratch.

Term 2

Required CoursesCredit

Students will learn and practice level design theory while building a level from concept to polish. Students will go through the level design process: documentation, blocking layouts, implementing gameplay, asset placement and finally polishing the experience. By the end of the course students will have a portfolio ready playable level for an action-adventure game.

Students will deep dive into Unreal's blueprint visual scripting system to learn how to create gameplay within the engine. Programming concepts such as functions, variables, arrays, loops will be taught to the students from a visual scripting perspective while also understanding and utilizing Unreal's Gameplay Framework.

Students will a focus on crafting game ready characters in Zbrush & Maya and producing textures and materials in Photoshop and Substance Painter. During the course students will familiarize with node-based materials production, work with in-engine lighting, rendering and post-processing.

Students continue to dive deeper into Unity and C#. Using Singletons, Coroutines, Dictionaries, Stacks, events, networking & serializing, they will create small games in class, and customize it with their own features. Students will create custom systems for UI Management, Pathfinding & Object Pooling.

Term 3

Required CoursesCredit

Students will learn and apply UI/UX best principles and practices, while designing and building a UI system from concept to shippable. Students will follow the full UX process from start to finish strategizing, define, design & prototype, verify & iterate, implement and document. By the end of the course, students will have a comprehensive understanding of understanding the user and their needs and have a workable Mobile Game UI and case study for their portfolio.

Students will build a new skillset to include rigging and animating for games characters. In the course, students will create a set of game ready animations while applying animation principles. They will incorporate industry-standard motion capture data, plan a production, and be prepared for iteration during development.

Students will form multidisciplinary teams to design and create over a dozen game prototypes. Students will learn to leverage constraints to bolster creativity, work productively under tight timelines by managing their time effectively, and learn to effectively communicate in a demanding production environment.

In this final Game Programming course, students will be shown advanced features of Unity and C+, such as Scriptable Objects, Dynamic Asset Loading, using MBAAS software and custom render pipelines. By creating our own mobile strategy game, students will learn how to create an asynchronous multiplayer game.

Term 4

Required CoursesCredit

This course deep-dives into systems design and its various subsets - including multiplayer systems, social systems, world systems, and core gameplay systems. Students will learn fundamental design theory, such as compulsion loops, input/output, economies, and more. Students will design their own systems with design documentation like briefs, spreadsheets, flowcharts, and wireframes. They will then prove out their designs by prototyping them in-engine.

Using Unreal, students will learn the different facets of technical art, including advanced material functionality, creating particle effects, static and skeletal mesh, and animation features. Students will also build their own tools and scripts for asset pipelines and workflows.

Students will be introduced to a variety of 3D rendering techniques, focusing on shaders, lighting, and custom rendering pipelines. Using both Unity and Unreal, students will learn how to create custom shaders using a node-based approach.

In this course, students will work together in collaborative teams to rapidly-produce multiple small, but focused games made in either Unreal or Unity that can serve as portfolio pieces. Students will learn and apply project management and quality assurance skills and processes to manage their game's production, reduce bugs, and ensure quality.

Term 5

Required CoursesCredit

Students will learn narrative design by planning, designing, writing, and implementing a quest for an open-world game - including writing characters, dialogues, and story structures. Students will be able to identify the difference between story writing and narrative design and practice both by creating story bibles, cine scripts, barks, and narrative features.

Students will continue to develop their design and art skills by creating procedural and modular content. Students will utilize Maya to make their own modular level kit and utilize Houdini to make a procedurally generated terrain for an open world FPS game.

Students will continue the process of rapidly producing focused games in collaborative teams, but with the increased project scope. Students will learn how to become effective producers on their projects, and how to properly market their games.

Using state-of-the-art hardware, students will be introduced to Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality. From both a technical and design perspective, students will learn about best practices for creating games for these platforms, and they will be introduced to a wide range of custom solutions that make it possible to develop for XR.

Term 6

Required CoursesCredit

The first of four sequential final project courses in which students form teams, ideate, pitch, and draft documentation about a single game concept. Working from these documents, the students then create a playable prototype proving out their main feature. This pre-production process allows students to be production-ready for their game moving forward. Staff and industry mentors will guide and give feedback to the student teams.

The second of four sequential final project courses where students start production on their final game to deliver a playable vertical slice and prove out the core gameplay loop. Industry mentors will work closely with the students to provide meaningful feedback for them to implement to improve their games.

The third of four sequential final project courses where students will continue to work in collaborative teams to produce a game. Students will focus on production to deliver two major game production milestones, alpha, and beta while taking guidance and feedback from staff and industry mentors and honing their professional communication skills.

The last of four sequential final project courses where students focus on fixing bugs, polishing, and presenting their games. Students will have a chance to network with and showcase their games to working industry professionals. Throughout this course, students will engage with an industry partner to create a real-life product and also develop marketing material to help promote their games and create a resume and portfolio while seeking employment.

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