Fuel the engine of the journey!
Programmers learn various aspects of game programming with most work done in C++. The programmer curriculum produces T-shaped graduates - generalist programmers with specialized skills in a subject or two that they're passionate about.
Studying to become a programmer at PlaygroundSquad will teach you the ins and outs of how to make a game tick, studying a wealth of different areas such as rendering, gameplay programming, AI, networking, physics, and more. An emphasis is put on practical learning, where you work towards a given goal on your own, evaluating different approaches and being given free rein to implement your own solutions.
The programmer curriculum starts off with a brief mathematics course to lay a solid foundation for what is to come - a plethora of game development courses.
Programmers study three game-programming courses and three game projects during their education. Each course gradually builds your skill as a professional game programmer, and a game project follows each course to let you apply your newly acquired skills.
During a game project at PlaygroundSquad, programmers are ultimately responsible for implementing the game itself. There are usually two or three programmers in a project group, and they collaborate both amongst themselves and with other disciplines to reach this goal.
Programmers usually work with our in-house 3D middleware TenGine, but they are free to use any engine they see fit. Building on a barebones framework, they implement the game from scratch and are able to apply and re-use their work in future game projects.
As PlaygroundSquad is part of PlayStation First, programmers are also able to work on PlayStation hardware to give them an extra edge when starting their internship at a real company.
After graduating as a programmer you are able to work as a programming generalist at both large and small studios alike. More specialized roles may also be available later in your career, or for those that have chosen to specialize during their education - it's all up to the student. Most graduates will begin an entry-level position such as gameplay or generalist programmer.
With a focus on practical learning, the programming courses at PlaygroundSquad are carefully constructed to get you into a real production as soon as possible.
Technical 3D Graphics
Introducing students to basic 3D modeling, terminology and scripting.
Mathematics in games
Laying a strong foundation for future learning and 3D programming, you are taught the basics of linear algebra. Matrices, vectors, and transformations thereof are all covered, and there's also some practical C++ tasks sprinkled atop this doughnut of math.
Game programming introduction
The basics of programming itself are covered here, giving any student not accustomed to C++ before a chance to catch up while also covering common ways to solve problems in code.
Game programming 1
Our three game programming courses make up the bulk of the programming curriculum, and the first one will teach you the very basics. Starting you off by letting you render your very first polygon in 3D, the course quickly progresses to cover techniques such as input, lighting, collision, animation, sound, and more.
Game project 1
Your first game project! As a programmer, you will familiarize yourself with the PlaygroundSquad build pipeline and various tools to help you during a game production, like source control and code review. This will also be the first time you actively work together with other disciplines. The first game project is usually created exclusively for the PC.
Ethics and morals in gamesWith two seminars and a written assignment, you will talk about emerging issues in games and the various morality choices you may encounter during your career.
Game programming 2
Building on the previous programming course, this moves on to more advanced topics like console programming, concurrent programming, artificial intelligence, shaders, and much more.
Game project 2
Your second game project. This is usually when programmers make their first multi-platform game, working on both PC and a PlayStation platform.
Game programming 3
The pinnacle of programming courses taught at PlaygroundSquad. Before your final game project, students are taught how to implement physics, networking, advanced rendering techniques, and more ways to structure a game engine.
Game project 3 (graduation project)
Your third and last game project, which is also your graduation course before moving on to your internship. Make it count!
The remainder of your education is spent at a games studio as part of your internship, starting in November and continuing until your graduation.