How to Succeed in the Mobile Gaming Master’s Degree Program

In its 2017 Global Games Market Report, research firm Newzoo forecasted a $108.9 billion year for the gaming industry – with 42 percent of that coming from mobile gaming. By 2020, the firm predicts, mobile gaming will make up half of the gaming industry’s revenue. Translation: People are playing lots of games on their mobile devices, and the industry is growing.

Full Sail University’s Mobile Gaming master’s degree program helps programmers tap into this expanding industry. In the 12-month, online program, students go through the entire agile software engineering cycle to create, develop, produce, and test a mobile game from scratch.

“Students take an idea and go from design to development, with a focus on engineering, product release and monetization, and maintenance and support,” says Haifa Maamar, the Mobile Gaming program director. “This is more an engineering degree than it is a design one.”

Here are some of the traits and skills you need to bring to the table – or in this case, the online classroom – to succeed in the Mobile Gaming program:

Before enrolling in the Mobile Gaming program, it’s important to understand that this is a software engineering degree with a focus on mobile gaming, Maamar says. You’ve got to be the type of person who knows the difference between Java and JavaScript. And you’ll already need to have development and programming knowledge – fluency in at least one programming language (C++, Java) and game engine (Unity, Unreal), with a familiarity in others. Students must take a diagnostic skills test before enrolling.

Other pre-enrollment plusses: strong math skills, experience with database source control programs (Android Studio, XCode), and of course, a passion for gaming. Maamar notes that this program is ideal for students who may already be working as developers, but want to advance into a lead developer role, or move into management or technical problem-solving positions.

Be Ready For: Students can expect to spend at least 20 hours per week on their coursework, which includes classes in development, testing, usability engineering, and software engineering. Throughout the program, you’ll design and build a mobile game, which you’ll write technical specifications for and present to faculty as part of your capstone project.

“This degree is very applied,” Maamar says. “I did my master’s and PhD in a traditional university, and it had a lot of theoretical content. Students do get theory at Full Sail, but we’re really into programming. We help you go through the entire pipeline and development process.”

Some other traits great Mobile Gaming students have: They’re problem solvers, with a solid understanding of programming logic. Students should know how to communicate well and have great time management skills, which is important for this program. Full Sail’s accelerated track means you’re getting a master’s degree in one year instead of the typical two. It’s a huge benefit – you get a head start in the industry   – but it definitely requires commitment and organization.

Post-Graduation: Since the program launched in 2013, Mobile Gaming grads have pursued advanced positions in the gaming and programming industries, and have worked as indie developers. Grad Claude Wild, for example, created the indie game Gladiator: Rise of Legends.

More questions? Check out the Mobile Gaming degree page here or call an admissions representative at 800.226.7625.

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