Where can Embry-Riddle Take You?

Technology is becoming an increasingly ubiquitous part of everyday life around the globe. From cell phones to computers, national and private security, entertainment to recreation, technology is revolutionizing the way we experience and interact with the world around us, and professionals with backgrounds in Simulation Science, Gaming & Animation are among the most sought after specialists across a multitude of industries in the world today.

Become a Programmer

Here are some of the incredible programmer career paths awaiting you after you graduate from Embry-Riddle's Simulation Science, Gaming & Animation Program:

The graphical menus in video games range from simple, two-button commands-- "play" and "quit"-- to complex series of menus with options. User interface programmers also build heads-up displays, which provide vital information to players. Collaborating with designers and artists, user interface programmers ensure that these systems are intuitive and straightforward.
Artificial intelligence programmers dictate how computer-controlled opponents and allies react to a player's actions. Artificial intelligence enables computer-controlled characters to respond realistically and strategically. Some video games, depending on the genre, require more complex artificial intelligence than others.
Graphics programmers create tools that allow artists to bring their work to the screen. Using their knowledge of advanced mathematics, graphics programmers implement complex algorithms to produce 2D and 3D graphics. These programmers also work closely with artists to determine the best way to incorporate artwork into a game.
Many video games are played online, allowing players across the globe to compete against or cooperate with one another. Network programmers write the code that enables this online play. They also develop security measures to prevent players from cheating.
Video games aren't constrained by the real world, so physics programmers write the code for any natural laws, such as gravity, that a game should follow or ignore. Guided by the designers' vision, physics programmers create rules that are either realistic, or stylized. They also determine how the different objects in a game will interact, such as two cars colliding in a racing game, or how particle effects such as explosions and splashes appear in a game. 

Tool programmers write code to automate some tasks, making game development easier for less technical team members. For example, tools programmers might write a program that simplifies the process of creating new levels or for importing art into the game. Tools differ from one game to another, based on the designers' needs.

Lead programmers assign work and develop schedules for the programming teams. Although they are skilled in writing code, lead programmers often spend most of their time on supervisory duties. They also meet frequently with the art, design, and production team leaders to address issues that arise during development.

Why Simulation Science?

You should consider a career in video game development if you are...

  • A good problem solver
  • Interested in computer games or computer art
  • Interested in science, engineering, business, military, or commercial art
  • Comfortable with concepts relating to the internet, computer software, and computer programs
  • Comfortable collaborating and working with others, especially scientists and engineers
  • Able to see problems from a practical perspective and use logic to solve them

This degree imparts you with a depth of knowledge in computer science, engineering, mathematics, and software design sufficient to understand the problems, techniques, and issues involved with game development, animation, and digital media at a professional level. The course also features in-depth exploration of other aspects of information science, such as artificial intelligence, discrete event simulation, and computer graphics. Additionally, this program will give students the skills in intelligence and management sufficient to lead and direct teams of professionals in the development of systems in these areas. 


The following is an overview of the instruction you will receive on your way to becoming a simulation, gaming, and animation professional.

Name Credit Hours Prerequisites Description
CS 121 Computer Game Systems I 3 None Principles of the elements of computer game design. The usage of computer games. Introduction to underlying technologies supporting modern computer games. Students individually design, implement, and critique several small games.
CS 122 Computer Game Systems II 3 CS 121 Principles of the elements of computer game design. The usage of computer games. Introduction to underlying technologies supporting modern computer games. Student teams design, implement, and critique several small games. 
CS 233 Interactive Media 3 CS 122 An introduction to the technologies needed for interactive media and game design. Concepts covered include web-based software systems, virtual world platforms, and game engines. Emphasis on conceptual aspects of these technologies.
CS 234 Modeling and World Building 3 CS 122 The use of 3D modeling software to design and create animated, textured models. The creation of virtual worlds incorporating objects, scenes, and venues for activity within online environments. 
CS 333 Interactive Media II 3 CS 233 This is a continuation of Interactive Media I. Technologies for interactive media and game design. Emphasis on architectural aspects of these technologies. 
CS 334 Modeling and World Building II 3 CS 234 The use of 3D modeling software to design and create animated, textured models. The creation of virtual worlds incorporating objects, scenes, and venues for activity within online environments. Learning how animations are integrated in digital worlds.
CS 336 Advanced Graphics 3 CS 335 Principles of computer architecture emphasizing hardware used with general purpose processor to support graphics engines. Software implementation of advanced rendering techniques are translated to run on graphics processors.
CS 350 Modeling and Simulation 3

MA 24X


Introduction to the basic aspects of modeling and simulation. Topics include statistical models, queuing theory, random variate generation, simulation languages, object-oriented programming, graphic output with animation, design and analysis of experiments, and verification and validation of simulation models. A term project involving the simulation of an element of aviation or aerospace may be assigned.
CS 434 Game Engine Architecture 3 CS 336 The use of open source game or graphics engine in the design and implementation of a computer game. Principles of game engine design. Students work on teams to design, implement, and evaluate new computer games based on an engine.
CS 415 Human Computer Interaction 3 CS 334 This course introduces Computer Science students to several important aspects of how humans use computers and how software is designed for usability. Students are introduced to usability issues, graphical systems, and graphical interfaces.
CS 437 Multiplayer Game Systems 3 CS 434 Foundations and technologies that enable multi-user, networked, and persistent virtual environments. Emphasis on database design and management, network protocols, and concurrency control to accommodate large numbers of simultaneous users. 
CS 438 Visualization and Virtual Reality 3 CS 336 An introduction to the use of games, graphics, and visualization in engineering, science, and the military. An overview of the use of virtual reality in war gaming and military training. Flight Simulator development. 
CS 450 Advanced Simulation 3 CS 350 Students work in teams to model a real life phenomenon and complete the project over the course of the semester. 
CS 490 Capstone I 3 CS 334 This course introduces students to discussing issues of management, planning, task assignment, resource allocation, requirement collection, and system specification and design. The team will develop a base for implementation of a computer game or similar project. The artifacts developed during this course will be used as the foundation for further development during the second course CS 491 in the sequence. 
CS 491 Capstone II 3 CS 334 This is the second course in the senior project sequence (CS 490 and CS 491). This is the continuation of CS 490. This course continues with project development, focusing on issues of detailed design, modularization, component selection, coding, assembling, and testing. The team will implement and test a computer game or similar project.