Serious Game Development Tools


Students enrolled in the SGU online program will use major cross-platform game design and development tools while learning the skills they need to create serious games.


Unity Game Engine

Unity is the ultimate tool for video game development, architectural visualizations, and interactive media installations. The Unity game engine is among the most powerful and easy to use engines on the market and is the most capable engine for serious games.

This cross-platform game development solution for Web, PC, Mac, Android, Wii, Playstation, Xbox 360 and iOS games has taken the industry by storm, with over 750,000 registered developers to date and a robust community that is growing exponentially.

SGU has recently adopted Unity 3 as the game development tool for courses in the program.


Autodesk 3DS Max

Autodesk 3ds Max software is a powerful, reliable, and accessible 3D modeling, animation, rendering, and compositing package. 3ds Max offers:

  • A ready-to-use, template-based character rigging system
  • An efficient polygon modeling toolset and UV texturing workflow
  • Extensive range of third-party plug-ins

Students are encouraged to join the Autodesk Education Community to access Autodesk training materials, downloads of Autodesk design software, or to purchase at a discount.

In the SGU program, art pipeline techniques for characters and environments are demonstrated using Autodesk 3ds Max and Adobe Photoshop.


Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is the industry-standard image editing software for creative professionals worldwide. Photoshop is ideal for concept art, texture designs, and more.

In the SGU program, art pipeline techniques for characters and environments are demonstrated using Autodesk 3ds Max and Adobe Photoshop.


Types of Serious Games

Serious games can be classified according to their purpose:

  • Advergames - Refers to the use of games to advertise and promote a product, organization or viewpoint. America's Army is a game to advertise the United States Army to increase recruitment, made specifically for PlayStation 2.
  • Edutainment - Refers to entertainment games that are designed to be educational. One industry that is loaded with edutainment products is kid's software. Games like Oregon Trail and Math Blasters teach kids about history and math while keeping them entertained.
  • Game-based Learning - Deals with applications that have defined learning outcomes. They are designed in order to balance the subject matter with the gameplay and the ability of the player to retain and apply said subject matter to the real world.
  • Newsgames - An application of journalism in video game form that convey some kind of interactive news or editorial content. They are usually created in response to current events. Dafur is Dying and September 12 are examples of a newsgames.
  • Training and Simulation Games - Games used for the acquisition or exercise of different skills, to teach effective behavior in the context of simulated conditions or situations.
  • Persuasive Games - These games influence players to take action through gameplay. They are designed to change attitudes or behaviors of the users through persuasion.
  • Organizational-dynamic - Usually designed for the specific purpose of furthering personal development and character building, particularly in addressing complex organizational situations, such as managing change and innovation diffusion in a company, helping people in the organization to introduce productive collaboration patterns, managing difficult meeting situations, etc. Houthoff Buruma and Novicraft are examples of such games.
  • Games for Health - Includes games for psychological therapy, cognitive training, physical rehabilitation, as well as exergaming - games used as a form of exercise.
The term Edumarket is usually applied to games that combine several aspects or goals. For example, a game can combine advertising, persuasion and educational aspects. The game Food Force combines news, persuasive and edutainment goals.

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Serious Game Development Tools