The IGGI Programme

The Centre for Intelligent Games and Game Intelligence (IGGI) is a leading PhD research programme aimed at the Games and Creative Industries.

Based at York, Goldsmiths, Queen Mary and Essex Universities, IGGI students undertake a four year PhD focused on developing cutting-edge research in collaboration with our industry partners, including Sony Interactive Entertainment, Bossa Studios and Splash Damage.

We publish leading journal papers and books. We develop software, prototypes, patents, algorithms, data analytic techniques and games across a range of topics from AI and Machine Learning in Games, through Games and Health, to novel Gameplay Mechanics.

Examples of the work of IGGI students can be seen in the following showreel:

Research themes

  • Game Artificial Intelligence

    Game Artificial Intelligence

    Using AI techniques to create more effective and engaging agents in games

  • Games with a Purpose

    Games with a Purpose

    Using games to understand human behaviour and advance learning and wellbeing

  • Computational Creativity

    Computational Creativity

    Using AI techniques to create, assess, and adapt rich game content

  • Game Experience and Design

    Game Experience and Design

    Measuring, understanding, and designing for bespoke player experiences in games

See Research Themes

Industry placement

IGGI students spend at least 8 weeks working with one or more of our games and technology industry partners, tackling genuine challenges, bringing their expert knowledge to the business, and increasing the impact of their research.

To date, IGGI students have completed on-site placements at Sony SIE, Splash Damage, Media Molecule, Bossa Studios, MindArk, Google DeepMind, Prowler, Sue Ryder, BT, Spiral Productions and Lightspeed Research.

Programme modules

IGGI students take three core modules in their first year on the programme, and thirty credits of optional modules usually in their second year. These modules will help you to develop some of the skills needed to be a successful IGGI student. 

Our core modules are Research Skills delivered at the University of York, Game Development delivered at Goldsmiths, and Game Design delivered by University of Essex.

  • Research skills

    The purpose of this module is to give students the skills they need to be a successful researcher in the area of IGGI. This not only includes domain specific skills but generic research skills exploiting the existing training courses available at each site. The module has two components: a research methods (RM) component and additional research skills training (RST) component, each assessed separately.

  • Game design

    The purpose of this module is to develop the skills of the student as game designers and to bring together the design and development skills in the production of a digital game. The content of the module will be delivered in two intensive, two-week courses on game design.

  • Game development

    This module is intended to provide the technical foundations necessary to develop games across a range of modern platforms and incorporating the use of AI techniques, drawing on both academic AI and industrial practice. Part 1 will focus on the fundamentals of games programming, and Part 2 on the use of AI in games development.