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 and Essex Universities, IGGI students undertake a four year PhD focused on developing cutting-edge research in collaboration with our industry partners, including Sony SIE, 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

  • Embodied interaction

    Embodied interaction

    This theme covers whole body interaction with games and involves cutting edge technologies.

  • Intelligent Games/ Believable Characters

    Intelligent Games/ Believable Characters

    This theme considers how we can use techniques from Artificial Intelligence, graphics and sound to create interesting, fun, emotionally engaging agents in games.

  • Gamification


    This theme considers how we can use games as a tool for gathering experimental behavioural data to advance science and achieve societal benefits.

  • AI for Game Design

    AI for Game Design

    This theme considers how Artificial Intelligence techniques can be used offline and online for the production of material in game design.

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 at the 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.