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Game Design

Academics . Game Design . Courses

Game Design Courses

Game Media Production I

Course No. GAME 320  Credits: 3.0
Faculty Harrison Walsh | Jared Bendis

The course is a project driven course jointly offered between CIA and Case Western Reserve University. Students will form production teams and collaborate using their talents and expertise to develop a working prototype computer game; having an interactive and immersive experience. Students will take on roles of game producers, developers, programmers, and designers. You will learn to brainstorm, design documentation, assemble resources, create assets, implement the game design, and manage their individual tasks and collective project. The course introduces students to the contemporary challenges posed by the ever-changing technologies used to make and deliver video games on today’s sophisticated hardware. This course will bring together an interdisciplinary group of advanced undergraduate students to focus on the design and development of a complete, fully functioning computer game prototype. The student teams are given complete autonomy to design their own fully functional games from their original brainstormed concept and research to a playable finished prototype, i.e., from the initial idea through to the designed game brand. The student teams will experience the entire game development cycle as they execute their projects. An excerpt of example responsibilities include (but not limited to): creating a game idea, writing a story, developing the artwork, designing characters, implementing music and sound effects, programming and testing the game, and documenting the entire project with a formal “Design Document” and demonstration with oral presentation. Offered fall.

Game Media Production II

Course No. GAME 321  Credits: 3.0

This course serves as a continuation of the fundamentals and theory application of game development. The course materials and projects will help students understand how to further develop game concepts, mechanics, interaction design, and prototype the game through the use of animation and simple interactivity. The course will require students to work individually to design game narratives, concepts, design documents (art assets, technical assets and sounds assets) and demonstrate the playability of the prototype game. The course exposes students to examples of the current work and research in game theory and narrative design, which are integral to development of successful polished games. Students will be exposed to industry-specific games with the requirement to test, analyze and review. These examples along with specific lecture topics and materials, will allow the student to understand how to continue to develop their own game projects by learning specific research methods for understanding content, players and engagement strategies. This course does not require programming skill or experience per se; however it is understood that the student usage of Unity (in the Game Development SP2014 course,) and/or UDK may be used for projects with limitations on coded interactions and time constraints. If you wish to create a digital game but do not have technical experience to achieve the full results, you will be required to show an animation of the game concept and prototype in action, with narrative, character/environmental style, GUI, HUD, scoring, mechanics, level design, and instructional prompts. Alternately, you may choose to work on a non-digital game, which notes a similar level of complexity. Please note that this course welcomes both digital and non-digital games, but that the requirements and milestones for each type of game will be somewhat different and require the development of design related documentation, assets and research. Offered spring.

Game Media Production III

Course No. GAME 420  Credits: 3.0
Faculty Harrison Walsh | Michael Wu

The course is a project driven course jointly offered between Cleveland Institute of Art and Case Western Reserve University. Students will form production teams and collaborate with using their talents and expertise to develop a working prototype computer game; having an interactive and immersive experience. Students will take on roles of game producers, developers, artists, programmers, and designers. You will learn to brainstorm, design documentation, assemble resources, create assets, implement the game design, and manage their individual tasks and collective project. The course introduces students to the contemporary challenges posed by the ever-changing technologies used to make and deliver video games on today’s sophisticated hardware. The course will bring together an interdisciplinary group of advanced undergraduate students to focus on the design and development of a complete, fully functioning computer game prototype. The student teams are given complete autonomy to design their own fully functional games from their original
brainstormed concept and research to a playable finished prototype, i.e., from the initial idea through to the designed game brand. The student teams will experience the entire game development cycle as they execute their projects. An excerpt of example responsibilities include (but not limited to): creating a game idea, writing a story, developing the artwork, designing characters, implementing music and sound effects, programming and testing the game, and documenting the entire project with a formal “Design Document” and demonstration with oral presentation. Offered fall.

Game Media Production IV

Course No. GAME 421  Credits: 3.0

The course is designed to act as a summative experience, designed to focus student attention on the continuing production development of your BFA Thesis game project. Advisement, lectures and demonstrations to help troubleshoot, solve and increase understanding of the game development and programming process will support student project outcomes. Game industry standards of debugging, game testing, risk assessment, and troubleshooting design issues through production development will be key for student understanding while developing their final game thesis project. The game project visualization and concept will be student driven; content needs to be determined by the student and research/collaboration with all faculty committee advisors. The choice of game concept, style, mechanics, re-playability and overall design/development will be evaluated in the course and in the final BFA Thesis exhibition and defense. This course serves to help the student with continued game production through advisement with faculty and appropriate demonstrations and game theory lectures as it relates to the appropriateness of the student games being developed. The faculty retains the right to supplement the course with additional readings, exams, and project exercises to increase understanding and awareness of game industry standards and preparedness. Offered spring.

Game Testing + Level Design

Course No. GAME 318  Credits: 3.0
Faculty Harrison Walsh

Introduction Game Testing/Level Design for Game Design will cover level design for video games. Students will learn how to create and use design documents and sketches/diagrams as well as creating a complete level diagram and implementing it using commercial game engines. Student will fully test all stages throughout the level process. Students will use Unity and the Unreal 3 Engine. Students will learn tools/skills and concepts used to create game levels in 2D and 3D level design by using architecture theory, concepts of critical path and flow, balancing, lighting, game play experience, and various storytelling for level design. Students will learn how to setup testing conditions in different process of making a game/level. Students’ will learn concepts behind the development of different game genres (MMO, FPS, Platforms and others), story, character, environment (for levels), interface design, platform-specific design and audio are examined. Some Historical elements for level design will be covered as player elements, the game play experience, creating world levels, creating the game interface and creating the atmosphere. In addition, students will earn how to create Game Content for commercial game engines and learn how to setup origination skills for commercial game engines. Students, will learn how to create texturing mapping, brushes, light maps etc. Offered fall.

Image, Narrative, and Sequence

Course No. IME 267  Credits: 3.0
Faculty Elizabeth Halasz | Larry O'Neal | Lincoln Adams | Mary Jo Toles

The concentration of this course is an intensive study on discussion and research of the aesthetics, techniques and problems of pre-production for digital media visual storytelling, for both linear and non-linear output. We will investigate ways in which to use more than characters to define mood and forward the narrative. We will focus on how elements such as subject/object positioning, background, props, timing, audio, camera angles, lighting, graphic design, composition of frames, and using suitable text enhance the communication of your ideas. We will hold regular presentations and critiques analyzing your composition of all visual and audio elements in progress and discuss methods in which to enhance everything to work together to tell a more complete, fully realized narrative. Emphasizing the importance of interdisciplinary experimentation, students are encouraged to pursue personal and independent expression while giving full attention to researching and developing original concepts. Offered fall and spring.

Intro to 3D Animation: Character

Course No. ANIM 307A  Credits: 3.0
Faculty Anthony Scalmato | Jeff Simonetta | Pete Maric

This is an introductory course in 3D animation as an art form, with an intensive focus on of the use and development characters in animation. Successful animation breathes life into motion with clear communication of thought, emotion, narrative or experience. Any moving object is a "character" in film or animation. We will hold regular discussions and workshops on how the dialogue of an otherwise stagnant object changes and evolves when put to motion. Methods of instruction will consist of lectures, demonstrations, artist research, studio assignments, in-class lab time, and group critiques.

Intro to Animation

Course No. ANIM 209  Credits: 3.0
Faculty Anthony Scalmato | James Mravec | Keith Corcoran

The goal of this class is to gain a basic understanding of the fundamentals of movement, timing and rhythm and how they convey mood and character, even in the most abstract sense. Animation is the artificial movement of an otherwise static object. By moving that object incrementally - whether by position, color, shape, size, etc., we can create movement. By synching that movement to sound, we emphasize the movement and create further depth and meaning. Required materials: A 7200 rpm hard drive.

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Anthony Scalmato

Assistant Professor/Chair of Animation/Interim Chair of Game Design

Anthony Scalmato is the Department Chair of Animation and the Interim Department Chair of Game Design at the C...more

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