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Game Design

Academics . Game Design . Courses

Game Design Courses

Introduction to 3D Modeling

Course No. GAME 345  Credits: 3.0

The course is designed to cover concepts in digital 3D organic and device model construction, whereby the virtual models designed are rendered and composited for 2D illustration purposes to solve specific conceptual problems. The subject matter within the Game Design curriculum reflects the development of characters, game environments and specific assets for game development. Students outside the Game Design Major, are required to work with subjects appropriate to their major field of study for concept development and for long-term portfolio objectives. Projects include concepts and workflow for constructing a virtual 3D surface by: (1) defining the visual problem within a concept sketch in pre-production, (2) utilizing specific introductory modeling methods to build the 3D illustration components, (3) the use of basic lighting and rendered materials, (4) export methods into Adobe Photoshop for augmentation, finishing and final illustration techniques and layout. Projects require the student to gain and improve upon conceptual skills, problem-solving in specific media situations (digital 2D + 3D) and technical proficiency at an introductory level in 3D modeling.

3D Texture, Mapping, Digital Lighting

Course No. GAME 347  Credits: 3.0
Faculty Harrison Walsh

This course is designed to cover concepts in digital application of texture maps for 3D game models rendered in a real-time 3D game engine. Optimization of textures maps, and materials, poly count limits, and how to “bake” extremely high levels of detail into low detail models capable of being rendered in real-time, and the benefits of using “Levels of Detail” with static, and dynamic lighting concepts, design, and optimization. The use of toggle-able lighting, and attachment of lighting to game assets and players. The importance of creating immersive environments, capable of being walked through, and/or viewed from multiple, often unspecified angles of view. Projects include concept integration into technical production workflow for describing, and optimizing digital 3D surfaces for rendering in a real-time game engine, creating immersive environments that express mood, and narrative through the materials, and lighting. Projects require the student to continually improve upon conceptual problem solving, time management strategies, communication/ presentation and technical skills.

Game Design: Internship (EP)

Course No. GAME 399-499  Credits: 0.0

Elective credit can be given on a case-by-case basis for an internship developed by the student through the Career Center Office with advance permission of the department head. Fulfills Engaged Practice requirement.

BFA Research + Preparation

Course No. GAME 401  Credits: 3.0

This course is designed to act as a summative experience for the student. The final BFA Thesis Project will be defined by the student and work with a level of professional collaboration. The requirements for the BFA Thesis will be to solve and effectively visually communicate a comprehensive game design prototype. Integration of outside resources, research effective collaborator/expert communication, professional practices, presentation (oral and written) and documentation of the process of the specific year-long project will be expected to determine successful BFA candidacy. The choice of media and concept will be evaluated on its appropriateness for communicating the message and solving the Thesis problem appropriate to game design and development. The project visualization will be student driven; content needs will be determined by the student and the research into content and industry expectations for successful game design. The emphasis in this course will be on the conceptual development of the content accuracy/ relevance and its realization through the design process. The process will fully address research, integration of content, game theory application, target audience, aesthetic and artistic merits, time tracking and scheduling, and ultimately a successful execution of completed prototype. The final work will have the following:

  • a two Sentence (Maximum) Thesis Statement,
  • a design document process book,
  • research paper,
  • business-oriented estimates and budget planning for exhibition and materials,
  • digital presentation to explain the work,
  • artist statement/project scope statement,
  • and the final project depicting the solution for the BFA Exhibition as a prototype game design.
Offered fall.

Serious Game Design: Theory + Applications

Course No. GAME 408  Credits: 3.0
Faculty Jared Bendis

This course introduces the fundamentals of serious or educational game development. The course materials and projects will help students understand how and why games can be used for learning in the fields of health, medicine, science and games for social change. The course exposes students to examples of the current work and research in game design mechanics, game learning mechanics and assessment mechanics; which are integral to development of successful educational games. Students will be exposed to industry-specific serious games (games for learning, corporate training, news games, games for health, science, exer-games, military games, and games for social change.) These examples along with specific lecture topics and materials, will allow the student to understand how to develop their own serious game projects by learning specific research methods for understanding content, players and engagement strategies.

Game Media Production III

Course No. GAME 420  Credits: 3.0

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
Faculty Robert Lauer

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.

Special VFX/Simulation + Virtual Reality

Course No. GAME 430  Credits: 3.0

This course explores various aspects of special effects/simulation and virtual reality in game design and multimedia. The course aims to provide a critical vocabulary and historical context of the cutting edge of input and output technologies and their application as well as the underlying biology and psychology. Students will learn how to create robust and immersive experiences by combining the elements of graphics, animation, video, and audio using leading industry software. Students will complete various assignments and create projects that demonstrate their understanding of Special VFX, Simulation + Virtual Reality. Offered fall.

Meet Your Faculty view all

Jared Bendis sample1.jpgsample2.jpg

Jared Bendis

Associate Professor | Chair of Game Design

Jared Bendis is an artist and teacher from Cleveland, Ohio who specializes in game design, virtual reality, ph...more

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