IMGD 204X. CHARACTER RIGGING AND TECHNICAL ANIMATION
Character rigging and technical animation are very important and complex steps in the video game production pipeline. This course will focus on making production art functional in a video game environment. Students will learn the skills necessary to make their characters animatable and will obtain a thorough understanding of the different tasks that are associated with technical animation. In addition to contributing to the student?s base of artistic and technical knowledge, this course will provide students with the knowledge necessary to create art that will function in a video game environment. Topics covered include: creating complex character rigs, working with motion capture files, the generation of sprite-based animation and effects, and the implementation of particle effects for use in a game engine. Recommended background: IMGD/AR 2101 3D Modeling I, IMGD/AR 2201 The Art of Animation I
IMGD 240X. WRITING FOR GAMES 1: CHARACTERS
This course will present concepts and skills necessary to create compelling characters in games. Topics covered may include the 3 dimensions of character, growth and development of the player-character and non-player characters, dialogue, character relationships and evoking emotion. Recommended background: Previous investigation in the field of interactive storytelling and its basic building blocks (IMGD 1001, IMGD 1002, or equivalent).
IMGD 300X. INTER-MEDIA ELECTRONIC ARTS
This course will introduce students to techniques and processes for the creation of real-time, interactive works of art. Students will learn to use electronic sensors and other tools for audio and video processing, as well as designing customized software interfaces to create interactive artworks that respond to users and their environment. The course will introduce students to the work of significant contemporary arts practitioners as well as their historical precedents, with a special emphasis on inter-media works that bridge visual art, music composition, and the performing arts. Topics may include electronic musical instruments and performance interfaces, VJing, electronically-augmented dance, controller hacking, wired clothing, networked collaboration and mobile media, and algorithmic and generative art. Recommended Background: AR 1101 (DIGITAL IMAGING AND COMPUTER ART), video production (IMGD 2005 MACHINIMA: FILM MAKING IN VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS), digital audio/music (MU 3611 COMPUTER TECHNIQUES IN MUSIC, MU 3612 COMPUTERS AND SYNTHESIZERS IN MUSIC, MU 3613 DIGITAL SOUND DESIGN, IMGD 203x INTRO TO GAME AUDIO), an introductory programming course (CS 1101 INTRO TO PROGRAM DESIGN, CS 1102 ACCELERATED INTRO TO PROGRAM DESIGN)
IMGD 302X. DIGITAL GAME DESIGN II
This team-oriented, project-based course will provide opportunities for students to deepen their experience and understanding of digital game design concepts through a combination of practical implementation, playtesting, in-class game critique and assigned readings. Students will prepare design treatments, develop hands-on expertise with one or more game engines, and keep a weekly journal of their reading and design experiences. A final project will test their creativity and demonstrate their practical mastery of game engine technology. Recommended background: IMGD 1000, Critical Studies of Interactive Media and Games IMGD 1001, The Game Development Process IMGD 202X, Digital Game Design
IMGD 320X. THE ART OF ANIMATION II
This course builds upon the techniques learned in IMGD 2201/AR 2201 (The Art of Animation). Students animate a character and put it in an interactive game environment using existing models. Topics covered include animation principals such as timing, squash and stretch, animation pipelines and applying animation to a real time game setting. Recommended Background: IMGD 2005 and IMGD 2201/AR 2201
IMGD 340X. WRITING FOR GAMES II: NARRATIVE
This course will present concepts and skills necessary to write and implement narrative in games. Topics covered may include theme and style, different types of games and platforms, systemic storytelling, linear vs. non-linear narratives, editing and collaboration with other members of a development team. Recommended background: Previous experience in writing for games.
IMGD 480X. SOCIAL MOVEMENTS, INTERACTIVE MEDIA, AND GAMES
This course examines interactive media and games? intersections with contemporary social movements. How are games well suited to shift worldviews and influence popular opinions? How are theories of social change in alignment with creative media making? Students will examine interdisciplinary art forms ranging from games to speculative fiction to art installations in order to understand art?s role in contemporary social movements. Students will also read and examine critical race theory, feminist theory, queer theory, and postcolonial literature in order to understand how and why social movements take place. Recommended background: knowledge of social issues of media (IMGD 2000, IMGD 2001 or equivalent).
IMGD 1000. CRITICAL STUDIES OF INTERACTIVE MEDIA AND GAMES
Cat. I This course introduces non-technical studies of computer-based interactive media and games. The course develops a vocabulary for discussing games and other interactive media, and tools for analyzing them. Students are expected to provide written critiques using the critical approaches presented in the course. The games and other interactive media critiqued may be commercially available or under development.
IMGD 1001. THE GAME DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
Cat. I This course discusses the process of game development. It examines the roles of different participants in the development process and how the technical development and the artistic development proceed in tandem. Group work is emphasized, especially the importance of collaboration between technical and artistic efforts. Students are expected to participate in game development using appropriate game development tools.
IMGD 1002. STORYTELLING IN INTERACTIVE MEDIA AND GAMES
Cat. I This course explores different types of story within gaming and other interactive media. It delineates between linear, branching, and emergent storytelling, identifies hybrids, and finds new modes of making compelling narrative. A variety of games are discussed, including early text-based adventures, role-playing games, shooters, and strategy games. Students will construct characters situations, and narratives through game play and scripted cut scenes. Students will explore and use visual storytelling techniques.
IMGD 2000. SOCIAL ISSUES IN INTERACTIVE MEDIA AND GAMES
Cat. I This course provides students with a realistic assessment of the potential and problems related to interactive media and games, especially computer games, and their effects on society. Topics include individual and group behavior, diversity, human responsibility, ethical and legal issues, and intellectual property. The course examines the issues from various points of view, and discover the political, social, and economic agendas of the people or groups championing those points of view. Students will write papers, participate in discussions, and research related topics. Recommended background: IMGD 1000.
IMGD 2001. PHILOSOPHY AND ETHICS OF COMPUTER GAMES
Cat. II This course introduces students to some of the political and ethical dimensions of the new entertainment modalities. Students will explore such issues as representation and power (e.g., gaming and disability, and race stereotyping in games), the phenomenology of virtual reality, capitalism and the commodification of leisure, gender and sexual violence, and cyberspace and democracy. Students will also develop critical tools for evaluating the ethical and social content of their own and others? games. In addition to writing several analytical papers on the critical theory of technology, students will be encouraged to work on game designs exploring philosophical or social themes. Recommended background: IMGD 1000. This course will be offered in 2015-16, and in alternating years thereafter.
IMGD 2030. GAME AUDIO I
This course serves as an introduction to game audio, where the basics of audio theory and production are discussed along with practical applications for use in game development. Topics may include music, sound effects, dialogue, soundscape design, digital signal processing, basic audio engine principles, and the aesthetic vs. technical considerations in game audio production. Lab exercises may include an introduction to audio editing and mixing, dynamics and effects processing, creating and timing sound effects to character animations, mixing for cinematics, and audio integration using a 3D engine. Recommended background: IMGD 1000 and IMGD 1001. This course assumes no prior knowledge of audio production.
IMGD 2048. TECHNICAL ART AND CHARACTER RIGGING
This course will focus on making digital art functional in a video game environment. Students will learn the skills necessary to create and optimize their art assets through several creative and technical solutions that are all geared towards making high quality game art. This course will allow students to form a greater understanding of the bridge between pure art creation and interactive art implementation into a game engine. The course explores the many problems and technical restrictions one is faced with when trying to implement anything from animated characters to textures and focuses on how one can creatively apply technology to achieve high quality results. Topics covered include: creating complex character rigs, optimizing character meshes for rigging, shader creation, optimizing UV space and baking texture files and lighting. Recommended background: Basic knowledge of 3D modeling, texturing and animation (IMGD 2101 and IMGD 2201 or equivalent). Students may not receive credit for both IMGD 204X and IMGD 2048.
IMGD 2101. 3D MODELING I
Cat. I 3D modeling is concerned with how to render created forms in a virtual environment. This course covers 3D modeling applications in video game development, film production, product design and fine art. Topics may include creating and armature, modeling organic and hard surfaces and sculpting using traditional techniques applied to a 3D model. Students will create works suitable for presentation in professional quality portfolio. Recommended background: AR 1100 and AR 1101.
IMGD 2201. THE ART OF ANIMATION I
Cat. I This course examines the fundamentals of computer generated 2D and 3D modeling and animation as they apply to creating believable characters and environments. Students will learn skeletal animation and traditional polygonal animation, giving weight and personality to characters through movement, environmental lighting, and changing mood and emotion. Students will be expected to master the tools of 3D modeling and skinning, and scripting of behaviors. Recommended background: AR 1101.
IMGD 2500. DESIGN OF TABLETOP STRATEGY GAMES
Cat. II The objective of the course is to teach students how to design board strategy games. The design principles are transferable to other types of games, such as computer games. Game quality issues such as rules unambiguity, depth, complexity, branching width, balance, and historical content are examined. Basic elements and types of game rules, such as map gridding, restricted play choices, resource limitations, and depths of game economics are discussed. Central to the course is the game design project: students design, playtest, and develop their own game. One two-hour laboratory a week covers play, and playtesting, and supports the game design project. Recommended background: IMGD 1000 . This course will be offered in 2016-17, and in alternating years thereafter.
IMGD 2700. DIGITAL PAINTING
Cat. I This course covers painting techniques as applied to texturing a 3D asset or illustration/conceptual art. Topics include are color theory, study of form, lighting, applying traditional painting ideas to the digital format, character design, generation of ideas and a history of digital painting. Each class features a demonstration on the topic followed by individual critique and study. Students work towards a final project that may be suitable for an Art portfolio. Recommended Background: AR 1101 (Digital imaging and Computer Art); AR 2202 (Figure Drawing)
IMGD 2900. DIGITAL GAME DESIGN I
Cat. I Software engineering and art production are the means of digital game development, but the end is an experience. Game design is the process of creating, describing, implementing and iteratively refining that experience. This team-oriented, project-based course provides opportunities for students to develop hands-on expertise with digital game design through a combination of practical implementation, in-class critique and playtesting. A focus of the course is the functional expression of design through the use of game engine scripting. Students keep a weekly journal of their design experiences. A final exam tests their knowledge of design concepts and terminology. Recommended Background: Intermediate programming experience (such as from CS 2102 or CS 1004), knowledge of game studies (IMGD 1000 or equivalent) and the game development process (IMGD 1001 or equivalent).
IMGD 2905. DATA ANALYSIS FOR GAME DEVELOPMENT
This course will cover basic concepts of probability and data analysis as they apply to the design and analysis of interactive media and games. Students will study appropriate use of probability distributions in the design of interactive experiences, and the use of data analysis methods to understand user behavior in games and other interactive experiences. Topics will include discrete and continuous probability distributions, programming techniques to produce samples from different distributions, descriptive statistics, exploratory data analysis and using existing tools to collect and analyze data from gameplay. This course counts toward the Quantitative Science component of the university-wide Mathematics and Science Requirement for IMGD majors only. Recommended background: High school algebra
IMGD 3000. TECHNICAL GAME DEVELOPMENT I
Cat. I This course teaches technical Computer Science aspects of game development, with the focus of the course on low-level programming of computer games. Topics include 2D and 3D game engines, simulation-type games, analog and digital controllers and other forms of tertiary input. Students will implement games or parts of games, including exploration of graphics, sound, and music as it affects game implementation. Recommended background: CS 2303.
IMGD 3030. GAME AUDIO II
Game Audio II serves as an intermediate level audio design course, where digital recording principles and techniques are studied along with their practical applications for use in game development. Students will also gain deeper insight into 2-D vs. 3-D audio propagation, as well as learn more complex techniques in digital editing, mixing, signal processing, mastering, and playback strategies. Lab exercises may include interactive dialogue scripting and recording; loop-based music production; custom sound effects creation and Foley design; and audio engine integration. A team project will be the creation of a comprehensive game sound effects library over the course of the term. Recommended background: Game Audio (IMGD 2030)
IMGD 3100. NOVEL INTERFACES FOR INTERACTIVE ENVIRONMENTS
Cat. II This course focuses on the design and evaluation of novel user interfaces that provide greater input and output expressiveness than the keyboard, mouse, or game pad. The course covers the related applications of immersive gaming, teleoperated robotics, and mobile users. Input sensors, such as those providing motion, attitude, and pressure data, are used to explore novel input methods, and how they may be effectively used to design innovative experiences. Through a combination of lecture and hands-on work, students learn to build prototype systems and to critically evaluate different alternatives. Students are expected to program several alternative input/output systems as part of this course. Recommended Background: IMGD 1001, and either CS 2301 or CS 2303 . This course will be offered in 2015-16, and in alternating years thereafter.
IMGD 3101. 3D MODELING II
This course will build upon the skills learned in 3D MODELING with studies in life drawing/anatomy study and application towards completed character models. Students will create high resolution sculpts for real time game environments and animation. Topics covered will be character design as it applies to 3D MODELING, creating realistic design sculpts and incorporating them into a game environment as well as the study of anatomy as it applies to organic modeling. Recommended Background: AR 1101, IMGD/AR 2101, AR 2202.
IMGD 3200. INTERACTIVE ELECTRONIC ARTS
Cat. I This course introduces students to techniques and processes for the creation of real-time, interactive works of art. Students learn to use electronic sensors and other tools for audio, graphics, and video processing, as well as design customized software interfaces to create interactive artworks that respond to users and their environment. The course also introduces students to the work of significant contemporary arts practitioners as well as their historical precedents, with a special emphasis on inter-media works that bridge visual art, music composition, and the performing arts. Topics may include electronic musical instruments and performance interfaces, computer vision, VJing, electronically-augmented dance, controller hacking, wired clothing, networked collaboration and mobile media, and algorithmic and generative art. Recommended Background: Animation (AR/IMGD 2101 or equivalent), and exposure to digital audio or music and introductory programming.
IMGD 3201. ANIMATION II
This course will build upon the techniques learned in IMGD 2201/AR 2201. Students will learn advanced animation techniques applied to lip syncing, facial movement, emotion communication, and body language. Topics covered may include character rigging, biped and quadruped animation, and animation pipelines. Students will create animated scenes for narrative video and/or real time game environments. Recommended Background: AR/IMGD 2201, AR/IMGD 2202. Suggested additional background: IMGD 2005.
IMGD 3500. ARTISTIC GAME DEVELOPMENT I
Cat. I This course focuses on the unique problems presented to the artist when working in game development. Students learn to work with 2D sprite-based art, including tiling and simple animation. They then explore 3D architecture, level design, texturing, and environmental animation. Students will use art to create compelling game experiences through environments by designing their own levels in both 2D and 3D games. Recommended background: IMGD/AR 2101 and IMGD/AR 2201.
IMGD 3700. CONCEPT ART AND CREATIVE ILLUSTRATION
This course covers drawing as it applies to concept art and illustration. The course begins with study of a human model and representational drawing. Following this, students work on drawing from the mind and applying the lessons learned from the figure drawing to creating concept art and illustration. Topics covered are shape recognition and recalling, inventing from the mind, creative starters, study of form and light, visual composition and developing a personal approach, working with individual strengths to create a compelling visual design. Students create a series of concept art exercises and apply these skills towards a personal project of their own. Recommended Background: AR 2202 (Figure Drawing); IMGD/AR 2700 (Digital Painting)
IMGD 3900. DIGITAL GAME DESIGN II
This project-based course will provide an opportunity for students to deepen their understanding of how digital games are conceived and realized through a combination of reflective design, practical implementation, playtesting and critique. Topics will include project scoping and documentation, game scripting, strategic instrumentation and analytics. A final project and presentation will demonstrate practical mastery of game design techniques. Recommended background: Students are expected to have knowledge of basic game design principles and practical experience with event-driven game scripting, at a proficiency level equivalent to completing IMGD 2900, Digital Game Design I.
IMGD 4000. TECHNICAL GAME DEVELOPMENT II
Cat. I This course focuses on the application of advanced Computer Science topics as they impact game development. Networking and distributed systems issues are addressed, including scalability and latency compensation techniques, for designing games for online multi-player environments. AI, graphics and physics techniques specific to game development are discussed. Students will implement games or parts of games that apply advanced Computer Science topics. Recommended background: IMGD 3000.
IMGD 4100. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE FOR INTERACTIVE MEDIA AND GAMES.
Cat. II Advanced software design and programming techniques from artificial intelligence are key contributors to the experience of modern computer games and virtual environments, either by directly controlling a non-player character or through more subtle manipulation of environment. This course will cover the current state of the art in the area, as well as prepare students for the next generation of AI contributions. We will study the application of AI techniques such as search, planning, machine learning, emotion modeling and natural language processing, to game problems such as navigations, strategy, believability and narrative control. Students will implement several small AI demonstration games. Recommended background: IMGD 4000 Students may not receive credit for both IMGD 4100 and IMGD 400X. This course will be offered in 2016-17, and in alternating years thereafter.
IMGD 4200. HISTORY AND FUTURE OF IMMERSIVE AND INTERACTIVE MEDIA
Cat. II This course will familiarize students with the history of the development, deployment, commercialization, and evolution of immersive and active media. The lesson plan will cover a broad range of enabling technologies, such as geometric perspective drawing, pre-20th-century panoramic displays, photography and the stereoscope, sound recording and reproduction, motion pictures, radio and television, the planetarium, immersive and 3-dimensional cinema, and special attraction venues, with a particular focus on digital games. Current trends and future directions will also be considered. Students will attend seminars and lectures, read and discuss texts on media history and aesthetics, and write an original research paper. Midterm and final exams test students' knowledge and understanding of important events and developments. A student may not receive credit for both IMGD 4200 and IMGD 5200. Recommended background: IMGD 1000, EN 2211 and either IMGD 2000 or IMGD 2001. Students may not receive credit for both IMGD 4200 and IMGD 402X. This course will be offered in 2015-16, and in alternating years thereafter.
IMGD 4500. ARTISTIC GAME DEVELOPMENT II
Cat. I This course focuses on the integration and organization of the various artistic elements used in game development. The course examines user interaction, interface design, and existing paradigms in current games. Students will combine elements of level design, animation, music, sound, and writing to create an aesthetically appealing game. Recommended background: IMGD 1002, IMGD 3500, MU 1611.
IMGD 4600. SERIOUS GAMES
Cat. II This course explores the application of the technologies and design principles of interactive media and game development beyond traditional entertainment. The purpose of such applications is typically to change people's behaviors, knowledge and/or attitudes in diverse areas including health care, training, education, simulation, politics, marketing and art. Students read about, experiment with, compare and discuss examples, as well as the underlying philosophies and issues specific to this genre, such as domain analysis and rigorous evaluation. Students in groups also research a new application and produce a detailed design document and mock-up. Advanced programming skill is not required, but a background in game design is strongly recommended. Recommended background: IMGD 1001 and either IMGD 2000 or IMGD 2001. Students may not receive credit for both IMGD 4600 and IMGD 404X. This course will be offered in 2016-17, and in alternating years thereafter.
IMGD 4700. ADVANCED STORYTELLING: QUEST LOGIC AND LEVEL DESIGN
Cat. II This course provides an in-depth examination of storytelling as it is currently done in 2D and 3D games through a study of quests and construction of gaming spaces. Level designers turn stories into games through building virtual spaces and populating them with non-player characters who have their own objectives. Cinematics are used to extend the narrative space. The course requires students to build multiple virtual spaces that have a history and a population with present needs. Students need to work out plotting through the logic of a quest, build several areas that supports that logic and create cinematics to extend their narrative space. Recommended background: IMGD 1002, or equivalent knowledge. Students may not receive credit for both IMGD 4700 and IMGD 403X. This course will be offered in 2016-17, and in alternating years thereafter.
IMGD 4900. DIGITAL GAME DESIGN STUDIO
Cat. II This studio course will provide students an opportunity to collaborate on the creation of an original game project, with an emphasis on the importance of scoping and a thorough, well-documented design. Students will form project teams, create a team Web site, and design, implement and test their project using industry-standard tools and methods. Recommended background: IMGD 2900 (Digital Game Design I) Suggested background: IMGD 3000 (Technical Game Development I) or IMGD 3500 (Artistic Game Development I) This course is offered in 2016-17, and in alternating years thereafter.
IMGD 5000. GAME DESIGN STUDIO
This is a "studio" course in which the instructor will guide and mentor the students on individual and/or joint projects. The focus of the course will be on the design of interactive media and games, with the students designing (and optionally implementing) one or more games or interactive experiences. There will also be readings and discussion of design theory as it relates to student projects. This course can be taken for M.S. credit twice if desired.
IMGD 5099. ST: SERIOUS GAMES
IMGD 5100. IMMERSIVE HUMAN-COMPUTER INTERACTION
Immersive environments are those which give the user the feeling of occupying a space different from their current physical space. They are created in the mind of the user by careful selection of sensory stimuli and support for natural interaction. This course focuses on the design and evaluation of user interfaces that support user immersion in several contexts, including desktop, head-mounted display, large-screen, and mobile situations. Through a combination of traditional lecture, literature review, and hands-on work, students will learn to critically evaluate different alternatives, build prototype systems, and design comparative evaluations to test the effectiveness of various techniques. Students will be expected to implement several techniques as part of this course. (Prerequisites: A demonstrated proficiency to program. A course on traditional human-computer interaction is recommended.)
IMGD 5200. HISTORY AND FUTURE OF IMMERSIVE AND INTERACTIVE MEDIA
This course will familiarize students with the history of the development, deployment, commercialization, and evolution of immersive and active media. The lesson plan will cover a broad range of enabling technologies, such as geometric perspective drawing, pre-20th-century panoramic displays, photography and the stereoscope, sound recording and reproduction, motion pictures, radio and television, the planetarium, immersive and 3-dimensional cinema, and special attraction venues, with a particular focus on digital games. Current trends and future directions will also be considered. Students will attend seminars and lectures, read and discuss texts on media history and aesthetics, and write an original research paper. Midterm and final exams test students? knowledge and understanding of important events and developments. A student may not receive credit for both IMGD 5200 and IMGD 4200. (Prerequisites: An understanding of dominant themes and genres in video games)
IMGD 5300. DESIGN OF INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES
This course will introduce students to the theories of design, the purpose of which is to guide students in articulating a design vision that can then be implemented in an interactive experience such as a computer game or an art installation. The design elements addressed in this course are as follows: narrative, visual, sound, spatial, challenges and objectives, and characters. This course also emphasizes the communicative strategies needed to sell other people on a design in order to enter production, convince investors, and engage users. Students will be required to design an environment that is populated in a meaningful way that is dependant on the purpose of their visions. They will provide mock-ups of this environment that they must present to their stakeholders - the professor and peers - and finally create prototypes that help them sell their design idea. Throughout the class, students will be writing their designs in professional genres, presenting their designs to the class (often called a pitch), and discuss the theories and practices of design during in-class meetings. (Prerequisites: A course on game design, or equivalent work experience)
IMGD 5400. PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT FOR INTERACTIVE MEDIA
This course focuses on the process of creating a set of documents encompassing the design and vision of a piece of interactive media, methods for structuring the implementation of the design, and tools for successfully managing the project. Students will analyze different types of design documents, focusing on form and purpose while also considering audience and publication medium. Students will write design documents, give peer feedback, and revise their own documents based on feedback received. In order to see their design transform from document to product, students will study different project management methods and employ them, defining in detail discrete components, timelines, milestones, players and their responsibilities, and status reports to stakeholders. Tools common to managing interactive media projects (e.g., source-code revision control, asset management, scheduling) will be used throughout the process. (Prerequisites: Experience working on development projects)