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SC – Institute of the Arts’s Video Game Design program has been designed by industry experts to give students the requisite entry level knowledge to design video games and become employed as junior designers within the video game industry. Using industry-standard software such as Unity, Unreal Engine, GameMaker Studio, Maya, Visual Studio, and more, our instructors are industry professionals working at the top of their field while guiding and mentoring students to the highest standards of professional excellence. In addition, special guest speakers from across the industry provide valuable insights, insider knowledge, and future trends. At the conclusion of SC – Institute of the Arts’s Video Game Design diploma program, students will have gained the knowledge, skills, and business know-how required to build a lasting career, and a killer portfolio that enables them to compete dynamically in today’s game industry.
Costs: Domestic: $24,900 International: $29,900 Materials Cost: $600
Over a period of 12 months, students in The Video Game Design program will experience a dynamic 952 hour program of classroom instruction.
Introduction to concepts and pipelines between modeling and game engines, providing students with a foundation in 3D concepts and a common language of working in 3D games that also enables them to create simple models for use in their own game prototypes.
An exploration of the fundamentals of creating 2D games with GameMaker in which students create projects using visual programming and also look at basic coding.
An introduction to the principles of analysis and how to derive concrete, actionable solutions from abstract problems. In doing so, students will delve deeply into specific games with the intent of producing a cohesive argument that illustrates the relationship between a game’s systems and a player experience.
Introduction to traditional game design and theory. By studying traditional games and mechanics, students will be introduced to ideas surrounding game design, and start to think of games less as players and more as developers.
A joint exploration of video game history and practical explorations. Students will dissect, analyze and remix classic video games. This course will also look at professionalism, communication, time management and goal setting skills.
An introduction to the Unity game engine for designers. Students will use a visual scripting tool to implement functional game projects while learning the concepts and techniques of 3D game development. Students will also be introduced to basic programming concepts and using a code editor.
An in-depth analysis of level creation for 2D games. By taking apart and recreating classic game levels, students will learn to analyze the elements that make levels engaging and fun.
Introduction to the concept of prototyping video games. Students will learn to approach the prototyping of games like an artist practices life drawing by sketching mechanics and systems to validate ideas. This course will integrate closely with Advanced Game Design.
A practical overview of industry standard production techniques. Students will learn task and project management, terminology, and development processes. Students will apply the principles learned in class to their own project development.
Introduces students to advanced game design theory. By studying MDA game theory and other theories of why we play, students will learn to design games from the aesthetics up, with the design goal being a specific gameplay experience.
Small groups of students are created from design and programming to work on short projects. Students will use Agile techniques to plan and manage projects while working through the process of preproduction to publishing.
Introduction to storytelling in a digital format, through the medium of quest design. This course covers story structures, dialogue, environmental storytelling and cutscenes. It will also how to create fully realized characters and well-developed plots. Using the Twine engine, students will design and prototype a side quest for an established RPG game, and will upload their quests to itch.io.
Builds on and extends the ideas learned in 2D level design. Using Probuilder in Unity, the students will greyblock and iterate on single player layouts. They will learn about level design jobs in the industry. Course content will include narrative arcs, puzzle design, pacing, risk/reward, escalation and other design considerations. Students will use modular asset packs to create a final polished level that incorporates effects and lighting.
Introduces the market for mobile and social gaming. Students will study what makes these games successful and fun and learn monetization strategies. Students will create mobile games and publish them to their own phones.
Explores design considerations and techniques for creating VR and AR games. Students will use Unity to create simple cardboard-style games for their mobile phones and study the current and future applications of VR/AR both in and outside of gaming, as they develop their final project for either mobile or room-scale VR.
Explores design considerations and techniques for creating multiplayer games, in which students use level editors or Unity to build deathmatch and team-based games.
Examination of what makes a satisfying and well-structured user experience. Students will create wireframes, onboarding tutorials and focus on overall game feel, as well as run focus tests, analyze and re-factor based on results.
Expanding on Production Team I, students will form new small teams and use production methods to either develop short projects or a single longer project.
An examination of business models in the video game industry, including the steps to create indie business, common studio structures, marketing, and monetization models.
Prepares students for the job market through the process of creating website and formatting their work to suit specific employers. Students will research companies, prepare for and go through mock interviews, and ensure all aspects of their business practice meet industry standards.
DAN BAHAN LCB Studio’s Hempire
Our instructors have done a great job of making sure we understand the core concepts and professional skills, while setting us up for careers in the industry. They’re always there for us personally when we need them. On more than one occasion, if I was struggling to understand a concept or technical process, I asked to sit and review with instructors. They’ve always been willing to do whatever it took to make sure I was getting it. That speaks really well for the instructors here when they’re willing to go the extra mile like that.