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Course List

Course Descriptions: Core Design

IAGD 225 | Game/Play

3 credits

This is an introductory course about game culture, theory, design and development. Students will play, make and analyze games in order to build a common and more extensive vocabulary to discuss and understand the form. Principles from traditional board games, sports games, and party games will be analyzed and this analysis will then be applied to designing two tabletop games over the course of the semester.

IAGD 210 | 2D Game Design

3 credits

Prerequisite: IAGD 200

This class will teach the techniques of creating video games from the ground up. Students will learn to program, design, prototype and test their own projects and also work in groups. In addition to creating one's own unique games, students will learn video game history, theory, and production, including current trends in digital games and gaming.

IAGD 220 | Level and Narrative Design

3 credits

Prerequisite: IAGD 210

This course is an introduction to level design and narrative strategies for digital games. Using the skills learned in 2D Game Design, students learn how to analyze, design, build and test compelling levels and game narratives in 2D environments.

IAGD 230 | 2D Game Studio

6 credits

Prerequisite: IAGD 210

In this 6 credit studio course, students will build on game design and programming skills developed in 2D Game Design. Topics covered will include mechanic design, scripted behavior and A.I., procedural content generation, and mobile deployment. Throughout the semester, students will produce small, personally-directed games both collaboratively and individually. Studio work will be supplemented by readings and discussions further exploring contemporary cultural issues surrounding digital games.

IAGD 300 | Game Collab Studio

3 credits

Game Collab Studio is a project course done in conjunction with an outside institution that explores the use of games and play for specific applications. In the course students learn how to work on teams, research, design and test applications, project manage and work with real world design constraints. Subject matter for the course depends on the partnered institution but the course is intended to address: games for education, social change, health, as well as experimental game research.

IAGD 310 | 3D Game Design

3 credits

Prerequisite: IAGD 230

This class builds upon the student's technical and design skills in 2D games and makes the jump into 3D. Students will learn how to program, design and build games in 3D environments with a focus on understanding 3D workflows and tools. Students will create their own games as well as work on group projects while learning how to analyze and critique 3D game systems.

IAGD 320 | Designing 3D Levels and Words

3 credits

Prerequisite: IAGD 310

Students in this course will learn how to hone their skills in creating 3D game environments and levels. Working with level editors as well as student made assets, topics covered will include setting player goals, planning player paths, assets optimization, procedurally generated levels and quest design.

IAGD 330 | 3D Game Studio

6 credits

Prerequisite: IAGD 210

In this course students will create small 3D games in groups while furthering their understanding of 3D game design, research and prototyping. The course will emphasize project management skills so that groups can successfully plan and execute their designs. Studio work will be supplemented by readings and discussions further exploring contemporary cultural issues surrounding digital games.

IAGD 400 | Senior Project Studio

6 credits

Prerequisite: IAGD 330

Working in teams, students will spend the semester creating a game prototype that they will refine and polish during the spring semester. The goal of this course is for students to demonstrate their ability to research, design and test a game which shows their own personal voice as well as an understanding of the field of game design.

IAGD 410 | Senior Project Studio II

3 credits

Prerequisite: IAGD 400
In this course students will be refining their game prototypes into finished games and creating documentation to submit for festivals, grants, distributions, and exhibition. The course will also cover many aspects of professional development for game designers, including portfolios, web presence, funding, and entrepreneurship

Course Descriptions: Program Studio Electives

IAGD 221 | Installation Games

3 credits

Prerequisite: IAGD 210

This course will further the student's skills in game design and programming with a focus on new emergent forms of gaming and their use in interactive installations. Students will work on three small installations over the course of the semester, creating custom interfaces and using new game technology to creative engaging environments.

IAGD 222 | Tabletop Game Studio

3 credits

Prerequisite: IAGD 210

Tabletop games have never been more popular and there has been a renaissance in their designs over the last 20 years. In this course, students will further their understanding of tabletop game design begun in Game/Play by researching and designing a publishable tabletop game over the course of the semester. Students will develop their design research, prototyping, play-testing and visual design skills, as well as learn more about the tabletop games industry from guest speakers and lectures.

IAGD 223 | MICA Gamelab: Open Electives

3 credits

The Open Elective course designation allows faculty outside the program to propose courses that relate to games and play. These courses will be organized and coordinated by the MICA Gamelab and will allow for a shifting curriculum that takes advantage of MICA's interdisciplinary nature and the evolving nature of the field.

IAGD 321 | Virtual and Augmented Reality Games

3 credits

Prerequisite: IAGD 310

New emergent technologies such as virtual and augmented reality are changing the way people play games, learn, and have interactive experiences. During this course, students will learn how to design and prototype using commercially available VR/AR development kits to create compelling games which blur the line between real and virtual space. Students will also explore the history and contemporary cultural issues surrounding these new forms of games and interaction.

IL 247 | Concept Art for Games

3 credits

The origins and multiple applications of Concept Art, from its origins in Scenography, Production Design and Costume Design to its current forms in Video Games are investigated along with the confluence of the Visual Arts and the Performing or Movement Based Arts. Students learn the basics of this practice through assignments that involve a variety of stylistic approaches.

IL 228 | Character Design for Games

3 credits

Students will delve into a universe where character is king, and where good character design is taught through an emphasis on idea, shape, structure, and fun factor. The goal is to create characters that captivate the eye, provoke the mind, and pull the viewer into their world. Students will learn how to breathe life into their characters though drawing from the model, studying the anatomy, and observing movement. These ideals will be reinforced by activating the characters through inspiring in video games.

AN 202 | 2D Game Animation

3 credits

This introduction to the art of 2D game animation familiarizes students with the principles of animation and teaches them to create strong believable animations by developing a sense of observation, timing, and motion. Students will learn to create character, environment and interface animations and the work-flows needed to place these into game engines.

AN 203 | Intro to 3D Game Animation

3 credits

This introductory level course initiates students to the enormous creative capabilities of the 3DStudio Max program and its use for creating models for 3D Games. From a basic understanding of the program's operation, students learn to visualize, plan, and model in three-dimensional space as well as explore its animation capabilities.

GD 315 | Graphic Design for Games

3 credits

This class examines classic and contemporary games through the perspective of graphic design. Students play, analyze and discuss the visual structure of games (board games, competitive sports, video games, party games, etc) and then visually re-design existing game models to create alternate narratives and new experiences for players. Specific attention will be given to the tools and methodologies associated with designing modular systems based on type and image.

GD 345 | Interface Design

3 credits

This course explores the visual aspects and structural flow of interface design. Students will prototype screen-based experiences that humanize computer interaction, empathetic to the needs of the end user. Interfaces ultimately shape the experiences of users as they interact with products to achieve their goals and objectives. Students will mediate relationships between people and products, environments, and services across a variety of contexts.

This page was last updated on 12/19/2016.