Course Lists

Game Design Course List

GMD 200 Game/Play

An introductory course about game culture, theory, design and development. Students 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 are analyzed and applied to designing two paper-based games over the course of the semester.

GMD 230 2D Game Design

Teaches the techniques of creating video games from the ground up. Students 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 learn video game history, theory, and production, including current trends in digital games and gaming.

GMD 231 Narrative Design

An introduction to narrative strategies for digital games. Using the skills learned in their previous game design courses, students learn how to analyze, design, build, and test compelling game narratives.

Prerequisite: GMD 230

GMD 240 3D Game Design

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

Prerequisite: GMD 230

GMD 298 Special Topics in Game Design

This course looks at various aspects of game design, theory, and practice with each semester focused on a different theme. Students are expected to be read, discuss, and write about related topics as well as producing finished projects. The specific topic is announced in the course schedule.

Prerequisite: GMD 230 or IA 313, or permission of the instructor

GMD 314 Bodies in Play

This studio course explores the complex role of the body in games. Throughout the semester, students study historic and emergent forms of play, ranging from children's games to experiments in the arts to innovative commercial game interfaces. Students from all disciplines are encouraged to bring their own skills to collaborate on small embodied games, new sports, experimental video game controllers, and playful installations.

Prerequisite: GMD 305, IA 210, or IA 215

GMD 315 Hybrid Games

Explores new game design techniques by having students concurrently design, build and playtest a tabletop game and it's digital counterpart. Students work in teams to build a tabletop and digital RPGs while developing stronger game design and programming skills. The goal of this course is to examine how rapid prototyping of digital and analog games can influence and improve upon a game's design. Students are expected to have a background in either programming, game design or concept art to be considered for the course. This course works closely with students and faculty from Johns Hopkins University’s Computer Science Department.

Prerequisite: GMD 200

GMD 320 Level Design

Students learn how to hone their skills in creating compelling level design. Working with level editors as well as student made assets, topics covered include setting player goals, planning player paths, assets optimization, procedural generated levels and quest design.

Prerequisite: GMD 230

GMD 330 Advanced 2D Game Design

Build on game design and programming skills developed in 2D Game Design. Topics covered include mechanic design, scripted behavior and AI, procedural content generation, and mobile deployment. Throughout the semester, students produce small, personally-directed games both collaboratively and individually. Studio work supplemented by readings and discussions further exploring contemporary cultural issues surrounding digital games.

Prerequisite: GMD 230

GMD 340 Advanced 3D Game Design

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

Prerequisite: GMD 240

GMD 498 Senior Studio I

Working in teams, students spend the semester creating a game prototype that they 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.

Prerequisite: GMD 230 Senior Game Design majors only

GMD 499 Senior Studio II

In this course students refine their game prototypes into finished games and create documentation to submit for festivals, grants, distributions, and exhibition. The course also covers many aspects of professional development for game designers, including portfolios, web presence, funding, and entrepreneurship.

Prerequisite: GMD 498