3D Game Design & Entrepreneurship
For those who are interested in the exciting world of computer game design, the journey begins here. Participants will learn the fundamentals of game design, rules, and game mechanics, with hands-on experience using current game engine tools.
In addition, students will work in teams to examine and learn about current game studios, explore forming their own game company, and design their company mission, market, and logos. Students will experience the roles of producer, programmer, designer, and artist, and get an insider’s look at the computer game design industry. Each student company will present their game to their peers and Mason faculty during the final class as part of an Indie Showcase!
Art & Animation: Foundations of 3D Studio Max
Students interested in 3D design will learn the roles and responsibilities of a 3D modeler and animator in the game design industry. Using 3D Studio Max and Wacom Digital tablets, students will receive basic and intermediary 3D modeling lessons, and will expand their creativity and experiment with designing 3D models, coloring and texturing, rigging, and animating. Students will also learn how to integrate their models in to the Unity Game Engine.
Mobile App Development for Android
This course will provide students with the basic tools for developing applications for the Android platform. The main focus will be on the anatomy of an application and working with Android Studio, so no prior programming experience is required. Students will learn about the various file types and resources required to create applications, and will be provided with a general understanding of the code. A guided project throughout the course will have students develop their own music player, inspired by Spotify and Apple Music, that will play audio files downloaded to their phones.
Virtual Reality Game Development
Students will learn to create their own virtual reality experience using Google Cardboard and the HTC Vive. This course will focus on implementing interactive media designs (minor programming/asset creation) and fully developing the virtual reality software for both mobile and personal computer platforms. Students without a basic familiarity with Unity programming will be provided with a premade asset package so they can focus on designing in VR.
Topics that will be covered include designing interactive experiences and games, the design challenges specific to VR, basic 3D modeling, environment design for VR, basic programming with C# in the Unity game engine, and the differences between mobile and PC development. By the end of the class each student will create a VR project for both Google Cardboard (mobile) and the HTC Vive (PC).
Students will be provided with a Utopia 360 Headset that is theirs to keep. Students should bring their own Android smartphone (version 2015 or newer) and charger. If you have an iPhone or a phone unable to run VR apps, we will provide an appropriate phone for you to use for the duration of your session.
Introduction to Game Design: Story-based Game Design for Girls
In this exclusive course, girls will learn the fundamental techniques and tools needed to create their own linear or non-linear story-based game, and will create the concept for the world their story exists in. Once students have created their character and world, they will learn the fundamentals of computer game design and will use professional tools to take their games to the next level. Using these tools and techniques, students will be able to combine their writing and design to create a series of exciting quests and implement their in-depth character story in their newly created virtual world.