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Digital Media Arts

Digital Media Arts

Game Design

Why study game design? The video game industry has been driven by phenomenal technological innovation and creativity. It’s a constantly growing field and is expanding into areas such as simulation (e.g. medical, sports and product simulations), advertising, training and education, moving well beyond pure entertainment. As a Digital Media Arts major concentrating in Game Design, you will learn game design theory and history, character design, character animation, level design and mobile game development, using cutting-edge, industry standard tools. Students are also encouraged to take courses in Fine Arts Studio to strengthen their artistic skills as well as in Computer Science to learn more about the programming aspect of game development.

In addition to DMA core courses, students complete 5 electives in Game Design concentration, one of which fulfills Senior Project and Portfolio* requirement. A number of courses from other programs such as Computer Science (CS) or Fine Arts Studio (FAS) count as DMA electives. However, at least 3 of 5 electives must have a DMA prefix (e.g. DMA 351 - Game Level Design).

For more information about Game Design concentration, please e-mail Dr. P.J. Moskal (moskalp@canisius.edu)

Game Design Electives

DMA 346: Video Games: History & Technique
DMA 347: Electronic Game Design
DMA 351: Game Level Design
DMA 352: Character Design
DMA 354: Game Development
DMA 355: Character Animation
DMA 371: Game Design for Mobile Devices
DMA 450: Serious Games (Senior Project and Portfolio* requirement)

Qualified Non-DMA courses:

CSC 111: Intro to Programming
CSC 112: Data Structures
CSC 127: Introduction to Game Design
CSC 360: Intelligent Systems
FAS 120: Drawing I
FAS 131: Sculpture I
FAH 109: History of Architecture
PHI 291: Philosophy of Art

Course Descriptions

DMA 346: Video Games: History & Technique3 credits
This course provides an analytical and historical approach to the advancement of entertainment software. Encompassing cultural, professional, business, and scientific and technical evolution, the History of Video Games will communicate the socio-cultural impact of interactive entertainment on society. There is no prerequisite for this course, open to all majors.

DMA 347: Electronic Game Design3 credits
This course covers the art, craft and business of creating electronic games. Develop your own game concept, learn the basics of interactive authoring and produce a storyboard. Emphasis is placed on understanding the gaming industry and the languages of game design. There is no prerequisite for this course, open to all majors.

DMA 351: Game Level Design, 3 credits
Creating a game level takes planning, artistic and technical skill, user testing, and understanding of designer’s vision. In this course students learn how to design game levels that provide challenges, support the story and are exciting to explore and interact with. Prerequisite:  DMA213 or permission of instructor, open to DMA and Computer Science majors.

DMA 352: Character Design, 3 credits
This course is a comprehensive overview of 3D character design and development for games and simulations. Students start the process with concept sketches, then continue with modeling and rigging. The final result is an optimized, fully rigged character, ready for animation and real-time rendering in a game engine. Prerequisite:  DMA213 or permission of instructor, open to DMA and Computer Science majors.

DMA 354: Game Development, 3 credits
This course is a hands-on overview of interactive techniques and game design approaches for development of games and simulations. Students explore concepts of procedural rhetoric, interactive storytelling, iterative design and teamwork as they develop a working prototype of a game or simulation. Prerequisite:  DMA213 or permission of instructor, open to DMA and Computer Science majors.

DMA 355: Character Animation3 credits
Character animation is one of the most important elements of game design. Students learn essential techniques and principles to create convincing, interactive character animations for games and simulations. Prerequisite:  DMA 213 or permission of instructor, open to DMA and Computer Science majors.

DMA 371: Game Design for Mobile Devices3 credits
Mobile platforms have become very popular for distribution of games. In this course students learn how to design and develop 2D and 3D mobile games with user-centric approach. Students explore game design techniques that take advantage of mobile specific hardware functionality such as: accelerometer, multi-touch and GPS. Prerequisite:  DMA 201 or permission of instructor, open to DMA and Computer Science majors.

DMA 450: Serious Games, 3 credits
This course is an overview of a growing genre of Serious Games or games for purposes other than entertainment. Students learn about games for education, health, social change, marketing and training. The course concludes with a working prototype of a serious game, developed by small teams of students. This course fulfills Senior Project and Portfolio requirement for Game Design concentration. Prerequisite: DMA 351 or DMA 354, or DMA 371, or permission of instructor, open to DMA and Computer Science majors.