Game Design and Development MS

Game Design and Development, MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
IGME-601
Game Development Processes
This course examines the individual and group roles of the development process model within the game design and development industry. Students will transform design document specifications into software and hardware needs for developers, testers, and end users. Students will examine team dynamics and processes for technical development, content development, testing, deployment, and maintenance. Students will explore the design process through the deconstruction of the game industry's software lifecycle model. (This course is restricted to students in the GAMEDES-MS program.) Lec/Lab 3 (Fall).
3
IGME-602
Game Design
This course presents students with core theories of game design, informed by research results from media theory, narrative methods and models, theories of ideation, and the nature of games, play and fun. Specific emphasis is placed on the examination of historical successes and failures, along with presentation of ethical and cultural issues related to the design of interactive software. Students will engage in formal critique and analysis of media designs and their formal elements. (This course is restricted to students in the GAMEDES-MS program.) Lec/Lab 3 (Fall).
3
IGME-603
Gameplay and Prototyping
This course explores the pragmatic issues of creative concept development through story-boarding, pitching, prototyping and play-testing. Students will use various tools and techniques to build game prototypes that they will evaluate through play-testing in an incremental design process informed by market research and analysis. (This course is restricted to students in the GAMEDES-MS program.) Lec/Lab 3 (Fall).
3
IGME-695
Colloquium in Game Design and Development
This required colloquium will introduce students to a range of emerging topics and themes in the field of game design and development. Students will attend lectures by and discussions with RIT faculty and visitors, complete related readings, and offer both oral and written responses to readings and presentations. (This course is restricted to students in the GAMEDES-MS program.) Lec/Lab 2 (Fall, Spring).
1
IGME-795
Game Industry Themes and Perspectives
This required course prepares students for a career in the field of game design and development. Students will attend lectures by and discussions with RIT faculty and visitors and produce material to assist in their career preparation. (This course is restricted to students in the GAMEDES-MS program.) Lec/Lab 2 (Fall).
1
 
Advanced Electives
9
Second Year
IGME-695
Colloquium in Game Design and Development
This required colloquium will introduce students to a range of emerging topics and themes in the field of game design and development. Students will attend lectures by and discussions with RIT faculty and visitors, complete related readings, and offer both oral and written responses to readings and presentations. (This course is restricted to students in the GAMEDES-MS program.) Lec/Lab 2 (Fall, Spring).
1
IGME-788
Capstone Design
This course allows students within the game design and development program to develop a capstone proposal and design document. The capstone design document specifies the scope and depth of the capstone project. In addition, it defines the group and individual responsibilities for the cohort capstone project experience. (Prerequisites: IGME-601 and IGME-602 and IGME-603 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 5 (Fall).
3
IGME-789
Capstone Development
This course provides master of science in game design and development students with capstone project experiences. Students are expected to work in cohorts towards the implementation of a game system that properly illustrates proficiency in the application of theory and practice towards a large-scale project. For each student, individual responsibilities for the group project will be defined in consultation with both the group and the faculty. Students must successfully complete the Capstone Design course and present a satisfactory capstone project proposal to the faculty before enrolling in this course. (Prerequisites: IGME-788 or equivalent course.) Lec/Lab 5 (Spring).
3
 
Advanced Electives
6
Total Semester Credit Hours
33

Advanced electives

Course
CSCI-610
Foundations of Computer Graphics
Foundations of Computer Graphics is a study of the hardware and software principles of interactive raster graphics. Topics include an introduction to the basic concepts, 2-D and 3-D modeling and transformations, viewing transformations, projections, rendering techniques, graphical software packages and graphics systems. The course will focus on rasterization techniques and emphasize the hardware rasterization pipeline including the use of hardware shaders. Students will use a standard computer graphics API to reinforce concepts and study fundamental computer graphics algorithms. Programming projects and a survey of the current graphics literature will be required. Note: students who complete CSCI-510 may not take CSCI-610 for credit. (Prerequisite: (CSCI-603 or CSCI-605 with a grade of B or better) or (CSCI-243 or SWEN-262). May not take and receive credit for CSCI-610 and CSCI-510. If earned credit for/or currently enrolled in CSCI-510 you will not be permitted to enroll in CSCI-610.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
CSCI-711
Global Illumination
This course will investigate the theory of global illumination (GI) in computer image synthesis. Seminal computer graphics papers will be used to explore the various components of the GI pipeline and explain how the path of light in a virtual scene can be simulated and used to create photorealistic imagery. The course will emphasize the theory behind various GI rendering tools and libraries available for image synthesis. The student will put theory into practice via a set of programming assignments and a capstone project. Topics will include light and color, three-dimensional scene specification, camera models, surface materials and textures, GI rendering methods, procedural shading, tone reproduction, and advanced rendering techniques. Readings and summaries of Computer Graphics literature will be required. (Prerequisites: CSCI-610 or CSCI-510 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
CSCI-712
Computer Animation: Algorithms and Techniques
This course takes a look at computer animation from a programmer's perspective. It will investigate the theory, algorithms and techniques for describing and programming motion for virtual 3D worlds. Approaches that will be explored include keyframing systems; kinematics, motion of articulated figures, procedural and behavioral systems, and the use of motion capture data. This course is a programming-oriented course with major deliverables including the implementation of techniques presented in lecture as well as a final project concentrating on an area of a student's choice. Students enrolling in this course are expected to have proficiency in the use of at least one 3D API (e.g. OpenGL, DirectX, Java3D). Readings and summaries of Computer Graphics literature will be required. Offered every other year. (Prerequisites: CSCI-610 or CSCI-510 or 4005-762 or 4003-570 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
CSCI-713
Applied Perception in Graphics and Visualization
The goal of this course is to introduce students to the field of applied perception in graphics and visualization and demonstrate how it has contributed to the development of better display systems and computer graphics rendering techniques. The delivery of the course material will be done primarily through lectures with biweekly programming assignments based upon the techniques presented in class. Students will also be exposed to a wide range of technical papers and be expected to make classroom presentations on selected topics in the field of applied perception in graphics and visualization. (Prerequisites: CSCI-610 or CSCI-510 or 4005-762 or 4003-571 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
IGME-621
Board and Card Game Design and Development
This course explores issues pertaining to design, mechanics, development, and production of analog, tabletop “hobby” games, which include board games, card games, wargames, and other non-digital games catering to multiple players. Students will analyze and apply concepts and mechanics of modern tabletop game design, and build and test both competitive and cooperative tabletop games, designed specifically for a global audience. Students will work with development and prototyping tools, explore component design and art direction, and work with desktop publishing technologies. In addition, they will work directly with board game publishing and manufacturing technologies and services, and study factors pertaining to the business of tabletop games, and produce a professional, polished tabletop game. (Prerequisites: (IGME-602 and student is matriculated in GAMEDES-MS); or (IGME-220 and student is matriculated in GAMEDES-BS/NWMEDID-BS)) Lecture 3 (Spring).
IGME-622
Game Balance
This course is an in-depth exploration of the sub-field of game design known as balance. Topics include: transitive mechanics and cost/power curves; economic systems in games; probability and the psychology of randomness; pseudorandom numbers; situational balance; level/XP curves, advancement and pacing; tuning; statistics, metrics, and analytics; intransitive mechanics, game theory, and payoff matrices; and the applied use of spreadsheets. (This course is restricted to students in the GAMEDES-MS program.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
IGME-623
Theory and Design of Role Play and Interactive Narrative
Role playing games (RPGs) are among the most popular game forms. RPG design incorporates elements from most game genre. This course will address all aspects of design relevant to role play, both digital and analog, and the course will focus on the underlying theory of role play as a practice. We will talk about popular games, but will also spend time on experimental and innovative role play. Students should expect to study playing styles, RPG structure, and to both study and produce effective interactive narrative. Lab 3 (Spring).
IGME-624
Tabletop Role-Playing Game Design and Development
This course explores the concepts and mechanics of analog role-playing games, such as tabletop "pencil-and-paper" and live-action role-playing games, from a practical, hands-on perspective. In this project-based course, students will develop their own rule systems to facilitate various facets of role-playing and associated game mechanics, then playtest and publish their games. Students will also use desktop publishing tools to produce game rules and supplemental materials suitable for publication. Note that this course assumes that students have extensive experience in playing tabletop role-playing games. (Prerequisites: (IGME-602 and student is matriculated in GAMEDES-MS); or (IGME-220 and student is matriculated in GAMEDES-BS/NWMEDID-BS)) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
IGME-670
Digital Audio Production
Technologies and techniques for producing and manipulating digital audio are explored. Topics include digital representations of sound, digital audio recording and production, MIDI, synthesis techniques, real-time performance issues, and the application of digital audio to multimedia and Web production. (Students must be in GAMEDES-MS or GAMEDES-BS and have taken IGME-202. Undergraduate students may not take and receive credit for this course if they have already taken IGME-570.) Lec/Lab 3 (Fall).
IGME-671
Interactive Game and Audio
This course provides students with exposure to the design, creation and production of audio in interactive applications and computer games. Students will become familiar with the use of sound libraries, recording sounds in the studio and in the field, generating sound with synthesizers, and effects processing. Students will create sound designs for interactive media, integrating music, dialog, ambient sound, sound effects and interface sounds within interactive programs. (Students must be in GAMEDES-MS or GAMEDES-BS and have taken IGME-202. Undergraduate students may not take and receive credit for this course if they have already taken IGME-571.not if IGME-571) Lec/Lab 3 (Spring).
IGME-680
IGM Production Studio
This course will allow students to work as domain specialists on teams completing one or more large projects over the course of the semester. The projects will be relevant to experiences of the interactive games and media programs, but they will require expertise in a variety of sub-domains, including web design and development, social computing, computer game development, multi-user media, human-computer interaction and streaming media. Students will learn to apply concepts of project management and scheduling, production roles and responsibilities, and their domain skill sets to multidisciplinary projects. Students will complete design documents, progress reports and final assessments of themselves and their teammates in addition to completing their assigned responsibilities on the main projects. (Prerequisites: IGME-601 or equivalent courses.) Lec/Lab 3 (Fall, Spring).
IGME-681
Innovation & Invention
In this course, students explore the process and products of innovation and invention. Each semester we conceive and develop a different outside the box project in a multidisciplinary tinkerer's lab. Readings, lectures, student presentations, and discussions deal with the interplay of technology, human nature, and a human environment in which emerging technologies and new modes of interaction are pervasive and ubiquitous. Students from multiple disciplines are guided through a series of collaborative experiences inventing, designing, implementing and studying emerging technologies and their educational and artistic potential. Presentations, projects and individual research papers are required. (This course requires permission of the Instructor to enroll.) Lec/Lab 3 (Fall, Spring).
IGME-690
IGM Graduate Seminar
This is intended to allow for special one-time offerings of graduate topics. Specific course details (such as the course topics, format, resource needs, and credit hours) will be determined by the faculty member(s) who propose a given seminar offering. (Varies) (This course is restricted to GAMEDES-MS students or (GAMEDES-BS or NWMEDID-BS students with at least 3rd year standing).) Lecture (Fall, Spring, Summer).
IGME-730
Game Design and Development for Casual and Mobile Platforms
This course explores the design and development of casual and mobile game applications. Students will begin by exploring the design practices relevant to casual and mobile games, including hardware constraints, player expectations, play experiences, mechanics for casual and mobile experiences, as well as the aesthetics and presentation of casual and mobile game elements. As students learn the theoretical concepts, they will also learn the development process for casual and mobile games. Development topics will include technology platforms, physical and logical interface control, graphics and interaction, tools and APIs, connectivity, data management, data persistence, delivery mechanisms, and systems integration with desktop and web-based platforms. (This course is restricted to students in the GAMEDES-MS program.) Lec/Lab 3 (Spring).
IGME-740
Game Graphics Programming
Students will explore the use of an advanced graphics API to access hardware-accelerated graphics in a real-time graphics engine context. The course will involve discussion of scene graphs, optimizations, and integration with the API object structure, as well as input schemes, content pipelines, and 2D and 3D rendering techniques. Students will also explore the advanced use of the API calls in production code to construct environments capable of real-time performance. Students will construct from scratch a fully functional graphics engine, with library construction for game development. Advanced topics will be explored, including real-time special effects, custom shading pipelines, and advanced deferred rendering techniques. (Prerequisites: IGME-601 or equivalent courses.) Lec/Lab 3 (Spring).
IGME-742
Level Design
This course introduces level design theory and best practice through game level analysis, evaluation, and creation. Students will explore the history of various game genres and the design of their levels, analyze game levels from existing games, and discuss what made those levels successful or unsuccessful. Through their analysis and hands-on experience, students will gain an understanding of overall level design including layout, flow, pacing, narrative, and balance. They will enhance their understanding of level design principles by creating their own game levels. (Prerequisites: IGME-602 or equivalent courses.) Lab 3 (Fall, Spring).
IGME-750
Game Engine Design and Development
This course will provide students with theory and practical skills in game engine design topic areas such as understanding the graphics pipeline as it influences engine design, hardware principles and the relationship to game engine construction, mathematical principles involved in game engine design, scene graph construction and maintenance, texture and materials management, collision systems, physics systems, particle systems, and control systems. Furthermore, this course will examine software and toolsets that assist game engine designers in their tasks. Students will be expected to design and implement a game engine in teams as well as properly document their design and development strategy. (This course is restricted to students in the GAMEDES-MS program.) Lec/Lab 3 (Fall).
IGME-753
Console Development
This course explores the history and modern implementation of software for game consoles. Cross-platform development will be emphasized along with software concepts such as memory management, scheduling, parallelization, graphics, and virtual reality. Programming projects are required. (Prerequisite: IGME-740 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
IGME-760
Artificial Intelligence for Gameplay
This course explores artificial intelligence concepts and research through both a theoretical perspective and a practical application to game development. In particular the course focuses on AI concepts and paradigms such as search and representation, reasoning under uncertainty, intelligent agents, biologically inspired computing and machine learning to real-time situations and applications as relevant to the field of entertainment technology and simulation. (This course is restricted to students in the GAMEDES-MS program.) Lec/Lab 3 (Fall).
IGME-790
Graduate Seminar in IGM
This is intended to allow for special one-time offerings of graduate topics. Specific course details (such as the course topics, format, resource needs, and credit hours) will be determined by the faculty member(s) who propose a given seminar offering. (This course is restricted to students in the GAMEDES-MS program.) Lec/Lab (Fall, Spring, Summer).
IGME-796
Advanced Topics in Game Design*
This course examines current topics in game design. Specific course details (such as prerequisites, course topics, format, learning outcomes, assessment methods, and resource needs) will be determined by the faculty member(s) who propose a specific topics course in this area. (This course is restricted to students in the GAMEDES-MS program.) Lec/Lab 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
IGME-797
Advanced Topics in Game Development*
This course examines current topics in game development. Specific course details (such as prerequisites, course topics, format, learning outcomes, assessment methods, and resource needs) will be determined by the faculty member(s) who propose a specific topics course in this area. (This course is restricted to students in the GAMEDES-MS program.) Lec/Lab 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
IGME-799
Independent Study
The student will work independently under the supervision of a faculty adviser on a topic not covered in other courses. (Enrollment in this course requires permission from the department offering the course.) Ind Study (Fall, Spring, Summer).