Game Design Minor

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The game design minor is intended for students outside of technical computing majors who wants to explore the process and principles of game design and the associated theories of interactive media. The minor provides an introductory experience to media-centric software development that enables students to prototype and test their designs.

Notes about this minor:

  • This minor is closed to students majoring in computer engineering, computer science, computing and information technologies, computing security, game design and development, human-centered computing, new media interactive development, software engineering, or web and mobile computing.​
  • Posting of the minor on the student's academic transcript requires a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the minor.

The program code for Game Design Minor is GAMED-MN.

Curriculum for Game Design Minor

Required Courses
New Media Interactive Design and Algorithmic Problem Solving I
This course provides students with an introduction to problem solving, abstraction, and algorithmic thinking that is relevant across the field of new media. Students are introduced to object-oriented design methodologies through the creation of event-driven, media-intensive applications. Students will explore the development of software through the use of a range of algorithmic concepts related to the creation of applications by writing classes that employ the fundamental structures of computing, such as conditionals, loops, variables, data types, functions, and parameters. There is an early emphasis on object oriented concepts and design.
New Media Interactive Design and Algorithmic Problem Solving II
This course provides students a continued introduction to problem solving, abstraction, and algorithmic thinking that is relevant across the field of new media. As the second course in programming for new media students, this course continues an object-oriented approach to programming for creative practice. Topics will include re-usability, data structures, rich media types, event-driven programming, loaders, XML, object design, and inheritance. Emphasis is placed on the development of problem-solving skills as students develop moderately complex applications.
2D Animation and Asset Production
This course provides a theoretical framework covering the principles of animation and its use in game design to affect user experience. Emphasis will be placed upon principles that support character development and animations that show cause and effect. Students will apply these principles to create animations that reflect movement and character appropriate for different uses and environments.
Game Design & Development I
This course examines the core process of game design, from ideation and structured brainstorming in an entertainment technology context through the examination of industry standard processes and techniques for documenting and managing the design process. This course specifically examines techniques for assessing and quantifying the validity of a given design, for managing innovation and creativity in a game development-specific context, and for world and character design. Specific emphasis is placed on both the examination and deconstruction of historical successes and failures, along with presentation of ethical and cultural issues related to the design and development of interactive software and the role of individuals in a team-oriented design methodology. Students in this class are expected to actively participate and engage in the culture of design and critique as it relates to the field.
Game Design & Development II
This course continues to examine the core theories of game design as they relate to the professional field. Beginning with a formalized pitch process, this course examines the design and development paradigm from story-boarding and pre-visualization through rapid iteration, refinement, and structured prototyping exercises to further examine the validity of a given design. Specific emphasis is placed on iterative prototyping models, and on methodologies for both informal and formal critique. This course also explores production techniques and life-cycle in the professional industry.