Students in the Engineering track take game engineering classes that focus on the technical aspects of video games including game engines, graphics, artificial intelligence, and novel input devices.

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Game Engineering Program of Study

First Year

Fall
C++ for Game Programming (3 credit hours)
Rapid Prototyping (4)
Design I (3)
Spring
Game Engineering I (3)
Projects I (4)
Design II Directed Elective (3)
Summer*
Internship (3)

*The internship may be taken any semester after the first semester and must be a professional level internship, an internal internship, or an individual research project.

Second Year

Fall
Game Engineering II (3)
Projects II (4)
Directed Elective (i.e. Virtual Reality, Graphics for Games, A.I.) (3)
Spring
Engineering III (3)
Projects III (4)
Directed Elective (3)

 

Engineering Track class descriptions:

C++ for Game Programming

This is the beginning masters level game programming course.  We begin with a C++ refresher/review section to discuss the language including: source code management techniques; programming fundamentals; and basic memory management models.  The class then delves deeply into how to use C++ to write highly performant game engine code including: efficient memory manipulation; performance tradeoffs of C++ language constructs; when templates and containers can and should be used in game engines; hidden costs of assorted data structures; etc.  By the end of the course students will understand how and why C++ is used to write high performance code, specifically targeting video game engines.

Game Engineering I

Students will learn selected topics as applied to building a game engine. Topics will include: mathematics for games, data structures and algorithms for games, asset database systems, game pipeline processes, design patterns common to industry, and debugging systems used in the industry.

Game Engineering II

This course is a continuation of Game Engineering I and will be project driven.  Students will learn selected topics by dissecting given game engines and applying them to the game engine built in Game Engineering I.  Topics will include: high performance computing, GPU/parallel programming, low-level algorithm analysis, and cross platform development, and memory management.

Game Engineering III

This course is a continuation of Game Engineering II. Topics will include: code optimization, hardware, I/O devices, technical project management, game project architecture, industry standards and norms, shader programming, and networks for games.

GAME PROJECTS

Rapid Prototyping

This class is the first course of four in the EAE:MGS game projects sequence. This section focuses primarily on rapid prototyping. Students will work in teams to pitch, prototype, and present games every four weeks, resulting in a better more refined game pitch and prototype. Each prototype sprint students will work on a different team. Additionally, a different design, aesthetic, of technical directive will define each sprint. Design requirements may vary from creating educational games, to specific genres. Teams will be made up of at least one producer, artist, and engineer. Four or five games will be prototyped using a variety of game engines and techniques.

Game Projects I

Game Projects I begins the three section team-based major game project. Students will work in teams to pitch, prototype, and begin development of their master’s game project. Instructors will meet regularly with students to both offer advice and criticism as the game progresses.

Game Projects II

Students will work in teams to finish development of their master’s game project and submit it to contests of festivals should they see fit. Instructors meet regularly with students to both offer advice and criticism as the game progresses.

Game Projects III

Students will continue to work with their team to polish and publish their master’s game project, as well as fill out their individual portfolio projects. Instructors continue to meet regularly with students.

GAME DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT

Game Design and Development I

Game design is the very core of the game development process. While the term “game designer” appears in various forms of game writing, design is frequently an eclectic and collaborative process. All participants in the EAE:MGS study game design, so that they may both have an opportunity to participate in the creative direction of games and so that they can better understand the design process. Additionally, game design is a burgeoning academic field, and scholarly inquiry into both praxis and theory are now available to those interested in game design

This is the first in a two part series of seminars designed to educate students about the video game industry, common practices within the industry with an emphasis on how games are designed and produced. This course focuses on a ludological approach to games, focusing on game mechanics, production processes, and game theory. Students will read works covering game history, ludology, as well as current practices in game development. Students will both learn about and write pitches in addition to other types of pre-production documentation.

Game Design and Development II

Game Design and Development II is the second seminar in which students study and design games as well as investigate the process of game creation. This requirement may be met by taking one of a variety of courses offered and can focus on the final stages of game design and production, narrative approaches to games, user experiences, or ethics in games. Students will learn about critical perspectives, genre development, elements of game genres, traditions, and trajectories, as well as game post-production. Students will learn how to conduct and write a postmortem in addition to a game critique.