A comprehensive list of the game development-related classes offered at the University of Utah
Each of the graduate tracks have both shared and unique classes. Click on the tabs below to view the specific classes for each track. Click the name of the class to learn more.
Graduate Level Courses
Game Design 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.
This is the first of two seminars a student will take designed to educate students about how games are designed and produced. Design I focuses on a ludological approach to games, focusing on game mechanics, production processes, and game theory. This course challenges student’s preconceptions of what games are, should be, and their broader role in culture.
Game Design II
Game Design 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.
Game Design II Courses
There are currently six classes offered by EAE that fufill the Design II requirement:
EAE 6010 – Virtual Worlds
EAE 6015 – Paper Prototyping for Games
EAE 6025 – Serious Games: VR/AR
EAE 6030 – Experimental Gameplay
EAE 6035 – Narrative Game Design
EAE 6900 (022) – User Experience
Game Production I
Game Production I is the first course in the sequence and is a survey of game production.
Game Production II
Game Production II is the second course in the sequence and focuses on technical production in games.
Game Production III
Game Production III is the final course in the sequence and focuses on art and content production in games.
EAE 6600 – 3D Modelling
EAE 6605 – Adv 3D Character Production
EAE 6620 – Env. Art for Games
EAE 6630 – Hard Surface Modeling
EAE 6640 – Digital Fig. Sculpting
EAE 6670 – Texturing for 3D
EAE 6900 (011) – Character Design
EAE 6900 (012) – A.I. for Games
EAE 6900 (014) – Business of Games
EAE 6900 (016) – Shader Development
EAE 6900 (018) – Mobile Games Pipeline
EAE 6900 (023) – Advanced Game Art Studio
This class is the first of four courses in the EAE:MGS studio simulation sequence. This section focuses on rapid prototyping. Students work in interdisciplinary teams to pitch, prototype, and present games every four weeks, resulting in more refined game pitches and prototypes. During each round, students will work on a different team and focus on new designs, aesthetics, and technical directives. Design requirements vary greatly and can range from creating educational games, to working within a specific genre.
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.
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 Arts I
The tools and techniques required to understand and use the components of design, story, drawing, and storyboarding for games. This course looks at the creative aspects of pre-production, examining the common practices and processes that tie story, gameplay, mood, character and environment design to create a seamless whole in animated and game productions. To this end, this course introduces color theory, lighting, composition, design and audience psychology.
Game Arts II
Presents the tools and techniques required to animate a character in a 3D animation software program. It includes a strong focus on demonstrating strategies for the application of traditional animation skills in the 3D environment.
Game Arts III
Advanced studies in the production of video games. Production duties will be divided among team members specializing in art, code, or sound and will contribute to the collaborative creation of a video game. Video games present unique challenges of development, requiring interdisciplinary skill sets and efficient teamwork. Video games also present unique opportunities for building creative interactive art that is experienced.
Game Arts IV
Continuing advanced studies in the production of video games. This course emphasizes the development of discernible artistic skills in visual game design. Emphasis is on individual development in studio skills from the perspective of future goals. Analysis and criticism will explore industry, historical, and contemporary directions as they relate to the player’s expectations. Instruction will be centered on individual feedback and instruction.
Technical Art I
Students will learn the complete asset pipeline from the perspective of engineering and art production. Topics will include: modeling, texturing, rigging, animating, shading and lighting.
Technical Art II
Students will learn scripting/programming techniques for automating the asset pipeline. They will continue to learn advanced topics of modeling, texturing, rigging, animating, shading and lighting. They will also learn MoCap and other advanced technologies for enhancing the asset pipeline.
Technical Art III
Students will learn to create tools for artists and continue to learn how to automate the asset pipeline. They will also work with several game engines for level creation, population, and rendering outputs.