While enrolled in game degrees at UAT, students experience a dual curricular approach. The
first element is a carefully crafted set of classes that are designed to rigorously prepared
students for the game industry. The programs themselves move from entry level work, through
generalist work, to specialist work and beyond. Programs are designed to solidly equip students
with the skills needed to get a job in the industry. The second element is a required studio
experience that accompanies the curriculum and fully simulates a game development studio to get
students working to produce complete, original games before they graduate. The studio experience
links deeply to the classes students take and creates an integrated experience that provides a
real path to mastering the skills needed to succeed in the industry today.
CSC102 - Introduction to Programming
The purpose of this course is to introduce the fundamentals of computer science and programming to students majoring in this area. Students will become familiar with problem-solving techniques and algorithm development using computers, including a structured high-level programming language. Students will also explore object-oriented programming including the design considerations and conventions used in development of object-oriented applications. Topics will include flow of control, assignment, arrays, functions, and input and output, among others.
GAM101 - Introduction to Game Design
Whether the goal is to become a game designer, artist or programmer, this course is a path into the world of video game production. Students will explore what career paths lay ahead in the respective areas of game development through an understanding of the game design process and develop awareness of the many positions within the game industry. By learning fundamental design and visualization techniques needed to express complex game ideas, students will apply professional documentation techniques to their projects. Students will also learn how to convert their own game-playing skills to tools used to analyze popular games and break down game play elements to discover what makes the greatest games tick.
GAM112 - Introduction to Game Tools
One of the challenges of the game development environment is the constant flux of tools, plug-ins and engines used by developers and the “mod” community. Often these tools have poor documentation, rough user interfaces and less-than-stellar stability, making mastery an elusive goal. The purpose of this project-based course is to allow a student to choose a game toolset, SDK or mod environment and produce a simple product with a focus on learning the tool itself and its quirks, limitations and workarounds.
GAM150 - Evolution of Electronic Games
This is a critical review of the technology and design history of video games, from the first all-analog machines to the powerful console systems of today. This course will discuss primary innovators and historical figures of the industry and the origins of game design elements such as scoring, risks and rewards, level design, interacting with AI and interface design. Through analysis and example, students will look at the development of the industry, the formation of the classical game genres, the explosion of game-related technology and the possible futures of the field. These design lessons will be applied to simple projects to reinforce how game design elements from three
decades ago still shape our industry and its products.
GAM170 - Game Design Workshop I
This course explores the invention, revision and presentation of game design ideas in an atmosphere similar to a creative writing workshop. Students will work singly and in small groups to develop game ideas, compare and contrast them with published games and then create focused design documents for potential future production. The end product will be several robust, polished game designs that have been tested by the most critical audience—your peers.
GAM215 - Game Scripting
High-level scripting languages allow for rapid development, content creation and interactive events, and drive many of today’s most powerful game engines and tools. Used for both game logic and automation tools, scripting language has become a mainstay in game production. Some of these languages have become so powerful that users can create entire stand-alone games, and are becoming a basis for full-scale AAA development. In this course students will choose a scripting language (such as MAX, MEL, LUA, Python, TorqueScript, Ruby or ActionScript) and create game-related projects, tutorials and proof-of-concept applications.
GAM175 - Game Testing and Analysis
Prerequisite(s): CSC102, ENG101, GAM101
The best game design and technology will fail if bugs, glitches, difficulty and gameplay balance issues mar the final product. As games grow more complex, the role of the game tester has been elevated from entry-level peon to a vital role in the development process, and entire third-party companies are
being formed for the outsourcing of game testing. In this course students will learn to analyze, troubleshoot, report and
document problems with game technology, controls, balance
and ease of use. With an emphasis on clarity, brevity and depth of analysis, students will beta-test student projects and commercial public betas and produce reports, analysis and suggestions for future improvements.
GAM200 - Critical Game Studies
Prerequisite(s): GAM101, ENG101
This course is an introduction to advanced critical techniques and approaches to game design, analysis of games and game theory. Using techniques of critical theory, ludology and semiotics, students will explore the structure of games, interaction with the user and how games balance rules with freedom and risk with reward. The course will also delve into interface design, user control issues, data representation for the gamer and feedback loops. Present and future game genres will be examined and compared and contrasted among different platforms and styles of play.
GAM230 - Level Design
Prerequisite(s): GAM101, GAM112
This course will cover the topics in level design, including history and types of games, the role of the level designer, good level design, player puzzles and strategies that will keep players interested in a game, and level creation that is challenging for players and not overly difficult for average players.
GAM235 - Game AI Concepts
Prerequisite(s): GAM112, GAM215
Artificial Intelligence is at the core of the modern interactive experience in video games. This course is a survey of the many approaches to creating realistic, interesting behavior from a design point of view, while experimenting with concepts such as pathfinding, sensory systems, flocking, scripted events, heuristics and genetic algorithms. Students will use a variety of tools to create functioning projects that demonstrate class concepts and study various game AI systems and theories.
GAM280 - Rapid Game Prototyping
Prerequisite(s): GAM170, GAM215
In a fast-paced industry, prototypes are becoming the key to understanding and refining complex gameplay before committing to full-scale development. Students will create traditional paper prototypes as well as use industry standard tools such as Flash and Torque Game Builder to rapidly prototype and study several self-contained projects. The goal is to become adept at turning game ideas into practical game mechanics and the foundations for future complete game projects.
GAM351 - Writing for Interactive Games
Prerequisite(s): GAM200, ENG102
Writing for the interactive environments of current and future video games poses complex challenges that are unique to the field. As the consumer base grows more sophisticated, gamers are demanding complex, believable worlds in which their decisions have an impact. This course explores best
practices for creating interactive stories, quests, characters and worlds that flesh out the bare mechanics of game design. Students will create interactive projects and design scenarios with dialog, branching choices, back-story elements and intellectual challenges, as well as look towards the future of game storytelling.
GAM380 - Serious Game Design
Prerequisite(s): GAM200, GAM260
Games that teach, test, train and pose complex, realistic challenges to the player have been branded Serious Games. Using game technologies to teach is not a new concept, but the recent reinvigoration of this genre puts the spotlight on games that focus on giving the gamer new experiences and learning opportunities rather than an endless chain of aliens to slay. Using contemporary theories of electronic education, students will create and prototype games with a message to their mechanics. Students will study “stealth” serious games as well as institutional tools and tutorials, games based on scientific principles and simulation, and the future of gameplay in education.
GAM385 - Casual Game Design
Accessible, easy-to-play (but difficult-to-master) games are the bridge by which many customers enter the video game market, and an increasingly large pool of gamers make casual games their genre of choice. The casual game must be elementary in design but deep in execution; it must fit the genres and platforms of choice for casual gamers and give both the novice and the expert a memorable challenge. In this course we’ll design, prototype and build casual games that move beyond Tetris and Solitaire clones and advance the genre as a whole.
GAM405 - Applied Game Development
Prerequisite(s): Instructor Approval
This course concentrates on techniques to produce a game from the standpoint of production. Students will tackle topics such as people management, team building, communication and workflow in order to grasp the complexities of running a development team. Game teams and projects continue to grow in size and complexity and it is essential to have an understanding of everything is involved in game development.
GAM470 - Advanced Gameplay Project
Prerequisite(s): SEE INSTR
This comprehensive course allows the student to fully synthesize the techniques and skills learned to create a fully realized gameplay project. This course is dedicated toward producing a high quality player experience. Students will set a development schedule and work toward meeting their goals. Aside from programming, quality communication and teamwork will be stressed throughout the course.
COM226 - Communication in Technology
Through the exploration of technology concepts, students will introduce, demonstrate, inform and/or persuade the audience. Effective use of voice, nonverbal skills and visuals will be applied to topics such as robotics, virtual reality, internet speech and privacy, and/or technology ethics. Presentations will be followed by student-led discussions and brainstorming sessions about each technology topic. The art of seeing pros and cons pertaining to controversial concepts will be explored through group discussions. And, students will have the opportunity to create a resume and be formally interviewed for a technology position.
ENG101 - Composition I
Prerequisite(s): ENG055 or equivalent
This course is designed to present effective techniques in organizing, developing and revising academic essays that reflect collegiate-level critical and logical thinking skills. Students will write a minimum of four essays, directed toward audiences with specific rhetorical situations, that stress descriptive, analytical, evaluative and persuasive/ argumentative writing. Students will also develop their critical reading skills: analyzing, evaluating and critiquing the claims and evidence used by various authors.
ENG102 - Composition II
ENG102 is designed to introduce students to the essential language, theories and strategies of argumentation and research. The purpose of the course is to provide students with the tools necessary to develop arguments for specific audiences within specific rhetorical situations. Students will also develop their critical reading skills: analyzing, evaluating and critiquing the claims and evidence used by various authors. Finally, students will learn proper research skills and write an in-depth research essay/project.
PSY150 - Psychology of Thinking
PSY150 will examine the writings of Pythagoras, the father of formal mathematical thinking; Aristotle’s major works, including his 100-plus tests for the truth of any proposition; and other major thinkers from the classical period to modern times, including Francis Bacon, Galileo and other progenitors
of the natural and behavioral sciences. The course will close with a survey of living thinkers, including “system thinkers” and a study of the major books by Edward de Bono.
Minimum General Education Credits
Minimum Bachelor's Core plus Degree-Specific/Elective Credits
Minimum Total Semester Credits
Within 120 minimum credit hours, the following requirements also apply:
- Minimum Degree-Specific Credits: 36
- Minimum Total 300/400 Level Credits: 40
- Minimum Art Credits: 12