Master of Fine Arts in Interactive Design Course Descriptions

» GAME4115 / GAME5115 Artificial Intelligence 3 cr.
» GAME4200 / GAME5215 Game Analytics 3 cr.
» GAME4400 / GAME 5400 Advanced Topics / Graduate Topics in Game Development 3 cr.
» GAME511X Agile Management and Marketing of Interactive Media Properties 3 cr.
» GAME512X Global and Localization Concepts 3 cr.
» GAME5100 Advanced Game Studio I 12 cr.
» GAME520X Developing Story for Interactive Media 3 cr.
» GAME520X History of Interactive Design and Analysis 3 cr.
» GAME5200 Advanced Game Studio II 12 cr.
» GAME6100 Advanced Game Studio III: Device / Site Specific Interactive Design 12 cr.
» GAME6200 Advanced Game Studio IV: Asset / Role-Specific Interactive Design 12 cr.
» GAME6300 Thesis 4 cr.
» GAME6301 Thesis II 2 cr.
» GAME6500 Special Graduate Projects in Interactive Media Design 3 cr.

GAME4115 / GAME5115 Artificial Intelligence 3 cr.

This course provides an overview of the field of artificial intelligence with special attention to uses in the electronic gaming field. Students will develop logic grids for intelligent agents, discuss how learning and communication are integral elements of artificial intelligence. Philosophical discussion of such concepts as intelligence, cognition, learning, and the Turing test will be addressed. Prerequisites: GAME3145 Game Programming I

This course is cross-listed as GAME 5115 and may be taken for graduate credit with the addition of a graduate research project.

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GAME4200 / GAME5215 Game Analytics 3 cr.

The course will discuss optimization of 3 phases of game design development and production – marketing (how do we acquire the users?), retention (how do we keep and convert users to players?) and monetization (modeling the game changes to get the optimal monetization). The course will also discuss the Stochastic approach, introduce students to relational databases, statistical software and other analytical tools used in Game Analytics.

This course is cross-listed as GAME5200 and may be taken for graduate credit with the addition of a graduate research project.

Advanced Character Animation – GAME4302

Graduate Character Animation – GAME5302

This course continues the study of processes and procedures related to character animation. Facial animation and lip synchronization concepts are presented along with current technologies utilized in the efficient design of dialog-based animation. Unlike GAME 4301 Character Animation where focus is placed on designing character animation loops for real-time engines, this course focuses on story and narrative for cut scenes and short film. Prerequisites: GAME4301

This course is cross-listed as GAME 5302 and may be taken for graduate credit with the addition of a graduate research project.

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GAME4400 / GAME5400 Advanced Topics / Graduate Topics in Game Development 3 cr.

Courses offered under the designation Special Topics may represent emerging issues or specialized content not represented in the curriculum.  Each special topics course has a course description which is archived at the Special Topics Courses page.  A student may take the course multiple times to earn credit for a different topic.  Prerequisite:  Established per Topical Section

This course is cross-listed as GAME5400 and may be taken for graduate credit with the addition of a graduate research project.

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GAME511X Agile Management and Marketing of Interactive Media Properties  3 cr.

This course will analyze what draws people to interactive media, and what keeps them engaged. The first half of the course will be spent reviewing theories of motivational psychology in order to better understand “engagement”, “fun”, and the features that elicit them.

In the second half of the course, students will then consider how these features might be explicitly applied to interactive media experiences to yield desired results within an agile management environment. In addition, the role-played by interactive media to measure level and duration of engagement as measured by data analytics will also be discussed. Class discussions will compare different theoretical approaches to motivation, and look briefly at the ethics of designing for behavior change.

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GAME512X Global and Localization Concepts  3 cr.

The aim of this course is to provide a practical approach to localization as the process of adapting digital products, services, and content for foreign markets, which implies both technical and linguistic knowledge. Students will acquire an overview of the international industry of localization, key issues of software, web, game and mobile localization. Interactive Media designers, producers, artists, and programmers will be informed about current trends in localization and understand the complexities involved in localizing a product and the appropriate electronic tools used in the localization industry.

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GAME5100 Advanced Game Studio I 12 cr.

The major goal of this course is to provide a mentoring period during the research, design, and creation of an appropriately scoped project piece identified as a core element of the thesis studio component. The research will include reviews of a variety of materials, discussion, and rapid prototyping, while the design phase will be informed through discourse with course peers and individual mentoring from the professor. The final product will result in an isolated solution to a core challenge of the student’s thesis for inclusion in the upcoming semesters.

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GAME520X Developing Story for Interactive Media 3 cr.

Development of stories for multiple forms of Interactive Media, including games, interactive text-based web-series, and other forms of interactive fiction. Students will generate backstories, character bios, quest text, branching dialogue, and more.

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GAME520X  History of Interactive Design and Analysis 3 cr.

This course covers the history and evolution of interactive media, exploring two roads to examine overlapping approaches, similarities, and differences between interactive games and interactive art. Focusing on technical innovations, design elements, and societal influences, this course takes a wide view to look at the breadth of interactive design, while also focusing in specifically on pertinent genres, trends, and developments that have emerged across various components of this diverse field. We will examine historical examples of these developments and the significance of their emergence and evolutions, while also critiquing their methodologies to evaluate their successes, failures, and impacts on current practices. Two-course books are used: one exploring interactive games, and the other interactive art. A thorough examination of each angle results in firm groundwork for a practitioner involved with interactive design.

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GAME5200 Advanced Game Studio II 12 cr.

The major goal of this course is to provide a mentoring period during the research, design, and creation of an appropriately scoped project piece identified as a core element of the thesis studio component. The research will include reviews of a variety of materials, discussion, and rapid prototyping, while the design phase will be informed through discourse with course peers and individual mentoring from the professor. The final product will result in an isolated solution to a core challenge of the student’s thesis for inclusion in the upcoming semesters. Advanced Game Studio I is not a prerequisite for this course, as the course follows the same implementation — it is the subject determined by the student which must be unique between the two courses.

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GAME6100 Advanced Game Studio III:  Device/Site-Specific Interactive Design 12 cr.

The major goal of this course is to provide a mentoring period during the research, design, and creation of an appropriately scoped project piece identified as a core element of the thesis studio component. The research will include reviews of a variety of materials, discussion, and rapid prototyping, while the design phase will be informed through discourse with course peers and individual mentoring from the professor. The final product will result in an isolated solution to a core challenge of the student’s thesis for inclusion in the upcoming semesters.

Successful completion of Advanced Game Studios I and II are a prerequisite for this course. While this course follows the same implementation, is advanced course concentrates on the creation of a product plan and prototype targeting a particular development or deployment technology. Students will select a target such as mobile, VR, console, or desktop computer, design or adapt a project intended to run effectively on that technology, and prototype a project using fast development tools relevant to the target. The student must select a media idea which is unique and unrelated to the property developed in Advanced Game Studio I or II.

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GAME6200 Advanced Game Studio IV:  Asset/Role-Specific Interactive Design 12 cr.

The major goal of this course is to provide a mentoring period during the research, design, and creation of an appropriately scoped project piece identified as a core element of the thesis studio component. The research will include reviews of a variety of materials, discussion, and rapid prototyping, while the design phase will be informed through discourse with course peers and individual mentoring from the professor. The final product will result in an isolated solution to a core challenge of the student’s thesis for inclusion in the upcoming semesters.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Advanced Game Studios I and II are a prerequisite for this course. While this course follows the same implementation, this advanced course concentrates on Creation of a suite of related assets targeting a specific team role. Participants will take a focused approach intended to follow a single type of contribution through the development process, from early concepts through enumerating required assets, development, optimization, and compilation up through preparation for distribution. The student must select a media idea which is unique and unrelated to the property developed in Advanced Game Studio I, II or III.

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GAME6300 Thesis I 4 cr.

This course is designed to develop understandings, skills, and outlooks to conduct original, independent research in interactive media design which will result in the student’s completion of a Master’s Thesis within the student’s area of chosen concentration.

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GAME6301 Thesis II 2 cr.

This course is a continuation of GAME 6300 – Thesis Part I.

The major goal of this course is to complete the studio work (interactive media game or simulation) described in the student’s design document completed in the GAME 5XX – Thesis Part I. Prerequisites: Completion of Thesis Part 1

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GAME6500 Special Graduate Projects in Interactive Media Design 3 cr.

This course is an advanced theory exploration and application course structured to guide the graduate student toward the utilization of advanced philosophical thought and the application of higher level theory production in the student’s design work. This course is designed specifically for Interactive Media Designers, World-Builders, and System Designers.

This is an advanced level special projects course which considers the student’s professional goals. As such it is designed specifically for a particular graduate student or small group of graduate students who share similar goals.

Students interested in enrolling in GAME 6400 must find a supporting faculty, craft a course syllabus/plan, and submit the attached Special Graduate Projects form to the graduate coordinator for approval.

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