Fall 2019 Schedule: BFA

Required Courses

Course Number

Title

Instructor

Schedule

Room

Class #

GAMES-UT 101

Games 101

Charles Pratt

M 4-5:45

202

15111

11

Recitation

W 10-12:45

625

15113

12

Recitation

Th 10-12:45

625

15114

13

Recitation

Th 2:30-5:15

625

15115

14

Recitation

F 10-12:45

625

15116

15

Recitation

F 1-3:45

625

15117

16

Recitation

F 4-6:40

625

15118

GAMES-UT 110

Intro to Game Studies

T 5:25-8:05

15125

GAMES-UT 120

Intro to Game Development

M 10-12:45

15152

Lab

W 10-12:45

GAMES-UT 121

Intermediate Game Development

Greg Heffernan

M 10-12:45

15168

Lab

W 10-12:45

GAMES-UT 121

Intermediate Game Development

Robert Yang

M 4-6:40

15216

Lab

W 4-6:40

GAMES-UT 121

Intermediate Game Development

Alexander King

T 2:30-5:15

20647

Lab

Th 2:30-5:15

GAMES-UT 150

Intro to Game Design

M 10-12:45

15127

Lab

W 10-12:45

GAMES-UT 150

Intro to Game Design

M 10-12:45

15128

Lab

W 10-12:45

GAMES-UT 150

Intro to Game Design

T 9:30-12:15

15341

Lab

Th 9:30-12:15

GAMES-UT 150

Intro to Game Design

T 9:30-12:15

15163

Lab

Th 9:30-12:15

GAMES-UT 150

Intro to Game Design

W 1-3:45

15164

Lab

F 1-3:45

GAMES-UT 151

Intermediate Game Design

Charles Pratt

M 10-12:45

15129

Lab

W 10-12:45

GAMES-UT 151

Intermediate Game Design

Jesse Fuchs

M 4-6:40

15165

Lab

W 4-6:40

GAMES-UT 151

Intermediate Game Design

Charles Pratt

T 9:30-12:15

15285

Lab

Th 9:30-12:15

GAMES-UT 180

Intro to Programming for Games

M 1-3:45

15150

GAMES-UT 180

Intro to Programming for Games

T 2:30-5:15

15151

GAMES-UT 180

Intro to Programming for Games

W 1-3:45

15166

GAMES-UT 180

Intro to Programming for Games

Th 2:30-5:15

15167

GAMES-UT 180

Intro to Programming for Games

F 10-12:45

15193

GAMES-UT 201

Intro to Visual Communication

M 1-3:45

15193

GAMES-UT 201

Intro to Visual Communication

W 1-3:45

15282

GAMES-GT 500

Survival Skills

Dylan McKenzie

M 7-9

20033

GAMES-UT 1000

Capstone

Matt Boch

M 1-3:45

15212

Lab

W 1-3:45

GAMES-UT 1000

Capstone

M 1-3:45

20026

Lab

W 1-3:45

Electives

Course Number

Title

Instructor

Schedule

Room

Class #

GAMES-UT 104

American Computer

Games of the 1980s

Jesse Fuchs

M 10-12:45

22199

Lab

W 10-12:45

GAMES-UT 111

Critical Making:

Intermediate Game Studies

Mattie Brice

F 1-3:45

15343

GAMES-GT 127

Action Game Studio

Gabe Cuzzillo

M 4-6:40

15217

Lab

W 4-6:40

GAMES-UT 161

Introduction to

Narrative Design

Clara Fernández-Vara

T 2:30-5:15

21301

Lab

Th 2:30-5:15

GAMES-UT 329

Project Studio

T 9:30-12:15

Lab

Th 9:30-12:15

GAMES-UT 601

Major Studio: Fall

Matt Parker

T 2:30-5:15

21300

Lab

Th 2:30-5:15

GAMES-UT 202

Intermediate Visual Design

T 6:50-9:30

15376

GAMES-UT 204

2D Art & Animation

Diego Garcia

T 9:30-12:15

15190

Lab

R 9:30-12:15

GAMES-UT 206

3D Modeling for Games

W 6:50-9:30

15345

GAMES-UT 208

Shader Lab

Chris Chung

F 1-3:45

15377

GAMES-GT 212

Audio for Digital Games

Corey Bertelsen

T 5:25-8:05

15272

Lab

F 4-6:40

GAMES-UT 243

People Games

Mitu Khandaker

T 5:25-8:05

15344

GAMES-UT 244

Economics for Game Designers

Alexander King

Th 9:30-12:15

23318

GAMES-UT 408

New Trends in Board Game Design

Gil Hova

W 7-9:30

15381

GAMES-UT 412

Horror Games (2 Credits)

Matt Weise

W 7-9:30

21304

Course Descriptions

2D Art & Animation for Games

Instructor: Diego Garcia, degarcia@nyu.edu

Prerequisite: Intermediate Visula Design

2D Art and Animation for Games is a 1-semester, 4-credit class that builds fundamental skills around the design and production of art assets for games. Through a series of individual design assignments, critiques, and exercises, students will explore concepts like art direction, color theory, animation principles, and UI design while building a working knowledge of prominent industry tools.

3D Modeling for Games

Instructor:

4 Credits -- Typically offered every semester

Prerequisite: Intermediate Visual Design

​Syllabus​

This course is an introduction to 3D graphics for video games, starting with the foundations of 3D modeling and texturing in industry-standard tools. It focuses on building fluency with basic tools and techniques, as well as developing experience with aesthetic issues of look, style, and critical judgement in visual art.

Action Game Studio

Instructor: Gabe Cuzzillo, bub.the.red@gmail.com

4 Credits – offered every fall

Prerequisite: Intermediate Game Development

The goal of this class to develop an understanding of the unique design considerations that apply to action games and action systems, and to cultivate an appreciation and understanding of the minutiae that differentiate and characterize action mechanics in a wide variety of games. To accomplish this the class starts with alternating weeks of detailed critical play and the production of prototypes built in response to these games. In the final six weeks of the semester, students move on to the production of a more substantial action game, culminating in a final game which should demonstrate intentional use of the concepts and techniques discussed in class.

American Computer Games of the 1980s

Instructor: Jesse Fuchs, jf126@nyu.edu

4 Credits – Offered occasionally

This survey course covers a selection of the computer games that were produced and played in the United States in the 1980s. While developers often started out in their bedrooms mailing out individual disks in ziplock bags, development and publishing companies sprung up from their early success; when the console game industry of the early 80s crashed in 1983, the relatively high­-end computer game market continued to innovate and sometimes even greatly prosper, albeit with a more narrowly targeted idea of its customers. The most popular games of the era retailed for an average of $30 - $40 (around $70 - $90 in today's money), often with stylish, lush presentation (thick manuals, cloth maps, scene­-setting "feelies") that often doubled as a physical form of copy protection. Cultivating an aura of expense and quality allowed American game designers to project pop personas, explore new ways of creating meaning via play, and add genuine depth to game worlds.

The political, cultural, and technological context of the United States in the 1980s provides a lens to analyze a corpus of games that, while often forgotten in contemporary American games culture, has imposed a powerful influence over our practices, and remains a rich ore of quirky ideas and never explored by-ways to mine. The course encourages students to play games critically, to understand different game design strategies as well as the technological constraints that often led to them, and to develop an understanding of the ways in which European,

Japanese and American games diverged through the 1980s. While the primary focus of the course is computer—as opposed to console or arcade—games, the latter will also be discussed to a extent; partly because they provide an effective counterpoint to what was going on in home computers, but also because there are more than enough interesting obscurities and touchstones for any game designer to at least be passingly aware of.

This course is directed to students of game design and game studies, as well as those with an interest in the study of video games as a cultural form and/or digital media history and development.

Audio for Digital Games

Instructor:

4 Credits – offered every fall

Prerequisite: Intro to Game Development

This course investigates aesthetic and technical aspects of sound for video games and interactive 3-D environments. Artistic implications of the technology are also explored from the perspective of the electronic composer and performer. Students will work with a game engine to create an immersive interactive environment. Additional topics include: Csound, Java and other relevant technologies. Completion of a final project, class presentation, as well as several weekly assignments is required.​

Capstone

Instructors: Matt Boch, mattboch@nyu.edu | Robert Yang, ry14@nyu.edu

4 Credits -- Offered every semester (required)

Prerequisite: Intermediate Game Development & Intermediate Game Design

A capstone project is the culminating work of an undergraduate’s time at the NYU Game Center. In this class students will be guided through a flexible but structured process in which they bring their vision for their final projects from prototype to finished state. Each project will be held to a series of milestones that will lay out a roadmap for its development as well as provide students with junctures at which they can reflect and course correct. Students will plan and document their development process from beginning to end, setting expectations for each milestone and laying out possible directions for art, audio, and public relations. Finally, projects will be refined with constant feedback and playtesting throughout the semester from colleagues, instructors, and outside guest critics. A capstone project is a student’s first step in their career beyond college, and this class is designed to help them make an impressive and exciting first impression on the world.

Critical Making: Intermediate Game Studies

Instructor: Mattie Brice, mattie@nyu.edu

4 Credits – offered in the fall

Prerequisite: Intro to Game Studies

This is an intermediate game studies course that takes concepts from fundamental game studies and provides students with frameworks for application in their design practices. Students will review methodologies from the field and build a toolbox of interdisciplinary methods that help projects become more critical, unique, and well-designed for intended audiences. New and in-progress projects are welcome and will be developed in tandem with research goals.​

Games 101

Instructor: Charles Pratt Charles.j.pratt@nyu.edu

4 Credits -- Offered every semester (required)

​Syllabus​

Games 101 is the foundational course for the NYU Game Center and a prerequisite for all other Game Center classes. The focus of Games 101 is advanced game literacy – the development of a shared understanding of the history of games, culturally and aesthetically. This class is a broad, introductory survey which covers the full spectrum of digital and non-digital games. The class will incorporate lectures, discussions, and writing assignments, but the primary activity of the class is critical play – playing games and writing about them in order to better understand and appreciate them.

Horror Games

Instructor: Matt Weise, miw211@nyu.edu

2 Credits -- offered occassionally

Prerequisite: Games 101

This course covers the history, aesthetics, and cultural impact of horror games. The main emphasis is on video games, but it includes non-digital games as well. Students are exposed to foundational games in what came to be known as the “horror” and “survival horror” genres, such as Alone in the Dark, Resident Evil, Silent Hill, and Amnesia, tracing how their design aesthetics were formed via their relationship with horror fiction in the wider media landscape. This course is for students interested in the culture and evolution of video game aesthetics and who understand and value the practice of close reading and comparative analysis, in the same way one studies the history and cultural relevance of works in other media.​

Intermediate Game Design

Instructor: TBD

4 Credits -- Offered every semester (required)

Prerequisite: Intro to Game Design

​Syllabus​

Intermediate Game Design builds on the foundation established in Introduction to Game Design. This class takes the fundamental principles of game design and applies them to specific contexts and design challenges of the kind that creative professionals in the game industry deal with on a regular basis. Students will learn to design levels and teach players through play; communicate ideas effectively via documentation and presentation; generate and balance complex game economies; and explore the potential for meaningful play at the intersection of games and storytelling.​

Intermediate Game Development

Instructors: TBD

4 Credits -- Offered every semester (required)

Prerequisite: Intro to Game Development

​Syllabus​

This course reflects the various skills and disciplines that are brought together in modern game development: game design, programming, asset creation, and critical analysis. Classroom lectures and lab time will all be used to bring these different educational vectors together into a coherent whole; the workshop will be organized around a single, long-term, hands-on, game creation project. At the completion of this course, the student will be able to: 1) Describe typical work practice in game development. 2) Demonstrate competency through actual implementation of code and assets. 3) Work with a game engine, and understand the basics of how to build a game in the engine.​

Intermediate Visual Design

Instructor: TBD

4 Credits -- typically offered every semester

Prerequisites: Intro to Visual Communication

Intermediate Visual Design builds on the foundation for visual thinking and literacy that begins in the introduction course. While that class focused on the fundamentals of 2D design, Intermediate Visual Design expands to look at dynamic visual systems on and off the computer, with a special emphasis on visual design for digital games.

​The philosophy of the class is learning by doing. Each week, in class and out of class, you will be creating visual projects on and off the computer. Sometimes you will be drawing in a sketchbook or making paper collages. Other times you will be using visual design software, such as Illustrator and Photoshop.

​The goal of the course is to connect the visual exercises to skills and issues related to directly to games. Sometimes we will be working on fundamental skills. Other times, we will be applying those skills to game-related problems.​

Intro to Game Design

Instructors: Jesse Fuchs, jf126@nyu.edu

4 Credits -- Offered every semester (required)

​Syllabus​

Intro to Game Design is a one-semester course that explores the fundamentals of game design via readings, discussion, in-class game-like exercises, and, most importantly, group projects. Just as art students might take “fundamentals” classes in figure drawing or color theory as part of their education to become visual artists, this class remains rooted squarely in the basics. It focuses on the elementals common to all games that are fundamental for a game designer working in any format, from sports to board games to videogames. The focus of the class is on the creation of non-digital games; therefore, no programming knowledge is expected or required. However, digital games will be discussed, and assignments on pitching digital game ideas are threaded throughout the course.​

​Intro to Game Development

Instructors: TBD

4 Credits -- Offered every semester (required)

Prerequisite: Intro to Programming for Games

​Syllabus​

Introduction to Game Development is a practical course that introduces students to the methods, tools and principles used in developing digital games. Over the course of the semester, students will work alone to create two digital prototypes or ‘sketches’, before building on them to produce a final polished game, using the lessons learned in the earlier prototypes. This is a hands-on, primarily lab-based course, and so the focus is on learning-by-doing rather than on reading and discussion.​

​Intro to Game Studies

Instructors: TBD

4 Credits -- Offered every semester (required)

​Syllabus​

An introduction to critical and analytical approaches to the subject of games. Though the history of videogames spans roughly fifty years, and although humans have played for millennia, games have only recently emerged as a field of popular study. This class introduces students to the theory of play, and it answers questions such as: How are games structured? What types of experiences do games give? Who plays games, when, and why?​

Intro to Narrative Design

Instructor: Clara Fernández-Vara, cfv1@nyu.edu

4 Credits -- Typically offered every spring

Prerequisites: Intro to Game Design & Intro to Game Development

​Syllabus​

Narrative Design is an advanced game design course where students learn a variety of strategies to bring together game design and storytelling, both in table-top and digital games. Every assignment covers a different challenge when it comes to integrating systems design with storytelling. Students will also learn some of the basics of storytelling, such as character development, dramatic action, generating conflict, and world-building.​

Intro to Programming for Games

Instructor: Matt Parker, madparker@nyu.edu

4 Credits -- Offered every semester (required)

​Syllabus​

Introduction to Programming for Games is a course that introduces students to the concepts, problems, and methods of computer programming, and how these apply to the creation of video games. Throughout the semester, students will have weekly programming assignments, first using Processing with the Java programming language, then the Unity3D Game Engine with C#. There will be a midterm game in Processing and a final game in Unity. The course assumes no prior programming knowledge, and is designed to touch on the basic principles of digital design in form of computer code. There will be an emphasis on programming fundamentals; they will be motivated through the lens of designing and producing video games.​

Intro to Visual Communication

Instructors: TBD

4 Credits -- Offered every semester (required)

​Syllabus​

Introduction to Visual Design builds a foundation for visual literacy and visual design thinking. The class focuses on the fundamentals of visual communication – line, color, composition, typography – as well as their application in a variety of contexts. You may or may not end up being a visual designer or artist, but all kinds of game design and development involves visual thinking.

​The philosophy of the class is learning by doing. Each week, in class and out of class, you will be creating visual projects on and off the computer. Sometimes you will be drawing in a sketchbook or making paper collages. Other times you will be using visual design software, such as Illustrator and Photoshop. The goal of the course is to connect the visual exercises to skills and issues related to directly to games. Sometimes we will be working on fundamental skills. Other times, we will be applying those skills to game-related problems.

Major Studio: Fall

Instructor: Matt Parker, madparker@nyu.edu

4 Credits – offered every fall, will be required

Prerequisites: Intermediate Game Design & Intermediate Game Development

Major Studio Fall is the first of two Major Studio classes, which are taken by all Junior students majoring in Game Design at NYU. These classes are designed to prepare students for their Capstone projects by giving them time to work independently producing games, first alone on small prototype projects, and then in larger groups, on projects of larger scope. The primary aims of Major Studio are to give students more experience in concepting and developing games, and to build up a set of work which could be used in a portfolio or developed into a Capstone project.

The fall class is divided into two phases. In the first phase, students work alone to create a series of five rapid, one-week prototypes, in response to prompts or constraints given by the instructor. In the second phase, students form into groups (of 3-5 students) to work on two four-week projects, starting with one of the successful prototypes from the first phase. These longer projects should culminate in playable ‘proofs of concept’, which could later be developed into a full game.

These projects are designed to mimic the early stages of concepting and prototyping games in a modern game studio, where rapid-prototyping is increasingly used for deciding on long-term projects.

(Formerly Contemporary Concepts)

Instructor: Gil Hova

2 Credits - usually offered in fall

This class will go through modern tabletop mechanisms and techniques, enabling the student to quickly follow and digest the past few years in board and tabletop game design. It is assumed that the students understand more proven and fundamental concepts in board game design, like area control, worker placement, and deckbuilding.

The general format would consist of playing sample games in class, and then discussing the experience in detail afterwards. For homework, students would be expected to complete the full campaign of a long legacy game (Pandemic: Legacy, Seafall, Charterstone, etc.) and report their progress, experience, and lessons learned halfway through and at the end of the campaign.

People Games: Social Simulation and AI

Instructor: Mitu Khandaker, mitu@nyu.edu

4 Credits – offered every fall

Prerequisites: Intro to Game Design & Intro to Game Development

The technology of games has evolved to very effectively simulate physics, and photorealistic representations – however, simulations of people and their interactions remain underexplored, particularly in mainstream practice. Seminal game designer Chris Crawford infamously dubbed these as ‘people games’. The pursuit of games which address this requires not only technological understanding of the problem space, but also a critical and humanistic one.

This is a mixed game development and critical play focused course, looking mainly at games which feature simulated autonomous characters (or “agents”). Students will examine existing games spanning the last thirty years, and, use this to inform their own practical projects. This will further students’ practice with game development tools such as Unity and C#, and begin to introduce AI techniques.​

​Project Studio

Instructor:

4 Credits – offered every semester

Prerequisite: Intermediate Game Design & Intermediate Game Development

In Project Studio, students will work alone or in teams to complete a single game over the course of the semester. Those wishing to take Project Studio must propose a concept or prototype to the instructor for approval. Priority will be given to students who propose a clear game concept or provide an interactive prototype. Teams, where applicable, should be formed before the start of the semester. The philosophy of the course is learning through doing, and the majority of student work time will be spent in actual design and production, which will be structured and guided by the instructor. This production time will be supplemented by in-class exercises, student presentations, critiques, playtesting, discussion, and visits from professional game developers.

Shader Lab

Instructor: Chris Chung, cdc443@nyu.edu

4 Credits – offered every fall

Prerequisite: Intermediate Programming for Games

Shader Lab is an introduction to shaders for game designers that are artists first, and technicians second. This course attempts to bridge gaps in the necessary knowledge and establish the contextual foundation to allow students to make sense of the disparate sub-disciplines necessary to meaningfully express themselves aesthetically in a rendered environment. Ultimately, Shader Lab is a primer for students seeking to create unique and expressive aesthetics for their digital games. The course empowers designers by providing a conceptual and functional understanding of 3D rendering in order to enable the design and implementation of their personal style.​

Survival Skills

Instructor: TBD

2 Credit - Offered every fall (required)

Prerequisite: Intermediate Game Development & Intermediate Game Design

​Syllabus​

Game design is a professional discipline that can lead to many professional paths, some well known, and some that we have yet to invent. As any other artist, a game designer needs to have a good deal of self-initiative, which can range from being an entrepreneur to knowing how to open the way to do work that has not been done before, whether it is in the art world, technical sphere, or academia.

This course provides students with an overview of the professional possibilities of what they are learning, as well as support in order to prepare their resumés / CVs and portfolios, alongside specific guidance of how to prepare themselves to find work in the specific area(s) of choice.