Game Development Core Game Art Game Design & Programming General Education

GAME DEVELOPMENT CORE

MAJOR

Exploring into story and character development techniques to create memorable characters and stories. Employing written and drawing medium to develop plot, back stories, character traits and personalities, while designing inextricably intertwined story.

A theoretical and practical introduction to the human phenomenon of storytelling, what stories are, their central role in culture from ancient times to the present day, and how storytellers seek and communicate meaning. Particular attention will be paid to the significance of story in the Judeo-Christian tradition and story’s role within the Christian faith. Students will generate numerous story ideas, and with the help of their classmates and the instructor will evaluate those ideas in terms of audience appeal, theme and meaning.

This course introduces students to the diverse world of radio, television, news, cinema, internet, print and advertising. Students will learn how to critically experience such media and analyze its desired results. Students will also explore how media has developed and evolved through history and examine the current influences of media on society from a cultural, artistic and economic perspective. In addition, we will explore what the role of Christians in this new media environment can and should be, and how we can best utilize the opportunities available to us to become who we want to be.

The course examines the legal relationships in the motion picture and television industries, as well as the legal relationships between artists and their personal managers. It covers the key legal principles that are involved in most media productions. This includes with trade unions, licensing, intellectual property and contract issues. In addition, this course explores ethical challenges students are likely to encounter working in entertainment and guides them through the development of a personal code of ethics that is informed by the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

In this course students identify their specialized interest and value within the media industry, and through the creation of a comprehensive career strategy, use specialized knowledge, skills and experience to prepare themselves to be hired by media companies and promote themselves within the media industry. The class will also look at the unique world of freelancing and give students the tools necessary to venture into self-employment.

This creative studio course is designed to help students produce their master-game prototype. At the end of this course, students are expected to complete the majority of their game production and to deliver Alpha version of their game.

Game Development

Introduction to the elements and principles of design, composition design, color theory, color psychology, and basic typography. Practical guidance in color mixing and the visual impact of specific color combinations to support traditional and digital design work.

Study of fundamental drawing techniques used to represent three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional plane and lay a strong foundation for all other drawing and design courses.

Comprehensive introduction to the various components of 3D animation technology including modeling, animating, rendering, and lighting.

Comprehensive introduction to basic tools and principles of Game Design including game systems, their components and interaction. Exploration into game analysis and game definitions. Opportunities to conceive an original idea and create a pitch to sell a game concept.

This class is designed to help students understand basic programming concepts and programming tools. The class will focus on object oriented programming.

This final creative studio course is designed to help students finish their master-game prototype, test it and get it ready for publishing to the intended game platform.

This comprehensive studio class will allow students to produce and polish their portfolio content. Several in-class progress milestones, qualitative portfolio reviews by the industry professional guest speakers, and peer critiques will enhance students' experience, and provide maximum guidance to improving the overall quality of students' artwork.

GAME ART

This class is designed to help students develop drawing skills by translating what students observe about three-dimensional objects into lines and shapes on a two dimensional medium, while incorporating surface textures and varying line qualities into object and environment design concepts.

This class will help students to develop basic figure drawing skills. Students will study drawing a human body in various shapes and poses in order to create designs for animated characters.

This class revolves around creation and application of realistic and stylized textures and light schemes to produce depth and meaning in 3D computer generated scenes. Students will explore into various texturing techniques, while generating diffuse, specular, bump, and normal maps.

This class will introduce students to preparing both hard surface and organic models for texturing using various methods of UV unwrapping. Students will create texture maps from scratch using cameras and Photoshop. Students will also be exposed to texture painting techniques in Mudbox.

This class will help students develop advanced figure-drawing skills through various exercises drawing the human body in various shapes and explore into various texturing techniques, while generating diffuse, specular, bump, and normal maps. This class will introduce students to industry standard animation software.

This class is designed to help students develop 3D modeling skills to produce low and high-poly hard surface models for animation and games. Students will learn to model using proper topology and be introduced to methods of speeding up workflow while creating props, buildings, and other hard surface objects.

This class builds on the topics covered in Hard Surface Modeling I and introduces modeling with NURBS. Students will explore the pros and cons of working with NURBS and model several kinds of vehicles.

Students will continue developing realistic and stylized texture and light schemes to produce depth and meaning in interactive 3D scenes. Students will explore into various advanced PBR texturing and lighting techniques, while generating texture assets for interactive objects and environments.

This class is designed to provide students with several opportunities to explore and research into environments and complementary object designs of various art styles, to promote the development of students’ individual art style.

This class will provide students with the opportunity to develop fully interactive game environment inside a game engine. Students will use basic first-person game controller to navigate inside an interactive game environment in order to validate their designs.

This class is designed to provide students with the opportunity to study principles of traditional animation, and incorporate those principles into computer animation. Students will produce several cyclical and performance based animations.

In this class, students will explore various techniques for modeling and sculpting organic assets using Maya and ZBrush. Students will produce low and high-poly animals and humans for animation and games. In addition, complementary techniques such as box modeling, edge loop modeling, UV layout, and texturing will be explored.

This class will build on the topics of Character Modeling. Students will explore further in ZBrush’s Dynamesh and other functions and sculpt several high res character models. Students will also make use of displacement and normal maps to transfer their high res details to lower res, production-ready models. Additional topics covered will include texture painting, rendering, anatomy, retopology, and texture maps.

Creating skeletal structures for humanoid characters. Mastery of a wide range of rigging techniques such as reversed foot lock, wrist control, spline IK, facial controls, and weight painting.

This class is designed to provide students with the opportunity to further their drawing skills. Students will draw architectural structures, landscape and people on location from direct observation.

Advanced study in character animation that revolves around 3D CGI character performance.

GAME DESIGN & PROGRAMMING

Building on programming fundamentals learned in DIGM 330, this course focuses on scripting common game systems in Unreal Blueprints. Specific topics will vary based on current industry developments, but may include player inventories, AI decision trees, nav meshes, and media playback.

This course builds on concepts introduced in Game Scripting I to explore the integration of Unreal Blueprints and C++. Specific topics will vary, but may include multiplayer networking, narrative conversation trees, procedural level generation, and code optimization.

Course Description TBD

An exploration of the intricate link between story structure and game design, this course gives students hands-on experience creating games with narratives that are both embedded (scripted) and emergent (arising from the game mechanics). Branching stories, database narrative, and environmental storytelling will be addressed, as well as current developments in the field.

This class is designed to help students develop 3D modeling skills to produce low and high-poly hard surface models for animation and games. Students will learn to model using proper topology and be introduced to methods of speeding up workflow while creating props, buildings, and other hard surface objects.

Building on game design concepts learned in Fundamentals of Game Design, this course focuses on creating digital prototypes in order to test and evaluate gameplay mechanics, aesthetics, and control schemes. Prototyping for specific audiences such as investors, publishers, and churches will also be explored.

Using techniques learned in previous courses, students will design, prototype, and produce a complete portfolio-ready short game.

GENERAL EDUCATION

THEOLOGY

Recent popes have emphasized the necessity of personal encounter with Jesus Christ. This exhortation raises questions, however, for individual Christian disciples. For JPCatholic students, specifically, this course considers how such an encounter can be fostered within a university community, and how it might be lived in an ongoing way. It therefore doubles as an introduction to university community and to Catholic theological study, and connects faith principles with lived experience so as to bolster faith and spur evangelization.

What is it to believe? Is it merely intellectual assent, or something more? Building out from the first section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, this course systematically unpacks the rich and challenging Catholic doctrines contained in the early creeds of the Church, presenting students with a faith that invites assent of all their heart, mind, soul, and strength.

Our redemption was accomplished by a God who entered history. As a consequence, Catholics understand communion as something that occurs in a context of tradition. Faith is handed down over centuries by the successors of the apostles; we read and interpret Sacred Scripture according to long-established understandings and principles; our prayer to the Father through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit bears a striking resemblance to that of the first Christian communities. This course examines sacramental ritual and considers the perennial necessity of personal prayer, enabling students to better understand the power of this ancient faith. In its essential elements it never changes—which is precisely what allows it to change us.

It is all too easy to see one’s own desires as what really matters, and to live accordingly. With his Theology of the Body, however, Pope St. John Paul II offers a fresh perspective, one that dares to lift us above the confusion and malaise wrought by this era’s remarkable selfishness. This course affords students an opportunity to explore this theological treasure given to the Church by our university’s patron, and to better see how an individual human life can be lived not selfishly, but as a gift received from God and intended for others.

PHILOSOPHY

After providing an overview of the basic principles of the Philosophy of Nature, this course examines the nature of the human being, beginning from the Epic of Gilgamesh, continuing through the Classical period by means of Aristotle, the Middle Ages in St. Thomas Aquinas, the Renaissance via Blaise Pascal, and concluding in the modern period in Nietzsche, Freud and T. S. Eliot.

This course is a detailed study in the various understandings of nature, beginning from the mythology of the Enuma Elish as a primitive attempt at grasping the world, to the classical understanding found in Aristotle’s Physics and 141 Parts of Animals and their Medieval development in Thomas Aquinas’s The Principles of Nature, to foundational texts in modern natural sciences such as those of Descartes, Galileo and Newton, to discussions of evolution found in Darwin, and finally to near contemporary physicists such as Heisenberg. The contrast between the classical stress on substantial form and formal causality and the modern method of material causality and mathematical law will be brought to the forefront, as will the emphasis on technology as a mastery of nature in modern science and the question of teleology, whether nature acts for a purpose.

This is a course in the various understandings of metaphysics, or the nature of being as being, beginning from Plato’s Timaeus, continuing through the Classical period by means of Aristotle, and the Middle Ages in St. Thomas Aquinas. The course continues by covering several related questions, beginning with Natural Theology (discussing the traditional proofs for the existence of God, the Divine Attributes that can be understood using reason alone, the analogy of being, and the act of creation), continuing with the “problem of evil” and the question of free will

Students learn about the basic structures of sound reasoning, focusing largely on classic Aristotelian logic. The course serves to help students think and argue with clarity as well as to effectively analyze arguments of others. The course includes a careful analysis of the operations of the intellect, i.e., understanding, judgment, and reasoning, focusing on their products, i.e., term, proposition, and syllogism.

HUMANITIES

As this course engages apparently timeless literary works from the classical tradition, it situates them within specific historical contexts. This approach enables students to better appreciate the enduring power of story even as they recognize the complex relationship art to its surrounding culture. Masterworks of pagan antiquity (Homer and/or Virgil) give way to key texts of early Christendom (Augustine, Beowulf, and others) in order to further illuminate the impact of Christian theology and anthropology on artists and thinkers in myriad disciplines.

This course tracks the development in European art and thought during the transition from the High Middle Ages to the Renaissance. Special attention is paid at the outset to the tensions arising from, surrounding, and even bringing about this epochal shift, especially as evidenced in Dante’s Divine Comedy. When the course later shifts its focus to texts produced by Shakespeare and other authors in Renaissance England, students find these tensions now located in increasingly realistic and complex human figures and dramas. Through these explorations students come to see the distinctive groundwork being laid for what will later be recognized as the modern period.

This third course in our Cultural Foundations series tracks the rise of modernity against the backdrop of various 18th and 19th century upheavals. In order to best appreciate the dynamism and complexity of this period, students will immerse themselves in the literary form most characteristic of the 19th century: the novel. By applying order to an increasingly dissonant world, the great novels of the European tradition illuminate daily life amidst revolutionary change in a uniquely personal way, and they capture in their progress both the subtlest movements of human consciousness and the most profound transformations of human hearts.

This course studies a wide variety of global cultures by listening to indigenous voices expressing themselves in cultural products thatinclude novels, films, music, poetry, essays, speeches, and journalism.

This course will emphasize the use of correct grammar, usage, spelling, punctuation, and mechanics. Students will be required to apply these skills to writing assignments.

This course stands as the culmination of the sequence of courses in the freshman year that covered grammar, logic and rhetoric. The course examines the role of the artist, the nature and purpose of art, of beauty, and of a life of art-making, and considers whether and how the quality of art can be evaluated in light of a Catholic understanding of art and artists. The course further considers the significance of these ideas to human endeavors such as work and business that are not typically viewed as artistic.

This course will build on the skills learned in College Writing I.

(* Must take one of these two courses)

SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS

This course provides students with concepts and strategies related to personal finance that focuses on practical financial decision-making. The course will help students make more informed decisions related to spending, saving, borrowing, and investing. Students receive a review of cash management, financial services, consumer credit, taxes, insurance, and educational expenses to successfully transition to college life.

This course explores the scientific method and reasoning. A special emphasis is placed on the design found in nature and environmental science.

BUSINESS

In today’s world there is a need for strategic thinking and business vision based on a different paradigm. Competition is not only between products and services, but also between business models. Students will learn about innovation-driven business strategies and methodologies to develop business designs to successfully compete in the new economy.

This course focuses on introducing the idea of “entrepreneurial marketing” and is aimed at students who plan to start a new venture or take a job as a marketing professional pursuing an innovative marketing approach. Students will study a full spectrum of marketing strategy and tactics that are especially suitable for entrepreneurial firms aiming for high growth and innovation yet faced by limited resources and uncertain industry dynamics. Students will work in teams on marketing plans for their own venture or for other high profile entrepreneurs or executives. The focus of this course is on hands-on experiences and practical relevance of innovative marketing concepts.

In this class students get a “big picture” look at the ingredients of a start-up firm and the process of creating one. The class details those ingredients, discusses the stories (good & bad) of people who have done it, and learn the process by going through it with a self-select team. Students learn: the business planning process, which maps how to move from an idea to an actual enterprise offering an actual product/service/apostolate; How to craft a compelling and clear business story that captures the true essence of your business; and finally acquire inquisitiveness as to how the world of business really works. The class deliverable is a complete Business Plan created by student teams along with a presentation of the plan.

This course teaches students to meet and resolve objections and conflicts that result from written and oral proposals and pitches. Emphasis is on resolving customer obstacles before addressing your own. Topics covered include: Wants vs. Needs; Win-Win Strategies; Best Alternatives to Agreement; Schedule vs. Quality vs. Cost; Progress vs. Perfection. The class progresses through carefully structured, progressively more complex negotiation exercises. Students learn how external and internal negotiation has become a way of life for effective managers in a constantly changing business environment.

Social Media Marketing is a broad term that refers to any online marketing effort initiated through social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. This marketing discipline often combines social media management and paid digital marketing efforts (advertising). This course will explore the ever changing landscape of social media, understand the current social media ecosystem, examine best use case scenarios for businesses on each platform, understand how social media management (tactical) and social media advertising (strategic) is utilized by businesses on multiple platforms, and generate best practices through management and advertising. Each platform’s advertising options will be explored in depth. The course will also examine ethical issues currently caused by Social Media Platforms in society and apply a Catholic viewpoint to tackling these issues.

This course is an introductory-level course for students. Its intent is to give an in-depth understanding of the differences between – and similarities of — leadership and management. The course focuses on the major traits of leaders and managers, and augments these with examples of great historic leaders, including George Custer and Jesus Christ. The course also studies the many leadership traits of Abraham Lincoln, and looks at how these can be applied in modern business to improve management techniques. As part of the learning process, students give summaries of Lincoln’s leadership lessons, using short, Power Point presentations.

This course will teach students how to write and speak effectively in business and other communication.