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Advanced Diploma of Game Development

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  • Objectives
    This program is designed to prepare students for careers as game developers. The demand for game developers comes from a variety of industries including entertainment, education, government, and consumer products. More and more people are using the Internet, CD-ROM/DVD-ROM, kiosks, computer displays, and other digital equipment to pursue games of strategy, skill, interest and entertainment. Strong emphasis is placed on developing the hands-on component, which is offered through courses in game design and development, traditional and digital imaging, authoring, animation and programming. Students complete individual and team-based projects.
  • Academic Title
    Advanced Diploma of Game Development
  • Course description

    Level 1


    ENL1813M Communications I


    Communication remains an essential skill sought by employers, regardless of discipline or field of study. Using a practical, vocation-oriented approach, students focus on meeting the requirements of effective communication. Through a combination of lectures, exercises, and independent learning, students practise writing, speaking, reading, listening, locating and documenting information, and using technology to communicate professionally. Students develop and strengthen communication skills that contribute to success in both educational and workplace environments.

    GAM1500 History and Principles of Game Design

    Students in this course will explore the historical development of gaming and game design. Students will explore the historical development of the major game makers, ATARI, Arcade, Console, SEGA, Nintendo, XBOX, Online and packaged games. The course will develop an understanding of cultural, societal and technological innovation as it relates to the development of games. Other topics will include the game development process and principles of game design, genres, technical foundations, artificial intelligence, ethical issues in video games and the gaming industry and the future of gaming.

    GAM1501 Math and Physics I


    Math is used to control motion from frame to frame and helps a game come to life. This course provides a foundation in the theory and practice of mathematics and physics for 2D games. The theory of mathematics and physics for 3D games, including 3D vectors, 3D matrices and matrix transformations, general four-dimensional transforms, and 3D engine geometry are also covered. Additional topics include ray tracing, lighting, visibility, polygonal techniques, forces, rotational physics, collisions, numerical methods, differential equations, fluid simulation, real-time simulation, and real-world physics.

    GAM1503 Life Drawing

    The visual aspects and aesthetics of computer games are integral to the successful development and design of software applications. This course is an introduction to the visual arts. It examines a brief history of art and evolves into a studio course which explores the fundamentals of two-dimensional design: line, shape, texture, value, colour and composition. Students will acquire the basic skills to develop and refine drawings and will learn techniques to create realism, fantasy, shading, lighting, sequence, and use colour. Instruction on the use of materials, analysis of form, and concepts of light, space, and surface is provided along with the development of drawing skills.

    GAM1504 Game Development I

    The concepts and principles covered in this course are a foundation for the Game Development program. The foundation of most software application design and development begins with object-oriented programming (OOP). Students in this course will gain an understanding of the theory and principles of OOP, data structures, syntax, language, verification and debugging. This course explores game design concepts, such as challenge, reward, penalties, game balance, level of difficulty, artificial intelligence, game genres and the social aspects of gaming. Students will learn and work with basic C++ programming structures and techniques and its object-oriented programming features and will receive a comprehensive, in-depth view of the C++ language.

    GAM1506 Sound Design

    Students will learn to make their games sound as good as they look and play! This comprehensive course is designed to teach learners to integrate professional quality audio into their games. Students in this course will learn about sound tracks, sound creation, mood, theme and composition of sound with visual elements. Students will create and edit sound for games. Other topics include audio capture, mixing, composition and integration with other assets, dubbing, narration, noise reduction, compression and the creation of music loops. By the end of the course students will be well versed with a variety of audio formats and techniques for creating and using audio in a game production.

    GAM1530 Psychology and Group Dynamics


    This course examines some of the basic concepts of psychology such as learning, motivation, perception, sensation, information processing, emotions, stress, and relaxation. It also explores various areas of group dynamics.

    Level 2

    GAM1502 Math and Physics II


    This course teaches students about movement and collisions for game development. Real-world examples are used and physical formulas are translated into computer code. The course concentrates on understanding why objects and characters in a game move in the manner that they do. This course builds a foundation for applications in collision detection and the motion of objects and the concepts of physics for simulating the real world in a virtual game environment. Students will learn about gravity simulation, friction, modeling acceleration and velocity, kinematics and motion control, collision detection and response.

    GAM1505 Computer Hardware, Networks and Oss



    Game developers develop applications for a variety of platforms, operating systems and networks. Students will learn about the components of computers, technical specifications, industry standards, PC, UNIX, DOS, LINUX, WINDOWS X, and the Mac operating systems. Hardware topics include CPUs, motherboards, video cards, sound cards, memory, hard drives, floppy drives, CD- and DVD-ROM drives, SCSI devices, portable PCs and PDAs. Peer-to-peer computer networking concepts, network cabling, Local Area Networking (LAN), network interface cards, topology, hubs, types of networks, and Wireless Home Networking will also be covered.

    GAM1507 Digital Imaging

    The 2D and 3D graphics in most games provide the eye-candy that completes the game-user experience. Students in this course will learn to create bitmapped- and vector-based graphics for use in a gaming environment. High-end special effects, filters and 'eye candy' are the core elements to this course. The assignments and lectures cover scanning, digital imaging, painting, selection, composition, fabrication and realism in digital art. Students in this course will learn to create realistic and fantasy-based graphical content for use in a variety of games. Students will also learn to create CD-ROM packaging, inserts and labels for their projects.

    GAM1508 Character Drawing


    Advanced instruction is provided in the visual aspects and aesthetics of computer games characters and animations. Students will refine their abilities to conceptualize, develop and refine drawings for gaming purposes. This course is an advanced study of two-dimensional design, and techniques to create realism, shading, lighting, sequence, colour and emphasis is placed on use of materials, analysis of form, and concepts of light, space, and surface. Still life, object, fantasy and realistic drawing are covered.

    GAM1509 Game Development II

    The course evolves a strong foundation of software application design and development. Students in this course will gain an advanced intermediate understanding of the theory and principles of object-oriented programming (OOP), and the concepts and principles of 2D game development. Topics include coding and scripting, engine design, data structures, input, working with assets, tool development, and testing. Students will advance their knowledge in the C++ programming language and create simple, functioning games and projects.

    GAM1510 Game Design I


    This is an introductory course where students develop professional-level projects in teams and as individuals. This course provides students with a foundation in the theory and practice of game development. Topics include game history and analysis, game design, game production, the business of gaming, and the social and cultural aspects of games and the future of gaming. The course may include instruction, field trips, guest lecturers and speakers. Students in this course have an opportunity to practise what is being taught in other courses and create small, functioning games for commercial, educational or entertainment purposes. Considerable time is spent prototyping, testing and debugging. Students in this course will be graded on a pass/fail basis and are required to submit two final projects.

    Choose one from equivalencies:

    GED3013 General Education Elective

    For this course, you will have the opportunity to choose one from a group of general education electives. Your options will include courses which cover the following broad topic areas: Arts in Society, Civic Life, Social and Cultural Understanding, Personal Understanding, and Science and Technology.

    Level 3

    ENL2013 Communications II: Scriptwriting

    This course teaches students how creative writing techniques can be used to develop game interactions and how to plot stories through storyboarding and developing scripts. Key components of the course include creating and translating rough ideas into a script format, developing the storyboard and storytelling, plot, conflict, action and character development. The course covers the game development/production process, the roles of designers, artists, programmers and producers. There is an emphasis on re-enforcing the issues, theory and problems in the process of game design with instruction on the skills and tools needed for story and character development, game design, pre-production, prototyping, testing, end-user testing, human interface, content development and communication documents. It concludes with an overview of the game design process, from the concept phase to the final delivery phase and planning and project management and for game design documents and files.  

    GAM1513 Level Design


    Students in this course acquire a foundation in level design for 2D games. Topics include genre analysis, game styles and limitations, audience and game analysis, game play principles, character AI and scripting, and basic art and architecture for games. The course integrates theories and principles from a variety of disciplines to develop the fundamental skills for a level designer. As the course progresses, students move into level design for 3D games. The course concludes with instruction in advanced 3D game play, classic architecture for 3D games, advanced 3D lighting, 3D character AI, scripting and inspiration.  

    GAM1514 Game Development III

    The course advances the students' knowledge in designing and programming gaming applications. Students in this course gain an intermediate practical understanding of the theory and principles of object-oriented programming (OOP). Students advance their study in the C++ programming language and participate in team-based and individual projects. This course advances the students understanding in game design concepts. Students continue to work with the C++ programming language.

    GAM1516 Java

    Java is a cross-platform computer language used in some computer gaming such as Internet-based games, and handheld devices. Java is a robust language, which has built-in security giving it some advantages over C++. The course is designed to teach the basic concepts and methods of object-oriented design and Java programming by creating Java applets and applications. The course focuses on giving students an understanding of what Java is and how to build, compile, and distribute effective stand-alone Java applications. Specific topics for the course include a history about the Language, Variable Definitions, Control Structures, Methods, Classes, Objects, and JAVA Graphics.

    Choose one from equivalencies:

    GED3013 General Education Elective

    For this course, you will have the opportunity to choose one from a group of general education electives. Your options will include courses which cover the following broad topic areas: Arts in Society, Civic Life, Social and Cultural Understanding, Personal Understanding, and Science and Technology.

    Level 4

    GAM1511 Interface Design

    This course covers design, layout, type, readability, colour theory and interaction design. Students learn to create interfaces for games that evolve around standard principles of human-computer interaction, interactive theory, psychology of interface design and art aesthetics. By the end of the course students will be producing highly intuitive user interfaces that exemplify colour-coordination, usability and professionalism. This course teaches students to create navigation and control, visual appeal and the functional aspects of the game interface. Hands-on exercises, projects and case studies of successful and unsuccessful user interfaces are used to illustrate and evaluate the effectiveness of user interface designs.

    GAM1512 Character Animation

    Students explore methods for cultivating original character ideas and understanding narrative storytelling. Topics include development of concept, production, storyboard, script, animation with sound, art direction samples and research. Students explore 3D animation packages to produce animated characters with an aesthetic of motion and creating believable 3-D characters. Issues of storytelling, dialogue and style are addressed.

    GAM1517 Console Game Design

    In this course, students gain experience, knowledge and exposure to the major gaming consoles on the market today: X-Box, PlayStation 2, GameCube, and Game Boy Advance. The class is divided between guest lecturers and hands-on experience on various platforms. Discussions revolve around each console's capabilities and weaknesses, personal experiences developing titles, and the unique challenges that each console poses. By the end of the course, students will be able to develop games and applications for a variety of game consoles.  

    GAM1519 Game Design II

    This is an intermediate course where students develop professional-level projects in teams and as individuals. This course provides students with a foundation in the theory and practice of game development. Topics include game history and analysis, game design, game production, the business of gaming, and the social and cultural aspects of games and the future of gaming. The course may include instruction, field trips, guest lecturers and speakers. Students in this course are graded on a pass/fail basis and are required to submit two final projects, complete with functioning games, packaging, and documentation.  

    GAM1521 Open Gl

    Open GL is an alternative to Microsoft's DirectX. Open GL is a 3D graphics API (Application Programming Interface), which allows games to communicate with the hardware graphics accelerators in PCs today. This class teaches students 3D graphics concepts and focuses on the specific semantics of Open GL 2.0. This course serves to reinforce and expand on the students knowledge of programming in the field of computer-generated and displayed graphics data through Open GL. Students develop an understanding of the techniques used by graphic programmers to produce images on hardware devices.  

    GAM1532 Game Development IV


    The course advances the students' knowledge in designing and programming gaming applications. Students in this course gain an advanced practical understanding of the theory and principles of object-oriented programming (OOP). Students advance their study in the C++ programming language and participate in team-based and individual projects. Students continue to work with the C++ programming language. Students receive significant instruction in the C++ language and in software engineering principles.

    GAM1533 Film Studies

    This course introduces students to film. Students view a number of films and deconstruct and analyze the work. Selected works include moves which explore and interpret technology and which are modern 3D animation techniques.  

    Level 5

    GAM1520 Alternative Programming: Rich-Media Applications



    Macromedia Flash, Director, Actionscript, Lingo, and Shockwave are alternative programming mediums, which are founded on standard OOP principles. Students in this course learn to produce a variety of Shockwave-enabled games. Students learn to integrate audio, video, text, graphics and code to create stunning, functioning projects for commercial, educational and entertainment use. The intent of this course is to broaden the students' knowledge of authoring paradigms to include computer-based training, video sprite authoring, card authoring and DVD encoding. Rich Media Applications and Actionscript provide an interesting, widely sought alternative programming medium for game designers.

    GAM1522 Digital Video

    This is a hands-on course designed to give students an understanding in digital video construction and the theory of cinematography. Students work with industry-standard software applications like Adobe Premiere and Adobe After Effects to create the stunning intros, scenes and trailers standard to most games. Students learn about video components, formats CODECs, masks, mattes, storyboarding, asset management and integrating audio with video. Students will use professional capturing and editing stations and technologies to produce high-level gaming products rich with special effects. This course integrates traditional theory with the digital medium and includes topics of animation, authoring and 3D.

    GAM1523 Digital Animation - 3D Studio Max/Maya I



    This course provides instruction into the techniques, theories and products of industry-standard 3D animation software. Students learn to create, enhance and rework 3D objects for use in a gaming environment. Specific concepts include photorealistic image synthesis, modeling natural objects, scale, detail, fantasy, and realism. Advanced instruction is provided on modeling, animation, lighting, special effects. Students model, animate and render a variety of projects geared toward game design and development.

    GAM1524 Game Development V


    The course advances the students' knowledge in designing and programming gaming applications. Students in this course will gain an advanced understanding of the theory and principles of object-oriented programming (OOP). Students advance their study in the C++ programming language and/or other programming languages and participate in team-based and individual projects. Students receive significant instruction in the C++ programming language and in software engineering principles.

    GAM1531 Directx

    Programming computer graphics is a fundamental skill required by most developers of computer games today. This class covers the skills required to create and program 3D computer graphics. Students learn about Direct3D (which is a component of DirectX) and which is used to introduce the students to the render pipelines, primitives, transformations, rasterizations, and cameras. Students develop skills into a variety of 3D graphics, such as textures, lights, materials, and special effects using Direct3D. The course also teaches students about game engine design.

    ENL2014 Communications III: Business Communications

    Students in this course will learn to create professional documentation for the purposes of the gaming industry. Extensive instruction will be provided on resume and cover letter writing, portfolio development, email etiquette, telephone skills, memos, self-promotions.  

    GAM1525 Alternative Programming: Lingo and Actionscript

    Students advance their knowledge in Macromedia Flash, Director, Actionscript, Lingo and Shockwave. Students in this course learn to use Macromedia Actionscript and Lingo to produce a variety of Shockwave-enabled games. Students learn to integrate audio, video, text, graphics and code to create advanced level, functioning projects for commercial, educational and entertainment use. Students conceptualize, create and develop team-based and individual projects for distribution.

    GAM1526 Digital Animation-3D Studio Max/Maya II

    This 3D animation course builds on techniques in modeling and animation where the students combine traditional and technical skills to create backgrounds and environments. Students apply storyboarding and scene and character-building skills to functioning digital projects. Various techniques in the use of colour, balance and composition are stressed. Principles and concepts of traditional animation are re-enforced including motion, sound, and animation.

    GAM1527 Ethics


    This course relies on topics that present themselves during the course of study. Issues may include personal ethics in a global village context, public and private sector ethics, bribery, forgery, corporate conduct, violence, sexism, and racism. Game developers need to evolve a 'cultured' point-of-view to ensure success in their game development. Students study human behaviour, including the impact of societal groups and organizations on personal identity, feelings and behaviour. Basic topics include ethnicity, social class, social stratification, gender, peer groups, complex organizations, mass media and educational, political and economic systems.

    GAM1528 Multi-Player Network Gaming

    Multi-player games are a driving force in computer games. Multi-player gaming is a major component of our society. Students learn about the technology behind multi-player games and gain an understanding of networking. Students learn the fundamentals of exchanging data over the Internet, and will complete assignments leading them to the creation of a simple multi-player networked game. These games can have thousands of simultaneous players in a shared virtual world. This course examines the unique technical challenges that massive multi-player games face, discussing algorithms for bandwidth management, game synchronization, server load balancing, user authentication, security, and cheating prevention.  

    GAM1529 Game Design III

    This is an advanced course where students develop professional-level projects. Students create resumes demo reels, CD-Rom and/or Web Portfolios and meet employers. The course includes instruction, field trips, guest lecturers and speakers. This course conveys a practical, hands-on approach to game development. Considerable time is spent on prototyping, testing and debugging.

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