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New Major in Creative Game Design

No doubt you have played games before, but have you ever wondered how they're made, or how significant they are in modern society?  Would you like to be able to make games, or use cutting edge game-based technologies to advance in your field?

The major in Creative Game Design is designed for anyone who wants to develop a solid and practical understanding of the technologies, processes and social context of game design.  Even if you're not necessarily a great player of games this major may be valuable for you, because the skills you will develop in this major have broad applications beyond games.  Today as games technology is now used in areas as diverse as medicine, therapy, industrial design, film-making, architecture, construction, advertising and education.

We'll be using software like Autodesk Maya and Unity to create games and learn about how the various game technologies fit together.  Once you have the basics worked out, we'll move on to more advanced topics.

Of course, you don't need to do the whole major.  You're welcome to study some of the units in the major as elective units, picking bits and pieces as they suit.  For example, if you're studying an IT or software engineering degree, units in 3D animation and experimental game design would fit perfectly with your programming skills.  Some of the later units have pre-requisites, but if you already have some experience, contact us and we'll let you know if we can waive the unit entry requirements.

You can enrol from Semester 1, 2017. To find out more contact: artsanddesign.enquiries@canberra.edu.au

Below is summary of the units and what you can expect to learn and do in each one:

In this unit you'll learn about the history of games.  This isn't just dry book learning!  You'll be expected to play many of the games we talk about, from Space War (arguably the first computer game) through some of the Nintendo classics like Zelda and on to more recent titles like Journey and The Last of Us.  If this sounds like fun, it is - but it's also an important foundation for your later units, and gives us a great way to engage with the study of games.

This is a practical unit that focuses on taking you from novice to intermediate with 3D modelling.  We'll use Autodesk Maya to teach you the basics of modelling objects in three dimensions and then simple animation processes that can bring these models to life.  No previous experience in 3D is required.

Following on from 3D Animation, this unit will take the skills you learned and focus more substantially on modelling characters for use in real-time games.  This unit does require previous knowledge of working with 3D, preferably in Maya.

Real-time design is important for interactive games, and in this unit we'll bring our knowledge of building 3D objects and characters into a real-time engine (eg: Unity) so we can build interactivity.  By the end of this unit, you'll have the basic skills you need to start building simple games and game-like applications.

The principles of game design and development have broad appeal outside the game industry, and increasingly the skills and techniques of game design are finding applications in many area of media. Cross-media production is about thinking outside the box and using your game design skills to create media that works with other media forms to create new ways to engage with the world. You'll get a chance to work with film-makers, graphic designers and front-end web students to design and develop really innovative transmedia.

In the final unit we go into the details of game design and consider what makes a game appealing, how you can design games to balance challenge and reward.  We'll look at a range of genres and deconstruct the games to work out how they tick and what makes them successful.  While this theory is all very well and good, we'll also apply it by building game prototypes that put the theory into practice.