Visitors to the game design class at Lone Star College-Kingwood would be impressed by the quality of the student work. Colorful game boards and computer screens are on display as students busily prepare new game designs.
The college offers a two-year AAS degree in game design and simulation, in addition to its one-year certificate program. Students learn all aspects of game design including documentation and play testing. They study the function of games and develop interactive projects that address the technical challenges of game development from design to the ways games are funded, marketed and sold.
"This program is very beneficial to aspiring game designers because it allows hands-on learning with immediate feedback as a student's game level is being developed," said Timothy Ross, student game designer.
In the program's introductory course, GAME 1303: Intro to Game Design and Development, students learn the history of video games and the various components of game development, such as story, character development, graphic art, level design, sound and what it takes to be part of a game design and development team.
Students create their own original game by first outlining the description of their idea, its potential market competitors (similar games already on the market), and specific features of their game (multi-player, online-play, special vehicles or weapons, unique game play, etc.). Throughout the course, students will work together in teams to develop a table-top game as well as individually develop a video game for the computer.
And that's just the beginning. The game design and simulation program will allow students to explore their passion in both game art and design or game development. Game artist and designers will learn what it takes to create the what, when, where, who and why behind the stories, characters and game play needed for great game design. They will also learn how to model those characters in 3D software and create the 3D environments and levels for them to run through.
Students pursuing the game developer track will learn what it takes to make the game world and game play work properly. They will learn how to bring the technical side up to speed with the designer's vision. From programming what characters and actions do, to how the artificial intelligence runs in the game, students will walk out a solid programming using C++ and work with Torque Game Engine, a popular game engine for independent game developers.
The world is changing. More and more reports show that gaming has become the new family past time replacing television. In 2001, the Interactive Digital Software Association reported that the average family spent 10 to 11 hours per week playing video games with entertainment being the only form of gaming available.
The military has been using gaming and simulation for years to help train soldiers and there are reports of doctors using games to help prepare them for their next surgery. Many schools are starting to look at gaming as a possible means of education, whether its creating new games to teach subjects like the University of North Carolina-Greensboro's interactive 3D Econ 201 (http://econ201.uncg.edu/dcl/econ201) where you win the game and pass a class, to meeting students in virtual worlds such as Second Life to conduct classes. Opportunities abound and Lone Star College-Kingwood is here to make sure you find it.
For more information about this program contact Jason Ford at 281-312-1427, or email Jason.G.Ford@lonestar.edu.
Choose from daytime, evening, weekend or online classes. Credit classes are available on the weekend at the EMCID Center or in the evening at Atascocita or Cleveland High Schools. Lone Star College-Kingwood has a full lineup of exciting courses ready when you are. Whether your future includes training for a new career, updating job skills or transferring to a four-year university, we can help guide you on the road to success.
Register now for best course selection. Fall credit registration continues through Saturday, Aug. 25 with classes beginning Aug. 27. For more information on Lone Star College-Kingwood, visit kingwood.lonestar.edu or call 281-312-1600.
The Lone Star College System is among the largest and fastest growing community college districts in Texas. It comprises Lone Star College-North Harris, Lone Star College-Kingwood, Lone Star College–Tomball, Lone Star College–Montgomery, Lone Star College–CyFair, six satellite centers and The University Center. For more information about Lone Star College System and its programs, visit www.lonestar.edu or call 832-813-6500.