A follow-up to Game Development 2, this course introduces more advanced concepts in 3D game development. Student create prototypes of sophisticated 3D games using industry standard development tools, and gain a practical knowledge of advanced concepts in game design and game theories.
Interview with Instructor Tim Fitzrandolph
ArtCenter: How would you describe this class to prospective student?
Tim Fitzrandolph: Because a game is a large possibility space of interactions, systems and reactions, the only way to truly understand a game is to play it! This is why prototyping is so important, and having the skills to prototype gameplay as a designer is so valuable. In this class, students start to apply the technical instruction they've been receiving, and see how it unlocks great power to realize their ideas and effectively community them with others.
AC: How did the idea for this class come about?
TF: Christophe Gomez, director of ArtCenter's new Game Design track, designed the curriculum with a nice amount of technical instruction to make sure our designers are also capable prototypers. This is something that has greatly aided my career as a game designer, so I've taken some methods I've found effective in previous studios and applied them to the class.
Game Development 3 is an ideal class to push your limits. So long as you're willing to put in the effort — you can create things you thought well outside the realm of possibilityClay BonuraEntertainment Design
AC: How do assignments, like "game covers" and "game jams," challenge students to break new ground creatively?
TF: It's an interesting question! At first glance, you might think "covers" would do the opposite: I'm encouraging students to make copies of other games? But covers are a really great way to look at a game that exhibits excellence very closely, and understand it at a much deeper level than just playing it. This often reveals design insights that you otherwise wouldn't notice.
These assignments are also balanced with "game jam" projects, which pose students with a constraint of some kind (for example, "create a game using only one button"). In my opinion, constraints are a great way to unlock creativity as it focuses your energy on a specific problem or challenge.
AC: What were some of the most surprising ways students responded to assignments?
TF: The breadth of student concepts: We've had a game about a bear eating a giant feast in preparation for hibernating for the winter, a game where you play as a baby in communist Russia and take on a secret revolutionary role, and more. I've also been surprised by what games the students choose for their cover assignments. It often shows where they draw their inspiration from, and runs the gamut from big blockbuster releases to obscure Internet freeware.
AC: What are some of the most important concepts and ideas you hope students take away from the experience/classwork?
TF: Programming isn't that hard, and learning it is really worth it to unlock your potential as a game creator. Analyzing other games at a deep level is extremely beneficial to all designers. Constraints breed creativity.
AC: You're also an independent game creator. What are you working on right now?
TF: I create solo games under the name "walaber," and I'm also am co-owner of Tofyul games — the small studio will release our first game, Very Very Valet, on Nintendo Switch.