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Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Degree

The Game Development BFA gives a well-rounded education in the arts with an emphasis on understanding and applying techniques including 3D modeling, animation and lighting in video game production.

Students graduate with a solid grasp of the fundamental game art principles, including knowledge of game engine technology and pre-production and production environments.

BFA Game Development Unit Requirements
Major Coursework
Core 36 units
Major 42 units
Electives 9 units
Liberal Arts 45 units
TOTAL 132 units

BFA Game Development Degree Requirements

  • Minimum grade of C- in all core courses, major courses, and LA 108 Composition for the Artist
  • Minimum 2.0 GPA and the following general education requirements:
    3 Written Communication courses
    4 Art Historical Awareness courses
    1 Employment Communications and Practices course
    1 Historical Awareness course
    1 Quantitative Literacy course
    1 Cultural Ideas & Influences course

After above general education requirements are met, take Liberal Arts electives as needed to fulfill the Liberal Arts unit requirement.

Additional Information

BFA Program Learning Outcomes

Undergraduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

Visual Communication

  • Integrate objects, environments, characters, and props into a cohesive game experience
  • Use appropriate media to communicate ideas throughout the design process
  • Draw, design, and render forms (2D/3D) to game industry standards

Technology

  • Demonstrate proficiency with technology related to contemporary game production

Presentation Skills

  • Clearly and professionally present work and ideas

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

  • Research and generate workable solutions under a deadline

Professional Readiness

  • Produce a professional demo reel or portfolio which meets industry standards
  • Work cooperatively and effectively in a professional production environment
  • Identify strengths and develop a portfolio tailored to showcase them

Specialty Skills: Game Art

  • Model, texture and light 3D forms in a manner that meets industry standards
  • Effectively apply the principles of animation to environments, characters, or effects

Specialty Skills: Game and Level Design

  • Design, organize, and build game prototypes in established game engines
  • Create design documentation and detailed paper maps for a professional preproduction package
  • Effectively use visual and code-based scripting to implement game and level mechanics

Specialty Skills: Animation

  • Effectively apply the principles of animation to environments, characters, or effects
  • Convey motion (biped and quadruped) and interaction of moving objects
  • Incorporate original animations into established game engines
  • Demonstrate an understanding of staging and composition through legible animations

Specialty Skills: 3D Modeling for Games

  • Model with appropriate use of form, proportion, weight, anatomy, gesture, and facial expressions
  • Create and apply textures consistent with the overall look of the project

Specialty Skills: Concept Art

  • Effectively utilize line, edge, value and design in all concept work
  • Create coherent thumbnails, comps, and layouts
  • Effectively apply the rules of perspective
  • Apply the principles of composition in all concept work
  • Demonstrate flexibility in illustrative style by showing both a unique personal style and the ability to accommodate style to project needs
  • Use color, light, shape, and composition to communicate narrative and mood
  • Incorporate detailed visual research into mood boards
  • Apply visual research and anatomical knowledge to accurately draw human, animal, and creature figures
  • Apply visual research to create environments, architecture, props, etc… appropriate to project parameters
  • Demonstrate an understanding of movement, proportion, and functionality of designs through accurate orthographic drawings
  • Create accurate preliminary models for paint overs using a variety of 3D applications
  • Design portfolio to clearly communicate design process from exploration of concept in initial research and preliminary sketches/thumbnails to finished concept art

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.

Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree

The Game Programming BS curriculum integrates the engineering and programming techniques used in game creation.  With an emphasis on math and objective-oriented programming through the use of complex algorithms, students will develop strong problem-solving skills, learn to write efficient code, and collaborate with artists and designers to provide optimized solutions for game design.

BS Game Programming Unit Requirements
Major Coursework
Core 36 units
Major 30 units
Electives 9 units
Liberal Arts 45 units
TOTAL 120 units

BS Game Programming Degree Requirements

  • Minimum grade of C- in all major coursework and the following Liberal Arts courses:

LA 108 Composition for the Artist
LA 255 College Math
LA 271 College Algebra with Geometry
LA 288 Vector, Matrices, & Transformations
LA 293 Precalculus

  • Minimum 2.0 GPA

And the following general education requirements:

3 Written Communication courses
1 Fundamental Math course
1 Applied Math course
1 Math for Programming course
1 Employment Communications & Practices course
1 Historical Awareness course
1 Cultural Ideas & Influences course
1 Art Historical Awareness course

After above general education requirements are met, take Liberal Arts electives as needed to fulfill the Liberal Arts unit requirement.

Additional Information

BS Program Learning Outcomes

Undergraduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

  • Correctly apply math concepts to create functioning code
  • Research and generate workable solutions under a deadline
  • Create and execute plans to develop complex interactive software applications

Technology

  • Demonstrate proficiency with technology related to contemporary game programming

Game Programming

  • Implement appropriate industry practices relating to topics such as data structures, algorithms, and design patterns
  • Design and develop game engines, games, and development tools
  • Create optimized, efficient video game applications
  • Write error-free commented code appropriate to provided parameters (spec sheet, SDK package, assignment, etc.)

Professional Readiness

  • Produce a professional portfolio which meets industry standards
  • Work cooperatively and effectively in a professional production environment
  • Demonstrate programming skills on demand by successfully completing industry inspired programming tests

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.

Associate of Arts (AA) Degree

The Associate of Arts degree provides Game Development students with an introduction to the fundamental concepts of game construction and game engine technology. Once earned, the Associate’s degree can also be used as a stepping stone to a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Fine Arts degree as it provides a foundation for advanced game development coursework.

AA Game Development Unit Requirements
Major Coursework
Core 33 units
Major 15 units
Liberal Arts 18 units
TOTAL 66 units

AA Game Development Degree Requirements

  • Minimum grade of C- in all core courses, major courses, and LA 108 Composition for the Artist
  • Minimum 2.0 GPA and the following general education requirements:
    2 Written Communication courses
    2 Art Historical Awareness courses
    1 Employment Communications and Practices course

After above general education requirements are met, take Liberal Arts electives as needed to fulfill the Liberal Arts unit requirement.

Additional Information

AA Program Learning Outcomes

Undergraduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

Visual Communication

  • Integrate objects, environments, characters, and props into a cohesive game experience
  • Use appropriate media to communicate ideas throughout the design process
  • Draw, design, and render forms (2D/3D) to meet project parameters

Technology

  • Demonstrate familiarity with technology related to contemporary game production.

Presentation Skills

  • Clearly present ideas using industry standard terminology

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

  • Create a concept for an interactive experience that demonstrates an understanding of game mechanics

Professional Readiness

  • Produce basic materials required for an entry-level job search

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.

Classes

Explore our course catalog and take classes based on your interests, either online or in our world-class facilities in San Francisco.

Undergraduate Degree Breakdowns

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)

The Game Development BFA gives a well-rounded education in the arts with an emphasis on understanding and applying techniques including 3D modeling, animation and lighting in video game production.

Students graduate with a solid grasp of the fundamental game art principles, including knowledge of game engine technology and pre-production and production environments.

Bachelor of Science (BS)

The Game Programming BS curriculum integrates the engineering and programming techniques used in game creation.  With an emphasis on math and objective-oriented programming through the use of complex algorithms, students will develop strong problem-solving skills, learn to write efficient code, and collaborate with artists and designers to provide optimized solutions for game design.

Associate of Arts (AA)

The Associate of Arts degree provides students with an introduction to a particular field of study in art and design with a firm foundation in the concepts and problem-solving skills of that field. Once earned, the Associate’s degree can also be used as a stepping stone to the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and to apply for entry level positions in the industry.

 

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Michael Buffington

Full-Time Faculty, Concept Art Lead

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