This concentration gives students the background necessary to create games and interactive environments with strong skills in one of several specialty areas of such as, environment design, level design, modeling for games, materials, scripting for interaction. Students in the interaction and game design concentration are typically preparing for careers in the game industry in one of these fields. Complete the required courses below and select either the Asset Development or Design Pathway.
What Classes Will I Take in Game Design?
The Digital Media Core is required by all digital media majors, regardless of concentration. These classes develop skills required of professionals across all areas of digital media. The last class in this series, Portfolio Development (DIGM4930) prepares students to transition from college life to professional life by working on resumes, cover letters, presentation skills, and most importantly: developing a professional digital media portfolio.
ENTC 1510 Student in University
This course is meant to provide guidance to first-year university students as they begin their search for directions to take in self-definition, intellectual growth, career choices, and life skills. (Offered in the Fall and Spring)
(There are substitutions available for students in the University Honors or Fine and Performing Arts Scholars Programs)
MATH 1710 Pre-Calculus (Algebra) or any higher level Math
Prerequisites: Two years of high school algebra.
Studies functions and their graphs, including polynomial, rational, exponential and logarithmic functions.
DIGM 1400 Principles of Visual Effects and Motion Graphics
Introduction to practical techniques and awareness in video production, motion design and visual effects as related to motion picture and commercial production.
DIGM 1500 Principles of Digital Game Design
Provides students with an awareness of the gaming, interaction and other 3D industries as well as preliminary hands-on experience in the interactive and gaming fields.
DIGM 1800 Principles of Digital Animation
Provides students with an awareness of animation and other 3D industries, as well as preliminary hands-on experience in animation production.
DIGM 1900 Principles of Visualization
An introduction to practical and theoretical knowledge in visualization. Through lectures and studio application of the underlying principles, students will gain an understanding of visualization through 2D, 3D and moving imagery.
DIGM 2660 Topics in Digital Media History
Special topics of interest concerning digital media discipline history. Students learn to apply digital media historical concepts to their specialized disciplines.
DIGM 2990 Mid-Point Review
Students produce a digital media portfolio for presentation and evaluation in preparation for upper level coursework and careers in digital media.
ENTC 3030 Technical Communications
Prerequisite(s): ENGL 1010 and ENGL 1020.
A comprehensive study of technical and professional communication in written and oral form. Covers rhetorical principles and their application in a variety of types of business correspondence, reports, and technical/scientific documents. Lecture and classroom exercises.
ARTH 2010 Art History I
A survey of architecture, painting, sculpture, and the minor arts in the Western world from prehistoric times to the end of the Middle Ages.
DIGM 4930 Portfolio Development for Digital Media
Prerequisites: Senior status and within two (2) semesters of completing all requirements for graduation. Permission of instructor is required.
This course provides the opportunity to review and refine selected examples of work for the creation of a digital media portfolio. Topics include industry research, job searching techniques, interview preparation, group projects, presentation skills, and portfolio development and refinement. Lecture and lab. (Offered in the Fall, and Spring)
Digital Game-Design Concentration:
DIGM 4550 Game Play and Testing
Prerequisites: DIGM 3530 and DIGM 3540; or CSCI 1260 and junior standing; or permission of the instructor.
Studies game content with a focus on fun-to-play, easy-to-learn, and hard-to-master games. Provides experience in continuous game development iterations based on multiple gameplay and testing sessions.
Asset Development Pathway:
DIGM 2530 High-Fidelity Modeling for Entertainment
Prerequisites: DIGM 1400, DIGM 1500, DIGM 1800, or permission of the instructor.
Presents project-based introduction to practical techniques and theoretical knowledge of 3D modeling for entertainment. Course topics might include high-fidelity modeling, digital sculpture, corresponding textures and dynamic materials. This course emphasizes principles governing critical analysis of 3D modeling.
DIGM 2750 3D Fundamentals
Prerequisites: DIGM 1400, DIGM 1500, DIGM 1800.
Applies 3D digital sculpting techniques focusing on organic modeling, lighting, and rendering for 3D printing, games, and movies.
DIGM 3110 3D Model Design
Prerequisites: DIGM 2750, DIGM 2530 or permission of instructor.
Continue to enhance the techniques of Zbrush software while expanding into the technical aspects of a high-to-low workflow topology in complex models in conjunction with Maya 3D and Zbrush for games and animation.
DIGM 3120 3D Lighting & Rendering
Prerequisites: DIGM 2990.
Presents a practical and theoretical understanding of lighting, rendering, and cameras in a 3D environment. The course includes how to utilize a number of texturing and mapping techniques and render applications to specific outputs. Areas of emphasis include shader networks, multi-pass rendering, and techniques for creating stylized and realistic images. Notes: May be repeated for credit one time.
DIGM 4560 Reality Capture for Modeling
Prerequisites: DIGM 2530
Applies techniques used to create digital assets from real-world objects. Techniques in photogrammetry and other 3D digital model methods for reproduction are covered. In addition, this course covers the approaches to optimize and re-topology the assets for use in games, movies, and other related industries. Notes: Repeatable up to 12 credits.
CSCI 1250 Introduction to Computer Science I
Introduces all aspects of the programming and problem-solving process and the elements of good programming style. A high-level language is used as a vehicle for introducing these concepts. Laboratory use of the computer in designing, coding, debugging, and executing programs is an integral part of the course.
DIGM 2824 Technical Direction
Prerequisites: DIGM 1400, DIGM 1500, DIGM 1800, DIGM 1900.
Provides project-based advanced digital character, mechanical, and simulation techniques. Course topics might include character setup, inverse kinematics, bones systems, deformers, scripting and set driven key set-up. There is an emphasis on effective set-up procedures and scripting workflow.
DIGM 3450 Procedural Modeling and Effects Simulation
Prerequisites: DIGM 2990 or permission of instructor.
Explores procedural systems for modeling three-dimensional digital content, effects animation, and physics-based simulation of natural phenomena. Lecture and lab. Notes: Repeatable up to 12 credits.
DIGM 3530 Game Design
Prerequisites: DIGM 2530 and DIGM 2990; or permission of instructor; or CSCI 1260 and junior standing. Introduces practical techniques and theoretical knowledge for entertainment and serious game design. Topics include multiple game types, first person and role playing games, and medical and tactical simulations. This course emphasizes principles governing critical analysis of level design. Notes: May be repeated one time for credit.
DIGM 3540 Interaction for Game Design
Prerequisites: DIGM 2530 and DIGM 2990; or permission of the instructor; or CSCI 1260 and junior standing.
Introduces developing game interaction modifications (modding) for entertainment and serious games, such as first person or role playing games, or medical and tactical simulations. Principles governing critical analysis of level scripting are emphasized. Notes: May be repeated for credit one time.
Game Design Guided Electives (20 hours)
ENTC 1110 Engineering Drawing ENTC 1610 Woodworking Technology ENTC 2160 Architectural CADD
ENTC 2170 CADD (Computer Aided Design Drafting)
ENTC 2410 Construction Fundamentals
ENTC 3400 Construction Materials
Any ARTA course
Any CSCI course
Any DIGM course
Any INTD course
Any MATH course
Any MCOM course
Any MUSC course
Any RTVF course
Any STOR course
Excluding: ENTC 1510, ENTC 3020, ENTC 3030, MCOM 1030, MATH 1530, MATH 1710, MATH 1720, CSCI 1100
Meet a Game Design Alumn
Alex Level Designer, Idol Minds“I graduated from ETSU with a B.S. in Digital Media and a Film Studies minor in 2016. In November of the same year I moved to Westminster CO to work as a Level Designer for the game studio Idol Minds. One of my favorite aspects of the job is working with all the different departments to create a cohesive and exciting final product. I am currently working on an undisclosed Cinematic Adventure Game in the Unity Engine. The fact that it’s top secret should be a good indicator that it’s pretty neato!”
SAMPLE GAME DESIGN PROJECTS
Modular Space Station
Fire Hydrant Modeling
Game Play Demos
SENIOR GAME DESIGN DEMO REELS
East Tennessee State University has an extensive student support system. If you're experiencing difficulties check in with BucsCARE for a list of resources.
DEPARTMENT OF DIGITAL MEDIA
Niswonger Digital Media Center P.O. Box 70309 | Johnson City, TN 37614 firstname.lastname@example.org