Game Studio is a Project-Based Learning class where, over the course of 2 semesters, students form teams that parallel a “real industry environment” and create a game. We believe it is essential for students to have the opportunity to have a shipped title in their portfolio so Game Studio is part of the required curriculum for the game program. Students work alongside an instructor to implement a game from concept to delivery on a device (mobile, PC, etc.). Game Studio is hard work but a lot of fun!
Tangram Jam, Game Studio Project
Currently, the Game Studio class is building a 3D iPhone and Android puzzle game for an industry partner (http://www.prainbow.com/). Cogswell has an agreement with the company to build a game and during production students speak directly with the client via skype. The team uses SCRUM-based development techniques (an agile methodology for project management) that requires weekly updates and reviews where students on their accomplishments to the team.
For Art, we use Maya, ZBrush, Photoshop, Illustrator, acting techniques, story boarding, drawing pencils & paper for sketches. We have not used paint yet. But, I’m sure we will soon!
On the technology side, we use the industry-standard tools Unity3D, UDK, advanced version control, issue tracking software, C# programming language, Python, and Excel. We are able to export our games to the target device and demo them for game tests right in class. Our configuration, techniques, and software tool set is industrial strength.
Collaboration & Portfolio Outcomes
Game Studio projects are highly collaborative. Students learn to work alongside other students who have a variety of personalities, skill sets, while adhering to tight deadlines. It reminds our industry faculty of work. The work created is typically high quality and the results serve as a great portfolio piece for the students to complement their resumes. The students gain valuable real-world experience while having a lot of fun.
You can also read more on our blog: Puzzle Game Class Gets Underway.