Game Development Capstone Presentation is a Huge Success!

 

What does it take to design and create a video game from scratch? Have you ever wondered what your ideal game would look like, or what you would want to see in a new game, or how long it would take to make your vision into a physical game? The students in our Game Development program took that dream and made it into a reality for their capstone presentation this month. Over the span of ten weeks, a student group came together to create their own game from beginning to end. This included story boarding, character design, background music development, character movement, and multiple game levels. We can only begin to appreciate the amount of work that went into this project! The capstone game is called “Savage Island”, and takes place on an isolated island overrun with dinosaurs that are hungry and looking for a human sized meal. Game players are put into a 2.5D map and have to fight their way through each level until they finally encounter The Boss, a massive T-Rex who will not go down easily! At their capstone presentation the designers discussed their original plan for the game and the challenges that they overcame to make this game a reality. Programs used to create this game include: Unity, Visual Studio, Source Tree, Trello, Photoshop, 3DS Max, zBrush, FreeSound, and Audacity (for the sound mixing and sampling). Each member of the development team took on a specific role in order to efficiently produce content for this game. From the concept art, background set up, and character movement, each aspect of the game was the responsibility of one of the four team members and when the game was presented to the audience it was clear that this was an incredible project. Overall the team discussed their work, and the various programs that they used to develop each piece that they were responsible for. The audience heard first-hand what skills and technologies the team members had to develop in order to complete the assignment, as well as what they plan to add to the game  After the initial presentation audience members were asked to play the game themselves and see close up how the mechanics of the game work and try to destroy as many dinosaurs as possible. Audience members were also encouraged to ask questions and some of our Coleman staff members who attended were thrilled to learn more about the game development process from the student’s point of view. What’s next for these game developers? We hope big and exciting things! Congratulations to these excellent students!!

Tips for Developing a Well-Crafted Resume

This post was written by the Director of Career Services, Robert Sweigart in preparation for the upcoming Job Fair, on March 28, being hosted on our campus. Thank you to Mr. Sweigart and his team for working so hard to help our students find their dream careers! Contact your Career Services adviser for help with your resume, or email careerservices@coleman.edu.

At Coleman University, our diverse student population includes those seeking their first job, returning veterans, students interested in changing careers, and individuals returning to the workforce after a leave of absence. What they all have in common is the need to create an appealing, professional resume that catches an employer’s eye.

Today, employers spend only a few seconds on each resume they receive. Therefore, employees need to develop a resume that differentiates their work background from the competition. Coleman’s career services advisors work one-on-one with students to provide personalized professional development services, and our experience shows that when it comes to resumes, one size does not necessarily fit all.  There are requirements and recommendations that we have for each of our programs. What suits your resume is not guaranteed to work for your peers. The basics of a resume are the same, however each resume is unique. If you need help updating your resume or would like to have it reviewed make time to visit your Career Services Advisor as soon as possible so that we can help you get into the career you really want.

Candidates should thoroughly read the job description and tailor their resume to the needs of the company. Is the company interested only in candidates that hold a specific degree or certification? Does the company require candidates to submit a portfolio of their work? At Coleman, our graphic design and game development and design students are encouraged to refine their portfolios and post them online, so that they are easily accessible to employers. You do not need to bring an arsenal of technology and handouts to go with your resumes, but keep in mind that employers will search for your name online and it is pertinent to ensure that what they find will not disqualify you as a candidate. Update your portfolios, websites, or any other digital media that you curate, before you begin submitting resumes.

Keep in mind that many large and small companies utilize applicant tracking systems to assist in their recruiting efforts. These systems search for key words in your resume to add to their database. It is important that candidates include those key words from the job description so that they are not automatically disqualified before they even meet with an employer.

What other aspects should be considered when writing a resume?

  • Formatting is important. You may want to research resumes from peers in your field to determine whether there is a certain outline that should be followed, or speak with a career advisor. Use (but don’t overuse) bullet points. Avoid graphics, large blocks of single-spaced text, and varying font sizes.
  • Proper grammar and punctuation is critical. There is no place for slang words in a resume. If you have questions about grammar or punctuation, check out grammar books from the local library, view online sources, or seek out a career advisor or trusted friend for advice.
  • Place name, phone number(s), address, and e-mail address in the top left-hand corner. Create a professional e-mail address and take a professional photo for social media sites.
  • Write a succinct profile that highlights work experiences and the skills you have to offer an employer. This profile should entice a hiring manager to read further.
  • Resumes no longer include an objective. Instead, we recommend students write a summary of their skills, using bullet points to identify all the relevant abilities that pertain to the job for which they are applying.
  • The work experience section of the resume should include dates of employment in reverse chronological order, the name of organization, the physical location of the employer (city and state), the title of the position, and description of work responsibilities. Under each position, emphasize specific results generated (how you reduced costs, increased sales, overcame a challenge) and use action verbs.
  • Maintain a simple and direct resume. Do not exaggerate your experience or your qualifications as that is a good way to put yourself in a work situation that you may not be ready to handle. Be honest and concise with the information that you put onto your resume as it sets the tone for what an employer can expect from you as a potential employee, including your work ethics.
  • The Career Services Department strongly suggests avoiding using a template for your resume. Downloaded or borrowed templates are not guaranteed to look the same after they are sent off and employers will notice immediately if you have sent in a template resume, which will not work in your favor.

If you experienced a gap in employment due to illness or caring for a family member, be prepared to give a short response that explains the situation. Business Insider gives 3 tips for addressing a job gap: be honest and upfront, consider doing volunteer work or taking relevant classes, and, explain the skills acquired while you were out of work. Gaps in employment are not necessarily viewed as negative if it can be explained how time away from the workforce has strengthened your background as the perfect candidate for the job.

  • The education section should include the name of the institution, dates attended, and degree or degrees earned. Remember to include the major, minor, and important certifications. Make mention of academic awards if they are applicable to the position. Include a GPA if it is higher than 3.0, or if you do not have previous work experience.
  • Veterans are often concerned how to transferring their military experience into civilian terms. Many skills gained in the military, such as organization, leadership, responsibility, and technical ability can be easily translated to a civilian job.
  • Make sure that you include everything that an employer asks for with your resume submission, which may include a cover letter. The Harvard Business Review suggests a list of important cover letter aspects that will make your resume stand out. The Career Services Advisors at Coleman are here to help you with drafting your cover letters. Again, it is important that you make time to speak with them as soon as possible in order to be completely prepared for your career search.

Now that you have an understanding of what to include in a resume, we recommend omitting the following information:

  • Personal information, such as age, marital status, race, or number of dependent children need not be included. Hobbies should be mentioned, only if they are applicable to the job. There is also no need to include high school graduation information.
  • Irrelevant work history and nonessential extracurricular activities should not be listed. Think of your resume as your personal “elevator speech.” Only include work experience that highlights relevant skills and experience.
  • All employers expect job applicants to have references, so there is no need to include a statement such as, “References will be furnished upon request.”
  • It has become a more common practice among employers to seek out the private social media profiles of candidates in order to gain better insight into an applicant’s background. However, there is no need to include links or information pertaining to your personal social media profiles on your resume. It can be beneficial to include a link to your LinkedIn profile, so make sure that you have updated your LinkedIn before you start applying to employment opportunities. However, that is not something you are required to provide as part of a resume submission.

While we all live in a fast-paced world, it is important to take time with the resume process. Developing a carefully constructed resume could be the difference between hiring you, or the competition, for the next “dream” job.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Coleman University’s Game Programming Development & Design Degree

Considering a career in video game programming development and design? At Coleman University, we offer a program that will prepare you for the in-and-outs of the video game industry. With coursework focused in animation, coding, modeling, and more, Coleman graduates enter the workforce with the skills and knowledge to design and develop their very own games! Below are five things that potential students may not know about a degree in Game Programming Development and Design from Coleman:

  1. Students design and programmatically create 2D and 3D games from conception to implementation. While the creation of 2D games (like Angry Birds) and 3D games (like Halo) share fundamental concepts, inherent differences in coding demand specialized training. As a result, Coleman graduates possess well-rounded skillsets and are qualified to pursue a career in game design or development.

In an effort to provide additional hands-on experience, Coleman encourages students to work on independent game projects, as well as participate in two “Game Jams” per year with our partner, the San Diego chapter of the International Game Developers Association. A game jam is a game development marathon that can last up to 48 hours and is meant to be collaborative. Generally, game jams bring people together in a single location and are given a theme on which to base their game. Students form teams to bounce ideas off of each other, ask questions, and receive feedback from group leaders and competing teams. Though they only have 48 hours to produce a prototype, many developers go on to complete their games afterwards. By designing and programming their own games, students receive the opportunity to experience the responsibilities and tasks that accompany a career in game design and development. It also allows the students to create a portfolio of their work, which can set an applicant apart when applying for jobs after graduation. As a matter of fact, some of the assets created are used in actual games!

  1. The skills, technology, and processes learned from the Game Programming Development and Design degree program are not limited to the gaming industry. They lend core concepts to careers in modeling, computer graphics, product demonstration, film, marketing, and crime scene reenactment. The program, though specialized, provides solid foundational knowledge upon which students can build. With the wide range of coding-based professions available today, a degree in Game Programming Development and Design from Coleman grants students the freedom to branch out and find the niche that fits them best.

Technology is continually evolving, so people in this particular profession need to be kept abreast of new developments and trends. Coleman utilizes the most up-to-date hardware and software packages in an effort to prepare students for an ever-changing industry. To meet the needs of employers, the program was built with industry input to give students a solid foundational understanding of the skills necessary for the game development process. With a thorough understanding of the underlying concepts of coding hardware and software, Coleman graduates are equipped to translate their education and training to the future.

  1. Coleman’s Game Programming Development and Design program has a low student-to-faculty ratio. Due to the highly specialized nature of game design and development, students benefit from increased one-on-one instruction from industry experts. With a team of highly qualified instructors imparting their years of experience and knowledge on their students, they serve not only as teachers, but also as mentors for fledgling game designers. The small class sizes allow the instructors to get to know each student individually, ensuring insight into each student’s progress, strengths and weaknesses, and goals.

Coleman benefits from employing instructors that have left real-life marks in the game development and design industry. Here are three faculty members that have succeeded in the field and now shape aspiring designers at Coleman:

  • Tommy Mitchellis our Level Design, Digital Sculpting and Game Programming Capstone Instructor. He is an 8-year veteran of the game industry with over 10 titles shipped under his belt. He continues to work for Sony Interactive Entertainment via San Diego and Santa Monica Studios. Various shipped titles include: MLB 08: The Show, MLB 09: The Inside, MOD Nation Racers, Starhawk, Pixel Junk Shooter, Sound Shapes, and the God of War franchise.
  • William Martin is our Photoshop and Shader Materials Instructor. His extensive experience in the game industry includes High Moon Studios and Sony Online Entertainment (Daybreak Games).
  • Travis Vasquez started his own business in 2008 as a freelance designer. Vasquez has worked with Allied Waste, Zebra Technologies, DVS Shoes, Western Outdoors, Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), Borrego Solar, Valve, and Virtuos to name a few. With ten years of corporate management experience and eighteen years of design, he has a thorough knowledge of the game development pipeline.

Another benefit of a low student-to-faculty ratio is the ability to collaborate with your classmates. At Coleman, this results in a student-centric learning environment where students are able to increase their engagement with the material and discuss what they have learned. Instead of an instructor merely reciting information for the students to memorize, they are forced to contextualize the material and put what they have learned into action.

  1. The student will gain valuable experience developing for console and PC platforms. With the utilization of 3D technology in video gaming since its inception 24 years ago, designers have made great strides in the development of both PC and console gaming. The ability to move characters on multiple planes (left, right, up, down, nearer, and farther) opened the door to developing new types of games. As this software became more and more advanced, the hardware had to keep up with the high demands that the developer was placing upon it. As a result, a split between console gaming and PC gaming emerged. Until recently, developing for PCs and developing for consoles was quite different. Coleman’s program teaches students how to navigate the intricacies of both categories: navigating hardware restrictions, developing physics engines, and mastering coding languages. Students will also learn arguably the two most popular game engines available today: Unity and Unreal. Though used to accomplish similar tasks, these game engines possess different attributes, strengths, and limitations.

For example, Unity can be used to develop 3D platform games, but it really shines when used for mobile gaming and on 2D platforms. If you plan on developing games for mobile devices, then Unity would be the right game engine for you. On the other hand, Unreal’s advanced physics engine and powerful 3D renderings make Unreal the choice for developers that want to create the next great open-world adventure game. With the ability to program in both game engines, Coleman graduates possess well-rounded skill sets that really set themselves apart in the job interview process.

  1. Coleman’s Game Programming Development and Design program believes that game development is a form of human expression. You may not be able to draw, write music, or sing, but Coleman’s program gives you the tools to express yourself through your career. More than anything, Coleman offers students the opportunity to pursue their passions and bring their visions to life. Video games are an immersive medium, in that the designer is able to lie out his ideas, but the player has the ability to explore the world without strict constraints. Though there are general guidelines that a player must follow, players are not corralled into a beginning, middle, and end quite like movies or books. This allows designers to plant hidden meanings and Easter eggs into their work, to make it a bit more personal. More and more, designers are linking real-world connections like emotions to gameplay, much like a storyteller does with his words. Designers have a story to tell, and they are using this medium as a creative outlet. With a degree in game programming development and design from Coleman, you, too, will be able to tell your story.

Video games, once considered a second-class medium, have sprouted to mainstream relevance. With major studios investing billions of dollars into new titles every year, the industry is reaching new highs that were once thought unrealistic. Video games have become an art form, much like film and literature. Gone are the days of minimal storylines and straightforward instructions. Now, video games can possess hundreds of hours of game play with blockbuster plots and sprawling landscapes. As such, gamers, now and into the future, will plunge themselves into these games, not just as a means of rudimentary entertainment, but immersing themselves in worlds as grandiose as the most magnificent fairy tale. Though limited by hardware constraints, game designers are pushing the limits of what many would have considered impossible even a few years ago. Just like the impact of 3D technology’s introduction over twenty years ago, the next great technological advancement may change the world of gaming forever. At Coleman, we strive to give our students the tools that they need to thrive in this ever-evolving industry.

Coleman University Partners with San Diego IGDA for Game Jam

Game Jam 3 August 2016

One of the many award-winning Game Jam teams

Who likes video gaming? We do! In August, students from Coleman University’s Game Programming Development and Design program, members of San Diego’s International Game Developers Association, and enthusiastic gamers from the San Diego area converged on campus for 3 days of game development and play.

Teams brought their own laptops, desktops and gaming accessories, or made use of Coleman’s Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets to design and develop unique games based on the theme “Group Think.” See the groups pitch their gaming idea presentations and watch interviews with participants here.

At the end of the event, gamers voted on each other’s games and awards were given to the following:

Grand Prize – Synch or Swim
Best Design – Holes of Glory
Best Art – Band Kids
Best Audio – Pizza Cat
Best Abstract – Get to Work
Judge’s Award – Twitch Plays Trivia

All games can be viewed and played at https://itch.io/jam/sdgamejam/results. Thanks to the many participants and organizers with the San Diego IDGA for another successful Game Jam event!

Find out how our Game Programming Development and Design program prepares students by teaching character development, story-telling, 3D-image rendering, animation, and environmental modeling. Call us today at 858-499-0202 or request more information here.

 

Gaming Students Present: After The Flash

The Game Programming Capstone- a culmination of skills learned through classes covering everything from  programming concepts &  logic, 3D modeling, level design, animation, and digital sculpting. Students in the capstone course form a team and collaborate in the production of a prototype video game development project. More

IGDA Presents: 2016 Global Game Jam

Global Game Jam Returns!

The GGJ brings together talented individuals from within your community. It is a unique opportunity for people to push their skills and challenge their way of working. Participants work concurrently with developers around the globe; we rally around a central theme, and then have 48 hours to create a game. It’s our hope that we will see some very experimental realized prototypes that you can continue to work on after the jam. Many games developed in previous Game Jams have become fully realized games. The GGJ is open source, hardware & software agnostic and all projects are protected under a Creative Commons license. We encourage people to try out new ideas and push themselves, within reason. We also strongly encourage participants to remember to eat and sleep, to stay at their best!

The event is open to the public. No formal game development experience needed! Computer workstations and software will be provided; however, you are free to bring your own laptop or computer. Rooms will also be available for sleeping. Just bring your camping gear!

Friday, January 29, 2016 at 5:30 PM through Sunday, January 31, 2016 at 8:00 PM (PST) at Coleman University

Tickets are on sale at Eventbrite.