Game Development Courses

  • 100 - 200 Level Courses

    All courses are 4 units (unless otherwise noted). Full-time students (12 units per module) can complete this associate in science degree program in 8 ten-week modules.

    COM 100 Intro to Computer Science (4 units): This course is designed to give the student a solid theory basis for PC repair. The course covers system types, system assembly, PC components, and diagnostic tools. Emphasis is placed on understanding the PC components, how they function, and troubleshooting skills. Additional topics include PC installation, configuration, upgrading, troubleshooting, diagnosing, safety, preventative maintenance, operating systems diagnostics, and operating system upgrades. Prerequisite(s): None.

    COM 101 Introduction to Computer Programming (4 units): Python is an open-source scripting language which allows for rapid development of both large and small software systems. While easy to learn for beginners, the rich and robust debugger and profiler allow Python to be widely used. This course is an introduction to the Python programming language and designed for student with little to no prior programming experience. Python is named after Monty Python and its famous flying circus. Prerequisite(s): None.

    ENG 110 College Composition (4 units): Instruction in the theory and guidelines of composition for college writing with an emphasis on the following: grammar review, rhetorical strategies, essay writing, collaborative writing, and academic writing. This course must be taken within the first term of Distance Education or before any other Distance Education class. Prerequisite(s): None.

    COM 103 Introduction to Game Programming (8 units): This course introduces the field of game programming, giving students a solid grasp of the concepts required to write a game. Students will learn and apply the basics of computer programming and key components including input, sound, and graphics, while developing a framework that will be applied in future game coursework. Prerequisite(s): COM 101.

    DSN 123 Game Development (4 units): This course covers the basic elements of game design including what a game is, how a game works, and what decisions must be made before the start of any project. The student will learn about user experience, core mechanics, and different game genres, conventions, and pitfalls. Prerequisite(s): None.

    COM 123 Introduction to Programming and Logic (8 units): Course enables students to use C++ syntax to write well-structured programs. Students are introduced to C++ specific concepts such as pointers, DMA and OOP concepts such as data abstraction, encapsulation, inheritance and polymorphism. Prerequisite(s): COM 101, COM 103.

    MAT 162 Algebra I (4 units): This course focuses on intermediate algebra, which serves as the foundation for calculus and statistics. Topics include real numbers, equations and inequalities in one variable, linear equations and their graphs, functions, and systems of linear equations. Prerequisite(s): None.

    COM 203 Intermediate Programming C++ (8 units): This course is organized to provide a pedagogical path that starts with the C++ programming and object-oriented design. We provide an early discussion of concrete structures, like arrays and linked lists, in order to provide a concrete footing to build upon when constructing other data structures. We then add foundational techniques like recursion and algorithm analysis, and, we present fundamental data structures and algorithms, concluding with a discussion of memory management (that is, the architectural underpinnings of data structures). Prerequisite(s): COM 101, COM103, COM123.

    MAT 162 Algebra II (4 units):  Prerequisite(s): MAT 162 Algebra I.

    COM 253 Game Programming C# (8 units): This course introduces the student to programming interactive computer games with an emphasis on C# programming, using an engine. The student will explore the basics of C#, implementation of fundamental tasks in an engine, and combine a variety of techniques and special effects into a playable game. Prerequisite(s): COM 101, COM 103, COM 123.

    HUM/SOC (4 units): Prerequisite(s): None.

    DSN 140 Digital Images I (4 unit): This course introduces students to image-editing software as a design tool. Emphasis is placed on the application of design principles in the production process and the optimization of project workflow. Specific topics covered include properly scanning and digitizing artwork, enhancing and color correcting photographic images, optimizing images for use in an engine, manipulating graphics, and applying advanced effects to enhance existing art or create new art. Prerequisite(s): None.

    LOWER Division Elective (4 units): COM or DSN.

    MAT 165 Discrete Math (4 units):  Prerequisite(s): MAT 165 Algebra II.

    DSN 253 Hard Surface Modeling (4 unit): This course focuses on polygon modeling, texturing, and animation in the 3D environment; emphasis will be placed on low-poly modeling for gaming. Students create and manipulate primitive shapes; apply position, texturing, lighting and rendering of scenes/environments. Students will create the basic building blocks for producing still images, animate 3D models and scenes for the game programmer. Prerequisite(s): DSN 140.

    ENG 200 Communications (4 units): Communications is designed to introduce students to the theory and use of human and public communication. Various types of communication studied include the following: perception, listening, verbal, nonverbal, interpersonal, intercultural, small group, organizational, and public speaking. Prerequisite(s): None.

    LOWER Division Elective (4 units): COM or DSN.

    DSN 263 Shader Materials (4 unit): The student will apply the concepts and skills from previous classes to create animated scenes. The focus will be on 2D texturing for a 3D program and the image layout needed to create realistic interactive environments. The student will learn the process of layout and texture creation and implement it in a 3D animation scene. On completion of this class, the student will have created a scene incorporating various textures. Prerequisite(s): DSN 253.

    COM 233 Level Design I (4 unit): This course introduces the student to the Unity Game Engine. Topics include: incorporating terrains and externally produced 3D models, utilizing a first person character, scripting and animation, particle systems, sound, lighting, shadows, and more. It takes a practical approach, and enables the student to rapidly use the Unity Game Engine to develop games. Prerequisite(s): COM 253, DSN 140, DSN 253.

    LOWER Division Elective (4 units): COM or DSN.

    COM 293 Game Programming Capstone (8 units): The comprehensive capstone project will require students to work cooperatively to design and implement a game. Students will apply the concepts of game architecture and design acquired in previous classes to create at least one level of a comprehensive game that will include opening, game play, credits, and documentation. Project will require students to work cooperatively in designing and implementing their own game. Prerequisite(s): COM 253, COM 233, DSN 263.

    Advance Technology Upper Division Elective (4 units): COM or DSN.

    Upper Division General Education (8 units)

    Advance Technology Upper Division Elective (4 units): COM or DSN.

    Upper Division General Education (8 units)

    Advance Technology Upper Division Elective (4 units): COM or DSN.

    Upper Division General Education (8 units)

    Advance Technology Upper Division Elective (4 units): COM or DSN.

    Upper Division General Education (8 units)

    COM 424 Senior Project I (8 units)

    Upper Division General Education (4 units)

    COM 425 Senior Project II (8 units)

    Upper Division General Education (4 units)

    Lower Division Electives (12 units required):

    COM 283 Direct X (4 units): This course introduces programming interactive computer graphics using DirectX10. The course is designed to give the student a deeper understanding of how vectors, matrices, and transformations are used in computer games. The student will also explore techniques for creating special effects, including reflections, while learning new features such as geometry shaders and the rendering pipeline. Prerequisite(s): COM 103, COM 123, COM 203, MAT 162, MAT 165

    COM 300 Intro to Algorithms (4 units): Algorithms are a big part of computer science, the practical application has countless intellectual depth. This course emphasizes the relationship between algorithms and programming and introduce useful algorithms: Sorting, Searching, Trees algorithms, Graph Algorithms, Shortest path, and Network flow. Reviewing and discussing general techniques such as Iteration and recursion Divide and conquer, Greedy methods, Dynamic programming, linear programming, and Randomization. Upon completion you will understanding methodology of Correctness, Complexity, and Limitations of computation. Prerequisite(s): COM 203, MAT 290

    COM 339 Testing (4 units): This course covers roles and duties of a game tester, with a focus on how to apply software test engineer methodologies to the game industry. You'll learn how to produce useful test documents, capture important testing data, and analyze measurements to develop an effective game testing strategy. Prerequisite(s): COM 203

    DSN 110 Drawing I (4 units): This course provides direct experience in a variety of drawing techniques to sharpen perception, stimulate imagination and increase the ability to see and interpret the world in design. Core concepts include techniques to accelerate the creative process, and improving drawing skills to be competitive in the design industry. Topics covered include composition, single and multiple point perspectives, gestural and contour drawing, quick sketching, line, shape, color, value, and form. Prerequisite(s): none

    DSN 273 Introduction to Digital Sculpting (4 units): This course is designed to introduce students to ZBrush. The student is introduced to the concepts required to create realistic and highly detailed 3D organic, mechanical, and architectural models required for modern game art design. The student will learn the essential techniques and tools to quickly design concept, prototype, and final pieces for rich game scenes and characters. This class is designed to stimulate the creative spirit of the student by exploring several creative methods used to produce high quality game components, as required by the industry. Prerequisite(s): DSN 140, DSN 253.

    DSN 283 Environmental and asset Development (4 units): The Environmental and Asset Development course is a continuing evolution in the realm of the game development pipeline. The course will include a major project environment broken down into several smaller iterations with a director presentation after each milestone/sprint has been reached. The student will get hands on experience developing a 2 dimensional scene design that will become a full 3D scene within an engine. The scene will consist of organic environmental assets, architectural assets, and a vehicular asset. Prerequisite(s): DSN 140, DSN 253, DSN 273.

    Upper Division Electives (32 units required):

    COM 373 LUA Scripting (4 units): This course introduces the LUA scripting language in the context of video game implementation and design. Students will discover the power and simplicity of scripting languages in a hands-on approach that will cover every major video game requirement from standard game mechanics and simple artificial intelligence to graphical user interface implementation and graphics rendering. Prerequisite(s): COM 293

    COM 403 Advance Direct X (4 units): This course enables the students to apply Direct3D to implement a variety of interesting techniques and special effects. The students will learn and implement techniques such as working with meshes, terrain rendering, picking, particle systems, environment mapping, normal mapping, shadows, and rendering to textures. Prerequisite(s): COM 283, COM 293

    COM 413 Game AI Concepts (4 units): This course identifies the core types of AI behavior and their uses, such as pathfinding, fuzzy logic, cooperative behavior, decision trees, neural nets, adaptive and heuristics. It will illustrate how game AI creates challenges and a sense of satisfaction for the gamer. The student will create and implement AI agents through a variety of means. Prerequisite(s): COM 293.

    COM 423 Business of Gaming (4 units): This course will provide GDD students with fundamental understanding of the underlying functions, goals, and language of the businesses in which they are about to contribute. Students will learn lessons from historical game releases that can be applied to new projects alongside general business best practices. They will also learn the new revenue models currently being used in the industry and how to leverage those tools for maximum benefit while engrossing, not alienating customers. Prerequisite(s): COM 293.

    COM 424 Senior Project I (8 units): The achievement in obtaining a bachelor’s degree is the completion of Senior Project I & II. In Senior Project I students work in teams to design and develop an alpha built which upon completion, all class participants demonstrate their project to an audience that includes industry guests, faculty, staff, and other students. With the freedom of choice, the students are placed into studio roles and are responsible for the day to day duties, the project will require a lot of planning so the choice students make in the early phases can determine how successful and fun the projects turns out to be.

    COM 425 Senior Project II (8 units): The achievement in obtaining a bachelor’s degree is the completion of Senior Project I & II. In Senior Project II, students continue the development process to a beta build, upon receiving feedback from Project I presentation, the team will improve upon the development and incorporate additional project goals to improve mechanics, game play, aesthetics, and immersion. At the end of the course the team will demonstrate their project to an audience that includes industry guests, faculty, staff, and other students. Prerequisite(s): COM 424.

    COM 493 Game Development Internship (4 units): The student will be employed by a local business/organization to apply the knowledge, practice the skills, and display the attitudes developed during the course of study for the respective student’s degree. The focus of this course is on the further development of skills learned in a real business/project. Prerequisite(s): COM 293

    DSN 343 Game Story and character Design (4 units): This particular course will teach the students how to build unique story worlds and create true, interactive narrative. Students will also learn how to create compelling characters that the player will continue to identify with throughout the game while following the traditional character arc, deviating when required. They will also be introduced to the important, basic concepts involved in the traditional Creative Writing medium such as: the Syd Field Paradigm, the Hero’s Journey from Joseph Campbell, plot structure through the plot mountain diagram, and plot devices like En Media Res. Prerequisite(s): COM 293.

    DSN 353 Level Design II (4 units): This course focuses the skill set by taking the student step by step through the process of planning, construction, and refining an original level that has been designed for this course. This course will cover the unique learning experience by providing a design experience utilizing the industry standard Unreal 3 Engine/ Unreal Development Kit. After creating a concept for the game, the student will work through the blueprint, blocking in, building, lighting, scripting, and polishing of a game level. Prerequisite(s): COM 233, COM 293.

    DSN 363 Lighting and VFX (4 units): This course focuses on the introduction of procedural methodology for creating lighting and VFX commonly used in Cinematics, Films, Movies, and Game Development. Prerequisite(s): COM 293.

    DSN 433 MEL Scripting and Maya (4 units): This course covers MEL scripting with a character rigging focus. The course is intended for the intermediate 3D artists who are interested in enhancing the 3D production process in Maya. The course will cover each major rigging task in the Maya interface, and covers how to efficiently code the same task using MEL. In the process, the course focuses on creation of a character to rig, creating skeletons and icons, parent’s nodes into a hierarchy, connect constraint channels, and deform a skin model. Prerequisite(s): COM 293.

    Units required for graduation (AS degree): 108
    Residency Requirement: 72