Teaching Game Design

My focus as a professor is to teach students how to communicate effectively through the medium of games. Using an iterative approach to design, students define experience goals, and then create paper and digital prototypes. Through frequent playtesting, students refine their ideas and create games with innovative mechanics and narrative techniques.

Courses Taught

  • Narrative Design for Games - An exploration of the intricate link between story structure and game design, this course gives students hands-on experience creating games with rich narratives.
  • Fundamentals of Game Design - A comprehensive introduction to basic tools and principles of game design; Students design and playtest original game ideas through iterative paper prototypes.
  • Game Design I & II - Building on fundamental concepts, these courses explore techniques for rapid digital prototyping of game mechanics, culminating in a complete portfolio-ready short game.
  • Level Design - A hands-on workshop in taking a general game concept and creating the moment-to-moment player experience, through gameplay, story, and environment design.
  • Introduction to Game Programming - Teaches basic object-oriented programming concepts, using Unreal Blueprints: a visual scripting language for games.
  • Game Scripting I - Focuses on scripting common game systems in Unreal Blueprints, building on fundamentals learned in the intro course.
  • Game Scripting II - Explores the integration of Unreal Blueprints and C++. In addition to learning how to script specific game systems, covers theoretical concepts such as memory management, event handling, data trees, and networking.
  • Game Development in Maya & Unreal - An introduction to game environment design and programming using Unreal
  • Production Studio - The senior capstone course where student designers, artists, and programmers work together to create a complete alpha version of a game, using the Agile/Scrum production methodology.
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