Game and Interactive Media Design

Overview

Students will learn to conceptualize, create, and analyze video games and related media (animation, sound, narrative, interface, and user experience.)  All students complete courses in media theory, basic computer coding languages, and general education courses, and will choose an emphasis in visual, sound, or narrative design (or some combination of the three.)  Culminating in a multi-disciplinary, project-based course and required internship, the degree will equip students with the skills, theoretical framework, and experience necessary to enter the gaming industry.

Degree Offered

  • B.A. in Game and Interactive Media Design

Contact

Vanita Neelakanta, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Chair
Fine and Performing Arts
Fine Arts 331
609-895-5581
vneelakanta@rider.edu

Program Website: 
Associated Department:  School of Fine and Performing Arts

Related Programs:

Game and Interactive Media Design Program Requirements

(51-54 credits)

ART 106Survey of Art History II3
CIS 200Web Application Development I3
COM 105Communication, Culture and Media3
COM 131Fundamentals of Video Production3
COM 302Communication Ethics3
GAM 100Game & Interactive Media Forum0
GAM 150Intro to Game Studies3
GAM 200Game Design 13
GAM 201Game Development I 13
GAM 301Game Development II 13
GAM 310Special Topics in Game Design 13
GAM 401Game Workshop I 13
GAM 402Game Workshop II 13
GAM 491Internship in Game Design 13-6
Elective Courses
Select 12 credits from the following:12
Fundamentals of Drawing
Design
Digital Filmmaking
The Aesthetics of Filmmaking
3D Graphic Animation
Graphic Animation
3D Graphic Animation II
Advanced Digital Filmmaking
Soundtracks and Foley
Creative Writing: Screenwriting
Studies in Film Genre
Writing Shortscreen Plays for Digital Cinema
Popular Music Theory I
Digital Comp of Pop Music I
Digital Comp of Pop Music II
Pop Songwriting I
Digital Mixing and Mastering
Total Credits51-54

Academic Plan of Study

The following educational plan is provided as a sample only.  Rider students who do not declare a major during their freshman year; who change their major; or those who transfer to Rider may follow a different plan to ensure a timely graduation.  Each student, with guidance from his or her academic advisor, will develop a personalized educational plan.

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
Fall SemesterCredits
CMP 120 Expository Writing 3
CIS 200 Application Development with JavaScript 3
COM 105 Communication, Culture and Media 3
GAM 200 Game Design 3
GAM 100 Game & Interactive Media Forum 0
General Education Credit 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
GAM 100 Game & Interactive Media Forum 0
GAM 150 Intro to Game Studies 3
COM 131 Fundamentals of Video Production 3
Game Elective 3
ART 106 Survey of Art History II 3
CMP 125 Research Writing 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Year 2
Fall Semester
GAM 100 Game & Interactive Media Forum 0
GAM 201 Game Development I 3
Game Elective 3
Minor/Free Elective 3
General Education 3
General Education 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
GAM 100 Game & Interactive Media Forum 0
GAM 301 Game Development II 3
COM 302 Communication Ethics 3
General Education Credit 3
General Education Credit 3
Minor/Free Elective 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Year 3
Fall Semester
GAM 100 Game & Interactive Media Forum 0
GAM 310 Special Topics in Game Design 3
Game Elective 3
General Education Credit 3
General Education Credit 3
Minor/Free Elective 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
GAM 310 Special Topics in Game Design 3
GAM 100 Game & Interactive Media Forum 0
Game Elective 3
General Education Credit 3
General Education Credit 3
Minor/Free Elective 3
Minor/Free Elective 3
 Semester Credit Hours18
Year 4
Fall Semester
GAM 401 Game Workshop I 3
GAM 100 Game & Interactive Media Forum 0
Minor/Free Elective 3
Minor/Free Elective 3
Minor/Free Elective 3
Minor/Free Elective 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
GAM 402 Game Workshop II 3
GAM 491 Internship in Game Design 3-6
GAM 100 Game & Interactive Media Forum 0
Minor/Free Elective 3
Minor/Free Elective 3
 Semester Credit Hours12-15
 Total Credit Hours for Graduation120-123

Courses and Descriptions

ART 103 Fundamentals of Drawing 3 Credits

An intensive study of drawing techniques in charcoal, pencil, and pen and ink.

ART 105 Design 3 Credits

Basic concepts of composition, form, texture, value, and color in two-dimensional design are explored.

ART 106 Survey of Art History II 3 Credits

The history of Western art, architecture, sculpture, painting from the Renaissance to the present, emphasizing the relation between the arts and ideas of each period.

CIS 200 Application Development with JavaScript 3 Credits

In the early 1990s, Tim Berners-Lee created a set of technologies to allow information sharing at the CERN particle accelerator in Europe. These technologies dramatically changed the face of computing and became what we know today as the Web. Understanding how to develop and manage applications for the Web is a requirement for the information system professional. Because of the ease of development, deployment, maintenance and general scalability of Web applications, this approach to building and managing applications has become the de facto standard for business application development. This class will examine Web application development in detail. Through a combination of lecture and labs, students will learn the architecture of Web applications, how to develop Web pages using HTML and CCS, how to control user interaction with those pages using the JavaScript programming language. The programming basics of variable declaration and usage, program flow of control, function declaration and calling, and object usage and declaration will also be shown. The use of the JQuery Javascript library to ease the development of Web pages will also be shown.

COM 103 Introduction to Communication Studies: Theory & Practice 3 Credits

Provides a foundation for the study of communication across the discipline. Open to freshmen only, it is designed to assist the first year student majoring in communication or journalism to gain a broad understanding of the scope and breadth of the field. Fundamental communication theories, principles, concepts, terms, and issues are introduced.

COM 105 Communication, Culture and Media 3 Credits

Provides a detailed investigation and analysis into the nature, history, scope, adequacy, and limitations of mass communication and examines the reciprocal influence of the media on culture and society. This course counts towards the fulfillment of the Disciplinary Perspectives element of the CLAS general education curriculum.

COM 131 Fundamentals of Video Production 3 Credits

Introduces students to basic video production theories, techniques, and applications. Students will gain competency in a number of video production areas including: production planning, camera operations, lighting, sound, and digital non-linear editing. Individual and group production exercises will involve planning and executing video productions in both studio and non-studio settings. This class is designed to prepare students from any major to effectively create, produce, shoot, and edit basic video production assignments including public service announcements, video news releases, educational/instructional videos, and marketing/promotional spots.

COM 235 Digital Filmmaking 3 Credits

This course will provide students with an introduction to basic narrative film production including theories, techniques and applications. Students will gain competency in a number of film production areas including: idea generation and scripting, production planning, cinematography, lighting, sound and digital editing. Working as individuals and in groups, students will develop and produce short narrative film projects. Students will continue to develop proficiency and mastery of the use of specialized vocabulary of the film industry as well as the ability to analyze film and its narrative structure. In addition students will break down the “narrative” focusing on genre conventions and subtext. Students will additionally examine the relevance of film to society while developing proficiency and mastery in the study of how to create film projects.

COM 236 The Aesthetics of Filmmaking 3 Credits

Introduces students to basic terminology, techniques, theories and criticism commonly used in digital filmmaking. Through lecture, class discussion and screenings, students will learn how film theory, criticism and aesthetics impact the filmmaking process. Students will review and analyze films of different genres; the different approaches adopted by filmmakers; and the various elements and techniques that contribute to the creation of powerful and effective films. Aesthetic elements such as production design, mise en scene, cinematography, lighting, editing, sound design and script development will be introduced and practiced.

COM 265 3D Graphic Animation 3 Credits

Provides students with an introduction to the basics of 3D graphic animation techniques including modeling, texturing, rendering, visual effects and animation. Through various projects the students will learn: to model characters, sets and props, how to apply textures and color to their models, and how to bring their creations to life using various animation techniques. In addition to the technical aspects of creating successful animation, the students will also learn the aesthetics of animation in regard to cinematography, art direction, lighting, character creation, prop creation, and set creation, dramatization and narrative.

COM 302 Communication Ethics 3 Credits

Analyzes internal and external pressures on the communication professional including economic, cultural, social, and political pressures, assesses the philosophical and practical basis for responding to such pressures, evaluates contemporary media responses to these pressures, identifies those that are of laudable quality and why, and provides guidance as to how individuals and organizations can think and react ethically. Issues addressed include censorship, confidentiality, conflicts of interests, minority and ethnic groups, privacy, sensationalism, and self-criticism.

COM 365 Graphic Animation 3 Credits

Offers students education in graphic animation theories, animation development techniques, and animation preparation for various multimedia applications. Emphasis is placed on the design principles in animated communication and animation techniques. The course covers the integration of static images in animation, graphic animation techniques, animation compression, animation rendering, input/output file formats, and animation delivery. The primary software for this course is Adobe Photoshop and MacMedia Flash. Students will be expected to participate in critiques of professional animation designs in order to learn to evaluate critically their own work and their fellow students’ work.

Prerequisite(s): COM 262 or permission of instructor.

COM 367 3D Graphic Animation II 3 Credits

Continue to learn the techniques of 3D computer animation including modeling, texturing, rendering, visual effects and animation. In addition to the technical aspects of creating successful 3D animation the students will also learn the aesthetics of animation in regard to cinematography, art direction, lighting, character creation, prop creation, and set creation.

Prerequisite(s): COM 265.

COM 435 Advanced Digital Filmmaking 3 Credits

This is an intensive hands-on course in advanced digital filmmaking. Students will gain experience with and proficiencies in a number of filmmaking areas including: creativity, production planning, aesthetics, scripting, script breakdown, camera movement, selecting and directing talent, creating scenes and sequences, visualizing action, establishing mood and conflict, as well as advanced lighting, sound and digital editing techniques. The students’ use of high definition digital imaging systems as a medium for narrative cinematography will be developed and refined. In addition, students will explore how filmmaking techniques and technology can impact the visual story telling process. While often working cooperatively in groups, modeling the interdependent structure of film crews today, the creative and leadership role of the director in the contemporary film industry will be emphasized. Throughout the class, there will be an important integration of theory and practice which will enable students to produce meaningful film projects that will not only be technically effective, but strong in content and context as well.

ENG 312 Creative Writing: Screenwriting 3 Credits

A workshop teaching and analyzing how students write for the screen, both television and film, that pays particular attention to the demands of the genre. Through reading and writing assignments, students will discuss and analyze the development of their own dramatic scripts for production. A portfolio of revisions will serve as a final for the course.

ENG 381 Studies in Film Genre 3 Credits

Provides an in-depth examination of a variety of film genres (such as the gangster film, the western, the musical, the screwball comedy, the science fiction film, and the horror film, among others), to be examined through the perspective of film genre theory. Through close analysis of selected films and readings, students will define the aesthetic and thematic patterns characterizing specific genres, and will trace the development of those genres within the dual contexts of the film industry and cultural ideology. Note: This course is cross-listed as FMS 381.

FMS 286 Writing Short Screenplays for Digital Cinema 3 Credits

Writing Short Screenplays for Digital Cinema will focus solely on the creation of a short screenplay for digital film. The course will ask that students conceive of and execute a viably producible screenplay, shooting script, and industry pitch for the modern market.

GAM 100 Game & Interactive Media Forum 0 Credits

Game & Interactive Media Forum is a once-per-month gathering of all Game majors from across the university’s different Colleges. The forum will be an opportunity for students focusing on different backgrounds to engage together in industry-related topics and skills.

GAM 150 Intro to Game Studies 3 Credits

Intro to Game Studies surveys the history of video games and gaming culture against the social and political contexts that shape and are shaped by games.

GAM 200 Game Design 3 Credits

Game Design introduces students to the basic concepts of game design, covering game rules, iterations, and playtesting. Students will work with hands-on material to develop design techniques and instincts outside of digital work spaces.

GAM 201 Game Development I 3 Credits

Game Development I introduces students to industry-standard software and the basics of user experience and collaborative game design.

Prerequisite(s): CIS 200 and GAM 200.

GAM 301 Game Development II 3 Credits

Game Development II extends students’ knowledge of industry-standard software, building on GAM 201 and progressing toward advanced concepts of user experience and collaborative game design.

Prerequisite(s): GAM 201.

GAM 310 Special Topics in Game Design 3 Credits

Special Topics in Game Design applies students’ knowledge of game design and the development software that helps them realize their design toward specific prototyping goals. The subject of GAM 310 will rotate each semester.

Prerequisite(s): GAM 301.

GAM 330 Soundtracks and Foley 3 Credits

Soundtracks and Foley covers dialog, music, and foley in filmic settings, with a specific focus on game environments.

Prerequisite(s): MUS 216.

GAM 401 Game Workshop I 3 Credits

Game Workshop I places students in multidisciplinary project teams. Each team will create a game prototype over the course of the semester that demonstrates each student’s mastery of their area of specialization and the each group’s ability to work together.

Prerequisite(s): GAM 310.

GAM 402 Game Workshop II 3 Credits

Game Workshop II places students in multidisciplinary project teams and builds on skills developed in Game Workshop I.

Prerequisite(s): GAM 310.

GAM 491 Internship in Game Design 3-6 Credits

Internship in Game Design places students in industry work environments, overseen by a site supervisor.

Prerequisite(s): GAM 310.

MUS 113 Popular Music Theory I 3 Credits

Popular Music Theory I covers basic elements of music, including the reading of music notation in traditional formats as well as in audio wave form and in the visualization of standard Digital Audio Workstations. Practice in scales and chords; ear-training in rhythm, pitch, and timbre. Techniques may be applied to the student’s own instrument (e.g., guitar, piano, voice)

Corequisite(s): MUS 113L.

MUS 213 Digital Comp of Pop Music I 3 Credits

This course is about “the doing of music”. It ties music theory to pragmatic concerns with keyboards and software in the making and distribution of music.

MUS 216 Digital Comp of Pop Music II 3 Credits

This course is about “the doing of music.” It ties music theory to pragmatic concerns with keyboards and software in the making and distribution of music, continuing the content begun in The Digital Composition of Popular Music I.

MUS 220 Pop Songwriting I 3 Credits

The Songwriting I course is an introduction to songwriting in popular music styles. Students will learn to compose music by themselves and collaboratively. This course will develop comprehensive musicianship and compositional techniques, as well as learn to use the software platforms Logic Pro X and Finale notation.

Prerequisite(s): MUS 110, MUS 110L.

MUS 316 Digital Mixing and Mastering 3 Credits

Digital Mixing and Mastering is a practical skills class focusing on post-production skills in software interfaces. Students will learn how to work with multiple editing softwares and plug-in tools to achieve balanced, lively, professional mixes.