Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Game Art and Design Program Is A Careful Balance of Theory and Application

Across Ontario, there are many schools of game design. However, only one post-secondary institution can claim to be the first community college in the province and, therefore, hold an extremely reputable position in every industry for which it trains its students, including game design. In two years, Centennial College and its Game Art and Design prepare students for a range of career opportunities that include positions such as: character modeler and animator, level designer, texture artist, environment and effects artist and game concept artist. As 2007 graduate Helen Thatch sums up: “Now that I’ve finished the program, I can definitely look back and say that everything I’ve learned is relevant and has been applied where I’ve worked … I can tell you that if you choose this program, you will not regret it one bit. You will work very hard … but, you will learn a whole lot more — your skills will grow tenfold.”

Here is a closer look at what and how exactly students learn in Game Art and Design.

  • Because industry professionals and instructors developed the undertaking, it offers a forward-thinking approach towards the next wave of interactive games.

  • Offered by the School of Media, Communication and Design, this program is facilitated from Centennial College’s creative hub, The Centre for Creative Communications.

  • The Centre for Creative Communications plays a major role in the program as it is outfitted with labs that simulate a real-world production setting.

  • The computer labs, to which students have complete access so they may practice in their own time, contain all of the software they will encounter in the industry.

  • All of the classes in the offering are small in size so that students not only have one-on-one time with their instructors to ensure they understand each concept but also so that class discussion can take place to enhance learning.

  • Specific courses include: Creativity in Context, Game Theory, Character Design, Digital Painting, Life Drawing, Architectural Design, Lighting, Life Drawing, Post Effects and Material Editing.

  • Theory is balanced with hands-on learning allowing students to test out their skills in building 2D and 3D art assets for games and developing game environment and characters.

  • Access to industry events could lead to networking opportunities for students.

  • All of the learning that occurs within the game design program at Centennial College is complemented by a field placement, which prepares students for the industry in a few ways. First, students are expected to send their portfolio to the company of their choice to show their work. Secondly, students are expected to be proactive and seek out companies themselves and relay the information to their coordinator, who will assist them in obtaining a placement. Thirdly, students get to apply everything they have learned in the program to the real world.

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