Game Art and Production

Bachelor of Science Degree: 185.0 quarter credits

About the Program

Drexel's nationally-ranked Game Art & Production program combines a strong comprehension of animation and interactivity, along with an understanding of design, programming, and production.

The major mirrors a sector that has seen an explosion in gaming, not just in homes, but throughout industry and the corporate world. The gaming industry has grown from just a source of entertainment to one that also encompasses the use of "serious gaming," where gaming technologies are used in education and training.

Fully immersive games now use new methods of interaction, such as multi-touch displays, motion control and haptic devices. To best prepare themselves for the demands of careers in these cutting-edge disciplines, students pursue a foundation of design and technology, taking core courses in all aspects of digital media, completing a six month co-op and delving into rigorous coursework in many areas of specialization.

To complement the creative focus of the new game art & production major, a sister concentration in game programming and development is offered as part of Drexel's major in computer science.

Additional Information

To find out more about this major, visit the Westphal College’s Game Art and Production Major page.

Degree Requirements 

General education requirements
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: The Craft of Persuasion3.0
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Thematic Analysis Across Genres3.0
COM 230Techniques of Speaking3.0
MATH 101Introduction to Analysis I4.0
PHYS 121Physical Science for Design I4.0
PHYS 122Physical Science for Design II4.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience2.0
Arts and humanities elective3.0
History (HIST) elective3.0
Literature (ENGL) elective3.0
Social science electives9.0
Free electives24.0
Art and art history Requirements
ARTH 102History of Art II: High Renaissance to Modern3.0
ARTH 103History of Art- Early to Late Modern3.0
ARTH 300 [WI] History of Modern Design3.0
VSST 108Design I for Media3.0
VSST 109Design II for Media3.0
VSST 110Introductory Drawing3.0
VSST 111Figure Drawing I3.0
Media and computer science requirements
CS 171Computer Programming I3.0
CS 172Computer Programming II3.0
FMVD 110Basic Shooting and Lighting3.0
FMVD 206Audio Production and Post3.0
VSCM 240Typography I3.0
SCRP 270 [WI] Screenwriting I3.0
Digital media core requirements
ANIM 140Computer Graphics Imagery I3.0
ANIM 141Computer Graphic Imagery II3.0
ANIM 152Multimedia Timeline Design3.0
ANIM 211Animation I3.0
DIGM 100Digital Design Tools3.0
DIGM 105Overview of Digital Media3.0
DIGM 223Creative Concept Design3.0
DIGM 250Professional Practices3.0
DIGM 350 [WI] Digital Storytelling3.0
DIGM 451 [WI] Explorations in New Media3.0
DIGM 475 [WI] Seminar: The Future of Digital Media3.0
DIGM 492Senior Project in Digital Media I3.0
DIGM 493Senior Project in Digital Media II3.0
DIGM 494Senior Project in Digital Media III3.0
GMAP 260Overview of Computer Gaming3.0
WBDV 240Web Authoring I3.0
WBDV 241Vector Authoring I3.0
Gaming requirements
ANIM 212Animation II3.0
ANIM 215History of Animation3.0
ANIM 388Spatial Data Capture3.0
GMAP 345Game Development Foundations3.0
GMAP 377Game Development: Workshop I3.0
GMAP 378Game Development: Workshop II3.0
GMAP 421Advanced Game Art Production3.0
Select two of the following Gaming Electives:6.0
Serious Games
Experimental Games
Character Animation for Gaming
Artificial Intelligence in Gaming
Mobile Game Development
Total Credits185.0


Writing-Intensive Course Requirements

In order to graduate, all students must pass three writing-intensive courses after their freshman year. Two writing-intensive courses must be in a student's major. The third can be in any discipline. Students are advised to take one writing-intensive class each year, beginning with the sophomore year, and to avoid “clustering” these courses near the end of their matriculation. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.

A "WI" next to a course in this catalog may indicate that this course can fulfill a writing-intensive requirement. For the most up-to-date list of writing-intensive courses being offered, students should check the Writing Intensive Course List at the University Writing Center. Students scheduling their courses can also conduct a search for courses with the attribute "WI" to bring up a list of all writing-intensive courses available that term. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.


 Sample Plan of Study

 

Term 1Credits
DIGM 100Digital Design Tools3.0
DIGM 105Overview of Digital Media3.0
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
PHYS 121Physical Science for Design I4.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience1.0
VSST 110Introductory Drawing3.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 2
ANIM 140Computer Graphics Imagery I3.0
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: The Craft of Persuasion3.0
FMVD 110Basic Shooting and Lighting3.0
PHYS 122Physical Science for Design II4.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience1.0
VSST 108Design I for Media3.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 3
ANIM 141Computer Graphic Imagery II3.0
ANIM 152Multimedia Timeline Design3.0
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Thematic Analysis Across Genres3.0
MATH 101Introduction to Analysis I4.0
VSST 109Design II for Media3.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 4
ANIM 211Animation I3.0
CS 171Computer Programming I3.0
DIGM 223Creative Concept Design3.0
GMAP 260Overview of Computer Gaming3.0
WBDV 240Web Authoring I3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 5
ANIM 212Animation II3.0
ANIM 215History of Animation3.0
ARTH 102History of Art II: High Renaissance to Modern3.0
COOP 101Career Management and Professional Development0.0
CS 172Computer Programming II3.0
WBDV 241Vector Authoring I3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 6
ARTH 103History of Art- Early to Late Modern3.0
FMVD 206Audio Production and Post3.0
GMAP 345Game Development Foundations3.0
SCRP 270 [WI] Screenwriting I3.0
VSCM 240Typography I3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 7
ANIM 388Spatial Data Capture3.0
COM 230Techniques of Speaking3.0
DIGM 250Professional Practices3.0
DIGM 350 [WI] Digital Storytelling3.0
VSST 111Figure Drawing I3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 8
ARTH 300 [WI] History of Modern Design3.0
DIGM 451 [WI] Explorations in New Media3.0
GMAP 377Game Development: Workshop I3.0
Free elective3.0
Gaming elective*3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 9
GMAP 378Game Development: Workshop II3.0
Social science elective3.0
Arts and Humanities elective 3.0
Gaming elective*3.0
Free elective 3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 10
DIGM 492Senior Project in Digital Media I3.0
GMAP 421Advanced Game Art Production3.0
Social science elective3.0
Arts and Humanities elective3.0
Free elective3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 11
DIGM 493Senior Project in Digital Media II3.0
Free electives9.0
Social science elective3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 12
DIGM 475 [WI] Seminar: The Future of Digital Media3.0
DIGM 494Senior Project in Digital Media III3.0
Arts and Humanities elective3.0
Free electives 6.0
 Term Credits15.0
Total Credit: 185.0

*

 See degree requirements.


Co-Op/Career Opportunities


Drexel students have broad training in all areas of game design and production, and our students have career opportunities in both entertainment gaming and the broader simulation/training industries.

Co-Op Experiences

In an industry where the process of building a career often begins with a few key contacts, the co-op program gives Drexel students the chance to begin meeting people and networking.  A recent co-op student at Microsoft Studios worked with producers on several different titles and was offered a job in his junior year that was waiting for him after he completed his senior year.

In addition to the large entertainment companies, students have opportunities to explore how game design is applicable to many local industries ranging from pharmaceuticals to aircraft. 

Career Experiences

Our students work in leading entertainment companies including Microsoft Studios, Disney, EA GAmes, Blizzard, Zynga, 343 Industries, Midway, and NCsoft.  Other students chose smaller studios or launch their own companies.  Many students chose to work outside of the leading studios by applying their game production skills to more serious endeavors for companies including Lockheed, Comcast, Vanguard, and The Ride Works.

Jobs titles range from Technical Artist, Lead Cinematic Animator, Program Manager, Associate Producer, Marketing Manager, Animator, Facial Capture Artist, Motion Capture Associate, Simulation Developer, etc.

Visit the Drexel Steinbright Career Development Center page for more detailed information on co-op and post-graduate opportunities, or Drexel's RePlay Lab careers page.

Dual Accelerated Degrees

BS/MS in Digital Media

The accelerated degree programs enable academically qualified students to earn both a bachelor's and a master's degree in five years instead of six — graduating sooner than they would in traditional programs.  In addition, the graduate-level courses students take in their junior and senior years are included in their undergraduate tuition, which saves almost a year's worth of their MS tuition.

Current Drexel students may apply for the an accelerated degree programs through the Office of Graduate Studies after completing 90.0 credits, but no more than 120.0 credits. Many of our accelerated students have gone on to careers at leading companies including Pixar, Microsoft Studios, Dreamworks, NCSoft, and Disney.

Facilities

Our facilities include more than 100 triple-boot MacPro and Boxx Technology workstations, a 16 camera Vicon motion capture studio, green screen room, a 2-ton motion platform theme park ride, FTIR multitouch displays, laser scanner, stereoscopic projector, eye tracker, fNIR and EEG brain interfaces, and 3D theater, recording studios, etc.  Students use professional software including Unreal, Unity3D, Maya, 3D Studio Max, Houdini, Massive, etc.

More information can be found at Drexel RePlay Lab's Facilities page.

Courses

GMAP 260 Overview of Computer Gaming 3.0 Credits

This course presents an overview of computer gaming, including its history, its foundation in traditional games and its contemporary forms. The relationship among genres, platforms and audiences are examined and critical evaluation skills are developed.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Cannot enroll if classification is Freshman

GMAP 345 Game Development Foundations 3.0 Credits

This course introduces students to the computer game design process. Students also learn how the individual skills of modeling, animation, scripting, interface design and storytelling are coordinated to produce interactive media experiences.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: (ANIM 141 [Min Grade: D] or DIGM 141 [Min Grade: D] or CS 265 [Min Grade: D]) and (DIGM 260 [Min Grade: D] or GMAP 260 [Min Grade: D])

GMAP 347 Serious Games 3.0 Credits

This course explores development of games for education. Goals include understanding and appreciating the psychology of play and the principles of game design in developing educational games.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: GMAP 378 [Min Grade: D]

GMAP 348 Experimental Games 3.0 Credits

This course explores new ideas and innovative gameplay through constraints of team size and shortened development cycles.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: GMAP 377 [Min Grade: D]

GMAP 367 Character Animation for Gaming 3.0 Credits

This course focuses on character animation techniques for real-time graphics, including cyclical animations, procedural animation, motion capture and integration into game engines.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: ANIM 212 [Min Grade: D] and GMAP 345 [Min Grade: D]

GMAP 368 Artificial Intelligence in Gaming 3.0 Credits

This course teaches the use and integration of state machines into game engines, as well as other methods for creating and controlling Non Player Characters (NPCs).

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: GMAP 345 [Min Grade: D] and CS 172 [Min Grade: D]

GMAP 369 Mobile Game Development 3.0 Credits

This course explores development of games for mbile platforms. Specifically addressed will be platform issues such as processor speed, screen resolution, user interface and memory.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: GMAP 377 [Min Grade: D]

GMAP 377 Game Development: Workshop I 3.0 Credits

This course examines the roles of the executive producer and the development team in taking a computer game from concept to design document through production. Students will work in small teams to research andplan a production effort that results in a pre-production prototype.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: GMAP 345 [Min Grade: D] or DIGM 345 [Min Grade: D]

GMAP 378 Game Development: Workshop II 3.0 Credits

This course provides an environment in which the pre-production of GMAP 377 Game Development: Workshop I can be taken through a full production effort. Students work in small teams to bring a selected prototype to completion.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: GMAP 377 [Min Grade: D] or DIGM 361 [Min Grade: D]

GMAP 399 Independent Project in Game Art and Production 0.5-12.0 Credits

Supervised planning and execution of a project in the area of Game Art and Production.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Can be repeated multiple times for credit
Restrictions: Cannot enroll if classification is Freshman

GMAP 421 Advanced Game Art Production 3.0 Credits

This course will step through the various modules of game engines, enabling students to gain access to real-time shaders and materials, particle systems and animation techniques.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: GMAP 377 [Min Grade: D]

GMAP 465 Special Topics in Game Production 3.0 Credits

Addresses current topics in Game Art and Production. May be repeated for credit if topics vary.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Can be repeated multiple times for credit
Restrictions: Cannot enroll if classification is Freshman

Cinema and Television Faculty

Ian N. Abrams, BA (Duke University) Program Director, Screenwriting and Playwriting Program. Associate Professor. Movies, film, TV, screenwriting, Hollywood.
Ted Artz, BFA (Tyler School of Art, Temple University). Associate Professor. Digital media.
John Avarese, BS (Drexel University). Assistant Teaching Professor. Composer, film and video scores, mixing and sound design.
David Culver, AS (Graham Junior College) Manager of the Paul F. Harron Studios/DUTV. Associate Teaching Professor. Film and video.
David Deneen, BFA (Philadelphia College of Art). Associate Teaching Professor. Film & video.
Paul Diefenbach, PhD (University of Pennsylvania) Associate Program Director, Game Art & Production. Assistant Professor. Game development, real-time rendering.
Jeremy Fernsler, BA (Pennsylvania State University ). Assistant Teaching Professor. Digital effects artist; compositor and animator for the feature film visual effects industry.
Troy Finamore, MS (Drexel University) Associate Program Director, Interactive Digital Media. Assistant Teaching Professor. Advertising, design and interactivity.
Bruce Graham, BA (Indiana University of Pennsylvania). Associate Teaching Professor. Playwright.
Gerard M. Hooper, MFA (Temple University). Associate Teaching Professor. Film and video; European and non-western cinema.
D. B. Jones, PhD (Stanford University) Dean, Pennoni Honors College. Professor. Film and video; cinema studies.
Nick Jushchyshyn, MFA (Academy of Art University) Associate Program Director, Animation and Visual Effects. Visual effects, digital media and animation.
Matt Kaufhold, MA (University of North Carolina). Associate Teaching Professor. Screenwriting.
Karin P. Kelly, MFA (New York University) Program Director, Film and Video. Associate Professor. Film and video; filmmaker and author.
Yvonne D. Leach, MFA (Temple University) Department Head, Cinema and Television Studies. Associate Professor. Television studies.
David Mauriello, BA (Lafayette College). Assistant Professor. 3D modeling and animation.
Jocelyn Motter, MFA (American Film Institute). Assistant Teaching Professor. Editing.
Glen Muschio, PhD (Temple University). Associate Professor. Digital media, society, communication.
Lise Raven, MFA (New York University). Assistant Professor. Filmmaker.
Philip W. Salas, BS (Temple University). Assistant Teaching Professor. Utilization of advanced set top box data to measure fragmented viewing behavior. Impact of new television distribution technologies on traditional broadcasters and multichannel program providers.
David A. Schwartz, BA (Rider University). Associate Teaching Professor. Steadicam operator; cameraman.
Andrew Susskind, BA (Harvard University) Program Director of TV Production & Media Management. Associate Teaching Professor. Independent television producer and director.
Albert S. Tedesco, MA (University of Pennsylvania) Director of the Paul F. Harron Graduate Program in Television Management. Associate Teaching Professor. Impact of digital media on broadcast television; broadcasters' response to the challenge of new media; management of publicly and privately held communications companies.
Jervis Thompson, BS (Drexel University). Associate Teaching Professor. Digital media, interactive multimedia.
Christine Vachon Visiting Professor. Independent film production.
Michael Wagner, PhD (Vienna University of Technology) Program Director, Digital Media. Associate Professor. Educational use of digital media and computer games.
Gregory S. Wolmart, MFA (University of Pennsylvania). Assistant Professor. Cinema studies; film history.
Jichen Zhu, PhD (Georgia Institute of Technology). Assistant Professor. Developing humanistic and interpretive framework of computational technology, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), and constructing AI-based cultural artifacts; interactive storytelling, games and software studies.

Interdepartmental Faculty

Lawrence Epstein, MBA (Cornell University) Interim Department Head, Arts & Entertainment Enterprise. Associate Teaching Professor.
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