The Upside-Down Approach

The Upside-Down Approach

One of the reasons graduates from our game programming majors do so well in the marketplace is our Upside-Down curriculum. This unique educational approach engages our students in relevant classes in their major starting in their first semester. While students at other institutions may need to wait until their sophomore or junior year to take even one class in their major, students at Champlain will take many by the end of their first year.

The benefits for students studying any aspect of game development is tremendous. They quickly develop real-world skills and are ready to take game industry internships and jobs far earlier in their college career than if they did not experience Champlain’s Upside-Down curriculum. These students have more time to practice and enjoy their game skills and have the time to build amazing portfolios and highly marketable resumes.

Game Art & Animation Courses

Game Artists begin with a foundation in traditional media. This includes drawing, painting, visual design, and motion design. From these building blocks students can choose many areas to specialize: 2D graphics, animation, and interface design, 3D modeling, texturing, and animation, concept art, character development, and environment art.

Year 1

  • Visual Digital Fundamentals – the basics of visual design.
  • Game History and Development – learn about the industry and team-based development.
  • Art History – Survey of art history.
  • Introduction to Game Art and Animation – Explore 2D and 3D forms and tools, as well as the work of a game artist.
  • Anatomy and Perspective – a traditional drawing class focusing on the human figure in space.

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Game Design Courses

Game Design requires a broad range of knowledge from psychology to game engine scripting. You will find this depth throughout the curriculum and you’ll have plenty of options to specialize in Game System Design, Level/Content Design, or Narrative Design.

Year 1

  • Visual Digital Fundamentals – the basics of visual design.
  • Game History and Development – learn about the industry and team-based development.
  • Cognitive Psychology – explore human behavior and what motivates our decision-making process.
  • Introduction to Game Design – explore the role of the game designer and game systems, level, and narrative design processes.
  • Introduction to Computer Theory – a survey course to introduce basic programming skills and theories.

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Game Programming Courses

The Game Programming major is an intense and challenging degree built on a foundation of math, programming skills and software engineering practices. With this base, students can then explore the sub-systems that add graphics, physics, and artificial intelligence into modern game engines. They must then take this technical expertise and collaborate with content providers (artist, animators, and designers) in order to craft solutions to subsequently larger and more complex games. As a result, graduates understand how to engineer games from the low-level network protocols and graphics shaders to implementing the latest game engines for high-level solutions to artificial intelligence or game mechanics.

Year 1

  • Applied Calculus – This course teaches the common application of calculus theories.
  • Game History and Development – learn about the industry and team-based development.
  • Introduction to Programming – the first of a two course sequence in C++ programming.
  • Math for 3D Graphics – Math for 3D Graphics teaches you about the mathematical basis that underlies software development in the field of 3D graphics and game programming.
  • Game Technology I – an introduction to scripting in a 2D environment and building game mechanics.
  • Advanced Programming – and advanced class in C++ programming as well as good practices for coding.

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Game Production Management Courses

The B.S. Degree in Game Production Management is designed for the student who is passionate about both Business and Creative Media. It will provide a student with the opportunity to have a Business core that includes integrated courses in business, marketing, corporate social responsibility and international business (with an emphasis on the global economy), as well as courses in quantitative methods, accounting, finance, economics and business law. Students will be able to take additional business courses that include Project Management, Organizational Management and electives from business and marketing offerings as well as 18 or more credits in a creative discipline including Broadcast and Streaming Media, Publishing, Digital Film, Game Production and Graphic Design.

Year 1

  • Integrated Business Experience: Business Foundation
  • Quantitative Language of Business
  • Game History and Development – learn about the industry and team-based development
  • Integrated Business Experience: Marketing Decision-making
  • Financial Accounting – This course introduces the student to accounting from the point of view of the user of financial reports and is appropriate for personal as well as business applications.
  • Consumer Behavior – Provides an introduction to consumer behavior including consumer personalities, values and motivations and differences between consumer and organizational buying.

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