Main Menu

Research Menu

Other EAE Sites

Home MEAE: Game Design Track Coursework

The Master of Entertainment Arts and Engineering degree is designed as a cohort model where students from all five tracks remain together throughout the two year program (fall and spring semesters only). Students take a series of courses focused on their specialty, as well as a series of classes with students from other tracks including game design, rapid prototyping, pre-production, and final projects. Each track also has a concentrated set of electives to choose from.

Students typically enroll in three courses each semester for the two years they are in the program (see below for a sample program of study).

Sample Game Design Track Curriculum (new for 2024-2025)

Each of the graduate tracks have both shared and unique classes. Scroll to view the specific classes for each track.

Fall 1

  • EAE 6*** – Game Design I (3) (3 credit hours)
  • EAE 6100 – Rapid Prototyping (4)
  • EAE 6000 – Game Design (3)

Spring 1

  • EAE 6*** – Game Design II (3)
  • EAE 6110 – Game Studio (4)
  • EAE 6*** – Game Design Elective (3)
    • drawn from one of the following:
      • EAE6010 -Level Design (3)
      • EAE6015 - Paper Prototyping for Game Design (3)
      • EAE6020 - Ethics in Games (3)
      • EAE6025 - Serious Games (3)
      • EAE6030 - Experimental Gameplay (3)
      • EAE6035 - Narrative in Game Design (3)
      • EAE6040 - Games User Research (3)
      • EAE6045 - Game User Interface Design (3)
      • EAE6050 - Game Systems Design (3)
      • EAE6900 - Special Topics (1 - 4)

Fall 2

  • EAE 6*** – Game Design III (3)
  • EAE 6120 – Advanced Game Studio I (4)
  • EAE 6*** – Directed Elective (3)

Spring 2

  • EAE 6*** – Game Design IV (3)
  • EAE 6130 – Advanced Game studio II (4)
  • EAE 6*** – Directed Elective (3)

Course Descriptions:

EAE 6000 - Game Design 

Game design is at the core of the game development process. While the term “game designer” appears in various forms of game writing, design is frequently an eclectic and collaborative process. All MEAE students study game design, so that they may both have an opportunity to participate in the creative direction of games as well as better understand the design process.

This is the first of two seminars a student will take designed to educate students about how games are designed and produced. Design I is focused on a ludological approach to games, focusing on game mechanics, production processes, and game theory. Students will read works covering game history, ludology, as well as current practices in game development.

EAE 6XXX - Game Design Elective

Game Design elective is the second seminar in which students study and design games as well as investigate the process of game creation. This requirement is met by taking one of a variety of courses offered and can focus on the final stages of game design and production, narrative approaches to games, user experiences, or ethics in games. Students will learn about critical perspectives, genre development, elements of game genres, traditions, and trajectories, as well as game post-production. Students will learn how to conduct and write a postmortem in addition to a game critique.

    • Sample Design electives:

      EAE 6010 – Level Design
      EAE 6015 – Paper Prototyping
      EAE 6020 – Ethics in Games
      EAE 6025 – Serious Games
      EAE 6030 – Experimental Gameplay
      EAE 6035 – Narrative in Game Design
      EAE 6040 – Games User Research
      EAE 6045 – Games User Interface Design
      EAE 6050 – Game Systems Design

EAE 6100 - Rapid Prototyping

This class is the first course of four in the game projects sequence. This section focuses primarily on rapid prototyping. Students will work in teams to pitch, prototype, and present games over a maximum of four weeks, resulting in a better more refined game pitch and prototype. During each prototype sprint, students will work on a different team. Additionally, a different design, aesthetic, or technical directive will define each sprint. Design requirements may vary from creating educational games, to specific genres. Teams will be made up of at least one producer, artist, and engineer. Four or five games will be prototyped using a variety of game engines and techniques.

EAE 6110 - Game Projects I

Game Projects I begins the three course team-based major game project. Students will work in teams to pitch, prototype, and begin development of their master’s game project. Instructors will meet regularly with students to both offer advice and criticism as the game progresses.

EAE 6120 - Game Projects II

Students will work in teams to finish development of their master’s game project and submit it to contests of festivals should they see fit. Instructors meet regularly with students to both offer advice and criticism as the game progresses.

EAE 6130 - Game Projects III

Students will continue to work with their team to polish and publish their master’s game project, as well as fill out their individual portfolio projects. Instructors continue to meet regularly with students.

EAE 6xxx - Game Design I

This course provides an overview of advanced concepts and skills related to communicating and presenting game design concepts within the games industry. Students will learn about foundational design principles, ideation, professional communication, wireframing, and the role of the designer within the larger game development team.

EAE 6xxx - Game Design II

This course provides students with a foundational knowledge in scripting for implementing game logic from a game design perspective. Students will learn how to use industry standard game engine scripting tools and languages to ideate, digitally prototype, and create production ready content. Course work will focus on planning, analyzing, and writing game scripts to implement student originated and instructor provided designs.

EAE 6xxx - Game Design III

This project oriented course requires students to independently design and implement game content that involves at least the following game design areas: level design, narrative design, system design. Students will design and produce a fully realized section of game world content in a game engine or industry standard production tool.

EAE 6xxx - Game Design IV

This course gives students an opportunity to engage deeply with a chosen specialization within the field of game design (e.g narrative design, systems design, combat design, level design) by developing a semester-long individual project. Students will work closely with the instructor, and through individualized mentorship will produce portfolio work.