MEAE: Game Engineering Track
The Master of Entertainment Arts and Engineering degree is designed as a cohort model where students from all four 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 Engineering Track Curriculum
Each of the graduate tracks have both shared and unique classes. Scroll to view the specific classes for each track.
- EAE 6300- C++ Game Programming (3 credit hours)
- EAE 6100 – Rapid Prototyping (4)
- EAE 6000 – Design I (3)
- EAE 6310 – Game Engineering I (3)
- EAE 6110 – Projects I (4)
- EAE 6*** – Design II (3)
- EAE 6320- Game Engineering II (3)
- EAE 6120 – Projects II (4)
- EAE 6*** – Directed Elective (3)
- EAE 6330- Game Engineering III (3)
- EAE 6130 – Projects III (4)
- EAE 6*** – Directed Elective (3)
EAE 6000 - Game Design I
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 II
Game Design II 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 II 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 6300 - C++ for Game Programming
This is the beginning masters level game programming course. We begin with a C++ refresher/review section to discuss the language including: source code management techniques; programming fundamentals; and basic memory management models. The class then delves deeply into how to use C++ to write highly performant game engine code including: efficient memory manipulation; performance tradeoffs of C++ language constructs; when templates and containers can and should be used in game engines; hidden costs of assorted data structures; etc. By the end of the course students will understand how and why C++ is used to write high performance code, specifically targeting video game engines.
EAE 6310 - Game Engineering I
Students will learn selected topics as applied to building a game engine. Topics will include: mathematics for games, data structures and algorithms for games, asset database systems, game pipeline processes, design patterns common to industry, and debugging systems used in the industry.
EAE 6320 - Game Engineering II
This course is a continuation of Game Engineering I and will be project driven. Students will learn selected topics by dissecting given game engines and applying them to the game engine built in Game Engineering I. Topics will include: high performance computing, GPU/parallel programming, low-level algorithm analysis, and cross platform development, and memory management.
EAE 6330 - Game Engineering III
This course is a continuation of Game Engineering II. Topics will include: code optimization, hardware, I/O devices, technical project management, game project architecture, industry standards and norms, shader programming, and networks for games.
Sample Directed Electives for Engineers
EAE 6900 (012) – A.I. for Games
EAE 6900 (016) – Shader Development
EAE 6900 (018) – Mobile Games Pipeline
EAE 6900 (017) - Game Systems Design