MEAE: Technical Art 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 Arts Track Curriculum
Each of the graduate tracks have both shared and unique classes. Scroll to view the specific classes for each track.
- EAE 6300 – Technical Art I (3) (3 credit hours)
- EAE 6100 – Rapid Prototyping (4)
- EAE 6000 – Design I (3)
- EAE 6350 – Technical Art II (3)
- EAE 6110 – Projects I (4)
- EAE 6*** – Design II (3)
- EAE 6355 – Technical Art III (3)
- EAE 6120 – Projects II (4)
- EAE 6*** – Directed Elective (3)
- EAE 6360 – Technical Art IV (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 – Virtual Worlds
EAE 6015 – Paper Prototyping for Games
EAE 6025 – Serious Games
EAE 6030 – Experimental Gameplay
EAE 6035 – Narrative in Game Design
EAE 6900 (022) – User Experience
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 6350 - Technical Art I
This is a tools scripting course utilizing MAYA, MAYA Embedded Language (MEL), and Python. It is a project-based course where students will code several tools to increase efficiency in the art asset pipeline. Using specific Python in conjunction with MEL in the MAYA environment, students will make tools to automate many of the processes in the art asset pipeline specific to game development.
EAE 6355 - Technical Art II
This class will focus on the art of simplifying professional 3D character creation. From modeling to rigging, to animation. If time allows we can also touch on lighting and texturing. The students will be guided through an online curriculum designed and created by Andrew Silke, a 3D professional from Sydney, Australia, who has worked from small games studios to the biggest post effects houses in the world including Weta, Framestore, and Animal Logic. Andrew’s credits include many movies such as Gravity, Avatar, Harry Potter, and Happy Feet. Each of the four sections will have individual projects that will build to a final animation project. In addition to the instructor’s guidance, students will have the opportunity to follow video curriculum created by Andrew Silke.
EAE 6360 - Technical Art III
A project-based course utilizing Motion Capture (MoCap) through the MVN system and Autodesk Motionbuilder. Using the MoCap system and Motionbuilder, students will learn the technology behind the MoCap system, will direct MoCap sessions, will prepare motion data using many techniques, will use Motion Builder to create associations with models, and will employ the motion data and models into a game engine.
Sample Directed Electives for Technical Artists
EAE 6600 – 3D Modelling
EAE 6605 – Adv 3D Character Production
EAE 6620 – Env. Art for Games
EAE 6630 – Hard Surface Modeling
EAE 6640 – Digital Fig. Sculpting
EAE 6670 – Texturing for 3D
EAE 6900 (011) – Character Design
EAE 6900 (016) – Shader Development
EAE 6900 (018) – Mobile Games Pipeline
EAE 6900 (017) - Game Systems Design