Visual_Game_Programming

Visual & GameProgramming

I want to bring ideas to life.

There’s a market for creative minds who have the talent and tenacity it takes to breathe life into the ideas behind video game levels, characters, and stories. Those who succeed in this competitive field are able to combine a programmer’s skills and an artist’s vision to take on both creative and technical challenges. If you think you’re ready to test yourself in that market, our Visual & Game Programming degree program is the place to start. Using industry-driven programming tools, you’ll enhance the skills you already have and develop the ones you’ll need to spark imaginations...and start a career where you do what you love. From start to finish, you’ll be surrounded and inspired by other talented, creatively driven students. And you’ll be pushed, challenged, and, above all else, supported by experienced faculty*. It’ll be intense. Demanding. All-consuming. And totally worth it.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors.

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Science in Visual & Game Programming

Quarter Credit Hours:
180
Timeframe:
12 Quarters

Gainful Employment

Outcomes

Bachelor of Science in Visual & Game Programming

Outcomes

See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/74 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

View Academic Catalog

Classroom Experience

I like the part about hard work and competition.

It’s not easy combining art and design skills with technical know-how. You’ll need to immerse yourself in our program, starting with the fundamentals—from design, color, and computer applications to image manipulation and cinematography. You’ll explore storyboarding and scripting techniques, build 3D models and create 2D and 3D animation. We’ll show you how to create an interactive game prototype, applying your design, production, scripting, and storyboarding skills. Then you can develop intricate design techniques for game levels, characters, objects, and weapons. You can map sophisticated textures and explore UV mapping and lighting techniques. You’ll work long hours—and you’ll find yourself challenged by other like-minded students. See our gainful employment pages for possible careers that match the program that interests you.

Meet Our Alumni

  • Eric Schwartz

    Digital Filmmaking & Video Production , 2013

    "[My education gave me] the knowledge, skills, and team working abilities that I need and use every day."

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    Eric Schwartz

    Eric Schwartz is working as a creative services producer at KDRV News Watch 12 in Medford, Oregon. He’s responsible for conceptualizing, producing, and delivering commercials. “What I enjoy most about my career is never knowing what will come next,” he says. Eric adds that his career challenges his creativity and that he learns something new each day.

    He says that reaching people on a personal level is one of the most rewarding parts of his career. “They are projects that aren't out to make a name brand or make a lot of money, but projects that help to spread positive messages that are meant to help out local communities.” These include “You Can Play” video for Portland State University Campus and a “Habitat for Humanity” video. Eric adds that he’s influenced by people who’ve supported him—especially during his time in the military. Eric served in the United States Navy for four years as a hospital corpsman.

    Eric, who in 2013 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Film & Video from The Art Institute of Portland, says that his education helped to prepare him for his creative career. “[It gave me] the knowledge, skills, and team working abilities that I need and use every day.” He recommends that current students take risks and challenges that others won’t. “If things are not how you imagined they would be, find a new way to look at them. Tackle every job with a positive attitude.”

    See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/64 program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • Karina Reed

    Fashion Design , 2014

    "The range of experience I gained in school opened my eyes to all the different facets of apparel design and the various careers that were possible with my degree."

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    Karina Reed

    Karina Reed is working as an assistant product developer and designer for Kroger/Fred Meyer in Portland. She’s responsible for communicating with factories, assisting senior designers with collections, and collaborating with buying team. “Most of my day is spent reviewing artwork, fit, and color submits with senior designers, specialists, and buyers—and communicating approvals or changes to factories,” she says. Karina also researches trends for upcoming seasons and analyzes selling for current and past seasons. She points out the best perk of her job—traveling the world for development trips.

    Karina is a past winner of Sock It To Me’s “Design-A-Sock Competition,” earning the top spot over 5,500 other entries. “It's a surreal experience walking into a store and seeing my design for sale, and knowing that people all over the country have bought them,” she says. Karina also saw her senior collection on the runway at Portland Fashion Week. “Getting to share it with my friends and classmates made it even more special because we had all gone through the same struggles to reach that goal.”

    Karina, who in 2014 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Apparel Design from The Art Institute of Portland, says that her education helped her to choose the right career path for her interests and talents. “I honestly never considered product development as a possible career path until I took Tech Sketching and Digital Surface Design [class] and realized how much I enjoy designing digitally.” She recommends that current students be aware of how they’re presenting themselves during interviews. “From your portfolio to your handshake to your shoes, you are constantly being judged in this field. It would be nice if skill was the only thing that mattered but in reality people often hire the person they most want to work with, or whose aesthetic most closely lines up with theirs. Do your research, know your stuff, and always be prepared to defend your work.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/60 program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • Ty Johnson

    Media Arts & Animation , 2005

    "I like to tell people that I play with dolls for a living. In truth I'm more like a digital sculptor."

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    Ty Johnson

    Ty Johnson is working as a 3D Modeler for LAIKA, an animation studio in Hillsboro, Oregon. He creates characters based off of drawings and clay maquettes, but has the opportunity to incorporate his own flavor into them. “It is up to me to ensure my creations are aesthetically pleasing and also meet specific technical standards established by riggers, texture artist, animators and everyone else downstream,” he says. He’s especially excited to be part of the team responsible for the Oscar-nominated film, “The Boxtrolls.” “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love making internationally recognized Oscar-nominated films. Being a part of something as huge as ‘Paranorman,’ ‘The Boxtrolls,’ and ‘Kubo and The Two Strings’ has given me the opportunity to share my passion with literally millions of people.”

    The process that Ty uses to create a character is incredibly intricate. Each puppet he models is further broken into over 72 mechanical parts. “These mechanisms allow for the articulation of eyeballs, glowing ears, and the swapping of magnetic facial expressions.” Each character is unique and requires custom internals, so Ty utilizes 3D printing to get the intricate parts to fit and function properly. “[It] is the hardest yet most rewarding part of my job.” Like many in his industry, he is inspired by the work of Jim Henson. “I can’t help but think of Jim Henson and his amazing puppets when I’m at work. I am a 90s child and Jim’s fingerprints were on everything I grew up with. He’s definitely a hero of mine.”

    Ty, who in 2005 earned a Bachelor of Science in Media Arts & Animation from The Art Institute of Portland, says that his education taught him a valuable lesson in adaptation. As he was working toward his degree, the school updated its software from what it had been using to reflect a new industry standard. “I was distraught and worried that I was starting over. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. The truth is that technology moves fast, standards change, and if you can’t adapt you’ll be left in the dust.” Ty said that the experience he gained in learning the new technology has played out time and time again now that he’s a professional. “Now when I learn about new tools and software I look forward to it like a kid on Christmas Eve.”

    See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/73 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.



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What Will I Study?

Visual_Game_Programming_Study_Section

I want to make a name for myself. And earn a living.

I want to make a name for myself. And earn a living. The rigorous, intensely hands-on Visual & Game Programming curriculum combines traditional animation skills with the technical skills to create three-dimensional graphics animation. You’ll work with classmates on team projects as you study:
  • Interactive Experience Design
  • Programming for the Artist
  • Game Design and Game Play
  • Character and Object Design
  • Scriptwriting and Storyboarding for Games
  • Gaming Algorithms
  • Interactive Design Concepts
  • Logic and Representation
  • Physics of Motion, Light & Sound
  • Sculpture for Animators
  • Game Scripting
  • Interface Design for Games
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Developing Rich Media Applications
  • Level Design
  • Webpage Layout and Design
  • Programming for Visual Simulations
  • Interactive Game Prototyping

I'm looking for my proving ground.

At< The Art Institutes system of schools, creativity is our core, our calling, our culture. Our Visual & Game Programming degree program is built on that creative foundation. It’s also built on our knowledge that a creative career is not for the faint of heart. Because it’s tough out there, it’s tough in here. But we temper the tough with the support you need to make your creativity marketable. We provide the mentoring and real-world experience you need to prevail, with faculty* who’ve worked in the field and internship possibilities at successful businesses. Here, you’ll be encouraged and expected to be bold. To take risks. To push yourself and the people around you. So if your heart is telling you that you belong in a creative field, you belong here. It’s the hardest thing you’ll ever love.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors.

 

Meet Our Faculty

  • Annin Barrett

    Fashion Design

    "Creative energy gets noticed—and attracts opportunities."

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    Annin Barrett

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    While I was working toward an art degree, I was awarded a studio space for creating art. I spent most of my time in that studio creating large paintings and drawings for a gallery show. When the show was a success, I wanted to keep pushing forward in the creative art world.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I take real-world projects and problems from advertising, interactive design, page layout, and creative typography and bring them into the classroom—along with real clients to critique student work. We also visit local design companies to look at new technologies.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I often assign a process work book for students to fill with sketches, ideas and concepts throughout the term. It demonstrates the progress of a project from early stages to completion with full graphic renderings.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

    Pulling together students’ strengths and skill sets from across all design disciplines, with each student assigned a certain task, helps flesh out the whole project as a unified whole.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    My goal for all of my students is to gain a better understanding of art and design through the context of thinking and understanding design solutions. I expect them to understand general theoretical concepts, and I encourage them to explore fine art, design history and theory so they can understand current practices in modern and postmodern media.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Curiosity will take you places you never thought you’d go.

    Read More...
  • Salvatore Reda

    Graphic & Web Design

    "Curiosity will take you places you never thought you'd go."

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    Salvatore Reda

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    While I was working toward an art degree, I was awarded a studio space for creating art. I spent most of my time in that studio creating large paintings and drawings for a gallery show. When the show was a success, I wanted to keep pushing forward in the creative art world.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I take real-world projects and problems from advertising, interactive design, page layout, and creative typography and bring them into the classroom—along with real clients to critique student work. We also visit local design companies to look at new technologies.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I often assign a process work book for students to fill with sketches, ideas and concepts throughout the term. It demonstrates the progress of a project from early stages to completion with full graphic renderings.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

    Pulling together students’ strengths and skill sets from across all design disciplines, with each student assigned a certain task, helps flesh out the whole project as a unified whole.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    My goal for all of my students is to gain a better understanding of art and design through the context of thinking and understanding design solutions. I expect them to understand general theoretical concepts, and I encourage them to explore fine art, design history and theory so they can understand current practices in modern and postmodern media.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Curiosity will take you places you never thought you’d go.

    Read More...
The Art Institute of Michigan alumni Calvert Griffin [My education] helped me to learn how to be an effective teammate and work well with others. Calvert Griffin
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, 2014, The Art Institute of Michigan