Associate of Applied Science - Video Game Development    Click here to request more info


Program Contacts

Program Director Ruth Alsobrook-Hurich (928) 776-2076
Dean Stacey Hilton (928) 717-7775

Quick Facts


About the Associate of Applied Science - Video Game Development

The Associate of Applied Science degree in Video Game Development prepares students for entry into the cutting edge career field of the design and creation of video games for commercial, casual and educational markets for use on PCs, MACs, Smartphones, tablets and game consoles.

Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Video Game Development Degree program, the learner will be able to:

 
  1. Create video games suitable for use on a PC or MAC. (VGD 121, VGD 122, VGD 171, VGD 172)
  2. Create video games suitable for use on the Web. (VGD 121, VGD 122) 
  3. Create video games suitable for use on handheld devices. (VGD 222)
  4. Create static and animated 3D objects suitable for use in video games. (VGD 151, VGD 152, VGD 251, VGD 252)
  5. Design and create video games in multiple genres. (VGD 122, VGD 171, VGD 172, VGD 221, VGD 222, VGD 281, VGD 282)
  6. Design, create, and deploy a video game through a commercial marketing channel. (VGD 281, VGD 282, VGD 293, VGD 294)
 

General and Program-Specific Requirements

Course Course Title Hours
I.  General Education
  A.  Foundation Studies (12 credits)
       1.  College Composition or Applied Communication - Select Option a or b:
          a.  Writing (6 credits)
Choose two courses from approved list
 
Show / hide all applied communication/writing courses

Applied Communication/Writing Courses

You may select from the following courses to fulfill the requirements of the applied communication/writing component of this degree.

CourseTitleHours
BSA105 Business English   3
CRW139 Intro to Creative Writing   3
ENG101 College Composition I   3
ENG102 College Composition II   3
ENG103 College Composition I Honors   3
ENG104 College Composition II Honors   3
ENG136 Technical Writing   3
JRN150 Mediawriting and Reporting   3
IWR = This course meets the requirements of the Intensive Writing/Critical Inquiry awareness area.
ERG = This course meets the requirements of the Ethnic/Race/Gender awareness area.
GIH = This course meets the requirements of the Global/International or Historical awareness area.
          b.  Writing AND Communication (6 credits)
Choose one course from each list
 
Show / hide all applied communication/writing courses

Applied Communication/Writing Courses

You may select from the following courses to fulfill the requirements of the applied communication/writing component of this degree.

CourseTitleHours
BSA105 Business English   3
CRW139 Intro to Creative Writing   3
ENG101 College Composition I   3
ENG102 College Composition II   3
ENG103 College Composition I Honors   3
ENG104 College Composition II Honors   3
ENG136 Technical Writing   3
JRN150 Mediawriting and Reporting   3
IWR = This course meets the requirements of the Intensive Writing/Critical Inquiry awareness area.
ERG = This course meets the requirements of the Ethnic/Race/Gender awareness area.
GIH = This course meets the requirements of the Global/International or Historical awareness area.
AND
 
Show / hide all applied communication/comm. courses

Applied Communication/Comm. Courses

You may select from the following courses to fulfill the requirements of the applied communication/comm. component of this degree.

CourseTitleHours
BSA233 Business Communication   3
COM100 Intro Human Communication   3
COM131 Fund Speech Communication   3
COM134 Interpersonal Communication   3
COM135 Workplace Communication Skills   3
COM200 Communication Theory   3
COM271 Small Group Communication   3
IWR = This course meets the requirements of the Intensive Writing/Critical Inquiry awareness area.
ERG = This course meets the requirements of the Ethnic/Race/Gender awareness area.
GIH = This course meets the requirements of the Global/International or Historical awareness area.
       2.  Numeracy (3 credits)
 
Show / hide all quantitative literacy courses

Quantitative Literacy Courses

You may select from the following courses to fulfill the requirements of the quantitative literacy component of this degree.

CourseTitleHours
MAT100 Technical Mathematics   3
MAT122 Intermediate Algebra   3
MAT142 College Mathematics   3
MAT152 College Algebra   3
MAT156 Math/Elementary Teachers I   3
MAT157 Math/Elementary Teachers II   3
MAT167 Elementary Statistics   3
MAT172 Finite Mathematics   3
MAT183 Trigonometry   2
MAT187 Precalculus   5
MAT212 Survey of Calculus   3
MAT220 Calculus & Analytic Geometry I   5
MAT230 Calculus & Analytic Geomtry II   5
MAT241 Calculus III   4
MAT262 Elementary Differential Equatn   3
IWR = This course meets the requirements of the Intensive Writing/Critical Inquiry awareness area.
ERG = This course meets the requirements of the Ethnic/Race/Gender awareness area.
GIH = This course meets the requirements of the Global/International or Historical awareness area.
       3.  Critical Thinking (3 credits)
 
Show / hide all critical thinking (agec) courses

Critical Thinking (AGEC) Courses

You may select from the following courses to fulfill the requirements of the critical thinking (agec) component of this degree.

CourseTitleHours
AHS230 Comp & Alt Health Therapy   3
AJS123 Ethics & Criminal Justice   3
BSA118 Practical Creative Thinking   3
CHP190 Honors Colloquium   1
COM217 Intro Argumentation and Debate   3
EDU210 Cultural Diversity Education   ERG 3
ENG140 Reading the World:   3
GEO210 Society and Environment   3
HUM101 Intro to Popular Culture   3
JRN131 Mass Media in American Society   3
PHI103 Intro to Logic   3
PHI105 Introduction to Ethics   3
PHI110 Intro to Critical Thinking   3
PHI204 Ethical Issues/Health Care   3
STU230 Leadership Development Studies   3
IWR = This course meets the requirements of the Intensive Writing/Critical Inquiry awareness area.
ERG = This course meets the requirements of the Ethnic/Race/Gender awareness area.
GIH = This course meets the requirements of the Global/International or Historical awareness area.
  B.  Area Studies (7 credits)
       1.  Physical and Biological Science (4 credits)
 
Show / hide all physical & biological science courses

Physical & Biological Science Courses

You may select from the following courses to fulfill the requirements of the physical & biological science component of this degree.

CourseTitleHours
AGS103 Plant Biology   4
BIO100 Biology Concepts   4
BIO103 Plant Biology   4
BIO105 Environmental Biology   4
BIO107 Introduction to Biotechnology   4
BIO108 Concepts in Plant Biology   4
BIO109 Natural History Southwest   4
BIO156 Human Biology Allied Health   4
BIO160 Intro Human Anat & Physiology   4
BIO181 General Biology I   4
BIO182 General Biology II   4
BIO201 Human Anatomy & Physiology I   4
BIO202 Human Anatomy & Physiology II   4
BIO205 Microbiology   4
CHM130 Fundamental Chemistry   4
CHM138 Chemistry for Allied Health   5
CHM151 General Chemistry I   5
CHM152 General Chemistry II   5
CHM235 General Organic Chemistry I   4
CHM235L Gen Organic Chemistry I Lab   1
CHM236 General Organic Chemistry II   4
CHM236L Gen Organic Chemistry II Lab   1
ENV105 Environmental Biology   4
ENV110 Environmental Geology   4
GEO103 Intro Physical Geography   4
GEO212 Intro to Meteorology   4
GLG100 Concepts in Basic Geology   2
GLG101 Intro to Geology I   4
GLG102 Intro to Geology II   4
GLG110 Environmental Geology   4
GLG116 Geology Verde Valley   2
GLG117 Implications Plate Tectonics   2
GLG118 Evolution of Basin and Range   2
GLG119 Geology of Grand Canyon   2
GLG120 Geology of Northern Arizona   2
GLG121 Volcanoes/Earthquakes N AZ   2
GLG122 Geology of Death Valley   2
GLG123 Geology of Bryce and Zion   2
GLG124 Geology of the Prescott Region   2
PHY100 Intro to Astronomy   4
PHY111 General Physics I   4
PHY112 General Physics II   4
PHY140 The Physical World   4
PHY150 Physics Scientists/Engineer I   5
PHY151 Physics Scientists/Engineer II   5
IWR = This course meets the requirements of the Intensive Writing/Critical Inquiry awareness area.
ERG = This course meets the requirements of the Ethnic/Race/Gender awareness area.
GIH = This course meets the requirements of the Global/International or Historical awareness area.
       2.  Behavioral OR Social Science (3 credits)
Choose one course from either list
 
Show / hide all behavioral science (agec) courses

Behavioral Science (AGEC) Courses

You may select from the following courses to fulfill the requirements of the behavioral science (agec) component of this degree.

CourseTitleHours
ECE210 Infant and Toddler Development   3
ECE234 Child Development   3
GRN101 Psychology of Aging   3
GRN102 Health and Aging   3
PHE152 Personal Health & Wellness   3
PHE205 Stress Management   3
PSY101 Introductory Psychology   3
PSY132 Cross Cultural Psychology   ERG 3
PSY234 Child Development   3
PSY238 Psychology of Play   ERG 3
PSY240 Personality Development   3
PSY245 Human Growth and Development   3
PSY250 Social Psychology   3
PSY277 Human Sexuality   ERG 3
IWR = This course meets the requirements of the Intensive Writing/Critical Inquiry awareness area.
ERG = This course meets the requirements of the Ethnic/Race/Gender awareness area.
GIH = This course meets the requirements of the Global/International or Historical awareness area.
OR
 
Show / hide all social science (agec) courses

Social Science (AGEC) Courses

You may select from the following courses to fulfill the requirements of the social science (agec) component of this degree.

CourseTitleHours
ANT101 Stones,Bones,Human Origin   3
ANT102 Intro Cultural Anthro   ERG 3
ANT104 Buried Cities/Lost Tribes   3
ANT214 Magic, Witchcraft and Healing   ERG 3
ANT231 Southwestern Archaeology   3
ANT232 Indians of the Southwest   ERG 3
ECN235 Principles of Economics-Macro   3
GEO101 World Geography West   GIH 3
GEO102 World Geography East   GIH 3
GEO105 Intro Cultural Geography   ERG GIH 3
HIS260 History Native Am in the U.S.   ERG 3
SOC101 Intro to Sociology   ERG 3
SOC140 Sociology Intimate Relationshp   ERG 3
SOC142 Race and Ethnic Relations   ERG 3
SOC212 Gender and Society   ERG 3
SOC250 Social Problems   ERG 3
IWR = This course meets the requirements of the Intensive Writing/Critical Inquiry awareness area.
ERG = This course meets the requirements of the Ethnic/Race/Gender awareness area.
GIH = This course meets the requirements of the Global/International or Historical awareness area.
II.  Video Game Development Requirements
VGD121 Vid Game Dev/Game Engines I

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
VGD 121. Video Game Development for Game Engines I (3). Introduction to the creation of video games primarily through the use of drag and drop techniques. Covers the creation of single player games, use of image and sound files in games, creation of simple code logic structures, and the deployment of games. Three lecture.

COURSE CONTENT:
1. Application software
2. Development environment
3. Interface navigation
4. Basic game program
5. Game sprite objects and variables
6. Backgrounds
7. Sounds
8. Decision logic
9. Game play loops
10. Game levels
11. Publishing a game

LEARNING OUTCOMES:
1. Install and launch game development software. (1-3)
2. Create a basic playable game. (4-7)
3. Use the logical structures found in software design. (8-10)
4. Develop game software for deployment to others. (11)

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VGD122 Vid Game Dev/Game Engines II

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
VGD 122. Video Game Development for Game Engines II (3). Techniques and skills necessary to create games in multiple genres for recreational and educational uses. Includes the applications of coding, interactive game logic, variables and simple probability when developing video games. Prerequisite: VGD 121. Three lecture.

COURSE CONTENT:
1. Screen based text and audio files
2. Character controllers
3. Particle Systems
4. Animator and animations introduction
5. Audio
6. Use of variables to maintain object states
7. Use of variables and simple probabilities in determining decision outcomes
8. Introduction to Mobile Development

LEARNING OUTCOMES:
1. Create interactive game logic to guide game players through tasks. (1,2,5,6)
2. Utilize advanced game design and coding techniques for creating audio and visual user feedback. (1-7)
3. Develop games in multiple genres. (2, 7)
4. Determine appropriate game genre for proposed game tasks. (7)
5. Utilize artificial intelligence techniques for game responses to players. (1,5,6)
6. Create game programs for multiple platforms introduction. (8)

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VGD151 3D Modeling and Animation I

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
VGD 151. 3D Modeling and Animation I (3). Introduction to the techniques used to create 3D objects and animation for games, TV, and movies using professional 3D modeling and animation software. Includes modeling solid objects, object surfacing and shaders, object animation, lighting techniques, camera parameters, and the configuration of rendering engines. Three lecture.

1. Software interface
2. Files and projects
3. 3D geometry
4. Geometry manipulation tools
5. Attribute Editor
6. Object hierarchies
7. Basics of materials
8. Surface maps
9. Animation timeline
10. Key frames
11. Lights and lighting types
12. Ray trace principles
13. Camera parameters and properties
14. Batch rendering
15. Export objects

LEARNING OUTCOMES:
1. Install and configure 3D modeling and animation software. (1)
2. Construct configured project file structures. (2,6)
3. Use 3D software tools to create object models. (3-5)
4. Create and apply simple surface textures to 3D objects. (7,8)
5. Design and create simple animations. (9,10)
6. Apply camera and lighting principles to animation. (11-13)
7. Apply the rendering process to create short video animation sequences. (14)
8. Prepare 3D objects for use in games. (2, 15)

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VGD152 3D Modeling and Animation II

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
VGD 152. 3D Modeling and Animation II (3). Modeling and animation skills used to develop 3D objects. Includes application of techniques used to create environments and objects with organic shapes. Prerequisite: VGD 151. Three lecture.

COURSE CONTENT:
1. Organic effects in modeling
2. Tools for environment creation
3. Considerations for environment design
4. Creation of complex organic models
5. Topology designs for animated organic models
6. 3D Paint Tools
7. Bone structures for animation
8. Animation control rigs
9. Surface texturing for organic objects

LEARNING OUTCOMES:
1. Create environments for use in games or video animation sequences. (1-3,9)
2. Create models of animals for use in 3D projects. (1, 4-9)
3. Rig 3D models for use in creating animated sequences for use in 3D projects. (8)

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VGD171 Video Game Development I

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
VGD 171. Video Game Development I (3). Introduction to modern Object Oriented Programming through the development of video games for a variety of platforms, using an integrated development environment (IDE) and related software. Three lecture.

COURSE CONTENT:
1. Modern IDE and related development software
2. Game projects
3. Game application code structure
4. IDE Familiarization
5. Editing code using an IDE
6. Code autocompletion
7. IDE Debugger
8. Variable Types and Variable Casting
9. Coding math operations
10. Logical branching tests
11. Code loops
12. Methods
13. Classes
14. Overloading
15. Inheritance
16. Game sprites and sprite motion
17. Testing for object collisions
18. Sound effects in game programs
19. Coding for user input capture from keyboard, mouse, and game controller
20. Game text elements and game scores
21. Coding File Read/Write operations
22. Coding Try/Catch logic
23. Creating game state
24. Game deployment

LEARNING OUTCOMES:
1. Install the IDE and related development software. (1)
2. Use the IDE to create game software applications. (2-7)
3. Use coding techniques to translate logical processes into programming code. (8-15)
4. Create a functioning game. (16-24)
5. Formulate and incorporate logic structures to connect software applications to data files. (21, 22)
6. Show the value and use of Object Oriented Programming (OOP) through the creation of software applications. (12-15)
7. Prepare applications for deployment. (24)

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VGD172 Video Game Development II

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
VGD 172. Video Game Development II (3). General object oriented programming and specialized coding techniques to build a basic 3D video game. Topics include 3D space coordinate programming for cameras, camera targets, models, object collisions in 3D space and scene lighting. Prerequisite: VGD 171. Three lecture.

1. 3D space coordinates for games
2. Camera and camera target parameters and coding
3. Camera and target movement and tracking in 3D space
4. User input coding for camera and model control
5. 3D models in video game projects
6. 3D object collision detection and resolution
7. Lighting techniques for 3D game space
8. Coding techniques and structures for larger game projects

LEARNING OUTCOMES:
1. Construct a project framework for a 3D Video Game. (1,2,5,8)
2. Use programming techniques to create camera, camera target, 3D Model, and light object structures. (2,3,5,7)
3. Write code to accurately move cameras, camera targets, and models in 3D space. (3-6)
4. Apply refined programming concepts to game structure and assets to create a functional 3D video game. (8)

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VGD221 Vid Game Dev/Game Engines III

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
VGD 221. Video Game Development for Game Engines III (3). Advanced work in game development emphasizing the use and control of biped and other characters in the game environment. Prerequisite: VGD122. Three lecture.

COURSE CONTENT:
1. Importing and configuring characters
2. Adapting character rigs
3. Animation controllers
4. Coding user input for character control
5. Character animation sequence blending

LEARNING OUTCOMES:
1. Import and configure articulated animated character models. (1,2)
2. Code characters for control by users. (3-5)

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VGD222 Vid Game Dev/Game Engines IV

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
VGD 222. Video Game Development for Game Engines IV (3). Advanced work in game development emphasizing techniques for development of games for smartphones and tablets including the deployment, sale, and distribution of games through online marketplaces. Prerequisite: VGD122. Three lecture.

COURSE CONTENT:
1. Coding for mobile device input
2. Game content limitations for handheld devices
3. Externally created character animation sequences in a game environment
4. Character animation sequence splicing

LEARNING OUTCOMES:
1. Build commercial grade games for smartphone and tablet devices. (1,2)
2. Incorporate character animation into games. (3,4)

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VGD251 3D Modeling and Animation III

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
VGD 251. 3D Modeling and Animation III (3). Modeling and animation skills with emphasis on advanced character modeling and animation techniques and the use of specialized surfacing tools and techniques. Prerequisite: VGD152. Three lecture.

COURSE CONTENT:
1. Freehand organic character design
2. Organic character model topology
3. Edge flow
4. Advanced UV mapping and layout
5. Styled hair creation

LEARNING OUTCOMES:
1. Create organic characters without the aid of reference images. (1-3)
2. Employ proper edge flow for the creation of animatable characters. (2-4)
3. Design and create complex surfacing systems. (4,5)

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VGD252 3D Modeling and Animation IV

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
VGD 252. 3D Modeling and Animation IV (3). Advanced animation and modeling skills with an emphasis on techniques and tools to create and edit motion capture data files. Prerequisite: VGD 152. Three lecture.

COURSE CONTENT:
1. Advanced character skeletal structures
2. Biped character control rigs
3. Character animation
4. Blend shapes for facial expressions
5. Animation tools and formats
6. Manipulation and transfer of animation files between software packages
7. Scrubbing animation errors

LEARNING OUTCOMES:
1. Create efficient character animation systems. (1-2)
2. Apply professional character animation paradigms to rigged 3D character models. (2-4)
3. Use animation formats and tools for various animation projects. (5-7)
4. Create and edit animation files. (5-7)

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VGD281 Game Design I

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
VGD 281. Game Design I (3). Introduction to major topics in video game design, including game mechanics and dynamics, genres, storyline, characters, player psychology, and marketing. Emphasis on the principles of game design through identifying, comparing, and contrasting examples of design elements in various pre-existing games. Prerequisite: VGD121 or VGD 171. Three lecture.

COURSE CONTENT:
1. Sources of game design ideas
2. Game rules, mechanics, and dynamics
3. Psychological factors involved in the player's experience
4. Types of challenges
5. Strategy vs. reflex
6. Balancing chance vs. skill
7. Game puzzles
8. Engaging the player
9. Enjoyment vs. frustration
10. Goals and achievements
11. Difficulty progression
12. Popular game genres
13. Games as teaching tools
14. Storyline and characters
15. Intellectual property considerations
16. Targeting the game audience
17. Marketing the game

LEARNING OUTCOMES:
1. Discuss and explain major aspects of the game design process. (1-17)
2. Identify, compare, and contrast examples of specific design elements in various pre-existing games. (1-17)

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VGD282 Game Design II

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
VGD 282. Game Design II (3). Hands-on experience with principles of game design. Emphasis on converting a pre-existing tabletop game into a video game proposal, with accompanying design documents, marketing materials, and financial projections. Prerequisite: VGD122 and VGD172 and VGD281. Three lecture.

COURSE CONTENT:
1. Sources of game design ideas
2. Game rules, mechanics, and dynamics
3. Psychological factors involved in the player's experience
4. Types of challenges
5. Strategy vs. reflex
6. Balancing chance vs. skill
7. Game puzzles
8. Engaging the player
9. Enjoyment vs. frustration
10. Goals and achievements
11. Difficulty progression
12. Popular game genres
13. Games as teaching tools
14. Storyline and characters
15. Storyboards, sketches, and other visualizations
16. Game assets
17. Intellectual property considerations
18. Financial projections
19. Characteristics of effective game proposals

LEARNING OUTCOMES:
1. Create a rules document, including detailed description of game mechanics, dynamics, and the player's experience in the game. (1-13)
2. Create a narrative document describing the story elements present in the game. (14)
3. Create game storyboards or other media showing the look and feel of the game. (15)
4. Create an inventory of all assets needed for the game. (16-17)
5. Create a financial projection detailing the costs of the game project. (18)
6. Combine work from throughout the course to create a complete game proposal. (1-19)

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VGD293 VGD Project I

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
VGD 293.VGD Project I (3). Creation of game design documents to be used in the development of a game. Prerequisite: VGD221 and VGD281. Three lecture.

COURSE CONTENT:
1. Game design document package
2. Resource considerations for selected game design and deployment technology
3. Critical path charts for a game
4. Game marketing and deployment requirements

LEARNING OUTCOMES:
1. Create a game design document package which includes resources, critical path charts and marketing requirements within a selected game deployment channel to complete a game development project. (1-4)

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VGD294 VGD Project II

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
VGD 294. VGD Project II (3). Creation and publication of a game using the elements of a self-prepared game design document package. Prerequisite: VGD222 and VGD252, and VGD282. Three lecture.

COURSE CONTENT:
1. Creation of a game based on a game design document package
2. Game scope, timelines and employed resources
3. Pre-deployment game testing
4. Physical deployment through selected game publication channel

LEARNING OUTCOMES:
1. Based on a game design document package, create and deploy a video game through a commercial marketing channel. (1-4)

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Note:  It is always best to discuss educational and career goals with an academic advisor prior to enrolling in any courses.  Learn more about Academic Advising.