GSD - Game Studies and Design

GSD Class Schedule

Courses

GSD 101   Introduction to Game Studies and Design   credit: 3 Hours.

This broad survey course will provide students across campus an introduction to interdisciplinary game studies, covering both historical/social perspectives and game design. It will explore humanities, social science understandings of play, and the social contexts from which our games and gaming practices arise, as well as the development and consequences of gaming cultures. This course will serve as a broad introduction to issues covered in greater depth in upper-level courses available for students pursuing an Undergraduate Minor in Game Studies & Design.

GSD 102   Introduction to the Videogame Industry   credit: 3 Hours.

Designed to introduce individuals to the Video Game Industry, its history, current status, processes and future. It includes a survey of the positions and information about how to prepare to enter the Industry.

GSD 103   The Basics of Game Design   credit: 3 Hours.

Will introduce you to the tools and principles of game design, as well as the history of game studies and the maker movement. You will learn some of the introductory tools and techniques for rapid prototyping along with exploring games, their history, impacts, and design.

GSD 190   Explorations in Games   credit: 1 to 3 Hours.

Exploratory study or skills-based instruction in an emerging or special topic related to Game Studies and Design not covered in normal course offerings. Approved for Letter and S/U grading. May be repeated if topics vary. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Other prerequisites as specified for each topic offering. See Class Schedule.

GSD 199   Individual Study   credit: 0 to 3 Hours.

Individual study in a subject related to game studies & design not covered in normal course offerings. Approved for Letter and S/U grading. May be repeated in separate terms to a maximum of 6 hours. Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor. Restricted to Freshmen and Sophomores.

GSD 390   Special Topics in Game Studies & Design   credit: 0 to 3 Hours.

Advanced study or skills-based instruction in an emerging or special topic related to Game Studies and Design not covered in normal course offerings. Approved for Letter and S/U grading. May be repeated if topics vary. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Other prerequisites as specified for each topic offering. See Class Schedule.

GSD 399   Advanced Individual Study   credit: 0 to 3 Hours.

Advanced individual study in a subject related to game studies & design not covered in normal course offerings. Approved for Letter and S/U grading. May be repeated in separate terms to a maximum of 6 hours. Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor. Restricted to Juniors and Seniors.

GSD 403   An Introduction to Top Down Video Game Design   credit: 3 Hours.

The emphasis of this course is on developing an understanding of top down video game design using the various design methodologies and tools introduced in class. Students will form small groups (4-6) and work on their own design within a selected genre (to be determined at the beginning of the semester). Areas of focus include high level design vision, audience evaluation, User Interface and its impact on the design, iteration of a series of design documents (high, medium and low level) and the team dynamics of communication, critique and integration. The goal of the class is to have the small teams use the concepts and the tools taught in class to create a complete design document that will be cataloged for later use. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 graduate hours.

GSD 405   Introduction to the Video Game Development Process   credit: 3 Hours.

The emphasis of this course is understanding the video game development process as seen in current Game Studios. The course will focus on key elements of the process including the development timeline, scheduling, prototyping, iteration, QA, game builds and player research. The goal will be to take a design document from a catalog of designs that have already been created and implement one or more of them using the game development process. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 graduate hours. Credit is not given for GSD 405 and INFO 490 DC "The Video Game Dev Process" sections.

GSD 409   Design & Programming of Narrative Games & Simulations   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Introduction to the narrative design process for the authoring of text-based digital games and simulations. You will become proficient in Inform 7, a programming language and design system for parser-based interactive fiction (IF). By the end of the semester you will have developed a game or literary work of IF and made a substantive contribution to a collaborative project. No prior programming knowledge is required for students to be successful in the course. Students will be expected to bring a laptop to class. Please note that this course teaches design and programming techniques for "parser-based" interactive fiction, and does not cover Twine, or other hyper-text based interactive narrative systems. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Credit is not given for GSD 409 and INFO 490 JP, JPU or JPG "Design & Prog Text Based Games" sections.

GSD 490   Advanced Special Topics in Game Studies & Design   credit: 0 to 4 Hours.

Topics of current interest. Advanced study in an emerging or special topic related to Game Studies and Design not covered in normal course offerings. 1 to 4 undergraduate hours. 1 to 4 graduate hours. May be repeated if topics vary. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Other prerequisites as specified for each topic offering. See Class Schedule.

GSD 500   Colloquium in Game Studies & Design   credit: 0 to 1 Hours.

This once weekly orientation to graduate study in games studies and game design at the University of Illinois will be offered in fall semesters and will feature presentations of research and professional activities by faculty, advanced graduate students, and staff who will share their game-related research and design projects and provide students with a broad introduction to critical, theoretical and methodological approaches to the field. Some sessions will meet in labs and makerspaces around campus, familiarizing students with facilities and support services available to them for their own research and design projects. Students are required to take this course once for credit. Graduate students enrolled in the Graduate Minor will be expected to return to the seminar as a guest speaker near the end of their program, to share their work. 0 to 1 graduate hours. No professional credit. Approved for S/U grading only. May be repeated for 1 credit only once, or for 0 credit multiple times.

GSD 501   Seminar in Game Studies   credit: 4 Hours.

This team-taught seminar provides students an in-depth exploration of significant areas of social, psychological, historical, and critical game studies, focusing on theoretical approaches, methodological issues and aspects of contemporary game studies research. This course is intended to create an intellectual community for game studies minors whose main interest is research on or through games, rather than on the design and development of games. Guest speakers from participating academic units will help to moderate interdisciplinary a series of discussions on a range of theoretical methodological issues pertinent to contemporary academic game studies research. Graduate students who take this course as part of their minor degree will be expected to return to the seminar as a guest speaker near the end of their program, to share their research. 4 graduate hours. No professional credit.

GSD 502   Seminar in Game Design   credit: 4 Hours.

This team-taught seminar provides students an in-depth exploration of game design methodologies across a range of modalities (board games, interactive narrative games, role-playing games, video games, escape rooms). This course is meant to create an intellectual community for game studies minors whose main interest is in the design and development of games, either by themselves, or with applications in their own disciplinary areas. Guest speakers from participating units across campus will present their work as it pertains to game design and development. Graduate level readings will address contemporary game design challenges. Students who take this course as part of their minor degree will be expected to return to the seminar as a guest speaker near the end of their program, to share their game design accomplishments or ongoing work. 4 graduate hours. No professional credit.

GSD 590   Special Topics in Game Studies & Design   credit: 1 to 4 Hours.

Allows for affiliated Game Studies & Design faculty to propose and offer new courses on emerging and special topics of immediate interest. Students will experience an in-depth exploration of significant and emerging areas of social, psychological, historical, and critical game studies, focusing on theoretical approaches, methodological issues and aspects of contemporary game studies research and/or design. 1 to 4 graduate hours. No professional credit.

GSD 597   Independent Study in Game Studies & Design   credit: 1 to 4 Hours.

Advanced individual study in a subject related to Game Studies and Design not covered in normal course offerings. Project examples include comprehensive literature reviews on a topic of special or emerging interest, small research projects (e.g. surveys or play-testing experiments), development projects (e.g. building a game based on a design developed as part of another course), or other study approved by the instructor. Pre-approval is required and an approved advisor must commit to supervise the independent study. 1 to 4 graduate hours. No professional credit.