Game Design Technology Students Get Prepared for Futuristic Career

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Career Education at Brown College Offers a Contemporary Vision In Their Innovative Game Design Department

It has now been one year that Brown College has made available its Bachelor of Science in Game Design and Development program to prepare students for positions in careers related to the creation of interactive 2D and 3D computer games and how to find and develop innovative uses for that technology. Students can learn how to use skills in software design, programming languages, modeling and animation skills, networking principles, level and world editors, and game engines typically used to design and develop games in progressive applications.    

In 2004, Justin Spoelstra, Assistant Department Chair of Game Design and Development, helped to design a curriculum that is unique to Brown College. This curriculum greatly expands the current vision and breadth of game building technology.

“Less than ten years ago, the concept of using this technology for such purposes was unheard of,” says Spoelstra. “Animators, game designers and developers were often disregarded in the corporate world. They thought of the art as cartooning or a hobby that wouldn’t develop into anything.”

The population born after 1960 – the Gen-Xs – are not likely to be satisfied with a blue print or drawing or seeing a 2D portrayal; they will expect interactive media, three-dimensional representations, mainly because they have grown up with video game technology and have been immersed in the 3D graphics.

“Corporate America is looking at this multi-billion dollar industry and they realize this is a serious industry – it’s not going away, but evolving into other avenues of growth,” comments Spoelstra. “They want to know how to reach the Gen-Xers, and it’s through gaming technology.”

Using digital imagery, Spoelstra helped to secure 12 million dollars financing by demonstrating a park soon to be built . Virtual stores is a possibility where shopping can be done by clicking on virtual products and purchasing product, which will use the same technology as a video game. Seven years ago animation was rarely used in architecture or engineering now it is becoming increasingly popular, as well as mechanical animations.

Medical uses are on a rise, using animation for the industry is helping patients to understand their medical care, by using 3D renditions of their proposed surgery. A child who goes into children’s hospital can be shown animations of exactly what is going to happen, using cartoon like characters and objects to ease tension from their little client. All patients some day soon may expect this sort of explanation before engaging in difficult or dangerous surgery.

The first nine months of the curriculum covers the theory and pre-production of why they are creating games, the business side of design, where industry going, why new games are created. It also covers procuring target markets, what is a genre and teaches understanding the uniqueness of one game versus another, as well as other vital marketing training. Additionally, they are taught important business basics such as how to communicate to employees and colleagues in ways to raise moral and keep people motivated, including focus and goal strategizing with them. After they are fully indoctrinated into the theory side of it all, beginning in the fourth quarter they learn how to actually build the games, and the in depth technology of advanced gaming techniques.

Brown has enjoyed huge success training and graduating students in technology, design, and broadcast fields for over 50 years. Brown College offers programs in criminal justice, television production, radio broadcasting, visual communications, and business management, as well as medical courses needed to become a medical office assistant.

Founded in 1946, Brown College provides students with career education including the knowledge, technical skills and hands-on training needed to succeed in fields such as computer technology, interactive game design, graphic design and visual communications, radio broadcasting, television production, criminal justice, business administration, medical office administration and message therapy.

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Joe Zeigler
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