The major team projects are designed and managed to give the student a first-hand understanding of the pace and the style of real-world game development.
Building the Team
Game building is a team sport! No wonder teams are the fundamental creative structure of the games industry. Individuals aren't born knowing how to work in teams - it takes training and practice. Working successfully in teams is an indispensable attitude and a honed skill for a professional game developer.
Game development is also an interactive creative process - it cannot be serialized. So, just like a game development studio, teams at The Guildhall at SMU are cross-disciplinary. Students specializing in Art, Design, Production and Programming work through the processes and dynamics of team building several times as teams are formed for each major project assignment. Team process, competence-based leadership, and team conflict resolution are key components of every student's Guildhall education and experience.
Students across disciplines all work together in game studies classes and team projects to establish a common breadth of understanding of the history, psychology, dynamics, culture, and business of game development.
Game development projects are a major component of the Guildhall curriculum. These projects take the form of individual assignments, team projects, and a major team capstone project. All projects are designed to reinforce new concepts, techniques, and skills in a way that helps you get the most out of the curriculum, and allows you to demonstrate mastery of the subject matter.
The initial projects focus on building fundamental skills within the scope of one term. As your skills mature, assignments become more complex, and the projects increase in scope. Teams are cross-disciplinary, including students specializing in Art Creation, Level Design, Production and Software Development. You'll experience the processes and dynamics of team-building several times during the program as teams are formed for each major project assignment. The capstone project is treated like an industry development project, with milestones, reviews, and outside evaluations.
You'll learn to work individually and in teams to produce digital games. The team will get a grade based on the project deliverables, and you'll receive an individual grade based on your contributions. In addition, you'll be building a significant foundation for your professional portfolio as you complete the project assignments.
You will be required to complete the following projects while attending The Guildhall at SMU:
- Develop a 2D game with a small team.
- Formal, cross-disciplinary teams design and develop a basic 3D game using a provided game engine and development tools with a medium-sized team.
- Formal capstone project in which cross-disciplinary teams design and develop an original 3D game with a larger team.