Video Game Design

Video Game Design

course overview

The immense advancements that have risen from new discoveries and the development in media technology are constantly altering the field of visual communication. These changes have also brought about unprecedented challenges and opportunities for both the prospective and active visual communication practitioners. Recognizing the need to keep pace with the rapidly evolving the thriving and fast-growing digital game design entertainment environment, the aim of the Advanced Diploma in Video Games Design programme is to provide students an industry-focused design curriculum in a professional andcreative setting.

In diploma programme, students will be exposed to a well-balanced course of study encompassing the fundamental theories and the most up-to-date technical skills in design. In addition, students are required to put the knowledge and skills into practice in a variety of design exercises and projects.During the course of study, students will be introduced to essential design modules in Video Games Design such as Design Principles, Colour for Designers, Drawing for Designers, Digital Image Processing, Interactive Media Design, Animation Principles 1, 3D Techniques and more.

In Advanced programme, underpinned by solid foundation of design, students will be introduced to more advanced design disciplines in Video Games Design such as Object Oriented Programming for Designers, Advanced Programming for Game Designers, Screenplay and Storyboarding, Game Level Design, Body Mechanics (Rigging), Matte Painting, Design Studio and more.

The curriculum of the programme will be delivered in a mix of teaching tactics ranging from lectures and seminars to tutorials and various assessment methods including assignments, presentations, research, and quiz. Throughout the programme, emphasis will be put on the conceptual abilities and aesthetic sensibilities of the students. The main objective of the programme is clearly about enabling students to develop games design from conceptualization to production.

Career Opportunities

  • Creative director
  • Producer
  • Animator
  • Game developer
  • Concept artist
  • 3D modeler


Advanced Diploma in
Video Game Design

Duration : 2 years

Drawing for Designers

This module aims to provide students with a range of fundamental of analytical and observational drawing techniques to develop conceptual drawing skills for visualization.

The course will introduce principles of drawing technique and personal interpretations in drawing as well as examining line, tonal value, volume, spatial relationships and composition, form, texture, perspective and basic human anatomy.

This will allow students to develop confidence in their visualization drawing skills as a means of visual communication.

Digital and Applied Illustration

This module will introduce students to develop their conceptual utilization skills via advanced vector-based / digital illustration techniques such as; gradient meshes, blends, filters, custom brushes, symbols and masks. Concentrating on digital illustration, this module encourages experimentation through drawing combined with computer illustration software to produce a dynamic body of work / vector graphics to create designs that clearly communicate ideas and information within Visual Communication and commercial context.

Design Principles

The module introduces students to the basic elements and principles of design, their use and applications in solving various design problems.

Students will gain familiarization with the visual interactions between design elements through theoretical and practical implementation of design principles and explore various media, develop critical ability and also to demonstrate an understanding of design principles through a series of visual communication exercises.

Colour for Designers

This course provides an understanding, meaning and importance use of colour for graphic design. It covers topics on colour theory, research and effective combinations that are essential to apply colour for effective visual communication. Students will explore the principles, attributes, dimensions, harmonies and phenomena of colour. By understanding the language and meaning of colour from a social, cultural and psychological context, students can effectively manipulate colour in their design to convey the intended message to the right target audience.

Academic Research and Communication Skills

This unit covers key aspects of research and communication studies in academic contexts relevant to students of design and marketing. Students engage in collaborative learning activities throughout the term in order to develop their teamwork skills.

Students learn to locate, understand and critically evaluate information from books, journals, the Internet and primary sources in order to do effective research. Using these sources of information, students then produce an extended piece of analytical writing and give oral presentations to their peers. Skills in doing primary research (i.e. conducting focus groups and surveys), accessing and evaluating information, paraphrasing, using established referencing systems, applying the principles of effective communication and the professional presentation of documents are all covered during the module.

Digital Image Processing

This module will introduce the fundamental aspects of image enhancement and manipulation with the use of imaging software such as Adobe Photoshop. Students will improve their visualizing technique and produce complex digital images, exploring technical and aesthetic aspects of the image manipulation processes such as digital image creation with an emphasis on photo-illustration, and hybrid illustration techniques, image capture, compositing, retouching, stylistic treatments, shading, and simulated three-dimensional imagery aspects of the manipulation processes most widely used in the visual communication industry.

Interactive Media Design

The module provides participants with the knowledge and skills to create compelling, functional, engaging interactive and digital media design. Students will build interactive HTML animations for web, digital publishing applications and rich media advertising, reaching both desktop and mobile browsers. This module will also enable the students to develop design thinking skill, user interaction experience and critical sensibility with emphasis on the roles and responsibilities of an multimedia/ graphic designer in this ever-changing industry.

Design History and Culture

This module introduce students to the foundation of design history which encompasses the study, classification, and analysis of the key art movements in the early, late, and post modernism period. Student will gain familiarization with the historical background and signature visual style of some of the most influential art movements in visual communication such as Art Nouveau, Bauhaus, Art Deco, Swiss Style, Pop Art, etc.

Animation Principles 1

The module aims to provide students with a foundational knowledge in animation, covering terminology, principles, expression of motion, pose to pose, key frames, in-betweens, sounds synchronization. In addition the students will become familiar with the process of conceptual
development, technical production and with the applications used in the animation field.

The students will have to demonstrate their ability to use the different animation techniques and skills acquired thought the development of a short animation.

3D Techniques

This course aims to develop skills in creating 3D models, illuminating the scene, materials and
textures creation, camera controls and basic rendering. Students will learn advanced computer
modeling skills using Maya software and the practical components of the course will take the student through the steps and techniques required to create realistic 3D objects.

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Object Oriented Programming for Designers (OOP)

This module provides a basic programming foundation for the game development students. The principles and concepts of Object Oriented Programming (OOP) is the core to learning how to create software applications including video games.

This module covers the theories and practices of OOP including syntax, data structures, polymorphism, and debugging. By applying the OOP concepts learned in this module, students develop applications that integrate a games system of score keeping and measurement, reward and penalty, artificial intelligence, vector mathematics and coordinate mapping. In addition to the observation of industry best practices, the module will give students a comprehensive introduction to the Object Oriented Programming features of the C++ and/or C# programming language(s).

3D Character Modeling

This module aims to build upon the students’ principles of 3D techniques acquired in the previous studies to model a 3D character from base geometry to high resolution sculpt.

The students will learn the process of character development from concept design to the final render. This process will include how to project high resolutions detail on low resolutions geometry, create UV’s and various textures such as diffuse, specular, bump map, and normal mapping using Maya. On completion of the module the students will be able to create a turntable renders of the 3D characters with realistic
textures and lighting.

Screenplay and Storyboarding

The module aims to provide the students with the knowledge and skills of storytelling and storyboarding, the process of visual planning the film before shooting. The emphasis will be on the visualization skills, visual storytelling, narrative structure, rapid sketching, character development, acting, lighting and camera angles into a sequential visual story. Upon completion of the module the student will be able to develop storyboards and digital animatics to effectively illustrate the

Advanced Programming for Game Designers

The aim of this module is to provide students with the advanced programming specialized skills and knowledge that a game designer would need to enter the rapidly growing industries of entertainment or educational games. The module will further cover the theories and practices of variables, conditionals, loops, recursion, data structure and Object Oriented Programming (OOP) and framework programming to create video games. On completion of this module students will be able to create video games design for mobile phone applications.

Animation Principles 2

This module aims to build upon the knowledge acquired in Animation Principles 1, covering more advanced techniques and effects within After Effects software. Lessons include 3D compositing, animated layers and attributes, cameras, timeline, key frames, sounds synchronization, production workflow and processes, lighting and visual effects to illustrate depth and realism to their animations. At the end of this module, students are required to apply the principles of animation and all the different animation techniques to produce a short animation.

Video and Audio Techniques

This course focuses on the technical aspects of video production, editing and display. Students will begin by understanding how the human detects motion and light; relating to the technical concepts of frames and movies. Students will also gain a basic understanding of digital sound production for video as well as audio composition, synchronization and recording. This course will require the students to produce a short film; using transitions, multiple subtitling, multi-camera shooting and sound editing.

Body Mechanics (Rigging)

The aim of this module is to provide students with the basic techniques of character set-up and rigging as used in the 3D animation to control mechanical and organic models. Students will learn how to set up a complete bipedal rig to create realistic and flexible movements. The topics covered include techniques of forward / inverse kinematic, character set-up, skeleton controls, realistic and cartoon motion studies, parenting and groups, curve controllers and weighting. At the end of this module students will acquire the practical techniques to create rigs for animation.

Design Studio 1 – Video Games Design

This module aims to provide students with a practical platform to experience the pace and demand of an actual Games Design Studio. Students will produce an engaging video games design by strictly follow the standard professional practice that includes the design process such as research, analysis, project planning, critical thinking, problem solving, concept development and production. The emphasis of the module is to apply all the video games design knowledge and technical skills previously learned to fulfill the brief requirement as well as developing an engaging video games design for the gaming industry on a given project specifications by the lecturer within a projected a timeline.

Game Level Design

This course aims to introduce students the art of developing and creating game level design. Students will go through the process of planning and developing game levels from concept, story, genre, audience, purpose, objectives, features, obstacles, top-down layout, functionality and visual development for video games design.

2D Games Design

Learning about the concepts and techniques of the traditional 2D format provides students an in-depth understanding of the relationship between interaction and art and lays bare the tenuous relationship between video game form and function, art production and computer programming. In additional to observing industry best practices, students in this module learn about the history of the classic 2D video game and the state of 2D development today, to understand commonly used gaming terms and plan a video game production, understand the basics of the 2D video game design, and how to create their own art assets to be synthesized into a unique interactive video game of their own design.

Matte Painting

This module provide students the knowledge and skills to create inspiring matte paintings for the entertainment industry productions such as film, movies, animation, commercials and video games, etc. The students will learn the various digital compositing skills, painting techniques, linear and atmospheric perspective, photo editing tools and to create a photorealistic movie-like matte painting final project.

3D Character Animation

This module allows the students to further develop their knowledge and skills in the 3D animation field to bring the illusion of life to animated characters. The students will learn high-level animation tools and gain insights into the professional animators approach on character animation creating effective poses, conveying personality, emotion, expression and attitude.

Design Project - Video Games

This module aims to provide students with the experience and expertise to create video games from concept to production. The emphasis will be on storytelling with an emphasis on technical acuity and emotional response. Student will select a project of their choice to create an engaging video games design for the gaming industry. On completion of this module students will be able to learn all aspects of video games design techniques and visual effects from concept to production, while fostering skills, creativity, problem solving and professionalism.

Portfolio and Presentation

This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to conduct an intensive investigation of their design projects and develop a personal portfolio that reflects their understanding of design principles and both creative & visual communication problem solving abilities. This module will emphasize on review and revision of assignments, creative self- assessment, portfolio preparation, resumes writing, presentation skills and job interview in the digital media design / games design / animation industry. Upon completion of the module, students will have acquired the necessary training and portfolio to job seeking opportunity for an internship position in the digital and media design industry.

Design Studio 2 – Video Games Project

This module aims to provide students practical platform to experience the pace and competitive demand of an actual video games design studio. Students will produce an engaging video games design independently and to follow strictly the standard professional practice that includes the design process such as research, analysis, project planning, brief generation, concept development, production execution and implementation with professional presentation. In such simulation of the real-world games design environment, students will play the role as the designer while the lecturer will act as the client who will give the project specifications and approvals to each of the video games design project. The emphasis of this module is on fulfilling the games design project brief requirement professionally as well as developing an engaging games design within a projected timeline independently.

Industrial Attachment

This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to gain real-world industry experiences and professional practices in their chosen discipline. It allows students to establish connections, develop useful contacts, and gain industrial skills and an overall perspective of the discipline. The industrial attachment is intended to enhance students’ educational experience and prepare them for their careers.

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