NYU Game Center

The NYU Game Center is dedicated to the exploration of games as a cultural form and game design as creative practice. The approach to the study of games is based on a simple idea: games matter.

Non-majors may enroll in certain Games courses (formerly offered through Tisch Open Arts). Students should check the open access list for any course prerequisites and work with their academic advisor to select courses that fit into their degree plan. 

Spring 2023 Courses

Board Game Design

GAMES-UT 352 | 4 units | Instructor: Check Albert

Board game design is a one-semester course for students who want to dig deeper into table-top games, from design to history to manufacturing. The first half of the course looks at the world of mass market games, which focus heavily on commercials, trends, plastics, licenses, low prices, and casual rules. The second half focuses on hobby games, designed for the dedicated game player, and the different styles of games in that world. The course is hands-on with at least one published game played in every class. There are multiple assignments where students bring these concepts to life through their own designs. Throughout the course, there is a focus on understanding players and designing games for a target audience. 

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Critical Making: Contemporary Discourse in Games - Current Events & Professional Discourse

GAMES-UT 111 | 4 units | Instructor: Check Albert

Building off the groundwork from Intro to Game Studies, this course will connect theoretical material with contemporary popular discourse and how studies relates to the everyday in the games industry. Our class will be incredibly live, sourcing readings happening within 2 weeks of class so students can practice participating in professional discourse. This is useful for anyone interested in joining the games industry or adjacent fields to observe how theory meets practice and how critical thinking adds to popular thought.

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Intro to Game Development

GAMES-UT 120.003 and 120.004 | 4 units | Instructor: Check Albert

Prerequisite: GAMES-UT 110 Intro to Game Studies

Building off the groundwork from Intro to Game Studies, this course will connect theoretical material with contemporary popular discourse and how studies relates to the everyday in the games industry. Our class will be incredibly live, sourcing readings happening within 2 weeks of class so students can practice participating in professional discourse. This is useful for anyone interested in joining the games industry or adjacent fields to observe how theory meets practice and how critical thinking adds to popular thought.

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Intro to Game Design

GAMES-UT 150 | 4 units | Instructor: Check Albert

This class is an intensive, hands-on workshop addressing the complex challenges of game design. The premise of the class is that all games, digital and non-digital, share common fundamental principles, and that under- standing these principles is an essential part of designing successful games. Learning how to create successful non-digital games provides a solid foundation for the development of digital games. In this workshop, students will: analyze existing digital and non-digital games, taking them apart to understand how they work as interactive systems; create a number of non-digital games in order to master the basic design principles that apply to all games regardless of format; critique each other’s work, developing communication skills necessary for thriving in a collaborative field; explore the creative possibilities of this emerging field from formal, social, and cultural perspectives; develop techniques for fast-prototyping and iterative design that can be successfully applied to all types of interactive projects.

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Intro to Game Engines

GAMES-UT 183 | 2 units | Instructor: Check Albert

Introduction to Game Engines is a course intended for students who already have an understanding of programming fundamentals that introduces concepts, problems, and methods of developing games and interactive media using popular game engines. Game engines are no longer just used for the development of games, they have increasing gained popularity as tools for developing animations, interactives, VR experience, and new media art. Throughout the semester, students will have weekly programming assignments, using a popular game engine. There will be a final game assignment, as well as weekly quizzes and a final exam. The course assumes prior programming knowledge, if students do not have the appropriate prerequisites a placement exam may be taken. There will be an emphasis on using code in a game engine environment as a means of creative expression.

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Intro to Programming for Games

GAMES-UT 180 | 4 units | Instructor: Check Albert

Introduction to Programming for Games is a course that introduces students to the concepts, problems, and methods of computer programming, and how these apply to the creation of video games. The course assumes no prior programming knowledge, and is designed to touch on the basic principles of digital design in the form of computer code. There will be an emphasis on programming fundamentals; they will be motivated through the lens of designing and producing video games.

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Intermediate Programming for Games

This class has Introduction to Programming for Games as a pre-requisite, and Introduction to Game Development as a pre-requisite or co-requisite.

Intermediate Programming for Games is a course that takes students further with their knowledge of creative coding, building upon existing skills developed during Introduction to Programming for Games. Students’ skills within the Unity3D Game Engine with C# will be furthered, as well as their general procedural problem-solving skills and abstract programming knowledge. Throughout the semester, students be assigned weekly homework, as well as in-class practical work (in the form of ‘game jams’). While students will be creating small games in class weekly, there will also be two larger game creation assignments – one midterm, as well as one final game. Most importantly, the course takes the approach that building up a student’s repertoire of advanced techniques in computer programming will expand their ability to express their artistic vision within their games. 

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Procedural Generation of Games

GAMES-UT 126 | 4 units | Instructor: Check Albert

“Procedural generation” describes the broad category of techniques by which elements of digital games that have traditionally been designed by hand (e.g. levels, characters, puzzles, and narrative) can be designed by automated processes. In recent years, these techniques have been a major topic of interest for computer science research as well as a core design component of many commercially successful games. The course will teach students to understand and implement these techniques, and explore how to best combine procedural generation techniques with good design practice to produce interesting and novel experiences (rather than just using procedural generation techniques for technical curiosity). Emphasis is also placed on how procedural generation can uniquely harness the affordances of computers for designing games. The course is fundamentally practical. While students will study existing a games and techniques, they will also produce games of their own across the three assignments.

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Project Studio

GAMES-UT 329 | 2-4 units | Instructor: Check Albert

Prerequisites: GAMES-UT 121 AND GAMES-UT 151

In Project Studio, students will work alone or in teams to complete a single game over the course of the semester. Those wishing to take Project Studio must propose a concept or prototype to the instructor for approval. Priority will be given to students who propose a clear game concept or provide an interactive prototype. Teams, where applicable, should be formed before the start of the semester. The philosophy of the course is learning through doing, and the majority of student work time will be spent in actual design and production, which will be structured and guided by the instructor. This production time will be supplemented by in-class exercises, student presentations, critiques, playtesting, discussion, and visits from professional game developers.

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