Posts Tagged ‘Game Design’

The Evolution of the Unreal Engine

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Unreal Engine

I have been playing games for a long time now and I can still remember when I first went to a friends house for a LAN party. I walked into the room and everyone was jumping around in this cool high-tech-ish world, shooting each other and using really crazy weapons. I leaned over to my friend and asked what everyone was playing and he told me it was something called “Unreal Tournament“. To me at the time, the graphics were pretty amazing but it was the game play and physics that really caught my eye. After that day I was totally sold on the Unreal Engine and the way that Epic Games would push each version so much further.

The reason I am writing about Unreal Engine is I was browsing Reddit for some relevent articles and saw this image.

The Evolution of Unreal Engine: http://i.imgur.com/XS6BH.jpg

I just love the visual jumps in ability to use higher resolution maps and overall quality of game models, animation, physics and all the cool stuff that comes along with the release of a new version of a developers kit. And then! I remembered the trailer that I saw at GDC 2011.

Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 Tech Demo:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzjsTt_DzCw&feature=related

When I watch demo’s like that and read articles about the future of gaming, technology, creative innovation and just the freedom to breath life something sooooo amazing just gets me so stoked! I can’t wait to see what the game designers here at Cogswell will do with this technology when it lands in their laps.

-Zombie

GLOBAL GAME JAM 2012!!!

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Global Game Jam @ Cogswell College

Hey hey now!

I have cool news for anyone and everyone who would like to be involved in game design!

Cogswell College is going to be hosting the 2012 Global Game Jam!!! <— (notice I put 3 “!” to emphasize how exciting this is)

It will start at 6:00PM on Jan 27th and go all the way to 3:00PM on Jan 29th, that’s right a whole weekend of designing games you crazy people!

If you want more info about the schedule and prices, go to the link below.

http://www.cogswellalumni.com/ggj2012/

SEE YOU THERE!!!!

-Zombie

Smart Words for Gamers

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Hapy Monday to everyone, hope you all are having a good start to your week. If you aren’t or even if you are, I found this great video over the weekend. Recently there was an astounding TED talk about how games are actually making kids smarter. So for any of you who are aspiring game designers and have people telling you there is no future in games…tell them to watch this!

Ultimate Battlefield 3 Simulator

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

To all of you fans who are floored on Battlefield 3 right now, I have an amazing video for you do check out. Here at Cogswell, the Game Design students are always looking to find a new and innovative gaming experience, this video is about precisely that…. to say the least.

You would have to pay me to NOT play this. I want one!!!

-Zombie

Welcome back from the president of the Game Development Club!

Monday, January 24th, 2011

The first week of school is always one simple thing: Crazy! No matter if you are a freshmen nervous about starting new classes and meeting people, thinking that your lack of skill will turn people away from you (which it won’t by the way! We will help you) or whether you are a junior or senior nearing the end and wondering on earth you will get a job after school, the first week of school is always the craziest and loudest usually.  I am indifferent whether or not I like the first week of school but that doesn’t really matter and as much as I love getting sleep when I want it and need it and having no homework or tests to worry about, getting back into the mayhem of school at this point in my life is something that I am just use to, it also helps that I am the President of  Cogswell’s Game Development Club here on campus and this semester along with another we got an idea for a game that we want to make and get others involved with, which is the whole point of the club really. This ironically does add to the overall stress and fatigue of the semester, but whatever call me crazy!  You kind of have to be to really dig this school, and that’s what I love about it!  This thing called normalcy is overrated here and if you are a nerd looking to be involved in crazy schemes that will make you giggle with glee at the thought of making a video game or a short film or awesome music this is the place for you.

Classes I am always a little apprehensive about cause I don’t know if I will like them or not, example is that I took lighting and layout last semester, which teaches you how to create and use lighting and effects in a 3D program to make them look realistic.  I was hopeful for the class but after it was over I really didn’t care for it, lighting just isn’t my thing but it’s fine and I learned a new skill and that will help me out in the future.  This semester I got four classes and all of them are pretty cool for the exception of math, which hates me for some reason I just can’t figure out, despite that I am looking forward to learning new things about rigging and level design along with figuring out what “x” is and how economics work.  This semester will be a big I feel cause of the project(s) I am involved with along with classes school events and parties and welcoming the new students.  Just the average life of a Cogswellian Dragon!

-Nick

Meet Our Game Design Faculty

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Albert Chen is the Assistant Professor of Game Design and Development and joined Cogswell’s full-time faculty in 2007. He heads the Game Art concentration under Digital Arts and Animation (DAA) program and Digital Arts and Engineering (DAE) under the Engineering program. He is also the Associate Director for Cogswell’s Engineering Simulation and Animation Laboratory (ESAL), and the recipient of the Boeing Performance Excellence Award in 2008.

His goal is to provide the mentoring and support students need to excel at Cogswell and in the video game and digital media industries.

Mr. Chen was a professional game developer for over twelve years with credits in nearly two dozen game titles. His roles included Game Designer at EA, Game Design Director and Senior Level Designer at Factor 5, Level Layout Manager at 3DO, and Mission Designer, 3D Art Technician, International Lead Tester and QA Tester at LucasArts. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from the University of California at Davis.

Learn more about Cogswell’s Game Design Program.

-Bonnie Phelps, Dean of Institutional Advancement

Cogswell Faculty Spotlight – Albert Chen, Digital Art & Animation

Friday, December 18th, 2009

albertchenAlbert Chen

Albert Chen is the Assistant Professor of Game Design and Development and joined Cogswell’s full-time faculty in 2007. He heads the Game Art concentration under Digital Arts and Animation (DAA) program and Digital Arts and Engineering (DAE) under the Engineering program. He is also the Associate Director for Cogswell’s Engineering Simulation and Animation Laboratory (ESAL), and the recipient of the Boeing Performance Excellence Award in 2008. His goal is to provide the mentoring and support students need to excel at Cogswell and in the video game and digital media industries. Mr. Chen was a professional game developer for over twelve years with credits in nearly two dozen game titles. His roles included Game Designer at EA, Game Design Director and Senior Level Designer at Factor 5, Level Layout Manager at 3DO, and Mission Designer, 3D Art Technician, International Lead Tester and QA Tester at LucasArts. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from the University of California at Davis.

What classes do you currently teach?

Game 3: Introduction to game development and production, Content and creativity development, Entertainment Design and 3D Modeling portfolio

Do you have a favorite class to teach? If so, why?

Content and creativity development is currently my favorite because it’s purely focused on thinking outside the box and teamwork which results in some very cool student projects.

Have you worked for non-academic companies in the past? Which ones? How did that experience make you a better teacher?

I was a professional game developer for over 12 years prior to joining Cogswell. I have worked at Lucasarts, The 3DO Company, Factor 5 and EA. My past experience in mentoring junior designers has helped me develop my teaching style. I call it “Tough love”.

What made you decide that you wanted to teach?

When I was a game developer, I enjoyed working with and mentoring new designers. At Cogswell, I saw an opportunity to constantly get that kind of interaction with students.

What projects have you worked on in the past? What was your role in the project?

I was 3D Art Technician for Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi and Grim Fandango where I processed raw mo-cap data and fixed technical problems in digital art and animation.

As Level Layout Manager for Sarge’s Heroes 2 PS1, I managed a design team that developed and shipped a game in 7 months.

I was a level designer for Star Wars: Roque Squadron 2 – Rogue Leader (which launched with the Nintendo Gamecube) and Star Wars: Rogue Squadron 3 – Rebel Strike. My levels were used for the pre-sell disks and shown at trade shows like E3.

As Game Design Director and Designer on Lair, I was responsible for building and managing a design team.

What projects (personal or professional) are you currently working on?
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Cogswell Hosting Silicon Valley Global Game Jam

Monday, December 7th, 2009
GGJgroup

Brainstorming during Game Jam 2009 at Cogswell

Have you ever wanted to be part of something really big? Now’s your chance! Join other San Francisco/Silicon Valley game enthusiasts for the second annual Global Game Jam weekend.

Following last year’s hugely successful inaugural event, organizers are expecting Game Jam 2010 to be even more spectacular. So far more than 100 locations in 31 different countries will host events – and the numbers are growing every day.

Cogswell Polytechnical College is pleased to host this exciting event in the Bay Area. The Global Game Jam begins at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, January 29 and ends at 3:00p.m. on Sunday, January 31.

Game Jams foster innovation and experimentation – it’s all about making games and in the GGJ you’re part of a global experiment in creativity. A game jam is not for the faint of heart though. Expect two days of hard work, experimentation, little sleep, new friends, great ideas, laughs, technical issues and the time of your life.

What could be better than the chance to challenge your creativity and technical expertise in a collaborative marathon? Not much if you love to make games!

Learn more about the event and reserve your space now.

Space limitation: 50 participants, so make sure to register early.

-Bonnie Phelps, Dean of Institutional Advancement

GGJgroup2

A group in the Game Jam 2009 works on their game.

What is Video Game Level Design?

Monday, October 26th, 2009

600px-UnrealEd

 

 

We asked Assistant Professor Albert Chen to explain level design

If Game Development covers how games are made and Game Design determines what the game is and how it is played, Level Design is about defining the moment to moment experience for the player. It includes planning and creating the actual spaces that the player travels through and orchestrating heart-pounding encounters and events that happen along the way.

Can students learn level design at Cogswell?

This past summer term, we offered a six-week Special Topic – Intro to Level Design Workshop. This intensive course introduced students to the fundamentals of 3D level design for 1st person shooters. By using Unreal Tournament 3′s level editor to build playable multiplayer levels, students were able to experience the level design process first-hand. They also learned the theories behind competitive multiplayer map creation to control play balance, intensity and flow.

In Spring, we will offer an Advanced Level Design course. Check the Spring schedule when it is released in early October.

Want to learn more about our Game Art, Game Development, or our Digital Art and Animation programs?

Visit the Cogswell College website or better yet, arrange a tour of our campus and see where you can begin your career in video games.

-Michael Martin, Dean of the College

Soccer Mom is Featured Student Game

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

soccor_mom_160x120Soccer Mom is the featured student video game on Game Career Guide this week.  After a year and a half, it is still the second most downloaded student game on the site. The students may have graduated, but their good work is still as popular as ever.