Coming Fall 2015
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is it?
Indiana University will launch a BS degree in Game Design, with classes starting in Fall 2015. It will be part of the new Media School.
- When will it start?
The program formally begins in Fall 2015.
- What if I want to start now?
You can. Students can already take a number of game-related courses currently on the books. We intend to make these credits transfer into the Game Design program. Specifically, you can already take:
- T160 Videogames: History and Social Impact
- T260 The Videogame Industry
- T284 Intro Interactive Media Design
- T353 Audio Production
- T361 Games and Interactive Media
- T364 Intro to 3D Digital Modeling and Animation
- T366 Multiplayer Game Design
- T367 Theory and Practice of Game Design
- T369 Sound Design
- T461 Advanced Games and Interactive Media
You can also take online classes from IUPUI. These classes are currently available online and we intend to allow these credits to transfer into our program as well:
- Where can I go for current information?
This site (games.indiana.edu), or you can contact the program director Edward Castronova (email@example.com) or any of the other faculty (Mike Sellers firstname.lastname@example.org; Will Emigh email@example.com; Norbert Herber firstname.lastname@example.org; or Michael Chabin email@example.com).
- Where is the program located?
It is part of the new IU Media School. Most of the classes will be in Franklin Hall. There will be a game lab in there as well.
- Why is it a BS degree and not a BA degree? All of the other Media School degrees are BAs.
Bachelor of Science degrees are more technical and more structured. Our program has courses in programming, software development, digital sound, and digital art, and these are tightly sequenced to prepare students for advanced game production projects. We train students to complete their games in a real-world studio environment. The program is similar to BS programs in the Kelley School and Informatics. It's hard to get jobs in the game industry. We want our students to get jobs.
- What if I am not very good at computers?
It doesn't matter how good you are now, at computers or anything else. What matters is whether you want to pursue this career or not. If you do, we will help you get the skills you need. Some people may have to work harder to get through the basic technical elements of the program, but we will make sure you do.
Also, it is not required that everyone become a super coder or an amazing digital technician. Some students will do that, others won't. We only require that every student is familiar with the different tools of this trade. You don't have to be a super coder, but you do have to understand what computers can and cannot do.
Even though game design is a technical field, we believe that anyone can be a successful game designer if they work hard enough.
- What is the focus of the program?
Teamwork and professionalism. Games are made by teams of people with very different skills and interests. To succeed in our program, you will have to become an excellent team player, with outstanding communication and people-management skills. You'll also have to develop one type of contribution, whether it be programming, sound, art, design, writing, or management. You should be good at your chosen skill and a great team player. This is the kind of skill set that employers are looking for the most.
- I have played every Xbox best-seller one million times. What will I get out of this?
If you've devoted many hours to playing today's popular video games, we may have to introduce you to quirky and unique gameplay that isn’t as easily found. The game industry tends to do the same thing over and over. We want our students to lead, not follow. Knowing a lot about current games is not as helpful as you might think.
- I have never played anything besides games on my phone. I'm not sure I even like games. Why should I join the game program?
You don’t have to work in the AAA game field for game design skills to be useful. For example, IU graduate Jenna Hoffstein has designed The Counting Kingdom, a PC game that teaches math to kids. You can also apply game principles to non-games like loyalty programs or even exercise apps! Games are an expressive art, no different from film, sculpture, or architecture. Think of all the different buildings you've seen. We're only beginning to develop the potential for Game Design. We encourage everyone, gamer or not, to try our intro courses and see what they think.