On Sept. 15, CalArts ventures into the world of video game design through a new cluster of classes offered through Coursera, the world’s largest online education provider. Several courses will launch under the Game Design: Art and Concept Specialization, taught by CalArts Character Animation faculty Dariush Derakhshani and Fran Krause and CalArts alum and adjunct faculty in Experimental Animation Théotime Vaillant (Film/Video BFA 14). The material from the classes will be available to anyone who registers on Coursera.
The specialization will tap CalArts’ pedagogy—with an emphasis on storytelling and design—and bring it to a larger audience. The CalArts-Coursera classes have been developed to provide a solid foundation for video game principles, story, character development and winning gameplay even before programming begins.
The courses offered are:
- Introduction to Game Design (begins this month)
- Story and Narrative Concept for Video Games (October)
- World Design for Video Games (November)
- Character Design for Video Games (December)
- Capstone Project: Defining the Art and Concept of your Game Design (January 2016)
After completing the four courses in the suggested order and the Capstone Project, students will have the knowledge needed to develop cohesive and innovative game concepts, create storyboards and presentation art, as well as written and verbal presentations to pitch their ideas for production.
After initially partnering with Coursera to develop MOOCs (massive open online courses) in 2012, thousands of new students were introduced to CalArts through classes such as Introduction to Programming for Digital Artists, taught by Associate Dean for Research and Development in Digital Arts Ajay Kapur; Site Specific Creation/Production for Performance, taught by Dean of The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance at CalArts; and Live!: A History of Art for Artists, Animators and Gamers taught by Provost Jeannene Przblyski. The latest CalArts classes to be added to the Coursera roster are Sharpened Visions: A Poetry Workshop with School of Critical Studies faculty member Douglas Kearney, and Fundamentals of Graphic Design, with Graphic Design faculty Michael Worthington (which begins later this month).
After a successful inaugural launch, Coursera approached CalArts to develop the Game Design cluster. Of the new classes and their potential for greater outreach, Przyblyski notes, “At CalArts ‘story’ is a tradition that becomes even more exciting as we explore new possibilities for interactive user experience.”
Learn more about the Game Design: Art and Concepts Coursera cluster.