Game Design + Study

Games, both digital and non-digital, and film have long served as the leading visual forms of non-fiction and fictional storytelling. Recently, as the lines between these various forms of storytelling have begun to become less clear, the term “Transmedia,” has been used to describe the way that stories are increasingly told through interconnected experiences across multiple media platforms such as films, games, virtual reality, mobile apps, social media, and comics. Transmedia is commonly used as an approach for expanding the outreach and social impact of any given form of storytelling.

The games and transmedia focus brings storytellers with expertise in one of the above forms of storytelling and puts them into collaboration with storytellers from other forms. This is a “studio” focused concentration, with the production of media products in collaboration with peers within the concentration and with undergraduate students interested in working on these various forms of storytelling media.

This concentration utilizes resources from the Media Sandbox, Newsroom and Media Center, and Games for Entertainment and Learning Lab while being responsive to research in online communities and Internet policy from BITLab and the Quello Center as well as approaches and methods in advertising from the MAP Lab with the goal of realizing transmedia for Trifecta, the Health and Risk Communication Center, Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, cross-college collaborations, and external clients.

+ Learning Goals

  • To acquire knowledge of management, production, and direction in the area of transmedia with an emphasis on both linear and non-linear media across platforms
  • To acquire knowledge of transmedia as marketing and branding
  • To design and develop transmedia from concept to distribution
  • To develop one’s voice into a unique narrative style through transmedia

+ Possible Coursework Pathways

Games for Impact

  • MI 830 Foundations of Serious Games
  • MI 831 Theories of Games and Interaction Design

Games and Film for Storytelling

  • MI 839 Games and Film Design Studio I
  • MI 842 Games and Film Design Studio II

Additional elective coursework at the 400-level or above to meet the 30 credits required for the degree. The course work must be approved by the student’s academic advisor and at least 15 credits in the degree must be at the 800-level or above. Many students interested in this focus also take the third course needed — in addition to MI 830 and MI 831 above — to meet the requirements for the Serious Game Design and Research Certificate:

  • MI 841 Understanding Users

+ Games area: Additional 400-level Coursework Options

Interaction Designer
MI 450 Creating Human-Centered Technology (W) (prerequisite: MI 420)
MI 420 Interactive Prototyping (programming expertise required)
MI 482 Building Virtual Worlds (programming expertise required)
MI 484 Building Innovative Interfaces (programming expertise required)

Game Developer
(Needs strong programming or digital art or digital media background)
MI 445 Game Design and Development
MI 455 Game Design and Development II
MI 497 Game Design Studio
MI 498 Collaborative Game Design (W)

MI 444 Information Technology Project Management
MI 452 Media Entrepreneurship and Business Strategies
MI 472 Digital Business and Commerce Aspiring
MI 462 Social Media and Social Computing Aspiring

Additional course options:
MI 447 Graphics and Animation Portfolio (W)
MI 449 Advanced Web Development and Database Management

+ Career Opportunities

  • Director of transmedia
  • Producer of transmedia
  • Designer of transmedia
  • Content editor and writer of transmedia
  • Project coordinator of transmedia

The information enclosed here should be viewed as a general overview of the academic program for this degree. It should not be viewed as the final authority on degree requirements. Make sure to consult your academic advisor to clear your specific program of study.