As the game development industry continues to diversify—and “gamification” becomes a part of virtually every industry—job prospects for professionals with a suitable knowledge of design, user experience (UX), and interactive programming have never been better.
While earning TFA’s Associate of Applied Science degree in Game + Interactive Media, students have the opportunity to develop the skills to be employable in entry-level development positions in a variety of industries and settings. Throughout the program, students gain a practical understanding of the languages, software, and processes that bring websites, mobile apps, and other interactive media from concept to consumer in the real world. With a heavy emphasis on programming basics, students are introduced to various prototyping techniques, design for efficient user experiences, and how to apply interactive design theory to the creation of web and mobile applications.
Starting their first semester, students dive into discipline courses while taking a mix of general education courses taught in a way that relates to the media industry. Each student will take on various development roles throughout their two-year program, working both individually and in teams to create a strong portfolio of original work. In addition, students will have opportunities to work with outside clients, building both resume and real-world perspective that will be essential in the professional world after graduation.
In this program, students have the opportunity to buildbroad and transferrable skills in programming, UX, and design. Here are some of the skills taught in the AAS in Game + Interactive Media program.
The AAS in Game + Interactive Media program is designed to help students become skilled generalists in their field. Graduates may pursue entry level positions such as Website Developer, Mobile App Developer, Mobile Game Developer, and Corporate Interactive Media Designer. Students may also choose to continue to bachelor’s program to pursue advanced topics including statistical data analysis (analytics) and real-time simulations (console game development, visualization, etc.).
MAS111. The Production-In-Action course offers every student direct, hands-on experience in completing a professional media production, which encompasses all disciplines at Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy. During Production-in-Action students collaborate with fellow students as well as industry professionals to create the finished product. Students will work as part of a cross discipline team to create digital assets for the production.Total Contact Hours: 45 / Total Credit Hours: 3
FYE010. First Year Experience is a course designed to successfully onboard students to Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy. Taken in the first semester of enrollment, the course serves as both a training ground for the systems, rules, and culture of the college, as well as a consistent touch point for incoming students during their first semester on campus. Through a variety of lectures and activities designed to educate and inform, students achieve proficiency in student information systems, learning management systems, organizational strategies, time management, and professional correspondence. The course also provides the structure for students to practice skills, habits, and behaviors necessary to succeed in higher education. Total Contact Hours: 24 / Total Credit Hours: 0
ENG101. Composition I is a reading/writing-intensive course that guides each student in establishing his or her writing process and in developing an individual style of written communication. The course curriculum encourages students to demonstrate the ability to organize information, edit, and revise written work, demonstrate an understanding of subject matter, and exhibit critical thinking skills. Through creative, narrative, persuasive, expository, and research-based writing, students strengthen and scaffold their reading comprehension skills, their ability to organize information from multiple sources, and analyze readings by a variety of writers. Emphasis is placed on writing as a means to self-discovery, as well as the value of the writer’s interaction with his/her audience. Underlying each assignment is the importance of demonstrating a mastery of standard American English and an ability to present written work in the correct format. The prerequisite for enrollment in Composition I is a minimum score of 8 on the written essay portion of the COMPASS® test. Students who score a 7 on the written essay will be reviewed for placement by faculty. In some cases, an instructor will require the student to attend the Writing Lab as part of his/her course work. Total Contact Hours: 45 / Total Credit Hours: 3
SPH101. Oral Communication is a year one course designed to build students’ effectiveness as oral communicators. Assignments and exercises are designed to develop speech and presentation skills, and strategies for building confidence as public speakers. Students in this course will 1) develop awareness of the communication process; 2) learn various organizational and expressive strategies; 3) gain understanding of a variety of communication context; and 4) expand their critical skills in listening, reading, thinking,and speaking. Students will be required to deliver both extemporaneous speeches and fourplanned speeches/presentations, which demonstrate clear expression, reasoning, and knowledge of a topic. At the completion of the course, students will have gained confidence and competency in the practice of oral communication skills as well as an understanding of communication theory. Total Contact Hours: 45 / Total Credit Hours: 3
HUM111. Humanities Survey offers students a humanities-based introduction to the psychological, social, anthropological, mythological and historical aspects of media. Using the classic hero's journey as a lens for study, this course encourages students to ideate and develop modern media projects that incorporate a deeper cultural awareness. Total Contact Hours: 45 / Total Credit Hours: 3
GAM130. The Project Management Theory course reviews the software development workflow process from pre-production to product release. Students learn the fundamentals of project management theory, how to plan using a work breakdown structure, and how to execute using a combination of waterfall and agile project management techniques; they master new tools and contribute to projects in class and outside of class with a special focus on project management, documentation, technical production, digital asset management, and similar topics. Total Contact Hours: 45 / Total Credit Hours: 3
GAM135. The Interactive Design course is meant to introduce students to the creation, prototyping and documentation of the interactive user experience. Basic interactive design, interface design, information design, and human-computer interaction are also covered. A detailed study of how interactive software functions, including rule design, mechanics, balancing, social interaction and the integration of visual, audio, tactile and textual elements into game products are some of the topics covered. Game prototyping and design documentation are key focuses of this course. Total Contact Hours: 45 / Total Credit Hours: 3
GAM140. In Interactive Programming I, students will be exposed, through hands-on experience and lecture, to many of the fundamentals of programming. Basic programming constructs are reviewed from the point of view of how they are used to create interactive software. In this course, students will complete numerous coding assignments and projects designed to prepare them for further study. Total Contact Hours: 45 / Total Credit Hours: 3
GAM141. In Data Structures, students will wrap up their elementary understanding of programming, learning about two of the most important data structures: arrays and classes. Students will then expand their knowledge of programming and learn techniques for solving common computer science problems. They will cover fundamental data structures and algorithms, such as lists, stacks, queues, and searching. They will gain a deeper understanding of how memory is managed internally via garbage collection, and will use intermediate debugging strategies to help solve the problems. Total Contact Hours: 45 / Total Credit Hours: 3
GAM150. Web Development I introduces students to the foundation topics associated with application development for the World Wide Web. Initial assignments utilizing the HyperText Markup Language (HTML), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and the Document Object Model. Total Contact Hours: 45 / Total Credit Hours: 3
VCM103. Digital Image Manipulation exposes students to image manipulation through current and emerging techniques and software. Basics of still photography and composition will be explored, as well as the various manipulation strategies available through the computer, enabling students to communicate through sophisticated design manipulation. Total Contact Hours: 45 / Total Credit Hours: 3
ENG102. Composition II is designed to further develop the writing skills students developed in Composition I. Continuing to focus on the reading-writing connection, students explore issues and delve deeper into experiential knowledge through writing strategies. The course requires their written works to exhibit inventiveness of topic and mastery of subject germane to the student's major concentration. Through a variety of writing projects, students must show evidence of their commitment to communication through written expression and analysis of academic concerns. In order to succeed in this course, students must achieve proficiency in several writing techniques, demonstrate organizational and editorial strategies, and show competency in the use of standard American English. Above all, students' writing must clearly communicate ideas to an intended audience. Prerequisite: ENG101. Total Contact Hours: 45 / Total Credit Hours: 3
MTH101. General Math focuses on the development of the student’s ability to conduct mathematical reasoning and problem solving in a real-world context. Three or four topics are examined in-depth and may include geometry, linear programming, exponential and logarithmic functions, statistics, probability, graph theory, mathematical modeling, or game theory. Students also gain practice in collecting and analyzing data, and building simple mathematical models. Emphasis is placed on providing opportunities for students to enhance their critical thinking skills and confidence as problem-solvers and constructors of knowledge. Students work with calculators and personal computers as tools for learning. Prerequisite: MTH010 or a score of 30 or above on the Algebra portion of the COMPASS® test. Total Contact Hours: 45 / Total Credit Hours: 3
GAM225. Flashpoint Academy Studios provides students with the unique opportunity to participate in the production of a client centered product. Working in teams, students are assigned projects derived from inside the institution and/or from the public at large. Each faculty-supervised team is responsible for delivery of a professional finished work products for the project. Upon completion of the course, students will have gained further experience in collaboration and accumulated professional work credits for their resumes and portfolios. Total Contact Hours: 45 / Total Credit Hours: 3
GAM234. In Portfolio Development, students work to prepare their work samples to be presented to the professional world. Emphasis is placed on making thoughtful editing choices in order to create a more compelling presentation. Hands-on experience with multimedia tools is used to assemble their samples for self-marketing purposes. Important Job-Readiness practice will include researching prospective opportunities and improving interviewing skills. Mock-interviews, where students present the concrete examples of their skills, is a key element of the course. Total Contact Hours: 45 / Total Credit Hours: 3
GAM240. In Interactive Programming II, students will gain further experience with intermediate programming techniques by solving larger scale computer science problems and building larger scale interactive media projects. Topics may include: recursion, interfaces, generics, exceptions, delegates, and events. Total Contact Hours: 45 / Total Credit Hours: 3
GAM241. The web browser and internet technologies have been at the center of desktop usage for over a decade, and has expanded to become a viable alternative to of many traditional applications, such as Google Docs. Application Development for Web is where our traditional computer science track meets our web development track. Students will learn how to implement server and client side code to create web based applications, using and combining languages, APIs, and techniques such as ASP.NET, PHP, MVC (model view controller), SQL, AJAX, JQuery, and more. Total Contact Hours: 45 / Total Credit Hours: 3
GAM245. Advanced Topics: Interactive Design is a capstone course in which students engage in more advanced topics in interactive design involving hands-on experiences. Through projects and exercises, students explore varied design experiences involving the unique technical requirements of interactive development and learn to communicate clearly with other designers. Total Contact Hours: 90 / Total Credit Hours: 3
GAM247. Advanced Topics: Interactive Programming is a capstone course in which students will confront challenges unique to interactive programmers while learning best practices to create code that other team members can more easily decipher and modify. Potential areas of specialization could include mathematical concepts, collision detection, physics, graphics, animation, AI, audio, and networking. Total Contact Hours: 90 / Total Credit Hours: 3
GAM251. Web Development II exposes students to the server-side technologies of the World-Wide-Web including server-side scripting, implementation of Web Content Management Systems, and data driven web pages. Students will implement intermediate server-side scripting and learn the techniques used to design sites that provide end-users with access to accurate, up-to-date information based on data created during standard business practices. Total Contact Hours: 45 / Total Credit Hours: 3
VCM112. User Interface + User Experience teaches students how to define the real needs and goals of a target audience, determine the range of required features and functionality of a given concept, and develop a style that communicates a relationship with the end user. Total Contact Hours: 45 / Total Credit Hours: 3