The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University has launched a new web site ( www.guildhall.smu.edu
) detailing information about the award winning, 17-month, graduate-level, professional video game development program.
“Although we wish everyone could just come by SMU and visit our program, we realize our web site is our main communications vehicle with the outside world,” Dr. Peter Raad, founder and executive director, The Guildhall at SMU, said. “That’s why we made our new web site customizable for the individual visitor.”
Content is customizable by prospective student, high school senior, game industry professional, or alumni by clicking on the “tell us who you are box” on the web site’s home page. For richer content on information about admissions, curriculum, job placement, or tuition costs, and to gain access to the program’s online forums, visitors to the site must register.
Historically, the site has been the primary way for prospective students to apply for admission to the program. But with a growing alumni base (more than 180 graduates working at 70 plus video game studios around the world) and a first-of-its-kind combination Bachelor of Science in computer science or Bachelor of Fine Arts in art studio plus a Master of Interactive Technology in digital game development in five years, the site needed to be updated and expanded.
“We have had numerous requests from the industry to provide more efficient ways they could communicate with our students and alumni,” Dr. Raad added. “With the escalating demand for the best talent, our students and alumni are highly sought after. We expect industry leaders will want to share their views on our Guildhall Journal blog and find ways to work closer with our program.”
The Guildhall at SMU is the leading graduate-level, professional video game development program in the country. Students can receive a Master of Interactive Technology in Digital Game Development or a Professional Certificate in Digital Game Development in 17-months.
The program melds theory and practice and is comprised of game-related coursework, cross-disciplinary team game production, and directed individual work in the student's chosen area of specialization.
During the 17 months, every student builds a portfolio through three student team projects that is proof positive of professional-level knowledge and skills. During the first student project, small teams develop a 2D game engine and game demo. From that project, formal, cross-disciplinary teams design and develop a 3D game mod demo using a provided game engine and development tools. The final, formal capstone project is an original 3D game demo developed by larger teams consisting of level designers, artists, and programmers.
The MIT degree shares the certificate requirements, but students are expected to also complete a thesis or project-in-lieu-of-thesis. Admission requirements for the program are the same as SMU admission standards for graduate enrollment, which require a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university or college with a 3.0 overall grade-point average, and adequate subject preparation in the major field.
At The Guildhall at SMU, the curriculum is focused around a team approach and interdisciplinary thought and action. The program is designed to provide students in the art, design, and programming specializations with opportunities to work together on developing games. While working in teams, some students will take on lead roles at time, but all students learn management principles and applications through formal team game production courses and practical participation in team game projects. In effect, students learn traditionally as well as through exploration and self expression.
For more information, go to www.guildhall.smu.edu