The Video Game Design pathway is a four-year program that prepares students for college and career readiness in Game Design. The program uses the Unity3D game engine as the platform for developing video games. Students are taught how to use the Unity editor and program in C# thereby preparing them for careers not just in Video Game development, but in Computer Science in general.
The goal of the course is for every student to graduate from the Academy of Innovative Technology as a Unity Certified User and also with an Advanced Regents diploma. They will have either 3 small-scale games and 1 large-scale game ready for publishing by graduation, have experience interning with a game studio, and a greater understanding of game design and development as it pertains to the industry.
9th grade (Freshman year)
A 30-day course introducing freshmen to game design as they choose their technology concentration here at AoIT. If a student chooses Game Design, they will be enrolled and participate in the courses below over the following three-years. In this course, students are introduced to Game Design Theory, the Unity3D game engine, project management, Video Game Industry education requirements and positions, Video Game Console Specifications and the four phases of production.
10th grade (Sophomore year)
In the 10th grade, students become knowledgeable in Game Design Theory and learn to view games not as gamers, but as designers. They explore the production process, the life cycle of a videogame, key principles of Game Design Theory and programming processes. In the first semester, students are introduced to C# programming through development of a top-down adventure game. In the second semester, students use Unity Courseware to expand their programming skills and deepen their knowledge of Unity editor by creating an endless runner game through a guided process.
11th grade (Junior year)
In the 11th grade, students embark upon a year-long learning process through Unity’s Create With Code courseware. The courseware is designed to both prepare students to take the Unity Certified User exam and also incorporate labs that will culminate with students creating their own game. The emphasis in this process will be honing C# programming skills to prepare students to enter a variety of in-demand computer programming careers. Using a User Experience approach, this course will teach students how to be mindful of the games they create by incorporating the player into the design process. Students will also learn how to use the Unity API to search solutions for their games.
12th grade (Senior year)
The final year of the Game Design pathway is designed to simulate a game design studio where students apply all of the skills they have learned by being Unity Certified Users and through the completion of a yearlong capstone. This capstone is the culmination of the students’ four years in the game design program and is required to earn a CTE certification on their diploma. The capstone requires students to create a video game that challenges the player to solve problems using innovative game play. Students are also connected with industry partners to offer possible internships and relevant industry experience before graduating high school.