Design Video Games - Sno-Isle TECH Skills Center

Wondering What It Takes To Design Video Games?

Since video games were invented, there have been some huge hits.  Pong, Super Mario Bros, Final Fantasy, Need for Speed, and more recently Minecraft and Fortnite.  Those games covered different themes, and served as the leaders for gaming technology over the years.  What is the common theme behind all of them?  Video Game Design.  If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to design video games, or learn how to program the code for video games, the Video Game Design program at Sno-Isle TECH is perfect for your starting point.

About the Class

The Video Game Design program teaches students to design and create video games using trigonometry and higher math, computer programming in C# language, as well as 2D computer animation. The course prepares students with the necessary skills for two of the video game industry’s biggest needs: qualified video game designers and programmers.

Strong programming skills are not needed to enroll in the course.  These skills will be developed and refined as students progress throughout the program.  This is a math intensive program, and students will need to have taken Algebra I before enrolling.

Meet the Instructor

Jim Bassett leads the Video Game Design program at Sno-Isle TECH Skills Center.  Bassett has had the opportunity to work as an educator and directly in the video game industry.  He has taught a mix of STEM classes here in the Pacific Northwest and overseas in Germany.  Bassett has taught courses in Video Game Design using Digipen and Blender, and is offering instruction using Unity at Sno-Isle TECH.

Bassett has owned his own software company and had an international market for software he’s developed.  He recently completed a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington and worked as a firmware developer for a local electronics company.  His passion lies in teaching and he thoroughly enjoys working to engage and inspire students to meet their fullest potential.  The Video Game Design class is highly technical, and framing it within the context of the video game industry brings the content to life!  If you have an interest in the fast-paced game-design industry, this class is perfect for you.

Video Game Design Program Background

The focus of the Video Game Design career path is a love and passion for games, game design and the process.  It’s not enough to enjoy playing games for several hours a day – your focus has to be on how you can create something new, better, more innovative and more fun.  One of the goals of this class is to help you decide what you want to do with your future, and if that future includes a career in game design.

This course involves a lot of math, and most is trigonometry or pre-calculus level.  The Video Game Design course is approximately 1/3 math, 1/3 programming and 1/3 design and art.  Therefore, if any of these topics is something you are particularly uncomfortable with, this may not be the course for you. Students will be expected to do their best at quality each and every time, and each will be expected to strive for improvement over time.

The Video Game Design class is taught twice daily, Monday through Friday during the school year.  The morning session is from 7:55am to 10:25am, while the later session is from 11:10am to 1:40pm.   It offers high school credits of 3.0 CTE (Occupational) or Elective Credits and equivalency credits for English, 1.0 Algebra II OR Geometry, or elective credit availability that varies by School/District.  It is possible to earn up to 5 college credits through Bellevue College for this course with all programming assignments completed at an 80% or higher.  Students will need a Scientific Calculator (Graphing Calculators are NOT allowed on tests), a Flash Drive with at least 4GB allocated to this program, and a Spiral notebook.  Software used in the class will be Unity, Visual Studio and Processing, Paint.NET (most recent versions of each), and potentially Photoshop.  Software is provided at school, and downloading for home use is recommended

Students will become proficient in C# Programming, Game Design Workflow, Managing Game Development in Unity, Vector Mathematics, Collision Mathematics, Matrix Mathematics and Polar Mathematics. Students will gain an introduction to Animation Principles, Interactive Story Development and Character Development during the school year and this course has opportunities for students to earn a certificate in 21st Century Skills and the Unity Certified Developer Certification.  The video game market is a multi-billion dollar industry annually, and designers with passion and teamwork are in high demand.  If you’re ready to get started, apply now!