Courses | B.A. in Game Design and Interactive Media
Below are some of the courses you’ll have an opportunity to take as a student in this program. Take a look at the list below to get an idea of the types of available courses. Also, be sure to review core curriculum requirements and the official program requirements in the Biola University catalog.
|CNMA 101||Introduction to Visual Storytelling|
An introduction to the building blocks of storytelling: character, setting and plot. Students will read and study the steps of the Hero's Journey as used in current Hollywood films. They will analyze story structure, write short stories and create film ideas and short screenplays. Special emphasis will be given to the history, art and aesthetics of storytelling. Grade Mode: A.
|CNMA 102||Visual Aesthetics|
|Through an introduction to the building blocks of visual storytelling, students will learn to use film grammar to tell their stories effectively. Special emphasis will be given to lighting, color, shape, line, and space. Grade Mode: A.|
|CNMA 140||History of Games and Interactive Technology|
An exploration of the history of digital games and the technology that supports them. Students will play and critically analyze games from different eras and genres, while exploring the underlying hardware and software, and learning the stories of the designers and game companies involved.
|CNMA 215||Game Design Fundamentals|
A comprehensive introduction to the basic components and principles of game design and game play. The course includes mechanics, system dynamics, dramatic elements, level design, and user expectations experience. Students design and playtest several original game ideas through iterative physical prototypes. Grade Mode: A.
|CNMA 301||Transmedia Design|
Introduction to the techniques of storytelling across multiple emerging technology platforms and formats such as streaming on YouTube and virtual reality. Explores the history and convergence of the Internet with personal computers. Topics include web design, media streaming, small screen production, apps for smartphones, graphic design, interactivity, augmented reality, audio and video formats for new media; computer hardware, operating systems, networking and content management systems. Grade Mode: A.
|CNMA 305||Intermediate Game Design|
Building on game design concepts learned in Fundamentals, this course focuses on creating digital prototypes in order to develop a design suitable for production in the advanced course. Topics include game balancing, control schemes, and testing for completeness and accessibility. This course also continues to explore how to design story and game mechanics that convey a Christian worldview
|CNMA 311||Level Design|
This course takes general game design concepts learned in Fundamentals and applies them to game levels. Like scenes in a movie, game levels define the individual moments where gameplay and story unfold. Topics include teaching the player how to play, emotional feedback systems, puzzle design, modular design, and parallels to architecture and theme park design.
|CNMA 325||Designing Game Narratives|
An exploration of how storytelling acts as a vital mechanism for driving gameplay forward to tell emotionally-resonant stories using the medium of digital games. Relevant story-driven games will be analyzed, and techniques such as branching narratives, procedural stories, and environmental storytelling will be discussed. Students will create a design document for a game that tells a story. Grade Mode: A.
|CNMA 327||Game Engines|
This course focuses on level design for video games using a professional game development framework. Students learn components of a successful interactive environment. Course modules include level building, materials, theme, mood, texturing, modeling, lighting, terrain, optimization, cut-scenes, animation, visual effects, streaming, responsiveness to player actions and testing. Grade Mode: A.
|CNMA 401||Advanced Game Design|
Working from a design document created in the intermediate course, students will develop a complete game or game level, suitable for submission to game festivals. Special emphasis will be placed on learning and using an iterative production process such as Agile Scrum.
|CNMA 440||Cinema and Media Arts Internship|
|A real-world learning experience beyond the university classroom. The focus is working in a media-related organization such as a production company, network, studio or media ministry. This course will test students' commitment, aptitude and stamina for work within the entertainment industry. Includes on-campus sessions designed to strengthen and expand professional skills. Notes: Sixty hours of internship is required for each academic credit. May be taken multiple times for a maximum of 6 credits. Grade Mode: A.|
|CNMA 456||Senior Portfolio|
Student creates a capstone project with advice and guidance from faculty. The project will represent the student's highest achievement in media creation. Projects can include scripts, recordings, films, and other emerging media. Projects premiere publicly at the end of the semester. Grade Mode: A.
|CNMA 470||Cinema and Media Arts Seminar|
|A rotating variety of topics and production experiences often employing special guests from within the media industries. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, Fund Raising, Event Planning, Visual Effects, Audio Recording, Cinematography, Production Design, the Sundance Film Festival, the City of the Angels Film Festival, the Biola Media Conference. Notes: May be taken multiple times. Grade Mode: A.|
|CSCI 104||The Nature of Computing|
Fundamental concepts of computers and programming, focusing on the algorithmic aspect of quantitative reasoning in computer programming. Basic programming skills for writing small programs to accomplish useful tasks for modeling, information processing, and problem solving. No prior programming experiences are assumed. Notes: Approved for Core Curriculum Math credit. May not be counted toward the major. Grade Mode: A.
|CSCI 105||Introduction to Computer Science|
|Introduction to computer hardware and software. Problem solving methods. Elementary concepts of algorithm development. C++ programming. Lecture/Lab Hours: Three hours lecture, one hour lab. Grade Mode: A.|
|ARTS 110||2-D Design|
|A foundational course devoted to examining, exploring, and applying two-dimensional design concepts, including color theory and composition. Notes: Approved for Core Curriculum Fine Arts credit. Grade Mode: A.|
|ARTS 112||4-D Design|
|A foundational course examining, exploring, and applying design concepts as they relate to time (the fourth dimension) and time-based artworks including focused studies in installation art, performance art, and video. Notes: Approved for Core Curriculum Fine Arts credit. Grade Mode: A.|
|ARTS 314||Integrated Design I|
|Students develop methods of visual communication that draw on the cumulative experience of 2-D, 3-D, and 4-D coursework. Through the use of digital/analog tools and readings related to the current discourse, students explore the process of design and communication. Grade Mode: A.|
|ARTS 341||Animation I|
|Interdisciplinary studio exploration in analog and digital animation. Course focuses on experimental and theoretical movement, and choreography systems investigating culture and identity. Grade Mode: A.|
|ARTS 348||New Media Art I|
|Exploration of new media art including formal, conceptual, and narrative approaches. Emphasis on the use of new media as creative tools for personal expression. Notes: Students are recommended to provide their own video cameras. Grade Mode: A.|
|ARTS 354||New Media Art II|
|Advanced studio exploration in new media art. Emphasis placed on the history of video and film art. Notes: Students are recommended to provide their own video cameras. Grade Mode: A.|
|CNMA 202||Introduction to Mass Media|
A survey of the major mass media: film, television, music, print, radio, Internet and others. Includes history, growth, societal, business practices, legal and technological aspects of each. Includes individual considerations for the influence, world views expressed, and integration within mass media. Notes: Open to non-CNMA majors with departmental permission. Grade Mode: A.
|CNMA 203||Screenwriting I|
|An introductory course to the art of writing for film and television. Includes emphasis on structure, especially the hero's journey, archetypes, genre and story outline. Students will develop a detailed treatment before creating a feature screenplay. Grade Mode: A.|
|CNMA 204||The Entertainment Business|
|A survey of current industry practices and careers in film, television, music and emerging technologies. Students will learn to research and analyze the career and business choices of current professionals in the industry and create long-term strategies for entering into and succeeding in the entertainment business. Special emphasis will be given to the unique ethical questions and biblical applications that arise within the Hollywood context. Grade Mode: A.|
|CNMA 302||Production Management|
|Covers the budgeting and scheduling necessary for media production. Students learn the parameters considered in making decisions to balance the creative goals and logistical demands of production. Matters of insurance; deal negotiation; contracts; union rules (including SAG-AFTRA, DGA, IATSE) copyright and clearance issues; management of crew; liaison difficulties with studios, clients and outside publics; and other issues will be covered. Evaluation of students' understanding will be based on a budget and schedule for a one hour single camera drama they will be required to complete, as well as pertinent test and quizzes. Grade Mode: A.|
|CNMA 307||Sound Design|
An introduction to the theory and practice of storytelling with sound. Topics include physics, acoustics and psychoacoustics of sound, field and studio sound recording, multi-track mixing and editing, Foley, automatic dialog replacement, and sound effects as applied to film, television, games, recording arts and other media.
|CNMA 353||Media Literacy|
|This course will cover the effect of visual media on society and the noticeable absence of learning the grammar of visual language within the educational process. Instead of relegating the study of media to a simple inoculation against negative images, this course seeks to understand and celebrate the quite human process of media creation and consumption with the hope of restoring agency to the audience and accountability to the creator. Grade Mode: A.|
|CNMA 433||Mass Media Law and Ethics|
|Study of theoretical approaches to the First Amendment as well as specific areas of concern to professional journalists such as defamation, privacy, fair trial, obscenity, copyright, shield laws, sunshine laws, etc. Exploration of applied professional ethics and contemporary professional issues of ethics for media professionals. Grade Mode: A.|
|CNMA 459||Faith and Film|
|This is the capstone integration course covering what a Christian film is and what makes a Christian filmmaker. Films will be analyzed and discussed to understand how God's truth can be seen in films regardless of who creates them. Grade Mode: A.|
|CSCI 106||Data Structures|
|Linear lists, strings, arrays and orthogonal lists; graphs, trees, binary trees, multi-linked structures, searching and sorting techniques, dynamic storage allocation; applications. Grade Mode: A.|
|CSCI 440||Topics in Computer Science|
Topics are selected from the following:
Notes: Course may be taken multiple times for credit with different content. Grade Mode: A.