Workshops & Classes

About Level Up! Workshops

Want a crash course in making games?

Join us in the Atelier twice a month (ish!) for LEVEL UP!

The LEVEL UP workshops are a series of free classes on anything from Unity to Twine that are open to the public.

Whether you're a complete beginner or a seasoned veteran, these workshops will teach you some of the skills needed to make honest-to-goodness video games.


Classes

COMP371
Computer Graphics
Instructor: Charalambos Charis Poullis
COMP498G/691G
Computer Vision
Instructor: Charalambos Charis Poullis
ENGL 255
Videogames and/as Literature
Instructor: William Robinson

Computer Graphics

COMP371

Instructor: Charalambos Charis Poullis

This course introduces basic techniques and concepts of 3D computer graphics for applications in various sectors which include engineering, visualization, entertainment, gaming, etc. Topics covered include 2D and 3D transformations, modeling and representation, illumination and shading, rendering, texturing, animation, physics-based animation, and the state-of-the art software tools. The student will learn fundamental algorithms and techniques, and gain experience in graphics programming; in particular, how to program in modern OpenGL, a powerful software API used to produce high-quality computer-generated images of 2D and 3D scenes.



Computer Vision

COMP498G/691G

Instructor: Charalambos Charis Poullis

Over the past few years computer vision has re-emerged as one of the most popular and challenging technical areas in computer science. Recent advances in computer graphics hardware as well as the development of novel algorithms for the fast and accurate extraction of salient features in images, have made it possible to significantly progress the state-of-the-art to a point where nowadays many commercial products incorporate some type of embedded computer vision system. The goal of the proposed course is to introduce graduate students to the different aspects of computer vision, give them the ability to understand, apply, analyze and evaluate computer vision algorithms, and implement components that are fundamental to many modern vision systems.



Special Topics in Interaction Design

DART 631 (fall)

Instructor: Rilla Khaled
Friday 1:30PM – 5:30PM

What does it mean to be human in a world in which computational technology is enmeshed with every aspect of our lives? And what do we need to know to design for such humans? In DART 631, students are introduced to philosophies, values, methods, and techniques that inform the broad discipline of interaction design. DART 631 examines epistemologies of technology and interaction design and how they impact on conceptions of cognition, bodies, space, and time. In tandem with theoretical explorations, DART 631 invites students to reflect on designing with and for humans, with and through computational technology. Students will be introduced to basic programming in Java (Processing) and Javascript (P5), data visualization, tangible computing (Arduino), and locative media creation. Along the course of the semester, students will undertake two projects, demonstrating technical skills they have obtained in class as well as expressing critical perspectives on interaction design in the form of designed artifacts.



Videogames and/as Literature

ENGL 255

Instructor: William Robinson

This course will introduce students to the history of critical discourse surrounding video games and literature. We will explore a range of topics, including the formal, aesthetic, and cultural aspects of video games, the emerging discourse around digital narrative, the expressive potential of games, and the nature of meaningful gameplay, with particular emphasis on the relationship of digital games to text-based forms such as poetry and literary fiction.


INDI 620/820 (fall)
Player Studies
Instructor: Mia Consalvo
CART 361 (fall)
3D Digital Production I
Instructor: Jonathan Lessard

Creative Computing and Network Culture

CART 211 (fall)

Instructor: Benjamin Gattet

Prerequisite: Enrolment in a Computation Arts program or written permission of the Department. This course gives a broad introduction to the fundamentals of creative computing and network culture. Through readings and practical examples, students explore the histories of the Internet, computing, and interactivity as well as gain knowledge of fundamental technical tools used for creating network-based media.



Selected Topics; Games, Media, and Culture

COMS 298 (fall)

Instructor: Nic Watson

In just a few decades, digital games have expanded from a poorly-understood, niche form of entertainment, to a mainstream, ubiquitous, multi-billion dollar industry. “Games, Media, and Culture” (COMS 298) is a new course that examines the role of games as media and cultural objects. We will explore how to make sense of games, both as players and as scholars. The course offers ample opportunities for students to play, discuss, and experiment with games themselves, as well as with media about games.



Player Studies

INDI 620/820 (fall)

Instructor: Mia Consalvo
Tuesdays 9-12 in the mLab

This is a course that surveys the literature of player studies, focused on digital gameplay but supplemented by theorization related to non-digital games as well. It will explore the evolution of both players of videogames and the discourse surrounding them during the past several decades. By studying the diversity and changing nature of player culture, the creation and use of categories such as hardcore and casual, and shifting notions of play itself, this seminar will provide a framework for exploring how we understand and represent our relationships with and through digital games.



3D Digital Production I

CART 361 (fall)

Instructor: Jonathan Lessard

Prerequisite: 24 credits completed in a Computation Arts program; or written permission of the Department. In this studio course, students are introduced to the language, principles, and practices of 3D digital animation. Students are exposed to a wide range of traditional film animation techniques and learn the technical skills and conceptual strategies for 3D digital production.


CART415 (fall)
GAME STUDIO I
Instructor: Pippin Barr
CART 215 (winter)
INTRO TO GAME DESIGN
Instructor: Jonathan Lessard

GAME STUDIO I

CART415 (fall)

Instructor: Pippin Barr

Games are an ancient medium of expression with huge contemporary relevance most especially in the form of videogames. This studio course is an introduction to the practice of experimental game design and creation. In it, students will develop their practical and reflective skills by working in teams to critically create and think about games. A focus on both experimentation and the concept of ‘platform studies’ will be used to help structure and contextualise work beyond the simple fact of making games themselves. Activities will include researching game design and related fields, discussing relevant readings and integrating their ideas into practice, analysing games, but most especially the concepting, design, development and reflection on the students’ own experimental game creation.



NETWORKS & NAVIGATION

CART 351 (fall)

Instructor: Pippin Barr

The internet is one of the most important and influential technologies we have ever known, shaping vast amounts of what we do every day, particularly through our interactions with the web. This studio course focuses on practical engagement with web technologies from a creative perspective, and especially on students developing their own approaches to expressive work using the internet and a variety of its constituting technologies as a medium in conjunction with relevant theory and criticism. Throughout, students will engage with themes of experimentation and playfulness as a way to shape and contextualise their work. Activities will include researching network-based creativity, technology and related fields, discussing relevant readings, analysing examples of creative practice on the internet, and most especially the concepting, design and development of students’ own web- and network-based artworks, playthings and interventions.



INTRO TO GAME DESIGN

CART 215 (winter)

Instructor: Jonathan Lessard

This course is an introduction to the design of playful activities and games in particular. Students are introduced to terminology, conceptual frameworks, and critical approaches in order to develop a precise understanding of games at a formal and pragmatic level. Students acquire and develop tools to conceive, formalize, and communicate game design ideas.



Game Design

CART 416 (winter)

Instructor: Rilla Khaled
Friday 1:30pm – 5:30pm.

CART 416 is a game studio focused on creating games that have intended purposes alongside entertainment – whether these be expressive, critical, persuasive, learning, or otherwise “serious” in nature. It will involve experimentation with and reflection on how we embed meaning in game systems and play experiences, as well as following through and examining what the effects of these experiences are on players. Throughout the semester, working in teams, students will progressively move from developing a playable concept around a rhetorical/experiential intention concerning a playable experience towards designing and developing a functional digital game prototype.


ENGL 251 (winter)
THE GRAPHIC NOVEL
Instructor: Kalervo Sinervo

THE GRAPHIC NOVEL

ENGL 251 (winter)

Instructor: Kalervo Sinervo
Wednesday/Friday 1315-1430

Despite its official title, this course aims to give students a grounded understanding of the comics medium in general, rather than focusing on a single genre. Comic books, comic strips, cartoons, graphic novels, BD—whatever you call them, they comprise a field rich with varying styles and formats. Students will be introduced to some of the history and contemporary expressions of comics by discussing different critical approaches in lecture and by reading seminal texts in the form. Rather than attempting to reflect a “comics canon,” the course will include both well-known works and some that challenge the boundaries of the medium. Students will also be expected to explore beyond the syllabus and contribute to class discussion by introducing new works researched outside of lecture. The course will pose a number of questions about comics, including: What does it mean to be a comic? How does textuality alter narrative interpretation? How can gender be represented in the comics form? How do comics intersect with other media? What can the comics medium do that others can’t? Through directed readings, class discussion, analytical writing, and creative exercises, the objective of ENGL 251 is to help students formulate possible answers.



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