Game Dev Advanced
The program follows a modular approach, mimicking the production process of a real game studio. After the introductory lectures, students are profiled and guided into one of three paths, according to their skill sets and interests – Game Design, Concept & Technical Art, and 3D Modelling & Animation. Students will work in teams towards creating playable video game builds to serve as their portfolio. These teams will go through a pitch, alpha and gold module, each followed by presentations in front of lecturers and mentors for the sake of feedback.
This lecture will start you down thе path of game development, if you have the passion for games and would like to learn how they are created in an AAA studio. The game dev process is a complex mixture of creative and technical art forms and it has many specifics depending on the project requirements and studio capabilities. You will learn how it is organized in a AAA studio like Ubisoft Sofia and what challenges are there along the process, among other key insights that Ivan will share from his experience in the industry.
Lecturer: Ivan Balabanov
Mobile game development is just like any other game development, except not! If you are motivated by the fact the only constant is the change, then this is the place to be! A whirlwind of constant evolution and rapid changes, you have to be on the cutting edge of the latest technology and the wonders it offers. It’s constraints too – for extra flavor and challenge!
Lecturer: Tanko Shokerov
Game Engines Foundations covers the basic principles and building blocks of a game engine and how those are linked together in a complete tool for game design.
Lecturer: Simeon Balabanov
Game design is the essence of what that metaphor for real life we call videogames is all about. It’s the story, the narrative, the characters we meet and finally the rules of the game.
Just like real life, every game has its rules! You live and die, succeed and fail, using the rules of your world. Game designers create the rules and make sure that the game is full of surprises, joys and disappointments, victories and losses, the whole spectrum of unknowns, that draws us to the challenges and compels us to rise to the occasions.
Nowadays, most of us spend more time on our smartphones than watching TV. The emergence of this new media allows us to deliver compelling, entertaining and deeply engaging games to millions of people at once. However, making such games is a big challenge. In this course, you will learn how to adapt design patterns to the mobile platform, how to deal with the specificities and limitations of small screens and touch input, and plan for ever-growing games. We will also approach the specifics of Free to Play vs Premium models and how to keep your game alive for months. We will draw examples from major mobile successes and work together to create own!
Lecturer: Alexandre Lainé
Level Design is the Lego pieces that comprise the world you dive in when you enter the exciting zone of video games. It’s the glue that holds the world together and helps turn the game designer’s narrative into the virtual reality of the video game. It’s the sets, the beauty the nature of the world created.
Do you see that mountain over there? Can you think of a way to cross that river? Does that ridge get in the way EXACTLY as much just to give you trouble? Well, the reason for that is Level design! Its sole purpose is to make the game fun, challenging and to leave an impression to the player. If you want to know why and how, enroll in the Level Design course and figure it out!
The AAA games nowadays are getting more and more visually stunning! In his class, Eddie will put the students in the shoes of an Art Director and a Concept artist, and they will explore together, step by step, the whole, exciting process of creating memorable, credible and vibrant game universes, including also the collaboration between the Art and other dev teams.
Graphic design for game is all about usability. The graphics that guide you from one level to the other, that explain the rules, your missions, show your advance and gives you the ability to navigate the game.
Lecturer: Ognyan Barov
Character modeling is the part where designs come to life. Modeling for game, and game engines, is a different animal than modeling for films, because of the polygon budget present in any game development process. Games are rendered in real time, so that means that you need to master the art of modeling great, compelling characters, on a limited polygon count.
This is where the passion for video games and art in general, find a meeting ground. Here you need to be comfortable with many different tools, from 3D Max and Maya to Photoshop and substance painter, essential for creating various materials and textures. You will also need to know various sculpting programs, and all that can be a bit overwhelming at first. But fear not, you have the best professionals on your side!
Lecturer: Rossen Tzvetanov
Worldbuilding Fundamentals in Video games will provide students with the knowledge they need to craft compelling digital experiences. They will learn, step by step, how to take a human-centred approach to virtual worlds’ creation that will help them uncover target audience insights, successfully pitch their ideas, and even change consumer behaviour.
Students will go through preproduction, conceptualization, grey box, landmark, and asset identification. They will touch Game and Level Design principles, stuff like progression and distribution of locations and activities. At the end of the course, students will know also how to bring variety and why it’s important to support quests and narrative. Learn the subtle art of environmental storytelling that makes even ordinary tree to tell the story of madness, joy, sadness or love. As part of the program, students will practice the principles that they learn and go all the way from idea, through paper design to realization.
Lecturer: Kamber Veli Hasan
Texture or materials is what everything looks and feel like to the virtual touch.
It’s where we learn to make wood look like wood, metal like metal, fabric like fabric. With the advance of technology, the possibilities become broader and the limitations of real time rendering less confining. Let the fun begin!
Lighting in game is not that different from the light we enjoy in our daily lives. If it’s the sun, with its strong cast shadows, or the moon with its mysterious rim lighting, or the fireplace inside the hunter’s lodge. Learning to figure out the light and how it relates to the textures we create, and compute it in real time engine, is a challenge we know you can’t resist mastering.
Lecturer: Ognyan Zahariev
In this class, we will learn about the basics of rigging in Maya. Rigging is the middle ground between art and technology and is the process of bringing life and motion into otherwise static 3D character models. We will start by creating the underlying joint (bone) structure needed for the particular character. Then we will move on to create a different kind of controls, deformers, and blendshapes and learn different widely used rigging techniques. The end result will be a fully functional 3D character that can be brought to life by animating it in Maya.
Lecturer: Marin Petrov
Embarking on the mission of creating an Independent game studio, and a full hearty endeavor. We respect that. This is why this class will walk you through many of the elements you need to know, as well as help you avoid some common mistakes often made.
We want you to succeed and we want a more diverse game ecosystem, so let’s go on that journey!
Lecturer: Gergana Gruncharova