Mobile Game Design and Development

Learn how to make video games for a living. Train at VCAD and transform your passion into a lifelong career.

Mobile Game Design and Development
48 weeks
calgary Campus
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48 weeks
calgary Campus

Mobile game design and development is definitely one of the hottest emerging fields around. The latest mobile devices have changed the way we communicate and entertain, making mobile application developers one of the fastest growing IT careers! Want to be a mobile game developer?

The Mobile Game Design and Development program focuses on providing graduates with a solid foundation in the technical skills needed to be successful in the emerging field of mobile application design and development. They’ll gain a h2 knowledge of multiplatform mobile technologies and tools. Limitations the technology imposes on the design and development processes will be taught.

Students will be able to apply industry standard software tools and techniques to production processes and the creation of mobile applications. From scripting and coding to digital drawing and 3D animation, the program will cover the fundamentals you need to start a dynamic career in this fast-paced environment. Tools and techniques are evolving rapidly creating a demand for mobile application designers, developers, artists and application testers.

Job Opportunities

  • Mobile Application Designers
  • Developers
  • Artists
  • Application Tester

Upon successful completion of this program, you will be able to:

  • Propose creative solutions to mobile design problems.
  • Evaluate the appropriate materials, tools, techniques and concepts, required to produce an effective design solution.
  • Create digital graphics and illustrations for mobile applications.
  • Determine the appropriate media and technology based on project requirements.
  • Manage project and time constraints.
  • Code efficiently to meet design, delivery and technology constraints.
  • Process digital images using appropriate software.
  • Produce single and multi-page layouts using the appropriate software.
  • Create a fully functional mobile application, game or site.

Admissions Requirements

  • Grade 12 or mature student status (19 years or older).
  • Where an applicant’s first language is other than English, and s/he has not completed his/her secondary (or higher) education in English, the applicant will be required to pass the College’s admission test.
  • Successful completion of the College’s entrance exam. 


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Drawing I

This course will focus on development of perceptual and descriptive skills through an introduction to a variety of drawing media, techniques and subject matter. Through this course you will acquire a thorough understanding of the elements of art and the principles of organization as related to drawing, be able to demonstrate an understanding of contour line, positive & negative space, perspective, sighting of angles and measurements of relationships in drawing, master basic skills and to encourage experimentation with techniques and materials, both traditional and non-traditional, and explore creative expression beyond preconceived boundaries.

Mobile Design Foundation

This course explores design techniques including contemporary trends and topics in composition, digital colour, and design as they influence emerging mobile gaming technologies and design. Concept development and presentation will require students to work in teams. Teams will be required to create a basic mobile game concept pitch. Additional time will be spent exploring mobile devices and digital design history.

Mobile Game Design I

This course covers foundation theory of planning and developing creative concepts that will become a functioning game. Outcomes will address gaming industry trends, conceptualizing techniques and the mobile development processes. Current production models, studios and developers will be discussed. Students will be encouraged to be proactive and research trends to ensure that their mobile game proposals are dynamic and viable.

Photoshop I

Understanding the application and importance of image editing and construction as a universal skill in all design genres. This course introduces the students to raster image-editing software such as Adobe Photoshop. Through this 'hands-on' course, the student will learn the fundamentals of design, as well as advanced features, and tips, to prepare images for digital output as well as for print. Emphasis will be placed on technical skills, however conceptual development, and creative thinking and approaches will also be considered in all work. By the end of this course, the student will be able to create, modify, and enhance sophisticated images using raster editing tools, and features; craft special effects; work in 3D space; and prepare files for export to various applications in web, mobile, print, and manufacturing.

Scripting & Coding I

The relationship between machine code, programming languages and scripting will be introduced. Fundamental programming theory and best practices will be taught. The appropriate application of scripting in the context of current delivery technologies and hardware will be addressed. Students will apply this knowledge in the development of scripts and code to create simple programs.

Dynamic Media Tools & Techniques I

This course will cover the basic toolset features of Flash. Students will cover the specifics of basic Flash scripting in the development of dynamic content. Design problems will be presented that will require students to develop and execute simple animations.

Illustrator I

This course presents Illustrator as an industry standard tool for the production of professional quality illustrations such as technical illustrations, mapping, illustrating from photographic reference, and colorizing bitmapped images. Students will not only learn how to create precise, organized and professional illustrations that will meet the demands and standards of art directors and advertising agencies, but they will also learn to express their creativity in design by using the advanced distortion, blends, fills masks and effects tools offered by the software. Students will understand how the production of graphics ties in within the overall design process Topical coverage includes: software interface, tools, functions and palettes; creating masks and transparencies; composition and grids; colour combinations; and positive and negative space.

Mobile Game Design II

This course focuses on the development of simple games and levels that can be used over a variety of platforms from mobile devices to web browsers. Students will be required to development simple working examples to demonstrate that they have acquired tool and concept knowledge. Unity 3D, a key development tool will be introduced. By the end of this term students will have a functioning playable level that can be used in an Internet browser. Students will be required to continue their industry research of online tools, applications and games to further inform and enhance their mobile came proposals. Mobile game concept documents will be submitted and critiqued.

Photoshop II

This course is an intermediate to advanced level Photoshop skills based class designed to expose students to advanced photo editing techniques, raster based art, web design and exposure to extra functions within the program such as video editing and 3D. This course addresses new technical skills while focusing on understanding and seeing the problems that hold digital artists back from creating beautiful and believable works.

Scripting & Coding II

Advanced scripting problem solving techniques will be applied in the development of dynamic apps and tools. Students will be challenged to develop their own scripts in solving delivery, design and user experience problems.

Dynamic Media Tools & Technologies I

This course will cover the basic features of Flash. Students will cover the specifics of basic Flash scripting in the development of dynamic content. Design problems will be presented that will require students to develop and execute simple animations. Students will explore the tools of Flash while exploring the limitations of dynamic media. Students also will discuss and explore alternate tools and applications to Flash.

Fundamentals of 3D

This course introduces students to modeling and animation. Using Maya students will create simple models and environmental assets. Students will learn the basics of lighting and materials. Upon course completion students will have a basic working knowledge of 3D applications.

Mobile Game Design III

Working with the knowledge gained in previous terms students will begin to develop a multiple level functioning web browser game that can be deployed over multiple platforms. Students will work in teams to achieve design and user experience goals. Additional tools and technology will be introduced to assist teams in achieving design and game play goals. Mobile game proposals will be finalized and approved.

Scripting & Coding III

This course covers the basics of C++ and mobile device coding. Students will explore programming languages and develope working code. The purpose of this course is to give the student the knowledge necessary to build basic code. Understanding concepts will also be emphasized to help in the professional communication with programmers and developers. By the end of this course the student will have a basic understanding of the language, tools and structure of C++ and its relationship with mobile devices.

Video for Mobile Applications

This course introduces to the basics of digital video editing in the development and delivery of web and mobile content. Course content includes the basics of audio, video formats, motion graphics, and cross platform lossless file exporting techniques. Final projects will meet professional industry standards.

Business Fundamentals & Trends

This course focuses on current and emerging industry trends in small studio game development for mobile device apps and browser games. Students will examine the existing state of business models and research emerging trends. Students will develop personal plans and create a viable model to develop and sell apps and other tools. The projects will be discussed defended and redeveloped by the project developer to ensure success. This final pitch and project will be used in a portfolio presentation for graduation.

Advanced 3D

Advanced 3D concepts will be taught. Students will work with advanced Maya tools to develop aesthetically pleasing environments and characters that can be used in game engines. Students will also learn how to create normal maps in both Maya and Photoshop, that present and blend colour in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Advanced lighting techniques will be introduced, as well as the preparation process for rending 3D content to video.

Dynamic Media Tools & Technologies II

In this course sophisticated design problems will be presented that will require students to apply key framing principles and charter management. Students will develop advanced animated material, both in native form and as dynamic video for deployment on mobile devices and the web. The limitations of current technolIn this course sophisticated design problems will be presented that will require students to apply key framing principles and charter management. Students will develop advanced animated material, both in native form and as dynamic video, for deployment on mobile devices and the web. The limitations of current technologies will be addressed and emerging trends examined.ogies will be addressed and emerging trends examined.

Mobile Game Design IV

This course will focus on the publishing of an advanced browser based game for mobile devices. Students will continue to work in small teams to build, test and refine their mobile game submissions.

Mobile Net Technology

This course focuses on understanding current web trends and technology. Students will work with tools and solutions to assist in the development of a game browser based game. Students will also be required to research and develop their own web based content and post these to the Net. Time will be spent researching technology and hand held devices to ensure that content developed works over multiple devices.