Game Studies Feed

Request Info

Provide your information below and an Admissions Advisor will contact you shortly to answer your questions about UAT and your Advancing Technology degree program of interest.

Required Fields Are Highlighted
















When do you plan on attending?

University of Advancing Technology (UAT) is pleased to provide you with additional information about the college and its programs. By hitting submit, you give us permission to use either direct-dialed, autodialed and/or pre-recorded telemarketing to call or text you at the phone number you provided. Please note that such consent is not required to attend UAT.

ABOUT UAT
University of Advancing Technology is an elite, private college that serves its student body by fostering knowledge creation and academic excellence in an environment that embraces the young technophiles of the world. With three centers of research and a suite of technology-centered undergraduate and graduate degrees, the University is a recognized leader in technology education.

Learn More About UAT

    Why You Should Study Blockchain

    Why You Should Study Blockchain

    (May 04, 2018)

    On April 27, 2018, North Korea and South Korea signed the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula. Two electronic versions—one in English and...

    On April 27, 2018, North Korea and South Korea signed the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula. Two electronic versions—one in English and one in Korean—have been stored on the Ethereum blockchain. The energy industry alone has invested $1 billion in blockchain. And four of the world’s largest automakers want to put blockchain technology in your car.

    “Blockchain is right up there with the invention of the Internet,” said Damian Chung, Sr. Director of Cybersecurity Engineering and Development at Dignity Health. Chung thinks blockchain has the potential to revolutionize healthcare, empower businesses to bypass the middle man and even safeguard democracy. “We can apply it infinitely, so it’s here to stay,” Chung said.

    Blockchain may lead to unprecedented business agility and help companies save time and money, but few people know how to harness the power of this emerging technology. According to TechCrunch, 14 blockchain job openings exist for every one blockchain developer.

    The talent shortage prompted Chung to develop and teach a blockchain course at the University of Advancing Technology, where he is an adjunct professor in the cyber security department.

    Students who take Chung’s Summer 2018 blockchain class will be able to:

    • Explain the benefits of blockchain and how it differs from cryptocurrencies
    • Understand blockchain architecture
    • Present use cases to CEOs, devs and non-technical folks
    • Design smart contracts
    • Produce an architectural proposal for a real-world blockchain application

    The 15-week course will cover blockchain transactions, keys, miners, distributed ledgers, blockchain wallets, hash functions, pseudonymity, Solidity, Go, private blockchain on Ethereum, Hyperledger Composer and MultiChain. Even though the class will incorporate some coding, students do not need to be strong programmers to do well.

    Chung recommends starting with Blockchain Revolution by Don and Alex Tapscott and watching some YouTube videos.

    Students should also capitalize on the power of the magic words, “I am a college student, and I need help.” Reach out to professionals who are already doing cool things with blockchain. Tweet to SEMs who tweet about blockchain. Ask questions on blog posts. Utilize LinkedIn. Create your own internship.

    Search for and join Meetups such as Desert Blockchain. Professionals go to Meetups because they want to connect with other innovators, give back to their communities and meet and mentor (and possibly hire!) curious students.

    Learning how to develop blockchain solutions will prepare students for careers as disruptors. Studying how blockchain is transforming industries such as banking and real estate will also help students to forecast, visualize and implement change in other industries such as energy, gaming, HR and cosmetics.

    Interested in collaborating on a blockchain project with UAT or hosting a blockchain event on campus? Reach out to Ashley: amurry@uat.edu.

    read more
    less
    Carve Your Niche

    Carve Your Niche

    (Feb 26, 2018)

    With a chunk of clay in hand, a game artist’s imagination can run wild. The Sculpting class offered for UAT Game Studios artists gives students practice in character creation by...

    With a chunk of clay in hand, a game artist’s imagination can run wild. The Sculpting class offered for UAT Game Studios artists gives students practice in character creation by allowing the artist to determine the look, shape and feel of the asset with their hands.

    Students use skills they have learned throughout the Game Art and Animation curriculum such as texturing, perspectives, dimensioning and more to create a realistic character with physically accurate biology. This project is helpful in illustrating how a character would interact within a video game world giving the artist a insight on ways to make future games more interactive, fun and realistic.

    read more
    less
    Global Game Jam Winners: ‘Transmissions’ Well Received

    Global Game Jam Winners: ‘Transmissions’ Well Received

    (Jan 29, 2018)

    Last weekend, the Global Game Jam (GGJ) took place around the world with UAT listed as the home base for Arizona. UAT students, alumni and local game developers attended the...

    Last weekend, the Global Game Jam (GGJ) took place around the world with UAT listed as the home base for Arizona. UAT students, alumni and local game developers attended the Phoenix Global Game Jam revving out 48-hours of game development and judges said they were impressed!

    The theme for the 2018 Global Game Jam was “Transmission,” sparking lots of ideas of how to create a game around this.

    From UAT’s Game Jam location, 29 games were submitted to the website with 17 playable games on display for judging on Sunday evening in the UAT Commons.

    Global Game Jam at University of Advancing Technology - Monster Vault Entertainment

    Global Game Jam at University of Advancing Technology – Monster Vault Entertainment

    “We saw completed games developed for PC, 2D, 3D, mobile, and VR including Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. The variety was inspiring and great to see,” said judge and Program Champion Derric Clark.

    You can check out the submitted games here.

    Best Overall:
    GigaBlast (VR for HTC Vive)

    Best Theme:
    Spooky Business

    Best Art:
    Weaponized Walkie Talkies

    Honorable Mentions: (strong in the voting discussion)
    Carrier Pigeon
    Choreo-Mania
    Hell’s Kitchen
    Huntia
    Malware
    O2 Critical

    Professor Clark said, “An amazing amount of content was produced in just 48 hours, seeing months of work completed over a weekend is extremely impressive. These were really great submissions, with many, many completed games. It was difficult to narrow the field down for the awards.”

    Developing for Virtual Reality at the Global Game Jam

    Developing for Virtual Reality at the Global Game Jam

    “From a content standpoint, this was one of the best Arizona Game Jams thus far, amazing work completed and shown to judges,” Clark said.

    A lot of different perspectives were taken on the theme, it was great to see the creativity kick in to produce a diverse set of games, both in content and play style.

    read more
    less
    UAT is Host to 2018 Phoenix Global Game Jam

    UAT is Host to 2018 Phoenix Global Game Jam

    (Jan 24, 2018)

    The Global Game Jam (GGJ) is the world’s largest game jam event taking place around the world at physical locations. Join the Phoenix Global Game Jam for 48-hours of game...

    The Global Game Jam (GGJ) is the world’s largest game jam event taking place around the world at physical locations. Join the Phoenix Global Game Jam for 48-hours of game development at UAT’s tech-infused campus.

    Need a team? Don’t stress. There will be dev teams in need of designers, programmers and artists!

    Whiskered Away indie game at Global Game Jam

    Whiskered Away indie game at Global Game Jam

    Join in the fun and excitement of the Phoenix Global Game Jam, kicking off Friday, Jan. 26 at 5 p.m. running until time is called on Sunday, Jan. 28, at 5:30 p.m.

    Contact: Adam Moore | amoore@uat.edu

    Register on Eventbrite and take a look at UAT’s Global Game Jam page.

    Use hashtag #GGJ18 to join in the worldwide conversation about the event!

    read more
    less
    Innovation From Day 1: Provost Challenge

    Innovation From Day 1: Provost Challenge

    (Jan 19, 2018)

    Each semester, Provost Dr. Dave Bolman presents new students with a challenge their first week of college, hence the Provost Challenge.

    The goal is to have new students show off their...

    Each semester, Provost Dr. Dave Bolman presents new students with a challenge their first week of college, hence the Provost Challenge.

    The goal is to have new students show off their creativity and innovation by making something cool and complete. Yes, that project description is vague on purpose, in order to allow students the freedom to unleash their ideas, mix that with the technology we have and find out what their technology savvy minds can do!

    This semester was particularly cool as three groups of students presents some really awesome projects.

    New students get busy innovating at UAT

    New students get busy innovating at UAT

    Here are the groups and their projects.

    Tower Jamz – this game showcases a colorful blend of light and sound to spruce up your boring stacker game.

    Tower Jamz stacker game

    Tower Jamz stacker game

    Dungeon Troubles – a card game for 2-5 players. The goal is to race your friends and collect the most gold! The entire board game was created using technology and materials at UAT.

    Dragon Troubles

    Dragon Troubles

    RP Character Creator – this project gave game artists an outlet in which to 3d print a visual representation of their character to export and print your hero!

    Character Creator

    Character Creator

    read more
    less
    Game Art & Animation Roots Inspire Student to Create Egyptian Asset

    Game Art & Animation Roots Inspire Student to Create Egyptian Asset

    (Jan 15, 2018)

    Blog post written by Game Art & Animation (GAA) student Olivia LeMaster

    During the GAA 220 class, I was required to create a cohesive asset that illustrated my accomplishments...

    Blog post written by Game Art & Animation (GAA) student Olivia LeMaster

    During the GAA 220 class, I was required to create a cohesive asset that illustrated my accomplishments in either 3DS Max or Maya software. I chose to work in 3DS Max, because it is free for students to work with for up to 3 years, with proof of active student email. Here is the link if you are interested in trying out 3DS Max: https://www.autodesk.com/education/free-software/3ds-max

    As a Game Art and Animation major, this kind of knowledge is key in the world of video games. In every game created, there are a multitude of people working on the environment and the characters in which you see in order to make it an interactive environment. Even something as simple as what I created took hours of time and practice and mistakes before I felt like it was something to feel proud of. It’s not a small feat, and that’s something that we all forget as we enjoy playing our favorite video game. The amount of time and effort that the animators and artists put into that game should not be forgotten because without them, there would be no visual game to see.

    We cannot forget the roots of animation. Without the basic drawings and understanding of anatomy, we would never have reached the heights we are today in animation. The basics are important, and even when using software such as 3DS Max, you have to understand the concept of what shapes are, and how you can manipulate them into something more, in order to create the beautiful scenes we see today.

    If you’re interested in reading from a professional animator, I am a fan of animator Scott T. Peterson, as he talks about his life as an animator, and his story of coming into the animating world. I find this one useful and motivational, because it brings together the two worlds of animating, and he relates to people who cannot afford an education in Game Art and Animation, but don’t want to let go of their dreams.

    It makes me proud to know that we all work together and admire our work. We realize the time and effort it takes, and we can still sit back, relax, and immerse ourselves into the games. In the end, that’s what every animator wants. For people to enjoy the games and the art they put into it.

    To follow in Olivia’s footsteps, take a look at the Game Art & Animation degree offered at UAT.

    read more
    less
    The Life of a Game Producer Featuring Alumni Erin Ali

    The Life of a Game Producer Featuring Alumni Erin Ali

    (Jan 11, 2018)

    Alumni Erin Ali graduated from UAT in 2007 with a Multimedia Degree. Today she has a career as an Online/Social Producer at Monolith Productions working on “Middle-earth:...

    Alumni Erin Ali graduated from UAT in 2007 with a Multimedia Degree. Today she has a career as an Online/Social Producer at Monolith Productions working on “Middle-earth: Shadow of War,” the sequel to Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.

    Her job duties include running schedule and production for the Online and Business Development Team.

    At a high-level her job encompasses all server-driven features, working with the game publisher and multiple external teams for platform and BI support and building/driving the post-ship live plan with Marketing and Community.

    Because Erin studied Multimedia classes at UAT, she got exposure to roles/disciplines in industry that were helpful as her current role as a Producer.

    Erin Ali

    The GAM101 course provided a view into the industry and being a student at a University that highly mirrored the male:female ratio in the industry, she had an idea of what her career could largely look like.

    The AAA Game Industry

    Did I mention that Erin began her career with Blizzard?

    Let’s touch on that!

    Erin worked at Blizzard Entertainment for 7 years. How cool?!

    “Blizzard was a great experience. I learned a ton there and it greatly shaped what kind of Producer I am and the background I have in platform development.”

    Erin’s Advice About Blizzard Careers:

    • Get used to interviewing early on in your career.
    • Ask for feedback and take constructive criticism from peers and authorities.
    • Let your quality show in your work and personality.
    • Get used to conversations being a two-way street.
    • Feedback does not go away once you’re hired, you can always learn new ways to improve.

    Erin’s Top Tips for Breaking into Industry
    1. Networking
    2. Solid Resume
    3. Professional Portfolio
    4. Interviewing Skills

    Remember: Developers are people, too and want to help if they can.

    How to Network at Blizzard

    • Don’t treat it coldly.
    • Don’t approach every developer with the idea of ‘get a job, get a job, get a job.’
    • Approach them genuinely with an eagerness to learn.
    • The person who gave Erin’s resume to a hiring manager at Blizzard was a guest lecturer she met at Tech Forum.
    read more
    less
    What is Game Art & Animation?

    What is Game Art & Animation?

    (Dec 20, 2017)

    Co-written by Game Art and Animation Jorge Portillo and Digital Media Maven Lauren Fach

    Game Art and Animation (GAA) is a creative...

    Co-written by Game Art and Animation Jorge Portillo and Digital Media Maven Lauren Fach

    Game Art and Animation (GAA) is a creative field in video game development. Without character art, would you feel as connected to a character? Without a realistic game world, what would pull a player into a game for hours and hours?

    Game art maps out a vision of how games will look, move and feel. Game artists make everything you see in a game world.

    At UAT, students with a passion for game art learn to create and animate environments, characters, textures, props and collision objects utilizing 2D and 3D platforms by industry-experienced faculty.

    Below you’ll find a glossary of terms used in Game Art and Animation classes at UAT and a list of programs students learn and use proficiently. Thanks to Game Art and Animation Professor Jorge Portillo for his expertise compiling this content.

    Game Art & Animation – Glossary of Terms

    Environment Artist (3D) – The role of an environment artist is to create the overall beauty of game worlds. These worlds can be supported within several art styles (Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Realistic) and can employ both interior and exterior environments.

    UAT Alumni Blake Bjerke works as an Environmental Artist at Cyan Games.

    UAT Alumni Blake Bjerke works as an Environmental Artist at Cyan Games on games like Obduction

    It’s important to note that environment artist create a plethora of content that range from organic assets, props, ruins, walls, architecture, etc. One of the many challenges they face is transforming the conceptual design of the environment to a full-blown world that’s interactive.

    Seeing that environments take a copious amount of time to develop, 3D artists are trained to create assets that can strategically be reused. This is called “modular construction” so you commonly see walls, ruins, trees and architecture reused in game worlds. All these assets are strategically assembled in engine and aid in creating the challenges and adventures for players such as mazes (puzzle solving) and jumping on platforms (platforming).

    Environment artists also have the ability to play with automated tools that are built inside the game engine. Some of these tools can create endless landscapes and be supported through an almost breathable ecosystem.

    What is Game Art and Animation?

    UAT Game Art Alumni Blake Bjerke – Environment Art

    Environment Artist – Pipeline and Roles:
    • Environment Concept Artist – Creates digital illustrations of landscapes and interiors (the idea person)
    • Environment Artist – Takes the pre-production materials (concept art) and begins to model and assemble the world. Depending on the studio, some environmental artists are instructed to model environment assets, unwrap, texture and integrate in engine.

    Environment Artist – Software Proficiency:
    • Photoshop – Concept Art and Texturing
    • Substance Painter – Texturing
    • 3Ds Max – Modeling/Unwrap
    • Mays – Modeling/Unwrap
    • Zbrush – High Poly Modeling/Sculpting
    • SpeedTree

    Environment Artist – Engine Knowledge:
    • Unreal 4
    • Unity
    • Proprietary (AAA)

    Character Artist (3D) – The role of a character artist is to create believable and enjoyable characters that players can use or interact with inside the game worlds. Character artists have a plethora of knowledge in anatomy and muscle flow. This comes in handy during the 3D modeling process. They start to create subdivisions and edge loops to flow with the anatomy of the character.

    Character artist - what is game art and animation?

    3D Character Developments created by student Matthew DuBois, created for UAT Game studios game “World of Martz”

    Edge Loops are a continuous ring of polygons that follow a specific path around a model. (In this case muscle/anatomy) It usually tends to emulate realistic anatomy proportions. Subdivision modeling is used to create scalable detail and help with the rendering quality of the model. Character Artists are also tasked to understand High Poly Sculpting software (zBrush or Mudbox). This is where the artist can manually sculpt extreme detail on the model such as muscle, veins, scars, etc. Once the artist has finished their high poly sculpt, they will take it into a texturing process called “baking” where the detail is essentially baked into a 2D texture then later mapped onto the 3D model. This process helps display extreme detail without effecting the model’s poly count.

    Character art - what is game art and animation?

    Character Artist – Pipeline and Roles:
    • Character Concept Artist – Creates digital illustrations of character. Must develop full turnaround poses of character (front, side, back, top and 3/4). Also creates facial expressions and dynamic poses.
    • Character Artist – Takes concepts (turnaround poses) and begins to model applying both techniques (subdivision and edge looping). Once base mesh has been developed, they will move into high poly sculpting, create detail, bake out the model and apply back to original mesh.

    Character Artist – Software Proficiency:
    • Photoshop – Concept Art and Texturing
    • Substance Painter – Texturing
    • 3Ds Max – Modeling/Unwrap
    • Mays – Modeling/Unwrap
    • Zbrush – High Poly Modeling/Sculpting

    Prop Artist (3D) – The role of a prop artist is to create the supporting content that goes into an environment and/or game world. Most common props will be crates, barrels, and gates.

    A more advanced prop artist will develop weapons and artillery. Prop artists work closely with concept artists to get an idea of how props/weapons function. Most props display some level of functionality, so a artist must model out each component separately to deliver effective movement and functionality.

    Substance painter contest entry by student Jake Turocy

    Substance Painter Contest entry by student Jake Turocy

    Prop Artist – Pipeline and Roles:
    • Prop Concept Artist – Creates digital illustrations of props/weapons. Develops full turnaround illustrations and supports it with blueprints/schematics. This allows for the breakdown and assembly of the prop/weapon.
    • Prop Artist – Will utilize the conceptual designs and schematics to model out the props. Once model is completed they will unwrap the models and texture them. (depending on the studio)

    Prop Artist – Software Proficiency:
    • Photoshop – Concept Art and Texturing
    • Substance Painter – Texturing
    • 3Ds Max – Modeling/Unwrap
    • Mays – Modeling/Unwrap
    • Zbrush – High Poly Modeling/Sculpting

    Rigging (3D) – The role of 3D rigger is to develop a custom skeleton system that helps animate characters, complex props and vehicles. This skill is commonly known as a “technical art.” A 3D character rigger will create an entire skeletal system that is tailored around the anatomy of the character. Once the skeleton is complete, they will assign animation controllers and constraints to help the character move. Next they will bind the bones to the mesh and paint its skin weights for more accuracy in mesh movement.

    Rigging – Software Proficiency:
    • 3Ds Max – Rigging, Skinning, Weight Painting
    • Maya- Rigging, Skinning, Weight Painting

    3D Modeling – Developing a representation of an object in three dimensions (3D)

    Hard Surface Modeling – As described in more detail above, hard surface modeling speaks to props and environment models. One of the major areas to understand in modeling for game environments is “modular construction.” This is when a 3D environment artist creates several pieces (walls, floors, celling, ruins, platforms) and reuses them in a creative/strategic way to create worlds. (See image below)

    Hard surface modeling

    Hard surface modeling

    Texturing – Defining high detail on a 3D model using textures that you can create from images or from painting

    Organic Modeling – Mentioned above, organic modeling speaks to plants, creatures and characters. Anything that has a curved surface is considered an organic model. The goal to effective organic modeling is understanding proper “edge looping”. This is where a continuous ring of polygons follows a specific path around a model. It usually tends to emulate realistic anatomy proportions. (See image below)

    Organic modeling

    Organic modeling

    Motion Capture (mocap) – helps artists understand how items and people actually move, helping them animate easier and more accurately. MoCap is widely used in game development. It creates realistic and controllable movements for characters. It lives mostly in sport simulations and heavy combat gaming.

    See the video below that allowed UAT Game Art students to transform ballerinas into students’ game characters in celebration of the Ballet Arizona Scholarship.

    Programs used in UAT’s Game Art degree:

    • 3Ds Max – Modeling, Rigging, Animation
    • Maya – Modeling, Rigging, Animation
    • zBrush – High Poly Modeling/Sculpting
    • Photoshop – Texturing
    • Substance Painter – Texturing
    • Unreal
    • Unity

    The work of a game artist means the overall beauty of the game, the look and feel, according to GAA Professor Jorge Portillo.

    Famous game artists that students are inspired by:
    Feng Zhu – Concept Artist
    Frank Tzeng – Character Artist (Naughty Dog)
    Chris Robinson – Art Director (Blizzard)

    “Game art has helped me unleash a new sense of creativity that I did not know I possessed. It allows me to let my ideas and dreams come to life in a way that I never knew I could do,” – Shelby Epley, Game Art student. “Many of us look up to our professors such at Matt Marquit, Jorge Portillo, and Lynn Understiller.”

    “In Game Art, I’ve learned that dedication and attention to detail are huge keys to success.” – said Game Art and Animation student Justin Cooper.

    “A painter allows you to view realistic and imaginative words, a game artist allows you to explore those worlds by putting you in them. They create high levels of engagement through challenges, adventures and endless exploration,” said Professor Jorge Portillo.

    Some amazing UAT Game Artist alumni:
    Dima Goryainov – Concept Artist at Bungie
    Dennis Porter – Texture Artist at Certain Affinity Game Studio
    Blake Bjerke – Environmental Artist at Cyan Games

    UAT Digital Media Alumni Dima Goryainov creates assets for Destiny 2 at Bungie.

    UAT Digital Media Alumni Dima Goryainov creates game assets for Destiny 2 at Bungie

    Find out how to land a job in AAA games. UAT Alumni Blake Bjerke, Environmental Artist at Cyan Games, offers valuable advice on breaking into the industry.

    Because Game Art is a competitive industry, alumni Dennis Porter describes working his dream job as AAA Texture Artist at Certain Affinity and how he mastered his skill sets working at indie studios.

    To learn more about pursuing an education in Game Art and Animation, please visit the UAT website.

     

    read more
    less
    UAT Game Students Playtest Game for Local Developer E-Line Media

    UAT Game Students Playtest Game for Local Developer E-Line Media

    (Dec 04, 2017)

    On Friday, Game Professors Hue Henry and Jorge Portillo took 10 UAT students to E-Line Media to playtest one of their up-and-coming titles. E-Line Media is a...

    On Friday, Game Professors Hue Henry and Jorge Portillo took 10 UAT students to E-Line Media to playtest one of their up-and-coming titles. E-Line Media is a local game developer that creates “Games for Change.”

    They are best known for their titles “Never Alone,” “Gamestar Mechanic” and “MINECRAFTEDU.”

    Students were able to experience the game testing world by interacting with multiple phases of the game, applying feedback verbally and through surveys.

    “It was great to see UAT build a relationship with such and impactful developer that is making games for the greater good of the community,” Professor Portillo said.

    read more
    less
    EcoDefense, An Art & Animation Student’s Game Concept to Inspire Greener Living

    EcoDefense, An Art & Animation Student’s Game Concept to Inspire Greener Living

    (Nov 28, 2017)

    By: Brenda Najera, UAT Game Art & Animation Student

    My goal here at UAT is to create a game that will branch out past gamers and reach a...

    By: Brenda Najera, UAT Game Art & Animation Student

    My goal here at UAT is to create a game that will branch out past gamers and reach a broader audience and show everyone how meaningful a game can be while also giving them a thought provoking message that would then hopefully inspire something great in them.

    I hope to achieve this goal with the project I am currently working on now. The game project called EcoDefense. The game puts you in the perspective of the main character, a small Martian girl that lives on a planet much like ours.

    One significant difference however, is that this home planet of hers is encrusted with garbage. It becomes the duty of the player as the main character to begin a journey of which no others have attempted. The journey to heal the planet to its former state and make it habitable again.

    A takeaway from my blog post and the game: I want everyone to learn the importance of caring for our planet and become inspired to make a change towards greener living.

    Check out our DevBlog here!

    read more
    less