National High School Game Academy

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Learn how to create unique game software on state-of-the-art technology.  

The National High School Game Academy (NHSGA) allows disciplined, passionate, and dedicated high school students to experience modern video game development. Sharing methods and paradigms used in Carnegie Mellon"s Masters of Entertainment Technology (M.E.T.) graduate program, the NHSGA focuses on an innovative blend of hands-on team projects combined with in-depth traditional lecture and discussion. Designed to elevate a student’s rigor, working process, and discipline, the NHSGA prepares students for their college experience.

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Who should apply?NHSGA encourages students interested in ART, MUSIC & AUDIO, GAME DESIGN, and SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT to apply for this interdisciplinary program. Students will be encouraged to expand their own creative possibilities in a unique blend of left- and right-brain college-level work. Every student accepted to the program will be expected to contribute to every area of development.

Program Options:
6-week*Residential OR Commuter**

*For specific program dates see, the home page.

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**In order to be eligible as a commuter student, the parent or legal guardian must have a permanent residence within approximately 30 miles of campus or within Allegheny County. Families who relocate temporarily to the Pittsburgh area are not eligible for commuter status. There are no exceptions to this policy.

Curriculum

Carnegie Mellon University’s teaching philosophy is that all students learn by doing. The NHSGA enthusiastically embraces that philosophy and every student will learn all the skills needed to develop video games.In Weeks 1-3, students attend classes that teach best practices and core skills needed in game development. Every student takes classes in the following disciplines: 2D and 3D art, software development, music composition, audio, game design, production, management, and interactive narrative. In Weeks 4-6, students are divided into teams based on a combination of their area of interest and skills as demonstrated in class. No student is guaranteed any specific role on any team. We assign roles with the goal of creating the best possible teams for the current project. One student on each team is chosen to be the team’s producer. All other students receive deep instruction in all areas and will be ready to perform any role on the team to which they"re assigned. This program is a rigorous and demanding six-week experience. Participation throughout the entire six weeks is critical.

Curriculum Includes:

Weeks 1-3

Lectures and Workshops – Skill Building


In the first three weeks of the program, class instruction consists of daily lectures and workshops centered on crucial skills needed to build a video game.Topics include*:programming in Unity2D art3D artproject managementstorytellinggame designanimationsound design/music composition*all receiving equal weight
During the first three weeks, students have assigned homework every night in every class. The NHSGA instructors evaluate the homework to assess student competence and assign the students to their teams for project work. A typical class day includes five hours of classes and two to three hours of homework.
Academic Highlight:

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Trained as a theatrical lighting designer, Chris Klug began his career in the arts working on Broadway, in regional theater and toured with various 70"s rock n" roll bands. Then Chris transitioned into a career as a Game Designer. Starting with Simulations Publications, Inc., in 1981, he was first Assistant Designer on Universe, then was Lead Designer for the 2nd edition of DragonQuest, Horror Hotel, and Damocles Mission. When TSR bought SPI, Chris moved on to co-start up Victory Games and managed the role-playing games product line -  designed the James Bond 007 role-playing game.Later, Chris moved on to freelance video game design and worked for SegaSoft, TSR, Hasbro Interactive, 3W, THQ, Simon and Schuster Interactive, Target Games, h2o Interactive, and Gizmo Games. Some of his computer game credits include Star Trek DS9: Dominion Wars, Europa Universalis, Duke Nukem: Time to Kill, and Diamond Dreams Baseball. Chris then joined EA"s Westwood Studios full-time as a content and story specialist and later becoming Creative Director for Earth & Beyond.In addition to teaching story, game design, and creating writing at phukienotocaocap.com, Chris consults with game publishers around the world. . . Learn More.