GAME/PLAY: Design, direction & production is a brand new Master's program for aspiring designers who believe in a game culture that values diversity, creativity and innovation.
Master Programs in Computer Arts in Milan Italy. GAME/PLAY: Design, direction & production is a brand new Master's program for aspiring designers who believe in a game culture that values diversity, creativity and innovation.
Within the context of game design, IULM now offers a groundbreaking one-year, full-time, English-only, studio-based Master Program located in the center of Milan, Italy. The program is designed for students who are interested in creating fresh, inventive, and experimental video games & interactive experiences. A rigorous - and yet playful - concentration on professional practices will lead graduates to advanced work in game design and new media production.
Directed by Matteo Bittanti and coordinated by Pietro Righi Riva, GAME/PLAY features some of the most innovative and renowned designers, scholars, and authors working today and who are highly committed to their research, practice, and teaching. GAME/PLAY Design, Direction, and Production provides all the tools and skills needed for the development, distribution, and exhibition of cutting edge video games and interactive experiences. The program’s instructional model is focused on hands-on sessions with accomplished faculty, guest artists, game developers from all over the world, and group critiques with instructors and peers. Students will also take courses in game studies and Game Art that address eclectic critical and aesthetic practices. A truly interdisciplinary program, GAME/PLAY supports collaboration and meaningful exchange between the school's different departments. Completion of the program will earn graduates a Master's Degree from IULM University
Over the course of the year (October 2016 - July 2017), students will work individually or in teams to brainstorm, research, design, and develop a digital game which will become their final project to be submitted at international competitions such as the Independent Games Festival, Indiecade, Fantastic Arcade (United States), A MAZE. (Germany), Game On! (Argentina), Gamerz (France), and many more. Moreover, in February 2017, all the enrolled students will travel to San Francisco to visit the annual Game Developers Conference with the Program Coordinator and attend events, workshops, and panels.
In addition to their participation in departmental and campus wide events, students will take full advantage of Milan’s rich cultural and artistic offerings: during the academic year, the class will visit several Museums, Foundations, and Galleries, attend workshops, conferences, and talks. Students are also encouraged to participate in game-related events such as jams, exhibitions, competitions, festivals, and workshops taking place in Milan.
Let the games begin!
Located in Milan, one of the most diverse, dynamic, and sophisticated cities in Europe, IULM University is one of Italy’s leading universities in media studies, communication, and languages. The mission of IULM University is to train and teach professionals capable of taking on the challenges and grasping the opportunities emerging from international markets and scenarios, while also shaping men and women aware of their own being and worth. IULM guarantees its students deep cultural awareness and a solid university education - a mix of theory and practice: it adopts an integrated approach, which has proved to be extremely useful not only in helping students successfully enter the world of work, but also in helping them find personal satisfaction in their lives.
The GAME/PLAY Master's consists of nine courses taught by an outstanding faculty. In addition, it features a series of unmissable talks and workshops.
GAME SCENES investigates the relationship between art and games, especially digital games. It examines a variety of artistic interventions inspired by video games or explicitly employing game-based digital technology, including the use of patched or modified video games or the re-purposing of existing games and/or game mechanics. GameScenes also examines the influence of gaming - both digital and traditional on painting, sculpture, street and graffiti art, performance, visual culture, and sampling/remix culture. During the course of the semester students will experience and discuss art games, machinima, in-game interventions, and performances, site-specific installations, site-relative mods, but also board games, simulations, and toys. Course topics include sexual and political representation, ideology and politics in game-based artworks, Game Art criticism and the interplay between games and Contemporary Art.
Through GAME PRODUCTION students will learn the craft of game development through a series of practical exercises. The class explores the elements common to all games that are fundamental for a game designer working in any format, from sports to board games to computer and video games. Students will invest their time in actual design and production, which will be structured and guided by the instructor. This production time will be supplemented by in-class exercises, readings, and discussion, and talks from visiting artists and game developers. Students will create and tune gaming experiences, introducing students to production roles, play-testing, considerations of audience and platform, and other practical concerns in building games. At the end of the academic year each student or group will have produced a playable digital game. Among the topics covered by GAME PRODUCTION are research, pre-production, production, collaboration, and distribution.
Choosing the most appropriate language to express a game design idea is just as important as selecting the most effective technology, or the right marketplace. GAME AESTHETICS provides an introduction to aesthetics in contemporary game development, from interaction dynamics to visual style. It explores all aspects of representation in games - from simulation to abstract play, from photo-realism to low-poly art, from digital expressionism to radical punk aesthetics - providing students valuable experience using various languages, strategies, and methods that can be applied to their projects. The instructor will provide useful reference and will assists students in identifying and achieving their unique style.
For evaluating the students’ work-in-progress during the year, the Program adopts the art school format of weekly critiques: both a faculty member and students will participate in constructive, direct, and open discussions about the state of their project. A GAME CRITIQUE is meant to promote both the creative environment and the intellectual context for experimentation. Students are encouraged to thoughtfully challenge the prevailing conventions of digital gaming (both in terms of form and content), develop new forms, and become innovators in playable design.
GAME CONTEXTS examines the historical and cultural relevance of play, discusses key characteristics of games, surveys the emergent and interdisciplinary approaches to game design. Particular attention is paid to integrating knowledge and design approaches from other creative fields, such as architecture, fashion design, service design, and contemporary art. Pivotal to the module is the process of helping students develop strategies to explore these approaches for the development and production of their own work. Special attention will be devoted to the evolution of game design as a discipline, and how it interacts with constant changes in design and culture altogether. Each week during the semester, the instructor will introduce and discuss a specific game. Students will be required to play the game and contribute to the discussion. The themes explored in class will subsequently be used for development goals.
Game creation and production are multidisciplinary endeavours that benefit from experimentation and the application of innovative techniques and approaches borrowed from science and art. In GAME LAB, students will be introduced to a selection of non-traditional techniques that artists have been using to create games: camera-assisted 3D sculpting, DIY motion capture experiments, visual scripting,the integration of real world captures into computer generated worlds, and more. The instructor will introduce the students to these tools to rapidly prototype experimental ideas and to integrate these techniques into their projects.
GAME STUDIO provides students with a set of materials, tools, libraries, frameworks, engines, interfaces, and instruments to create games, both analog and digital. Among the digital tools that will be explored are Processing (a great tool for learning the fundamentals of programming, free and open source) and Unity 3D, the most popular engine for game making. This course also involves a ‘rapid prototyping’ phase, wherein developers work feverishly to implement a large number of small ideas to test their potential before embarking on the more rigid and costly processes involved in full production. Several famous games in history began with a minimalistic prototype created in less than a week. is an intensive course which aims to build up a student’s repertoire of fast-prototyping skills and provide the student with invaluable experience in starting and finishing games. Each prototype will be confined within a conceptual theme and/or within unique technical constraints. Beyond simply learning to program, students in this class will explore models and algorithms useful for developing games. Students acquire practical skills by building gameplay experiences through a series of short-cycle exercises.
GAME BUSINESS provides students seeking to get a job in the video game industry with a basic understanding of its economic components and drivers, so that they may better understand their role within it, whether as an employee of a larger company, a partner in an independent studio, an individual developer, or a freelance contractor. The goal of the class is to provide the practical knowledge and conceptual understanding students need to achieve the greatest degree of success and creative freedom throughout their career. The course also address issues related to marketing, networking, and promotion.
The creation of novel storytelling strategies for digital games is one of the key issues in game development. Narrative games build bridges between dramatic writing for theatre and film, television, and game design, and opens new avenues for new types of writing for digital media. GAME WRITING is a hands-on course that focuses on games that include a strong storytelling component, providing the opportunity to do interdisciplinary work. This course introduces students to the design of narrative games, including conceptualization, foundational narrative design strategies, and writing. Throughout the course of the year, students will learn how to use different tools and engines to develop narrative games; they will work individually and in teams. GAME WRITING uses the adventure game genre as a gateway to the general strategies used to incorporate narrative in games.
Degree Level: Master's Degree
Attendance: full-time, mandatory
Degree Required: B.A.
Duration: 1 year (October 2017 - June 2018), 1500 hours
Course Frequency: mandatory, 3-4 days per week
Location: Milan, Italy
Start date: October 9, 2017
Application Start Date: ongoing
Application Deadline: September 30, 2017
European Students € 13.500
Pre-submission fee: €100 (which can be deducted from the first payment)
Non-European Students € 16.200
How to apply
Applications are now open
Upon selection, the Master admits graduates in Art, Media Studies, Communication and Graphics, Information Technology, Design or Architecture and their equivalents or candidates who have gained significant professional experience in the field. The program has a limited number of places available. All courses are taught in English and students must be proficient in English in order to participate.
Applicants will be admitted upon a rigorous selection based on:
a) A letter of application outlining scholarly and creative background as well as current and future research plans. The student is encouraged to articulate her or his rationale for choosing a digital game or interactive art as a medium of expression;
b) One-page curriculum vitae detailing skills, achievements, and previous experiences;
c) An updated portfolio of the student’s most significant work in any field or discipline (writing, art, design, performance, etc.);
d) A project proposal for a game or an interactive media piece (500 words max);
e) An interview with the Program Director and the Program Coordinator.
Applications must be sent to the IULM Academic Office.