Jennifer Gutterman

Assistant Professor of Game Design and Game Studies
Jennifer Gutterman
Contact Jennifer

Mail Code CS
Jennifer Gutterman
Adele Simmons Hall 216

Jennifer Gutterman holds a B.F.A from Syracuse University, with a double major in computer graphics and painting, and an M.F.A in visual FX, focusing on 3D modeling and concept development from the Academy of Art University.

Gutterman’s primary research interests are in 3D development for animation, analog and digital games, and accessibility and intersectionality of world-building and concept development for games and animation.

Gutterman developed and runs the game design program at Manchester Community College in Manchester, Connecticut, and is a freelance artist and game designer. Gutterman has spoken at Metatopia and PAX Unplugged on topics such as "Queer Worldbuilding, Eat, Drink, Be Merry: Developing Cultural Touchstones for Immersive Worldbuilding," "Queer Game Design: More Than Just Representation, Latinx Game Designers, Games and Education,and "How to Pitch: Pitching Games at Every Level of Development."

Currently Gutterman is working on several projects that include hybrid games utilizing digital and analog elements, a cooperative board game introduced at Metatopia 2018 and freelance work on several in progress projects in both analog and digital games.

Recent and Upcoming Courses

  • This course explores visual narrative over sequences of images as used in time based and interactive media and graphic novels. Students will become familiar with the discipline of sequential art and the tools necessary for composition, panel design, visually translating written scripts, time based media in both linear and non-linear modes as well as composition and over reaching visual arc of panels on physical pages as well as on a screen. Students will work through a professional workflow that includes initial concept, thumbnail development, visual milestones particular to the intended output, peer critique, revision and successful completion. Students will be expected to be able to draw prior to entering this class. Students will need to have access to a digitizing tablet for this course

  • In Game Studio Project, Division III students will pitch their games to the class of Division II students. Division II students will vote on which games they want to work on and then teams will be built within the class. The course will entail weekly check ins on progress on each group's games while each group self-determines their priorities, their production schedule and their deliverables. The game project itself may encompass time beyond the classroom so Division III team leaders will develop schedules and tasks lists that fit within the time frames of the course. This class is instructor permission to maintain the balance of teams and projects. Please email Professor Gutterman at for permission to register for this course. Keywords:3D, Game Developer, Unity, UNREAL

  • Life is a Cooperative game! In this course, students will be introduced to the study of games, game play and why we play games with a little bit of game design thrown in. Students should be prepared to play a lot of games, talk about game themes and game play in the specifics of the game but also in the general overall context of game play for the players, the region and the content. Students should expect to learn how to be effective team mates! Students will be talking a lot, writing a lot and hopefully playing a lot of games

  • This course provides an introduction to the history of games, terminology and principles of game design and game mechanics. We will also explore the development of analog games and game systems from inception through playtesting and prototyping. Students will learn to analyze, design, prototype, and document games for deployment in digital or analog format using professional practices that include, but are not limited to professional game documentation, iterative design, paper prototyping and play testing. Students will be creating a prototype for an individual game concept and then create a playable prototype as a collaborative analog game. Keywords:Games, game play, tabletop This course could be used to fulfill the Division II Project requirement.

  • This course is designed to give students a strong introduction to the workflow of creating concept art for the entertainment industry using professional digital tools. Students will be expected to have their own graphics tablet and computer to handle the software used in class. While this course is designed to give students, who have no other digital art background a strong foundation in concept art skills that will help with future digital art courses, the course does not teach basic drawing in a traditional manner. While we explore techniques and workflows pertinent to the entertainment industry, we will be looking at concept design that is not limited to the current popular culture norm. Students will be encouraged to explore concept development that takes in account accessibility, inclusivity and diversity issues from character design to color palette choices Keywords:Game Design, Animation, Digital Illustration This course could be used to fulfill the Division II Project requirement

  • Students are expected to have at least one course, or equivalent experience in 3D Poly Modeling for games and animation using an industry standard software, preferably Autodesk Maya. The course work will include practical examples and project-based work, ideally providing useful material for student portfolios. By the end of the course, successful students will be able to model characters that can reasonably be used in games and animation. Students will be encouraged, in the development of their 3D assets that they dive deep into concept design that is not limited to the popular culture norms of the time. Students will explore the necessary modeling and design workflows for consideration of inclusivity, accessibility and diversity in the 3D design and modeling. Keywords:Game Design, 3D Animation, VFX, High Poly Sculpting This course could be used to fulfill the Division II Project requirement

  • In this course, students will focus on workflow and techniques for creating polygonal surface models for game assets, character models and 3D environments for animation and video games, as well as 3D prototyping for physical game assets. This class will focus on poly resource management, modeling workflow and the creation of 3D assets from conception/reference art through modeling, basic materials, lighting and rendering. Project requirements will range in complexity and detail, and students are expected to work outside of class to apply in-class demonstration of techniques to projects and assignments. KEYWORDS:Game Design, Game Development, Art, Entertainment Media, 3D Visualization

  • In this course, students will learn to create dynamic worlds with diverse populations, mythology, and characters for games, animation and other media. Students will use a variety of techniques and processes to develop and design worlds for their concept. World building gives a rich and dynamic canvas on which to develop characters, obstacles, motivations, macro and micro issues, and conflicts and resolutions. Such practice allows for more robust and consistent worlds in which to set singular or serial events in linear and non-linear ways. Using visual and written content, students will develop characters and environments that are influenced by both created and existing cultural and historical content. Students interested in creative writing, film and animation, graphic novels, tabletop games, RPGs, and/or digital games are all welcome. KEYWORDS:Animation, Entertainment, Media

  • In this course students will be introduced to the workflow of game level design from concept, documentation, paper prototyping and developing 2D game levels using an industry standard game engine. Students will progress through a series of small assignments while developing a larger project idea alongside. The second half of the semester will focus on developing their idea through deployment as a playable game level or portion of a playable game level. This course will focus on 2D game level design but student work is not limited to that for the purposes of this class. This course will act as an introduction to a professional level game engine software package. Students will be challenged to create a viable and interesting game level experience while learning the basics of the software. During this, students will be encouraged to explore and experiment with the game engine's capabilities beyond the class content.Keywords:Games,Unity,2D,Animation

  • In this course students will be introduced to the workflow of animation using an industry standard 3D animation program. Students will create animation using Forward Kinematics (FK) by setting keyframes on a timeline, use hierarchy tools to control complex animation, understand and use deformers and constraints and will then be introduced to the basics of animation using Inverse Kinematics (IK) and basic rigging for character animation. At the end of this course students should be able to set up a timeline, create, edit and refine animation keyframes, meet the objectives of each animation assignment, pre-plan and storyboard an animated short, render their animations and be able to deploy them as a standalone short movie. While it is not required, it is strongly recommended to already have experience with Autodesk Maya and modeling techniques before taking this class. Students should expect at least 8 hours of work outside of class time.Keywords:Animation,3D,Maya,Game