Visiting Assistant Professor of Animation and Game Design
Jennifer’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.
Jennifer developed and runs the Game Design Program at Manchester Community College in Manchester CT and is a freelance artist and game designer. Jennifer 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 Jennifer 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.
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 different non-digital games using professional processes for game development in non-digital and digital games. (keywords: game design, game development, analog games)
In this course, students will learn to create dynamic worlds with diverse populations, mythology, and characters for games and animation. 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students will develop characters and environments that are influenced by both created and existing cultural and historical content.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 tabletop games, RPGs, and/or digital games are all welcome.
This course explores visual narrative over sequences of images as used in time-based media, interactive media, and graphic novels. Students will become familiar with the disciplines that use sequential art, as well as the tools necessary for composition, panel design, and visual translation of written scripts. We will study time-based media in both linear and nonlinear modes, as well as composition and the visual arc of panels on physical pages and screens. 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.
In this course, students will further develop their 3D modeling skills, with a focus on character modeling for games and animation. Students are expected to have some experience related to 3D modeling prior to taking this course. The course work will include practical examples and project-based work, ideally providing useful material for student portfolios. Models will generally be high poly, and if time allows, techniques related to 3D printing will also be explored. By the end of the course, successful students will be able to model characters that can reasonably be used in games and animation.
This course is designed to give students a strong introduction to concept art using digital tools. No experience is necessary, and all students are welcome! By the end of the course, successful students will be able to create concept art using a variety of digital tools, and will provide a solid foundation for further digital art courses.