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 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. Key Words: games, game design, digital ilustration
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 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. Key Words: game design, creature modeling, 3D printing
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. Students should have a level of comfort with computers that goes beyond basic tasks. Key words: game design, game development, analog games, 3D Modeling, 3D
In this course, students will work in teams to develop, from conception to formal output, a fully realized game project that focuses on an aspect of Analog or Digital Game Development. Students will brainstorm, document, iterate, develop, report on and finally deploy a finished element of the game design process - this can be focused on game art, UX/UI, game animation, level design or an analog game. All projects will be documented professionally, reported on each week by the teams working on them and have full cooperative development over the course of the semester. This is intended to allow students to bring their skills sets developed over the course of their education into a fully realized final product that showcases their attention to detail, their ability to multitask and work in groups as well as professional communication, documentation and deployment. Key words: game design, game development, analog games, game art
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.