During the summer the Tisch School of the Arts offers high school students the chance to participate in intensive training in New York City. Through these programs students gain an enriching and enlightening experience, and a better understanding of the nature of a professional training program. In each of our four-week residential programs, students are enrolled in rigorous and highly structured college-level courses taught by our full-time faculty. Upon successful completion of the summer program, students earn six college credits, all fully accredited New York University courses.
The Summer High School program is 4 weeks from early July to early August each year.
The NYU Game Center is dedicated to the exploration of games as a cultural form and game design as creative practice. The NYU Game Center’s Summer High School Program teaches students the creative and technical skills of digital and non-digital game development. With a hands-on approach to teaching, the workshop covers the various skills and disciplines that are brought together in modern game development: game design, programming, visual art, animation, sound design, and writing.
This unique educational experience provides a select group of students the opportunity to immerse themselves in Game Design and contribute to defining the cultural landscape for the next 100 years.
Each course is 2 credits.
Game Literacy – In this class, students learn to develop fundamental critical literacy about games from a formal, cultural, and social perspective. Students will look at games from multiple perspectives and look at games discussion on multiple platforms; The course will help students define and articulate their own critical frameworks when they approach games through play, readings, writing, and discussion.
Game Design Workshop – This class will provide an introduction to the underlying principles of game design outside the context of any particular technical platform. Students learn how to craft a compelling interactive experience through rules and play by creating non-digital games in a number of different formats.
Game Development Workshop – Students are introduced to the fundamentals of creating a playable digital game from start to finish. This will include an introduction to the basics of programming, working with engines and tools, organizing a complex creative technical project, as well as collaboration and creative teamwork.
Interview with Game Center Professor, Frank Lantz
Games were once considered just a form of entertainment but there’s more to games. How have games evolved to the art form they are today?
It’s partly generational; there’s now a generation of people who grew up with games and don’t want to leave them behind. Another part of it is the increased access to technology with digital distribution. The combination of those two aspects really allowed the indie game scene to flourish. Kids make video games now the way they used to form bands. Once it became possible for individuals and small teams to create their own work and reach an audience, it allowed games to become more personal, experimental, and driven by personal vision. Game developers could take more creative risks and, as a result, they started to do all the things that we’ve come to expect from more traditional cultural art forms like literature, music, and film.
What surprises students the most when exploring game development?
The thing about game design is that it’s an iterative process where you discover what’s cool about your ideas through implementing and testing them and often, what’s cool about them is not what you thought. This discovery process tends to be a surprise since what’s great is rarely what you expect going into it.
What are you looking for in a student?
First and foremost, a passion for games. We look for talent and potential in any of the varied disciplines that go into game development, such as programming, visual design, systems design, storytelling, and critical thinking about games. We want students who have a vision for what they want to make and consume, the ability to articulate their own point of view, and some sense of how their individual voices can contribute to games.
What types of hands on projects will students collaborate on in the summer program?
They will get hands on experience with making both digital and non-digital games.
What will students take away from the four-week workshop and seminar?
They will have a solid introduction into critical thinking about games, the fundamental design principles of games, and the practical skills that go into making a video game.