Future Students

What to Expect | Freshman | Sophomore | Juniors | Seniors | After-School Program

NEHS Game and Computer Programming Academy strives to offer students a taste of what they might experience in the game and software engineer industry. We strive to give the students as close to a real world experience as they possibly could get by offering hands on experience with the technology that is currently in use in the industry of game development. Students will learn how to create fascinating 3D interactive worlds using the game engine Unity. They will create virtual reality environments for the Oculus Rift. They will learn how to create, model, and animate 3D characters and game elements using Autodesk Maya. Students will also gain a basic understanding of the computer languages C# and Javascript.

Currently the program is only available for entrance during a student’s freshman year, as this is a program that students follow their 4 years of high school. Feel free to contact our guidance counselor Ms. Bing Thepsiri at NEHS to discuss your child’s enrollment in the program.

At the current time, interest is the only prerequisite to enter this program. However, it is strongly suggested that your student has a solid understanding of Algebra and basic computer skills.

 

What to Expect From the Academy

As a member of the Academy, students will get to know their classmates well as they move throughout the day to their general courses with each other. Teamwork is very important in the game design industry, so students will have several group assignments and projects to learn the foundations of teamwork. This means students will learn to work out differences, recognize and utilize team and individual strengths, learn to speak up for what they feel is right, and learn about the responsibility each member has in the team.

Freshman Year – The first year of the program is known as The Foundations of Game Programming. In this course, students will touch on the whole experience of building a game from the ground up. They will learn the psychological and physical importance of play and map out the history of play. They are going to learn why a game requires certain elements and how those elements contribute to the success of a game. Students will get a quick taste of what its like to create a design document and pitch the idea. They will take a look at the business side of the industry including funding, marketing, legal issues, business planning an documents. And finally students will learn the basics of computer programming. During this course students will work extensively with the Construct 2 game engine while also getting their feet wet with HTML, CSS, and Javascript. A copy of the state approved standards can be found here: Foundations of Game Programming Standards

Sophomore Year – The second year of the program is known as Game Design. In this course, students will dive deeper into the process of design. The small samples from last year’s course will turn into very detailed discussions and projects. Students will use their experiences to create professional looking storyboards and design documents that go into extreme detail about the final outcome of a game. They will gain more experience with Maya to learn how to create game assets and animate game characters. They will get experience with a simple motion capture studio to animate their characters. Students will explore the history of storytelling and how this contributes to the design of a game. At the end of this year, students should have a complete understanding of the entire design process for a video game. A copy of the state approved standards can be found here: Game Design Standards

Junior Year – The third year of the program is known as Game Programming. In this course, students will get to choose between a class that focuses on 2D and one the focuses on 3D.  3D students will need to have a firm understanding of computer programming as they will be writing their own scripts, where the 2D students will be using visual scripts on Construct 2 and focus more on HTML, CSS, and Javascript.  3D students will go deeper into coding by using the language  C# which is used by Unity to create video games. All students will understand the mechanics behind a game, including scripting, and collision math. They will get experience creating virtual worlds for the Oculus Rift. Students will learn how to utilize databases to create progressive game levels. They will create user manuals and help files and design a user friendly interface. After this year, students will start to develop skills as programmers that will make them marketable to potential employers. Students will even have an opportunity to apply for the Career Practicum class, in which students work with a real client throughout the school year to design and develop a video game.

Junior Year – Career Practicum – Juniors will also have the opportunity to apply for a career practicum course. This course is through acceptance only. Students will be running their own game development company. They can either be working with a client or enter a game they make into a competition. Students will spend the first 9 weeks going through the whole design process for the game. After the design gets approval, they will spend the rest of the year developing the game using the Scrim Agile framework. Professionals from the industry will be brought in at different stages to give advice and critique what they have done. This is a great opportunity for students to get an overview of what it is like to actually work in an industry along with making connections with those currently in the industry. The faculty and admin of the academy will be looking for the “cream-of-the-crop” for this class. We are looking for those students that demonstrate leadership, a commitment to deadlines and providing the best possible product, able to work well in teams, and proven demonstration of responsibility.

Senior Year – The final year of this program is known as Multiple User Game and Simulation Programming. In this course, students will navigate even deeper down the rabbit hole of game development. They will polish up their skills in computer programming which could lead to certification of certain languages. Students will learn what it takes to create multiplayer games. They will learn about network and security to keep their games safe both online and off. At the end of this year, students will have a deeper understanding about what it truly takes to design and develop a complete video game for use. And at the end of this program, students will have the experience and portfolio to enter higher education, test for certifications in computer languages, or possibly even be hired by a game development company as a junior designer/developer.

 

After-School Program and Tutoring

After-School tutoring is offered Monday, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays until 4:00. If a student has technology issues at home that prevents them from completing assignments, they can attend the after school tutoring in order to complete the assignment and hand in with no late penalty assessed.