Syllabus

Expectaions

From this class we will learn some Unity and a little 3D modeling in Maya. Unity is huge and I do not expect us all to become experts in one semester but students should come away with a decent understanding of how it works.
Students should be able to create their own fully rendered simple 3d worlds by the end of this course. Students will also become aware of some of the theoretical issues around modern virtual enviroments, and artists who use game engines to create critical and engaging artworks.
Students should expect this to be a lot of work. There is an expectation that you will be spending a fair amount of time outside of class working on this course. In some classes we will cover a lot of material and you'll need to go over it a few times to make sure you have it. Or I may assign a tutorial that covers new ground as homework.

Borrowing philosophy

There's a lot you can do in Unity without doing much scripting if you use prebuild assets and scritps, but in this class, when possible, we are going to learn the core prinicples ourselves. This may mean that the final projects are not as "slick" as they could be, if we used a lot of prebuild assets, but they will really be ours. When this class is over you can buy all the assets you want and make something slicker looking.

sharing code

There are going to be days when we need to help each other. If we agree to help out by sharing our code we will all benefit. I'll set up a Moddle space for this class that can act as a code sharing repository. I will but up inclass solution that I do into this space, and hopefully solution you create can go there too.

Collaborating

I will allow collaborations of 2 on the final project, but you have to make a proposal that outlines how it will work.

Games

I love games, I make games and Unity is a game engine - so of course if you want to make a game then you can. But sometimes making a game can get in the way of what you really want to do. Games are fiddly, and let's face it, game players can be real jerks sometimes. Upshot - don't feel confined to making a game, and know that if you do you can stray from the normal game conventions when it suits you. Your piece(s) should be awesome, but don't need to be a game.

Presentations and Readings

We will explore some artists that use the game and 3d imagery engines in their work, and you will each be asked to do a short presentation on an artist of your chosing. I will assign a few readings and I expect us to have a conversation about those texts the following week.

VR

Yes, we have access to a Vive, and yes, I will demo it. But there's only one so we can't all use it for our final projects. Unity is complicated enough as it is without adding VR to the mix. (But hoo-doggy is it fun when it works). More on this later.

Attendance

My god, please come to class. I mean - we're going to be learning how to create interactive 3D worlds - what part of that screams "I should skip class". It's going to be a little intesive and missing a week is not a great plan.
Of course crap happens and people have emergencies and get sick. If you miss 3 classes it will be a full letter grade loss, and miss 4 is a fail.

The Awesome Super Fun Phone Challenge!

Leave you phone in your room or car! Super Fun and Challenging! I understand that the sound of a notification is intoxicatingly distracting. It is for me too, but if you can't hear it then you don't know it's gone off!

Computers

If you want to use your own computer that's fine. Unity is free and cross platform, and Maya has free student downloads. But I'm not doing tech support on your computers, so it's your responsibility to troubleshoot problems that arise due to your OS being out of date. Most of the keyboard shortcuts will be mac-centric but it's not hard to translate. Bring some kind of device to be able to save your project each day and take them with you.

Can I do Unity 2D instead of 3D

Nope. 3d is actually easier. Save your 2D idea for after this class.