Wednesday, September 6, 2017


Otis College of Art and Design Fall 2017
GAME/430 Practicum in Games & Ent. 1
AHMN # 405 Wednesday 3:45pm - 6:45pm, 7pm - 10pm
Instructor: Edwin Ushiro
Digital Media Department phone: 310.665.6989
Mailbox Location: Digital Media Department 4th Fl.
Office Hours: I do not have an office on campus but I can usually meet with you by appointment before or after class or at another mutually convenient time. You may email me at any time with questions or concerns. If I have something to discuss with you, I may make an appointment with you for before or after class via email. 

The Course:

Learn how to develop a fully realized pitch with clients offering feedback on your artwork. Create thoughtful character designs, props and environments with strong compositional skills and deep understanding of color while successfully dealing with deadlines.


The course will begin with traditional media. Learn to be familiar with techniques and application on a wide range of materials that best suits the mood and storytelling quality of your assignments. As we grow in the development of our assignments, we will include more digital applications. No small format sketchbooks are to be used in this class. For sketchbooks, I suggest using a 8" in. by 5" inch format to log in all your thoughts, designs, color studies, and anything that inspires you. You may sprinkle in color as we advance through the semester. Experimentation in media is encouraged.    

The Otis Grading Criteria:

Attendance is critical to learning and academic success; students are therefore expected to attend all class meetings. During Fall and Spring semesters, students who incur more than two absences in a course that meets once per week, or more than four absences in a course that meets twice per week, will fail the course, barring exceptional circumstances as determined by the Chair. (During the 10-week Summer semester, the threshold for failure is more than one absence in a course that meets once per week, or more than two absences in a course that meets twice per week.) Exceptional circumstances include, but are not limited to: death in the family, serious medical conditions, hospitalization, observance of religious holidays, and some approved disability accommodations. Students wishing to claim exceptional circumstances must provide the Chair with appropriate documentation. At the Chair’s discretion, numerous absences due to exceptional circumstances may warrant course withdrawal or failure. Three tardies (including arriving late or leaving early) equal one absence. All students are expected to participate verbally in class discussions, presentations and projects. Students are expected to spend a minimum of 3 hours per week on projects outside of class. All projects are due on the specified dates.
Evidence that you understand and can apply the technical and problem-solving skills, and aesthetic concepts presented in this class through projects, exercises, tests and your semester final project. Another way of looking at it is that you have achieved the goals and objectives of this course.
·       Professional Attitude: Attendance/Punctuality/Class participation/Involvement/Submission of work on time
·       The quality and thoroughness of your work – organization and presentation
·       A student’s mature ability to interact with peers and faculty members
·       A student’s mature ability to receive and act upon critiques
·       Volunteering to help other students and do extra work
Otis Grade Scale by points:
A                   4.0                  (95-100)                                                                        C+                  2.3                  (74-77)
A-                  3.7                  (90-94)                                                                        C                  2.0                  (70-73)
B+                  3.3                  (86-89)                                                                        C-                  1.7                  (67-69)
B                  3.0                  (82-85)                                                                        D                  1.0                  (60-66)
B-                  2.7                  (78-81)                                                                        F                  0.0                  (59 or below)
Letter Grade Equivalents in the Workplace: Your letter grades can be interpreted in another way by exploring the idea of how they would translate in the workplace. Using this concept, you can evaluate your level of skill in the following manner:
A or A+ You Are Getting a Big Promotion -- your supervisor is extremely pleased with your performance; you were not only impeccable in the thoroughness with which you tackled the project but you demonstrated insight and originality beyond her expectation; the firm landed a new client; you are getting a big promotion.
B or B+ Pay Bonus & Future Promotion -- your supervisor is very pleased with your work; it was thorough, well researched, and clearly presented; it is just what she had asked for; you will receive a pay bonus; building on the quality of work that you did here, a promotion may be in your future.
C or C+ You Are Keeping Your Job But A Promotion Is Unlikely -- your supervisor is not entirely pleased with your work; you did the bare minimum asked of you and several important elements are rather unclear, confused, not entirely finished or sloppy in their presentation; you have to work into the night to correct these problems thereby causing a costly delay to your company; your supervisor hopes that you will take greater time and care next time; she does not put you on the short list of candidates for new opening in the company.
D or D+ You Are Put on Warning -- your supervisor is displeased with your work; it has really missed the mark because the work was sloppy in its presentation, vital elements were simply not supported by the research materials; your supervisor has given the task to another employee in the company to do properly; you have been put on warning that another botched job like this and you will be out the door.
F Pack Up Your Belongings -- You Are Let Go -- your work was so substandard that you have been asked to clean out your desk and vacate the premises; the only option open to you now is to hire a good lawyer and sue for wrongful dismissal -- the business world's equivalent to a petition to the Dean's Office for clemency.
Otis provides an excellent tutoring program, free to all students, located in the Student Resource Center (out the front doors, then left and left). They offer drop in tutoring (when available), appointments, and online tutoring. I recommend you using this service, especially if you have difficulty with Photoshop, Painter and other applicable programs that we may use during this course.
The Digital Media Department also offers free tutoring covering the various software programs we use.  You will receive information on the tutors during the first month of classes.  Please come to the office to fill out a tutoring form if you require services. 
Student Behavioral Expectations:
As members of the Otis College community, students are expected to behave responsibly at all times. The College expects and trusts its students to be honest in their studio, classroom, and community endeavors. Students are expected to assist in maintaining an environment that supports effective teaching and learning, and a culture of civility and respect for others. Any behavior that disrupts or interferes with the functioning of a classroom, studio, or College-sponsored off-campus venue may therefore result in students being asked to leave the class. In addition, students may be subject to disciplinary action as per the Student Code of Conduct and/or have their grade lowered in the course.
Disabilities and Accommodations: 

Students with a documented disability should contact Students with Disabilities Services (SDS) before accommodations are needed (telephone 310-846-2554; e-mail If you have read this, you have found an easter egg. Email me at within the first week of this semester. SDS will verify documentation (or advise students as to the proper documentation needed) and send a “notification letter” to the relevant faculty. No faculty member can give accommodations without an official written request from SDS. Retroactive accommodations are not provided. All discussions will remain confidential.


Plagiarism occurs when a person deliberately uses another person’s concepts, language, images, music, or other original (not common knowledge) material without acknowledging the source and/or making substantial modifications. While referencing or appropriating may be part of a studio or Liberal Arts and Sciences assignment, it is the student’s ethical responsibility to acknowledge and/or modify the original material. Specific examples of plagiarism include:

·       Submitting someone else’s work in whole or part (including copying directly from a source without documentation and/or alteration, or turning in studio work that is not your own).
·       Having someone else produce, revise, or substantially alter all or part of a written paper or studio assignment.
·       Cutting and pasting any textual or image-based work from the internet without proper documentation or clarification of sources.
·       Failing to cite sources. Proper citations in MLA style and a Works Cited page must accompany all papers. Guidelines to proper citation are available in The College Writer’s Reference and through the Otis Library website.
·       Using the writing, editing, or creative services of another person who quantitatively and/or qualitatively revises the paper and/or studio work significantly.
·       Allowing an editor to change so much of a paper that it is no longer the student writer’s work.

All homework such as weekly sketchbook drawings, pop-up concept design exercises, mid-term and final assignments are due at the beginning of each class at 3:45PM. There are no exceptions. If you are unable to join us in class, you are still responsible for emailing me your assignments time-stamped no later than 3:45PM.

2 Key Frame Concepts

Wk 1 AUG-30 Class Introduction 12 sketches assignment requested (no computer)
Wk 2 SEPT-6 Individual critique: developing your sketch/shape,  4 Sketches (traditional)
Wk 3 SEPT-13 Individual critique: developing your color/texture, 4 Sketches (traditional)
Wk 4 SEPT-20 Individual critique: developing your rendering phase, 4 Sketches  (traditional)
Wk 5 SEPT-27 Individual critiques: developing your composition for 2 key frames (digital)
Wk 6 OCT-4 2 Color Comps Due, individual and/or group critiques (digital)
Wk 7 OCT-11 Color Rendering of everything included within your key frame (digital)
Wk 8 OCT-18 Mid-Term Review 2 Key Frame Concepts Due (digital)
* Please have all your FINAL artwork uploaded to this blog by the start of our class.


Wk 9 OCT-25 Working on backgrounds/architecture (traditional, digital)
Wk 10 NOV-1 BW Layout Sketches Due (traditional, digital)
Wk 11 NOV-8 working on color, atmosphere and mood (traditional, digital)
Wk 12 NOV-15 Prop Concept (traditional, digital)
Wk 13 NOV-22 Character Design (traditional, digital)
Wk 14 NOV-29 Color Rendering (traditional, digital)
Wk 15 DEC-13th    Final Presentation Review (digital)
* Please have all your FINAL artwork uploaded to this blog by the start of our class.

If you have any questions and/or concerns, please see me or email me at the address that is listed on the first page.


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