Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2021
Units: 3.5
Hours: 2.5 lecture, 3 laboratory per week (66 total per quarter)
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in MUS 50D.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable


Introduction to the video game business including how games are designed, manufactured, marketed and distributed. Examines the differences between game publishers and game developers. Breaks down different career paths in the industry and how their roles are integrated such as producers, artists, programmers, marketers, testers, etc. Covers the various marketplaces for games and how they differ.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Compare and contrast the differences between game publishers and game developers
B. Discuss the various occupations found at game publishers and at game developers and how they all are integrated with each other
C. Explain how various game development agreements are structured
D. Identify current game marketplaces and explain their differences

Course Content

A. Current industry overview
1. Impact of video games in the current marketplace
2. Projections for the future of the industry
B. Game publishers
1. What they do
2. How they differ from developers
3. Marketing's role
4. First, second and third party licensing
5. Music and audio
6. Product development
7. Lab report on state of industry and publishers (Lab)
C. Game developers
1. What they do
2. How they differ from publishers
3. The different types and business models
4. Outsourcing of music
D. Producers
1. Primary responsibilities
2. First party producers compared with second and third party producers
3. Typical workday for each type of producer
4. Lab report on developers and producers (Lab)
E. Artists
1. Responsibilities
2. 3-D compared with 2-D
3. How artists work together with programmers, designers and producers
F. Programmers
1. Common computer languages used
2. How programmers work with the other development team members
G. Game designers
1. Responsibilities
2. Different approaches for different game genres
3. How games are conceptualized
H. Marketing
1. Primary responsibilities
2. International markets
3. Emerging marketing strategies
4. Lab report on artists, programmers and marketing
I. Development agreements
1. Definition of milestones
2. Monitoring of progress by producers
3. Definition of alpha and beta game milestones
J. Different types of games platforms
1. Console
2. Computer
3. Hand held
4. Lab report on game development agreements and platforms (Lab)

Lab Content

Lab assignments can include:
A. Weekly online lectures
B. Reviewing recorded industry interviews
C. Lab reports on industry trends
D. Research reports on local gaming companies

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

When taught via Foothill Global Access: on-going access to computer with email software and capabilities; email address; JavaScript enabled internet browsing software.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Weekly objective quizzes
Midterm objective exam
Lab reports
Final objective exam

Method(s) of Instruction

Lecture presentations and classroom discussion using the vocabulary of the game industry
Weekly topic for classroom or online forum discussions
Listening to recorded interviews with industry professionals

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Brathwaite, Brenda, and Ian Schreiber. Breaking Into the Game Industry: Advice for a Successful Career from Those Who Have Done It. 2012.

Although this text is older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, it remains a seminal text in this area of study.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

Students will contact and research a local game publisher or developer and write a report including the following:
A. Publisher or developer?
B. What platform(s) do they target?
C. History of the company
D. Corporate structure
E. Size of the company
F. Target demographic for their games


Commercial Music