Zaniac Debuts 3D Game Design Program

Zaniac, a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) franchise with locations in eight states, has introduced a new course designed to teach students in grades 4-8 how to develop their own video games.

The course, called 3D Game Design, teaches video game design and programming, including game mechanics, three-dimensional animation and character models. Students will use modeling software, Gimp image editing software, the Unity game engine and the C# programming language. The 90-minute classes meet weekly for six weeks or daily for one week during summer vacation and other school breaks. The 3D Game Design course launches on June 20, 2016.

Zaniac offers a Mastery Progression Program for students who want to learn more about 3D game design. To earn a certificate of mastery, students must complete three courses:

  • 3D Character Design, which teaches game design concepts such as rule implementation, game flow and paper prototyping, as well as  3D character modeling using Blender software;
  • 3D Environment Design, which teaches concepts such as genre, random generation, character and world interaction and sound design, as well as the Unity game engine and Gimp image editing software; and
  • C# Fundamentals, which teaches object-oriented programming concepts such as classes, methods and strings, and 3D gaming concepts such as lighting effects, gravity and other physics, movement, transformations and artificial intelligence (AI).

Other STEM courses available through Zaniac include Zaniac Robotics: LEGO, App Creation, 3D Printing, Fashion Design and Game-Based Learning: Minecraft.

Zaniac campuses currently operate in California, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Utah. The company hopes to expand to 50 campuses by 2017.

Further information about the company's STEM courses can be found on Zaniac's site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].