As we continue on to the next academic year and reflect on the inspiring events of fall 2016—which includes Meadows Prize winner New Cities, Future Ruins’ hybrid conference on art and urbanism in America’s Western Sun Belt, the many, electric events of Ignite Arts Dallas, stunning dance premiers, Mayor Rawlings’ Sammons Media Ethics lecture, swing dance, a lighting battle, the election, and much, much more—we present a look at photos we love from the year at SMU Meadows School of the Arts.
The indefatigable photographer Kim Leeson was on hand for many Meadows events. Here are just some of our favorites:
The SMU Guildhall is Southern Methodist’s video game design school located in Plano, Texas. The graduate school is ranked #2 for video game design and is the only program in the world to offer a Masters in Interactive Technology.
As a part of the master’s program, students are required to create their own game. Students here at SMU will have the opportunity to playtest these games on November 29. It’s free, and there will be doughnuts.
We checked in with Marc Mixon, graduate student specializing in production at SMU Guildhall, to tell us a little bit more before the playtest:
Can you tell us about the students’ games? Are they first person narrative? Web-based or console?
They are all 2-D mobile games built for android tablets in the Unity 5 engine. Each game is unique and at this stage in development quite a bit can change, so that is little tough to answer right now.
How long have the students been working on them?
2-3 months. That includes pitching the initial concept on paper all the way to a final product complete with marketing materials like posters and logos. It is the first of three games that students will design as part of a team during their master’s program. Team includes programmers, artists, level designers, and producers.
Why is testing an important part of the process, within the curriculum?
Testing is crucial to game development, and SMU Guildhall prides itself on a curriculum that simulates what development is like in the industry. Testing identifies usability problems i.e. when players don’t understand how a game works. It helps developers discover which mechanics are the most fun, so they can allocate their resources to focus on those areas. Bug testing is the aspect that people are most familiar with; it’s part of the quality assurance process to make sure the game functions correctly. Although there are many facets to testing, its overall goal is to improve the end user’s experience.
presented its second annual swing dance concert onOctober 29. Students, and faculty re-lived the classic era of the famous big bands and spend an evening dancing to the music of Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Count Basie and other legendary artists of the 1930s and ’40s.
An introductory/brush-up swing dance lesson was held led by local swing dance expert Emily Spraggins, and it was a kick-the-shoes-off good time. Photographer Kim Leeson was on hand to capture our favorite photos. Check them out, and follow @smumeadows for more.