Students gain interactive media and design skills in joint USC summer workshop

From July 27 to August 10, 33 incoming students of the Interactive Media Design and Technology (IMDT) program participated in a two-week online summer workshop organized by University of Southern California’s USC Games, Tsinghua Shenzhen International Graduate School (SIGS) and Tencent Games.


Students and staff of the IMDT-USC summer workshop 

The IMDT-USC summer workshop aimed to inspire student thinking, prepare students for the upcoming semester, and gave students an overview of the interactive media industry. Hosted by Professor Tracy Fullerton, director emeritus of USC Games and consulting director of the IMDT-USC collaboration, the workshop also invited head of USC Games Danny Bilson, Associate Professors Richard Lemarchand, Sam Roberts and Jesse Vigil as main instructors of the workshop.


 (clockwise from top left): Danny Bilson, Tracy Fullerton, Richard Lemarchand, Sam Roberts and Jesse Vigil leading class 

Experts, CEOs, well-known game designers and directors were also invited to share their experiences through case studies and gave comments on students’ works.


Guest speakers at the IMDT-USC workshop

The two-week workshop built on fundamentals of interactive media design, and covered multiple topics such as systems analysis, intentional design, social impact, MOD practice assignments, narrative IP development, iterative design, team building, paper prototypes, and skill sharing sessions. In the mod design and testing process, student groups made creative alterations to current game designs and provided feedback for each other.


Students doing MOD design and testing on Steam


Students designed and adapted new game rules

Instructors commented on each group’s design, and gave out unique awards such as “Tasty Objectives Award”, “Mischievous Mechanics Award” according to their highlights.


Group awards

Students shared that they were able to learn from instructors’ rich experiences, and appreciated the practical and fun components of the workshop. They learned how to efficiently collaborate and communicate in teams, improve interaction through storytelling and conduct interactive design by setting experience goals. Overall, the workshop provided students with new ideas and inspirations about design.

In April 2020, Tsinghua SIGS, Tencent Games and USC Games signed an agreement to collaborate on the IMDT program. The three parties will focus on the field of interactive media design and technology, carry out joint training and exchange, and promote collaborative innovation in industry, university and research.


Photos: Wang Yingqin

Editor: Karen Lee