Laguna College of Art + Design Game Art Programs Receive Epic MegaGrant


Laguna College of Art + Design’s Game Art programs have received an Epic Games MegaGrantin Enterprise/Education for Visualization of Costume History in Games. The grant launches an intensive, year-long mentoring program for select LCAD students to create eight 3D models that will ultimately be used as an educational tool through the Unreal Engine (UE4).


“We are honored to receive an Epic Games MegaGrant and recruit LCAD Game Art students to be part of the creation of the 3D learning tools to be used in the Epic MegaGrant program ,” said Sandy Appleoff Lyons, chair of LCAD’s Game Design MFA. “Since its creation, LCAD Game Art has worked in the Unreal Engine, which allowed students to contribute to the Unreal community of educational and creative tools.”


The grant is part of Epic Games’ $100 million commitment to support creative, noteworthy and innovative projects built in and around Unreal Engine (UE4), a complete suite of creation tools for game development, architectural and automotive visualization, linear film and television content creation, broadcast and live event production, training and simulation, and other real-time applications. LCAD’s Art of Costume intiative will teach the UE4 Community of educators, designers, students, and manufacturers the best practices of costume asset creation for games.


LCAD’s year-long mentoring program will select qualified students who have taken the College’s “Art of Costume Design” course to qualify for the first tier of scholarships. Winners will receive scholarships as well as the honor of having their 3D costume design included in Epic’s educational story which will track the program in action.


Costumes are an important part of the world-building process in game design and in attracting a dedicated community of players to games.


“Not only does costuming create ambiance, authenticity and personality, it also drives gameplay by creating an emotional connection between the players and characters,” said Gavin Rich, chair of LCAD’s BFA program in Game Art. “Games such as Fortnitehave shown the monetization potential when highly sought after costumes or ‘skins’ are purchased by gamers.”


The mentoring program was scheduled to begin January 27, 2020 and to run through the fall semester 2020. Winners will be announced at the conclusion.


LCAD’s Game Art BFAis a project-based and highly cooperative program in which students acquire a broad range of skill sets that begin with a foundation in traditional representationalism. Student art teams join partnering schools, like UCI’s Video Game Development Club (VGDC)and LCAD’s Game Design MFAto work on games that may ship as a full products or are featured in the Independent Game Festival (IGF).


LCAD’s Game Design MFA is a resident two-year terminal Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree that allows students to explore the design and development of games as a creative practice. The program offers a unique, multidisciplinary approach that bridges the gap between theory and practice in game design.


LCAD’s reputation has attracted industry partners who come from game giants such as Blizzard Entertainment, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Insomniac Games, Obsidian Entertainment, Riot Games, and more.