A Closer Look Into the IT/IMP Prime

It’s not just fun and games!


Original Artwork by Marc Knelsen. Photo by Jasmine McAliley.

A lot of the students here either don’t know where IT/IMP rooms are, or, if they do know where the rooms are, what exactly the IT/IMP students truly do in class. First off, as an IT/IMP student myself, I DO NOT JUST MAKE GAMES. Nor do the other students in the prime. Sure, we do game reviews, share game pitches with our peers, and put together documents related to the games we want to make. That’s only scratching the surface of what IT/IMP students do. We do a wide variety of fun and educational projects that are beneficial to self-growth and our understanding of technology, code, and media. But that’s not to say that the only other thing we do aside from making celebration games is projects. We also watch informative videos to help us understand key concepts, gain important advice, and find solutions to things we don’t know how to program or make.

The information technology (IT) half of the prime teaches us not only how to code in 2 to 3 languages, but also gives us a better understanding of how code and computer systems work. Dr. Dissinger might assign a simple project to the freshmen that requires them to put together something in Visual Studio in C#. It could be just programming a button to change the color another button, or simply making Tic-Tac-Toe. Later in the year, he could be teaching them how to create a website using Adobe Dreamweaver. With the knowledge of Dreamweaver, we are able to start making website portfolios for ourselves. My most recent Sophomores learn how information is passed through a computer at a systematic level, as well as terminology for the things that can hinder, alter, and even reroute said information. In junior year, we learn how to code projects in Java as opposed to C#, the primary coding language used to create projects and games in Unity. Having knowledge of how more than one language of code can prove useful for not just making games, but for understanding how a variety of systems work, should anyone decide to work in the field of IT or computer science.

Inter Media Production (IMP) is where the bulk of the game making occurs. But despite that fact, Mr. Zielger teaches us things that are related to, well, the production of different medias. All classes start off with a drawing challenge, where Mr. Ziegler gives a prompt of what you draw and how much time you have to draw said prompt using Photoshop. The freshmen might be assigned to make a chimera of their own using layer masks, or to asked to play around with a hue/saturation layer on a image of their choice. But there’s still more to IMP than just doing projects in Photoshop. Plenty of other Adobe products are used in this class, such as Illustrator, Premier Pro, and Audition. Each of those programs are covered in freshman year so that we have a good idea of how to use them to make content we could add into our games for sophomore, junior, or senior year. Juniors get to create their own typeface with Illustrator. This means that we get to create our own font to use ourselves or for others to use (as long as it’s legible). They also get to learn how to create and add detail to things in 3D, opening up the possibility to make well polished 3D games. All in all, IMP allows us to bring out our creative and talented sides with the things our skills resonate with the most.

One final thing worth noting is that for senior year, you get to choose if you want to have 2 IMP classes in IMP 4 and Internship or maintain one IT and one IMP class with IMP4 and C++. In internship, you get make projects based on what Mr. Zielger wants you to do, or whatever requests Mr. Zielger gets from other teachers. If there are no tasks to do or make up, then you’ll have a free period to do prime or non-prime related work. The only caveat is that you have to turn in a work log every week, so it’s best to work on something like your game or do something in Photoshop every now and then with any non-prime work you decide to complete. C++ is yet another language of code to learn should you choose to be in that class with Dr. Dissinger. It’s a low level language that is more complex than C# and Java, but still worth learning if you’re more of strong coder. Just like with the other two languages, you’ll code projects in C++ to help you understand how it works differently and similarly to C# and Java.

It’s understandable to think that the IT/IMP prime as a whole is all about making games for Carver Celebration. The projects we do in both classes do contribute to making our game sometimes. Now you know that in this tech heavy prime, students do more than work on making their game everyday.