CS 269/369: Syllabus

Syllabus for January 2015

Topics and Reading Assignments

Textbooks

The Crawford book you can find on-line. It is a little dated, but the fundamental ideas of game design haven't changed much. The other textbooks are good quality texts on game design, if you are interested in continuing in the field.

Chris Crawford, The Art of Computer Game Design

Ernest Adams, Fundamentals of Game Design, 2nd ed.

Jesse Schell, The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses

Salen and Zimmerman, Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals


Grading *

Short Assignments 10%
Presentations 20%
Class Participation 10%
Game Design and Implementation 50%
Portfolio 10%

The course is about creating a game. Along the way there will be short assignments that will help you to learn about game design. On Thursday afternoon of each week, your group will give a short presentation about your game design and implementation to the rest of the class.

Over the course of the term, you should keep examples of work you do, whether or not it ends up in the final game design. These examples will form your portfolio at the end of the term, which should be a collection of work that you can show to demonstrate your abilities. I strongly suggest you make your portfolio page an actual web page so that you can easily show it to other people in the future.

Your group presentations and your group's final game constitute the majority of your grade. Your individual portfolio, assignments, and participation constitute the remaining part of your grade.

* If your group creates a fully functional game with a start screen, a playable first level, and a finish screen, your group will earn an A for the course. If your group does not achieve that benchmark, then your grade will be calculated based on the percentages above.


Late Policy:

At the end of January term your group should have a working game. That means it needs to have a fully functioning user interface, at least one complete level, and some type of game start and game termination states. The deadline for your game is your presentation slot on January 29th. There are no extensions to the final deadline

Each Thursday afternoon, your group will give a presentation on particular aspects of your game design or development. Everyone in the group needs to participate in the presentation and discuss their contribution to the project during the prior week. There are no exceptions.

The short assignments will be done in class, or will be due the day after they are assigned; there will be no credit for late assignments.


Daily Topics and Readings

DayTopicsReading



1:
  • Introduction, course concept
  • Evaluation of 2D Games; Genre discussion
  • Game design exercises / PyGame tutorials
Crawford, Chapter 3
2:
  • Elements of a game
  • Game design exercises / PyGame tutorials
  • Group development and formation
Crawford, Chapters 1-2
3:
  • Intellectual property / Project planning
  • Game concept development
  • Presentation 1: Game Concepts and Roles
Crawford, Chapter 5



4:
  • GIMP tutorial
  • Game development
  • Game Rules and Controls
Crawford, Chapter 6
5:
  • CSound tutorial
  • Gameplay development
Readings
6:
  • Search and Path Planning
  • Gameplay development
  • Presentation 2: Game Play
Readings



7:
  • Game Development
8:
  • Game Development
9:
  • Game Development
  • Presentation 3: Game Art and Interface



10:
  • Game development
11:
  • Game completion
12:
  • Game Play
  • Presentation 4: Game Demonstrations