Syllabus for January 2020
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
|Game Design and Implementation||50%|
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.*Game Grading Rubric
If your group creates a fully functional game with the following elements, all members of your group will earn an A-.
- A start screen
- Some type of instructions or tutorial
- A playable first level
- Some type of sound effects
- A finish screen that contains some kind of score
- The game is replayable without quitting and restarting
- The game does not crash
If your group's game meets all of the A- requirements and also satisfies at least two of the following requirements, all members of your group will receive an A.
- A soundtrack
- Multiple levels
- Tracking high scores across multiple players on the same computer
- A really cool special effect or user-interface aspect to the game
- A good, well-integrated storyline
- Use of a sensor (e.g. camera, Kinect, microphone, other)
- Well-done cut-scenes
- A well-tuned game with documentation of the tuning process
If your group does not achieve at least the A- benchmark, then your grade will be calculated based on your personal portfolio and assignment results using the percentages above. No materials will be accepted after the last day of January Term.
At the end of January term your group should have a working game, as per the grading policy above. The deadline for your game is your presentation slot on Thursday January 30th. There are no extensions to the final deadline.
Each week, 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 presentations for weeks 1, 2 and 4 will be on Thursday afternoon. The presentation for week 3 will be on Tuesday afternoon.
The topics for each presentation are as follows.
- Thursday, 9 January 2020: game concept and the roles for each group member.
- Thursday, 16 January 2020: main character design and controls, skeleton first level.
- Tuesday, 22 January 2020: game environment, overall skeleton, visual and audio elements.
- Thursday, 30 January 2020: final game presentation.
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
||Crawford, Chapter 3|
||Crawford, Chapters 1-2|
||Crawford, Chapter 5|
||Crawford, Chapter 6|