Monday, December 7, 2015

Final Game Document

Final Game Document, due Wednesday Dec. 9, 2015

In the midterm, the game document had to contain the following elements:
- game objectives
- game experience
- goals
- rules
art (show images of the different characters)
- action of the different characters (main and auxiliary)
- list all objects in the game (static or not) and their role
- All elements of the tetrad.
- Balance, curves of interest, use of space. 
- Show and explain the HUD and provide pictures. 
- Describe sound and special effects. 

For the final game document: all the above must be included, plus the following:

- some screenshots of your game. Each scene should be represented.
- Any art not mentioned in the midterm document.
- descriptions of all puzzles (if there are any) and their solution
- any mechanics not described in the midterm game document
- any additions to your game that you did not have the time to consider. (optional)

The elements above will all have approximately the same weight.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Final Game Presentations

The final presentations are on Dec. 1 and Dec. 3 (Tue. and Thurs.) Each team will create executable that run on Windows. We will runs these on the classroom computer on both days. These executables are due by 10 am on Tuesday Dec. 1.

The presentations will be chosen at random. Each presentation will be 15-20 min (including questions). The poster is a part of the presentation.

The final game document will be due by Wednesday (midnight) on Dec. 11.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Midterm: game document update

Midterm: game document update
Assigned: Thur. Nov. 5, 2015
Due: Thur. Nov. 13, 2015

Part 1 (Midterm)
Please update your game document to reflect the current state of your game. The game document should include game objectives, game experience, goals, rules (if any), story, various art (show images of the different characters), explain the actions the different characters (main and auxiliary) can take. List all additional objects (static or not) present in your game, and their role (if any). All elements of the tetrad must be considered. Discuss balance, curves of interest, use of space (all elements important to game design.) If the game as any menu or HUD, please explain and provide pictures. If there is sound and/or special effects, please explain.

Also provide the contributions of each team member to the game.
This game document will be updated for the final presentation (final exam) at the end of the course.

Of course, you have been updating the game document as you went along, so this is simply an update, and cleanup of the document.

Part 2 (Poster, not graded yet)
Please prepare a poster (using your software of choice). You are designing the cover of a DVD jacket, so include a title, and any additional text (optional). The image should reflect your game, including color schemes. The poster is a combination of screenshots or artistic depiction of a scene in your game (realistically rendered or not). You will present this poster in class (5 min each team) and get criticized by the others. These criticisms will be included in a second version of the poster to be presented along with your game at the end of class. We will make these posters for you.

Part 3 (Timeline for the rest of the course)
Please give a timeline of what your team has to do (with each member's planned contributions) between now and the end of class to complete the game you plan to present (as opposed to the idea game you'd like to make). Keep it realistic.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Class Participation 6: Create a puzzle

Class Participation 6: Create a puzzle
Assigned: Nov. 3, 2015
Due: Nov. 10, 2015

We have now a storyline, a layout, and basic elements of our class game.
You are to create a puzzle (one point per puzzle for a maximum of 2) involving the following elements: jumping, boulders, the lava. The puzzle should be in the form of making it more difficult to achieve the game objective, moving along the path, picking up shards, etc. Explain how the puzzle fits into the game, and how the puzzle should be solved by the player.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Homework 8: game analysis

Homework 8
Assigned: Thursday Oct. 29, 2015
Due: Friday Nov. 6, 2015

Repeat homework 6, applied to your own team's game. The analysis is individual and done on your blog. Address the following issues:

1) the Tetrad
2) Balance
3) Emergent properties (check the book out)
4) Interest curves (check out the book)
5) Explain the reasons you like or dislike the game and relate this to Game Design issues. 

Put this in your Blog. Each game will count for 50%.  Each of the 5 subtopics will count for 10 points (for each game), for a total of 100 possible points.

Do not forget to state your contributions to your Team's game and what you plan to do in the following week.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Homework 7: Setup Source Control

Homework 7
Assigned: Thursday Oct. 22, 2015
Due: Friday Oct. 30, 2015

Setup a repository for your game and host it online. Every team member should make at least one commit. Use descriptive commit messages about what you are including or have done.

Put your repository URL in your Blog.

Do not forget to state your contributions to your Teams' game and what you plan to do in the following week.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Homework 6: Analyze two games

Homework 6
Assigned: Friday Oct. 16, 2015
Due: Friday Oct. 23, 2015

Analyze two games (one that you like, and one that you do not like, or like less). Address the following issues:

1) the Tetrad
2) Balance
3) Emergent properties (check the book out)
4) Interest curves (check out the book)
5) Explain the reasons you like or dislike the game and relate this to Game Design issues.

Put this in your Blog. Each of the 5 subtopics will count for 20 points (for each game), for a total of 100 possible points.

Do not forget to state your contributions to your Teams' game and what you plan to do in the following week.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Class Participation 4

Class participation 4
Assigned: Tue. Oct. 6, 2015
Due: Tue. Oct. 13, 2015

Design on paper, a HUD that is suitable for the class game. The HUD is composed of text, scores, useful information, and sprites that fit with the decor of the game. Take a picture of your HUD and put it in your blog, along with explanatory notes describing the meaning of the various elements as it relates to the class game.

Each HUD will count as an additional bonus point. Maximum of two bonus points.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Homework 5

Homework 5
Assigned: Oct. 1, 2015
Due: Oct. 8, 2015

In this homework, we ask each of you to create a blueprint that will does something useful for your game. In your blog, please include snapshots of the blueprint, of the constructor (if used), of your object within the game, and an explanation of its planned use.

The blueprint should contain at a minimum the following components:

1) a static mesh  [20 pts]
2) one or more arithmetic operators [20 pts}
3) the blueprint must transform the object in some way (scale, translate, rotate) [20 pts]

We will assign 20 pts for the writeup and 20 pts for the images you include.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Team Homework 1

Team homework: video
Assigned: Thur. Sept. 24, 2015
Due: Thur. Oct. 1, 2015

 This is the first video team assignment. In this assignment, the team will create a narrated video the presents the status of their game. This might include a description of the game, showing some assets, describing what you have done, any demo of mechanics, artwork? You might state problems you are encountering. The video must be at least 5 min long, but no longer than 10 min. Describe the four elements of the tetrad as it applies to your game. Please state in your blog, specific contributions of each team member, and expected contributions in the following week.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Class Participation 3

Create a landscape plan (on paper)
Assigned: Tue. Sept. 22, 2015
Due: Tue. Sept. 29, 2015

 It is time to create a landscape. Layout a plan on paper, with mountain, pathways, rivers/lakes, or whatever you see as consistent with our class game. Add approximate dimensions if you can. Take a picture of your layout and put it on your blog, AND send it to Danial and I.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Class Participation 2: asset generation

Class Participation: asset generation
Assignment due: Tue. Sept. 15, 2015

 We will need props and assets for the game. Using Blender, or any other modeling software, or search the web for assets. You will need to provide the asset in FBX format. The asset must be compatible with the class game. State its intended use, and provide a description of the asset in your blog. Include a picture. Include how it was generated, or the source (URL). Make sure there are no copyrights if you download an asset from the web. Assets should be relatively simple, and have less than 1000 polygons or triangles.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Homework 3: The Tetrad

Homework 3: The Tetrad
Due: Thursday Sept. 17, 2015

Now that you have an initial storyline, follow what we have done in class and apply it to your own game. Discuss each element of the Tetrad (Story, Technology, Art, and Mechanics) and how each element relates to the other elements. Suggest a minimal prototype for your game that if implemented would convey the essential elements of your game. Chapters of use in the book (2nd edition) are 4 (Venue), 5 (Tetrad), 12 (Mechanics), 17 (Story), 20 (Characters), 21 (Spaces).

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Class Participation Opportunity 1

Class Participation Opportunity 1

Provide a backdrop storyline for the 3D platforming game we will develop.
Assume this storyline would be on the back of a CD. Put the story on the blog and email Danial Smith and myself that you have done so.

For each story accepted, you get one point towards your final grade. Remember that you can accumulate 20 points maximum (maximum of two points per week).

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Homework 2 (Flesh out your game)

Homework 2: Flesh out your team game
Assigned: Tue. Sept. 1, 2015
Due: Tue. Sept. 8, 2015

In the following week, find the time to meet with your team, in person, or via some other means, and discuss the game you'd like to make during this class. Follow a process similar to what we did for the class game.

Answer the following questions:

  1. What type of game will you be creating?  [25 pts]
  2. What is the quintessential experience you'd like the users to feel? [25 pts]
  3. What is the theme of your game? [25 pts]
  4. Provide an initial storyline [25 pts]

(Please write at least one paragraph for each question. The homework is a team effort, to be answered in your game document.)

Feel free to include hand-drawn images, or images downloaded from the web for inspiration (in which case, you must provide your source to avoid loss of points.)

To learn more about experience and theme, read the following chapters from the Book of Lenses:

Chapter 2: The Designer Creates an Experience
Chapter 6: The Elements Support a Theme.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Homework 1: first blog entry and software installation

Homework 1: First Blog Entry
Assigned: Tue. Aug. 25, 2015
Due: Tue. Sept. 1, 2015

Your first assignment is:
  • Create a Blog at
    • email the name of the blog to the and
      • Put gd2015 in the subject of the email so that I may easily find it
    • create a video with voiceover (your own voice) describing the content of the video (using for example Open Broadcaster Software)
    • upload this video to YouTube and copy the link into your blog
      • alternatively, embed the video directly into the blog.
    • Provide a description of this video in writing in the blog. 
    • Create a second blog entry that contains one or more images created by you. Include descriptions of each image in the blog entry. 
    • Find two games that you particularly like, provide links to them in the blog and state what you like about them.
  • Install the following software onto your computer: 
    • Unreal version 4.8
    • Gimp (or another software to manipulate images. Might be used for format conversion and texture manipulation)
    • Audacity (for sound editing and format conversions. Alternatives are also accepted.)
    • Blender version 4.75 (in case modeling is required)
  • You can use information at the following two links to help you out: 

  • Blog entry 1, maximum grade: 40
  • Blog entry 2, maximum grade: 40
  • Description of the two games: maximum grade: 20
  • Software installation: no grade. 
Bring your computer to class so you that we can work on Blender together.