The course consists of 14 weeks of teaching. Teaching is here understood as a wide array of activities:
• Lectures: lectures are typically focused on one set of related game design issues. They are typically teacher-centric lectures, but student participation is highly encouraged.
• Practical exercises: exercises are typically conducted in the last segment of the class. There are two types: short exercises are performed during the first hour, and discussed and evaluated during the second. Long exercises are often proposed before a weekend, and evaluated the first day of classes afterwards, using two hours. There are also shorter exercises as part of the lectures.
• Group supervisions: group supervision takes place in the last two months of the course, and is focused on direct interaction between the teacher and the groups developing a game, with the goal of providing early feedback on the production. Group supervisions are voluntary.
• External talks: external talks are often one hour long, and given by industry representatives, on topics that are either not addressed in class, or only superficially touched upon, and that are external to the core pensum of the course.
Students are expected to attend lectures and participate in the exercises. Group supervision and external talks are strictly voluntary.
The hand in:
The final hand in consists of the game and the playtest documentation, and all the prototypes developed for the course in the form of an online portfolio.
The game will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
• It has to have a set of core mechanics identifiable by players.
• The game has to have some skill and challenge progression.
• The game has to be fully playable, with a clear endstate.
• The game has to have exclusively original content. No copyrighted material is allowed.
The student must also hand-in the formalized results of at least one playtest and one usability test. These documents should include:
• Details on the realization of the tests: how were they planned, how were the testers recruited, when did the tests take place, how were results collected and processed. Max. 3000 words.
• All documentation used for/in the test: questionnaires, audio/video files, interview transcripts, gameplay logs, …
The documentation will be evaluated as follows:
• The student should identify the different parts of the game development process, as well as her/his role in each of these.
• The student should be able to reflect about her/his participation on each of the development stages, identifying critical situations and how those were addressed.
• The student should use references from the course literature to illustrate her arguments and reflections. This use includes critical readings of the literature as well as the use of the game produced as a case study.
The hand-in should also include a link to the game.
The game weights 60% of the grade.
The student must hand in a link to an online portfolio where they will present all the prototypes made during the course (excluding the "final game"). The portfolio shall contain:
• A link to the prototype.
• A description of the prototyping process (max. 2000 words) for each prototype.
• A summary of what the student has learnt, in terms of what the challenges for making the prototype were, and what learning outcomes from the process have been.
The prototypes will be evaluated as follows:
• Originality in addressing the prototype challenge.
• Students' capacity of identifying key problems and solutions in the prototyping phase.
The prototypes weight 30% of the grade.
The oral exam:
An oral exam based on the readings for the lectures (lectures 0 - 6 - if a lecture was cancelled, the readings for that lecture will not be evaluated in that test). The oral test consists of a 10 minute conversation based on a question from one topic from the course literature.
The student is expected to:
• be familiar with all the literature,
• be able to critically engage with the readings,
• be able to address the exam topic using the appropriate literature, as well as the students’ own experience,
• be able to relate the topic to other texts from the course.
The student will be evaluated taking into consideration:
• the critical understanding of the literature,
• the capacity to relate the question to the course contents (literature, exercises)
• the capacity to relate the question to the students’ practice as a game designer, in the context of the course.
The oral exam will account for 10% of the final grade.
Re-examination will consist of a deliverable consisting of:
• 4000 words essay on one topic chosen from the readings of the first 12 lectures (evaluated with the same criteria as the oral test). Grade weight: 30%
• All the components of the final hand-in (final game, documentation, prototypes). Grade weight: 70%