Official course description:
AbstractThis course teaches the design and development of video games from prototyping to effective teamwork across disciplinary boundaries. It also covers the most important technical and theoretical foundations of game development.
Video game development is a design-driven process. This course teaches the technical, theoretical, and practical basis of game development. At the same time this course is an exercise in interdisciplinary teamwork that prepares students for working in diverse teams.
Students will learn how to create video games alone and in groups. They will be able to apply established industry methods in the areas design, production, project management, and programming.
In this course students will first learn to explore the design space of games by making a number of focused prototypes. Students will learn the basics of prototyping in theory and practice, the basics of game design, game programming and interaction design, and essential user experience and evaluation techniques. The production process of the game they will create is based on established industry practices.
Students will additionally learn to identify what makes their game unique, what is its technical and design essence, and how to best communicate it. They will learn the basics of marketing and the games business.
Formal prerequisitesThis is an introductory course without mandatory requirements. However, students will benefit from a certain familiarity with game development technologies and practices. Openness to group work and readiness to take responsibility in a production role is required too.
Intended learning outcomes
After the course, the student should be able to:
- Conceptualize, prototype, design, develop, and test a digital game individually and in teams.
- Reflect on and act in their role as a team member of a joint game production.
- Reflect on the relation between design and technical implementation in innovation-driven projects.
- Apply different play testing and usability methods.
- Structure an innovation-driven development process using industry-relevant project management methods.
- Practice different concept development, sketching, prototyping, and game design methods.
- Evaluate established technologies, methods, and processes for their usefulness in their games project.
- Perform basic programming, art, and/or design activities, applied to computer game development.
The course is structured around a combination of lectures, guest lectures, exercises, student presentations, and projects with supervision. These learning activities are themselves structured around the production of a number of prototypes and the final game.
The schedule of the class is as follows (each weak has two teaching days):
- Until the autumn break: 2 hours of lectures, 2 hours of working on a prototype, 2 hours of presentation, 2 hours of exercises.
- After the autumn break: game making in teams of 4-6 students supported by supervision, workshops and guest lectures.
The pedagogical purpose of the mandatory activities is to:
a) Empower you as a designer and developer by offering easy to approach technologies
b) Give you skills to work alone as well as in teams
c) Teach you to effectively communicate design topics and implementation details
Oral formative feedback will be provided to all projects by peers and selectively by teachers.
The deadline will always be the next class after the announcement of the theme. There will be a catch-all date for missed hand-ins before the end of the semester.
The student will receive the grade NA (not approved) at the ordinary exam, if the mandatory activities are not approved and the student will use an exam attempt.
The course literature is published in the course page in LearnIT.
Student Activity BudgetEstimated distribution of learning activities for the typical student
- Lectures: 20%
- Exercises: 10%
- Assignments: 10%
- Project work, supervision included: 50%
- Other: 10%
Ordinary examExam type:
C: Submission of written work, External (7-point scale)
C1G: Submission of written work for groups
The students have to submit the following:
- The group game project realised in the last 2 months of the course.
- A fact sheet including documentation about who has worked on what parts of the game.
- A 2000 word individual report. The content of the report depends on the role of the student in the project. It is either in postmorten format, a technical paper, or a user testing overview. All papers must include a reflection of the student’s respective role in a cross-disciplinary team.
The game and the individual report have equal weight in the grading. The game will be graded according to its originality, the quality of its design and the quality of the execution. The individual report will be graded based on its clarity, originality and rigour. Use of literature, presentation of transferable knowledge, and demonstrating the ability for critical reflection are key attributes of a good report.
Group and individual
- 4-6 students