|Interactive Media & Game Development
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Due date: Monday, September 10th, by 10:00am
This is the second project in a series of related projects that you
will be doing over the course of this term. The end-goal of these
projects is to expose you to the overall process of game development
by introducing you to the facets of design, content creation,
programming, and testing. As an outcome, you and a small team of peers
will be creating a working video game prototype. This project focuses
on documentation and the decisions that must be made early in the game
development process. Grading for this project will be somewhat
flexible based on the emphasis of your treatment (see the Grading
section for details).
Use these project guidelines to determine the scope of your treatment.
All games begin with an inspired idea. The idea may come as a sequel
to a previous game, a license to make a game from a film, or even an
original game concept. But an idea alone is not a design for a game.
The idea must be elaborated upon to the point where the various team
members can begin their work. No matter what role you play as a
developer, your tasks will be shaped by the design. Programmers will
need to make good on the promised features. Artists will need to
bring the various characters and places to life. Designers will need
to put the world together in a way that is entertaining. Testers will
need to verify and test the resulting experience, and communicate
shortcomings back to the rest of the team.
Since design documentation is integral to every role in the game development process, it will benefit you greatly to better understand design documents. The purpose of this assignment is to familiarize you with reading and understanding design documents, to stimulate your thinking about how the various aspects of a design relate to each other, to exercise your ability to expand a small idea into a full design, and to improve upon your skills at writing documentation that is meant to be read (and understood) by other people.
For this project, you work in your teams that were formed this week. Each team
will be responsible for writing a Game Treatment document of at least
2,000 words. The treatment should be for a game of your own design in
the genre of your choice. The purposes are to think about design
decisions, to develop your ideas to a good level of detail, and to
express those ideas clearly in writing.
As you develop your treatment, consider what you have learned about GameMaker so far, and how comfortable your team is with using it. You will actually be building the prototype you describe in your treatment, so be honest about your abilities and ruthlessly realistic about what you think you can do in just a few weeks!
You are not being graded on the majesty or ambition of your game in this assignment. You are being graded on the clarity and completeness of the presentation. Even a very simple game is okay as long as it is thoroughly described.
The format for your treatment will be an abbreviated format loosely based on the one in On Game Design (Rollings and Adams) (don't worry if you do not have this book, but you might borrow one to skim sometime). A notable exclusion is any sort of business documentation such as executive summary, market analysis and competition analysis. The intent is to keep the project focused on the development (Tech and Art) side, rather than the business side. The draft should be about 2,000 words long (longer, if needed), and must contain the following elements:
Along with the above sections, feel free to supplement your treatment with any of the following optional elements: mocked-up screenshots, concept sketches, sample level designs, backstory, character descriptions, game balance discussions, etc. You can download this example final treatment to get and idea of what these could look like.
Here are two Treatment Documents from former IMGD 1001 teams.
|What to Submit:||
Your document should be be submitted electronically via turnin.
When you are ready to submit, zip the document up into a single archive file. Name the file TeamName_proj2.zip.
You will use the new Web-based "Turnin" facility to submit your work. Information about submitting can be found here:
Choose one of your team members to submit the document.
Use your WPI user ID to login, and you should have
been emailed a password.
Your team will present a 2-3 minute summary of your treatment to the class on
Monday, September 10.
The way you present the treatment is entirely up to you. You can just stand up and talk, use PowerPoint slides, make a game trailer, use pantomime or interpretive dance.
You can choose one member of your team to do the presentation, or split it up among two or more members. Arrange in advance which parts of the presentation will be given by each team member.
You can, if you wish, bring a laptop to class with your presentation materials already preloaded, and we will hook your machine into the projector. Or you can bring your materials on a USB key for installation on the podium computer. In any case, test your presentation materials in advance to make sure they work properly. Embarrassing things can happen when you don't rehearse.
These presentations are an important part of the class experience. Please take them seriously.
|Remember the policy on Academic Honesty: You may discuss the project with others, but you are to do your own work. The official WPI statement for Academic Honesty can be accessed HERE.|
All team members will receive the same grade for this
Later assignments will ask team members to rate team member performance.
Capture The Dude - an example of a design doc written by former DigiPen student Doug Quinn.
The book On Game Design, by Andrew Rollings and Ernest Adams (New Riders, 2003. ISBN: 1-5927-3001-9) has an example game treatment document.