This course discusses the process of game development. It examines the roles of different participants in the development process and how the technical development and the artistic development proceed in tandem. Group work is emphasized, especially the importance of collaboration between technical and artistic efforts. Students are expected to participate in game development using appropriate game development tools.
(Here are The Final Games produced by the class.)
AR 1101 M--R- 10:00 - 11:50 IMGD 2005 M--R- 3:00 - 4:50 IMGD 2101 -T--F 10:00 - 11:50 IMGD 3XXX -T--F 2:00 - 3:50
The course uses a set of chapters on the game development process selected from various books. Most of the chapters are from the required text book, but select additional chapters will be made available when needed.
Introduction to Game Development, edited by Steve
Rabin, 2nd edition, copyright Charles River Media Incorporated,
2009. ISBN: 9781584506799
The best book I've found for (nearly) comprehensive coverage of the material in this course. The chapters are individually authored, giving the book rather uneven levels of detail and tone from chapter to chapter, but many of the selected chapters are quite good. At nearly 1000 pages, it has considerably more material than will covered in a term, but it should make a good reference beyond the course. Chapters: TBD
On Game Design, by Chris Crawford. New Riders, 2003.
If you can look past Crawford's arrogance, there are a lot of good war stories about game development and some good, general game design tips.
Game Architecture and Design - A New Edition, by Andrew Rollings
and Dave Morris. New Riders, 2004. ISBN: 0735713634
A close a book to the "Game Development Process", but missing artistic content creation and programming. A bit wordy, but with good information and examples on the areas of Game Design, Team Management, and Game Architecture.
Chapters: 1, 2, 3 and 5
Gameplay and Design, by Kevin Oxland. Addison Wesley, 2004.
Includes easy-to-read descriptions of the game development process in two phases: components of a game design and the process of creating and formatting design documents. Examples of a Norbot game are worked throughout the text.
Tutorial: What is a Good Game?, by Mark Overmars. 2004.
A narrative describing some of the ingredients in a (good) game.
Creating the Art of the Game, by Matthew Omernick.
New Riders, 2004. ISBN: 0735714096
An informative, easy-to-read book on creating 3D art for games.
Chapters: Foreword, 1 and 2
Designing Arcade Computer Game Graphics, by Ari Feldman.
Out of Print, 2000.
Emphasizes the development of 2D graphics for computer games, including animation, proper color usage, and fonts.
Other good reference books include:
On Game Design, by Andrew Rollings and Ernest Adams.
New Riders, 2003. ISBN: 1-5927-3001-9
A good book for a "Critical Studies of Games" course, but with some solid game design material for a "Game Development" course.
The Game Maker's Apprentice, by Jacob Habgood and
Mark Overmars. APress, 2006. ISBN 1590596153
From the creator of Game Maker, this book provides detailed tutorials about creating games, along with general game design guidelines. Comes with a CD-ROM containing the Game Maker source code for the tutorials.
Audio for Games - Planning, Process and Production,
by Alexander Brandon. New Riders, 2004. ISBN: 0735714134
Information on audio technology and how it fits in with the game development process.
Game Coding Complete, by Mike McShaffry. Paraglyph Press,
2003. ISBN: 1-932111-75-1
On the process of programming computer games, including tips and tricks used by real game programmers.
Developing Games in Java, by David Brackeen. New Riders,
2004. ISBN: 1592730051
If you want to code games in Java, this book provides good examples of AI, 2d and 3d graphics, and multiplayer games, using the Java libraries.
The Indie Game Development Survival Guide, Game Development
Series, by David Michael. Charles River Media, 2003. ISBN:
The title sounds like it would be right on for those that want to develop games in their garage, but the content matter is a bit light weight. ... But, it does tell a complete story about developing games start to finish and has some good words of wisdom.
Awesome Game Creation - No Programming Required,
Second Edition, by Luke Ahearn and Clayton Crooks.
Charles River Media, 2002. ISBN: 1-58450-223-1
Introduction to software for building games without writing code. Includes a CD with versions of many game development toolkits.
Here is the list of topics covered in this course:
Final grades will be computed as follows:
The grading policy for each project will be provided at the time of the assignment. In general, each assignment will have a basic objective for the majority of the assignment points. There may be an extended objective for demonstrating additional work and understanding.
Final grades will reflect the extent to which you have demonstrated understanding of the material, and completed the assigned projects. The base level grade will be a "B" which indicates that the basic objectives on assignments and exams have been met. A grade of an "A" will indicate significant achievement beyond the basic objectives and a grade of a "C" will indicate not all basic objectives were met, but work was satisfactory for credit. No incomplete grades will be assigned unless there exist exceptional, extenuating circumstances. Similarly, no makeup exams will be given unless there exist exceptional, extenuating circumstances.
Late projects will be be penalized 10% of total assignment value per day (with the weekend counting as one day) or partial day, and no assignments will be accepted after seven days beyond the due date. All projects are due at midnight due date, unless otherwise specified. Projects turned in after that time will be counted late. Projects will be submitted as directed in class, usually online. Exceptions to these rules can be made only beforehand.
This course is intended for serious students. Participants will be expected to adhere to all rules of professional behavior.
Individual projects are expected to be done individually. As such, students are encouraged to discuss their work with each other, but are also expected to do the work by themselves. Group projects are designed so that every member gains a significant amount of new material. In the workplace, each team member is expected to contribute. Participants in group projects in this course should keep this in mind, and act accordingly. Groups will evaluate each other, based on how much each member contributed.
It is to be emphasized that knowledge of material and professional behavior are tied together; failure in one of them negates any excellence in the other. Students who stay in the course past the first three days agree to adhere to the strictest rules of professional behavior.
Any breach of professional ethics as evidenced, for example, by copying exams or projects, downloading code from the Internet, cooperating in more than discussions and study groups, misusing computer resources, or using outside help of any kind, will be considered adequate reason for an NR in the course. The official WPI statements on Academic Honesty can be accessed at http://www.wpi.edu/Pubs/Policies/Honesty/Students/. Those who have any doubt about what that means, and fail to gain that understanding after a discussion with the instructor, are encouraged to drop this class. Remember this warning - any breach of ethics will earn you an NR. When in doubt, ask!
The list of reading will be posted here, in the order covered in class:
Slides from the in-class lectures will be available shortly after they are presented, depending upon how things go. Here is what we have so far:
|Fun and Games||ppt|
|Game Development Timeline||ppt|
|Game Design Documents||ppt|
The projects are the game development related assignments you will have for the course. For most projects (see specifications), you will work in groups of 3 (groups of 2 or 4 are possible with prior permission) for the projects. Working in groups will give you valuable "real-world" experience as well as provide you with a "built in" source for help. Do remember, however, that all exams will be taken alone. Make sure each group member understands the projects completely!
In this section are any samples discussed in class, practice exams or any other demonstration-type class materials. Samples will be updated soon after the discussion in class begins.
Supplementary material for Level Design:
Final exam stuff:
Possible sources for content you can use in your games:
You have to work in groups for the projects. For some groups, it comes as naturally as a putting on socks before putting on your shoes. For others, it takes effort. You might read (and re-read periodically) some Top 12 Tips for Groups. Some other Tips for Working Successfully in a Group that might be useful. Go over these as a group!
When working in a group, you really should consider pair programming. Read the article:
You are encouraged to use the GDC Forums for discussion of class issues, particularly those with Flash. Specifically, check out the IMGD-1001 forum.
Some good sites for Flash resources:
Some books that might be useful for learning Flash:
Miscellaneous links on game development and design:
A list (certainly, not comprehensive) of some of the tools available to help build games:
Some game-related industry conventions:
Some game-related research conferences: