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 The Final Games produced by the class.)
There will be no formal text-book for the course. Instead, chapters selected from several text books will be made available.
Here are some good textbooks for Game Development related work:
Game Architecture and Design - A New Edition, by Andrew Rollings
and Dave Morris. New Riders, 2004. ISBN: 0735713634
About as close a book to the "Game Development Process" as I could find (artistic content creation and programming are missing). A bit wordy, but with good information and examples on the areas of Game Design, Team Management, and Game Architecture.
On Game Design, by Andrew Rollings and Ernest Adams.
New Riders, 2003. ISBN: 1-5927-3001-9
A good book for a "Critical Computer Game Studies" course, but with some solid game design material for a "Game Development" course.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Projects turned in after that time will be counted late. Projects will be submitted as directed in class. Exceptions to these rules can be made only beforehand.
Cheating ... don't do it. Cheating, either by taking credit for work you did not do or getting unauthorized help on projects or exams, is a serious offense. Punishment is in an automatic NR for the course. Note, discussion among students and even sanctioned group work is encouraged, but blatant copying of code, without attribution of sources, is not allowed. When in doubt, ask!
Here is the list of topics covered in this course:
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:
Jeffery LeBlanc, Senior Systems Engineer, Integrated Computer Solutions (ICS), Inc. Jeff holds both a BS ('89) and an MS ('91) in Computer Science from WPI. He is currently a Senior Systems Engineer and Technical Trainer at ICS in Cambridge, MA, where he focuses on on Interface Design and GUI Toolkits. Jeff has been an avid player of computer games ever since he convinced his parents to buy that first Atari system. Currently, he spends his spare deal keeping the streets safe from super villains in "City of Heroes".
Ichiro Lambe, Founder and Principal Designer, Dejobaan Games. Ichiro has been developing commercial software since 1988, with experience ranging from co-developing an early online game, Final Frontier, to joining the award-winning Legends of Future Past development team, to co-founding Worlds-Apart Productions. In 1999, he founded Dejobaan Games, which has developed 9 titles for handheld and desktop platforms. The company most recently launched Inago Rage in November, 2004. (slides, trailer)
Bruce Reilly, President of Mass Bay Marketing LLC. Bruce has been working on in the video game business for over 15 years. His early efforts included publishing, developing and selling Nintendo, Sony and Sega games for Sunsoft of America where he was Vice President of Sales. He later headed TerraGlyph Interactive Studios as the acting president, developing a line of children's software. In 1999, Bruce joined Mass Bay Marketing, an entrepreneurial organization that handles video game distribution. Bruce received a B.S. and an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University in 1978 and 1985, respectively. (slides)
The projects are the game development related assignments you will have for the course. I encourage you to work in groups of 2 or 3 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.
Compiled Game Maker Tutorial Games (zipped), showing the range of games Game Maker supports.
Here are the The Final Games produced by the class.
Miscellaneous links on Game Design:
A list of some of the tools available to help build games:
Some game-related industry conventions:
Some game-related research conferences: