Assignments/Due Dates
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1. Personal Game Archeology & Analysis

due Aug 29

Archeology and analysis of personal gaming preferences from:
a. childhood and
b. today as an adult.
Research and present a short power point or html presentation and demonstration of your favorite game/toy as a child and why it was your favorite, and your favorite game/toy as an adult and why. Include a brief history of the origins of each game, and why this is/was a compelling game experience for you. Include references in your presentationóweb links, documentation, the socio-political context of the game/toy you have chosen and its use.

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2. Indy Game #1 Individual
due Sept 5

Going beyond fps and virtual violence: can it be done? What could be as, or more compelling as killing or being killed? Individual students create new types of gaming experiences - perhaps unusual interaction, or a game about an issue, or a game for an underserved population. Using your own experience and previous research from the Game Archeology & Analysis study, you create an original game within one week on your own.†† Keep in mind the work of artists and ideas discussed in class, in addition to your readings and personal experience.

Deliverables:
- Game design structure template
- Answer Ernest Adams Game Design Philosophy Questions:

* What dreams does the game fulfill?

* What is the player going to do?

* What are the physical, intellectual, emotional, economic and ethical spaces of the game world?
- Workable game prototype: prototypes or games in an embryonic state, something between a developed idea and a full game. Think of them as short studies or experiments. They should be playable or, at the very least, the mechanics should be evident. You can choose any tools and techniques you find most adequate to develop your ideas, including physical environments, paper, cardboard, digital games, etc.
Original ideas are more important than polished graphics and optimized code for this study.

Readings: due Sept 5
* Play as Design by Brenda Laurel Play as Design by Eric Zimmerman
* Ernest Adams Design Philosophy
*
Experimental gameplay project - How to Prototype a Game in Under 7 Days
*create a short, one page, printed reaction paper to each of the above
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 Readings: due Sept 12
* From Sun Tzu to Xbox: War and Video Games by Ed Halter
* Baudrillard and Hollywood: subverting the mechanism of control and The Matrix by Jim Rovira
* The Oxymoron of Virtual Violence, J. Baudrillard
*create a short, one page, printed reaction paper to each of the above

Optional Extra Credit Readings for Masters and Ph.D. Students:
*
Homo Ludens: A study of the Play Element in Culture by Johan Huizinga
* Man, Play, and Games by Roger Caillois

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3. & 4. Indy Game #2 Team Based due Sept 19

Working collaboratively in temporary teams, (ideally creating a balanced team consisting of the following talents: visual artist, programmer, sound composer & designer, manager) create a basic game design document and playable game or simulation prototype for the future. The goal is to create a game which is just as, or more challenging and engaging than the typical fps game. Explore innovative games and, using a process known as scenario planning, share your information and judgment with your fellow teammates to create a picture of a future game that is larger than any individual could produce alone. Perhaps unusual interaction, or a game about an issue, or a game for an underserved population.

Each person in the group must detail their contributions.

Deliverables:
- Concept Game Design Document: GAME DESIGN DOCUMENT TEMPLATE
-Game design structure template
- Answer
Ernest Adams Game Design Philosophy Questions:

* What dreams does the game fulfill?

* What is the player going to do?
* What are the physical, intellectual, emotional, economic and ethical spaces of the game world?

- Workable game prototype


Readings: due Sept 19

* Lenoir-Lowood_TheatersOfWar
*create a short, one page, printed reaction paper for the above

Optional Extra Credit Readings for Masters and Ph.D. Students:
* Origins of FPS by Galloway

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FINAL PROJECT TRAJECTORY from here on:

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5. Final Project: Experimental Game Trajectory: working with permanent teams
due Sept 26: Prototype 1 ConceptsInformal presentation

Deliverables:
First ideas about your game
Please include
the following: These are all ITERATIVE and will be changed and perfected as your ideas unfold.
* concept ideas and sketches
* storyboards
* rough Game Design Document (see
GAME DESIGN DOCUMENT TEMPLATE) (you will build on this framework over the course of the semester as your refine and reiterate your game.)
* Game Structure template
* Answer Ernest Adams Game Design Philosophy Questions:
- What dreams does the game fulfill?
- What is the player going to do?
- What are the physical, intellectual, emotional, economic and ethical spaces of the game world?
*
list of technical information and methodologies of production: any necessary software, SDKs, and APIs, etc. needed.

Please remember that your completed game project is an innovative, original, purposeful work which goes beyond conventional style gaming paradigms and shows depth of creative goals, sensitivity to social issues, and quality of interaction. The game must be functional, or at the very least demonstrate some dynamic game play with a high end trailer illustrating the core game play concepts, and it must be accompanied by a completed, (web ready, stand alone) game design document and a well designed poster.

Readings:reaction papers due Oct 3
* Complete Freedom of Movement: Video Games as Gendered PlaySpaces by Henry Jenkins
*create a short, one page, printed reaction paper

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6. Phase I Proposal & Formal Group Presentation
due Oct 3

Deliverables:
rethink and refine your project based on your resonation of the feedback your team received in class previously:
* concept ideas and sketches
* storyboards
* Game Design Document (see
GAME DESIGN DOCUMENT TEMPLATE) with blocked out time frame of production
* Game Structure template
*
list of technical information and methodologies of production: any necessary software, SDKs, and APIs, etc. needed.
* produce new work and progress on your game assets including design, art, programming, etc.

Readings: reaction papers due Oct 10
* Adams and Rollings The Level Design Process
*create a short, one page, printed reaction paper for each

Optional Extra Credit Readings for Masters and Ph.D. Students:
* The Construction of Experience: Interface as Content David Rokeby
*Everything But the Words: A Dramatic Writing Primer for Gamers
by Hal Barwood
* Storytelling in Action by Bob Bates

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7. Phase II Reiteration Informal presentation
due Oct 10
Midterm assessments

Deliverables:
* produce new research, work and progress on your game assets
* present a creative statement including treatment, narrative, more refined story board, and at least 5 citations of games/ websites/readings/ literature/ films that have influenced you.

*
Reality check on scope of project, schedule, including individual responsibilities and deadlines, more refined game design document, (conceptual geography, maps, scenarios, trainers, strategies, symbolism, scoring, rules, etc.) Reflect all this in your Game Design Document


Readings:
Related final project research readings in the history, theory, ethics, philosophy, practice, and technical research as determined by your team and the instructor. Please list all research readings in your evolving game design document.

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8. Phase III Game Prototype & Formal Group Presentation
Oct 17

Deliverables:
* produce new work and progress on your game assets
* Definitive schedule for entire project which will be used for milestones for further project development, continuation of incorporating critical feedback, game play, polishing and refinement of content, methodology, delivery system, and game design document

Related Readings: final project research readings

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9. Phase IV Game Content & Informal team meetings with Game Industry Experts
due Oct 24

Deliverables:
* produce new work and progress on your game assets
* Additionally, fully updated and perfected game design document is printed and formally handed in. This will be edited further.


Related Readings: final project research readings

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10. Phase V Refinement & Formal Group Presentation
due Oct 31
Haloween: come dressed to class as a character or as the general theme in your game

Deliverables:
* produce new work and progress on your game assets based on critiques
* Hooking up assets to game, further development of game play


Related Readings:
final project research readings

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11. Phase VI Further Refinement & Informal Group Presentation
due Nov 7

Deliverables:
* produce new work and progress on your game assets based on critiques
* Refinement for pre-review and three week trajectory for individual team work with assistance in class.

* Play Testing plans due

Related Readings:
final project research readings

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 12. Phase VII & Formal Group Presentation
due Nov 14

Deliverables:
* produce new work and progress on your game assets based on critiques.
* Additionally, fully updated and perfected game design document is printed and formally handed in. This will be edited further.
* Play Test Results due


Related Readings:
final project research readings

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13. OFF for THANKSGIVING:ENJOY

* produce new work and progress on your game assets based on critiques and play test results

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14. Phase VIII Project Pre-Reviews & Informal Group Presentation
due Nov 28 (second to last class)
* produce new work and progress on your game assets based on critiques and play test results

* Instructions for Printing your Poster at the VCC (Voorhees Computing Center) on the RCS Public Plotters:
http://helpdesk.rpi.edu/update.do?catcenterkey=78
The plotter paper is 36 inches wide, but the actual content space is 34 inches. So your document should be 36 wide, but have an inch of whitespace on either side.

The minimum height is 24 inches, but I would recommend the same amount of padding there. If your poster is vertical you can of course rotate it to fit into this space for the lowest cost.

You should make a PDF. You can possibly use Photoshop and output your file as a PDF or use Illustrator (proven to work very well) (it is on the VAST lab computers if you don't have it), create a document 36" by height + 2", then use File->Place to insert your document. You can then do "Save As" and switch the filetype to PDF.

 Take the PDF file to the VCC and open it in Acrobat (or Reader? whatever it's called these days). Switch the printer to vcplt or vcpltg for glossy ($0.25 more per foot, not bad for the shiny effect). I think the checkboxes are something like:
"Automatically select paper size"
"Allow use of custom sizes"
 Select both of those and the rulers in the preview should update to be your document's size. Then you should be able to send it.

The printouts show up rolled in the racks on the right side of the VCC building, near the glass-enclosed classroom on that side. In general, they will put obviously bad printouts up without saying anything, but you can get a refund if there was a problem on their end by going to the help desk.

Print soon as other students across the campus will be vying for this printer soon.

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15. Phase IX Perfected Game Festival-Ready Games, Formal Group Presentation due Dec 5LAST CLASSAll perfected work due this day. NO EXCEPTIONS.

All perfected work due this day. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Complete and refine all work on final projects for Final Completed Game Project:
submit on a labeled dvd:

* Your game and all elements including all art, programming files, etc.

* Your game design document in .html format with all relevant files

* Your project summary in .doc format with summation image

* high quality edited high def. 1920 x 1080, H264 mp4 video trailer of game play. Please include your title, overview, interaction, gameplay and credits. This video will be used to judge whether your game gets into the competition.

* Your digital poster file

* Your user Evaluation Testing Summary and Recommendations

 

Also submit:

* Printed posters
* Printed Final Game Design Document

* Printed project summary

 

Please ensure that all work is spell checked.

All work must be printed and also submitted on labeled CDs or DVDs 

 

Please ensure that all work is spell checked.

All work must be printed and also submitted on labeled CDs or DVDs 

Projects meeting the highest standards are then shown at the Annual Game Festival & Symposium in Spring 2013
Intensive critical analysis of game development, game play, interaction, hardware testing, detailed plan for installing game and gear at Game Festival will be due.
Discussion of Gamefest and Future Trajectories

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