Calendar and Readings

SES # TOPICS READINGS AUDIO Lectures
1

Syllabus, Brainstorming, and Prototyping

Project 1 Team formation

Project 1: Non-Digital Prototyping (PDF) - handout

List of Useful Tools (PDF) – handout

List of Indie Games (PDF) – handout

This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.Prototyping Maps (PDF) – handout

 

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{}Part 1: Introduction, Overview, and Syllabus

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{}Part 2: Brainstorming

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{}Part 3: Paper Prototyping, Playtesting, and Group Formation

2

Game Engines

In-class testing (bring a testable version to class.)

Focus Testing Basics (PDF) – handout

Sample Focus Test Document (PDF) - An example of an observer's script/survey. Probably fancier than your team needs, but it covers all the basics.

Bugs & Bug Testing (PDF) – Advice to testers on how to test

Buy at MIT Press Buy at Amazon Zimmerman, Eric. "Play as Research." In Design Research: Methods and Perspectives. Edited by Brenda Laurel. MIT Press, 2003. ISNB: 9780262122634. [Preview with Google Books]

Buy at Amazon Osborn, Alex F. "Creative Collaboration by Groups," and "Detailed Procedures of Group Brainstorming." In Applied Imagination. Scribner, 1979. ISBN: 9780023895203.

Buy at Amazon Fullerton, Tracy. "Prototyping." In Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games. CRC Press, 2008. ISBN: 9780240809748. [Preview with Google Books]

Audio not available
3

Project 2 and Randomization
Guest Lecture by Darius Kazemi, Independent Developer

Presentation of Project 1 final version to instructors during class.
See Oral Presentation Expectations (PDF)

Project 2: Team Formation. Start design of changelog. Select producer.

Project 2: Digital Prototype with Project Management (PDF) – handout

Kilgore, Chad. "Understanding Challenge." Gamasutra, January 8, 2013. Audio not available
4

Project Management and Agile I

Project 1 individual writeup and group changelog due.

Buy at Amazon Fullerton, Tracy. "Digital Prototyping." In Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games. CRC Press, 2008. ISBN: 9780240809748. [Preview with Google Books]

Buy at Amazon Keith, Clinton. "Scrum," "Agile Planning," "Agile Design," and "Agile Development." In Agile Game Development with Scrum. Addison-Wesley Professional, 2010. ISBN: 9780321618528. [Preview with Google Books]

Mansour, Mark. "Scrum's Product Backlog - Agile Requirements Management." Agile Bench.

{}Project Management
5

Agile II and Estimation

Project 2: Two minute in­class presentation on Vision Statement / Product Backlog.

High Level Design Document (PDF) / Vision Statement (PDF), Product Backlog (XLS), and Testable Paper Prototype due (1 of each per team).

Buy at Amazon Beck, Kent and Martin Fowler. "Bad Smells in Code." In Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code. Addison-Wesley Professional, 1999. ISBN: 9780201485677. [Preview with Google Books] {}Agile II - Product Backlog
6

Task Lists and Testing

Project 2: Sprint Tasklist with estimates – two minute in class presentation.

Sprint Tasklist with Estimates due (1 per team)

  {}Task Lists, Daily Scrums, and Sprints
7

QA and Focus Testing

Project 2: In­class playtesting (Playable version required)

Focus Test Script (PDF) – handout

Buy at Amazon Fullerton, Tracy. "Playtesting," and "Functionality, Completeness, and Balance." In Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games. CRC Press, 2008. ISBN: 9780240809748. [Preview with Google Books] {}Quality Assurance and Focus Testing
8

Aesthetics and Project 3

Project 2 Due: Group Presentation – 5 minutes

Digital Game Prototype (1 per team)
Submit link to project web page before class starts. The page must include clearly­labeled links to the Final Build and the build used for focus testing. Additional working builds, labeled with date, will enable instructors to better see your design iteration but are not required.

Individual Postmortems Due (1 per person)

Design Changelog (1 per team) & Focus Test Summary Due (1 per team)

Project 3: Team formation, start changelog, appoint producer or scrummaster.

Project 3: Digital Prototype II: Aesthetics (PDF) – handout

  {}Aesthetics and Project 3
9

Coding Tips
Guest Lecture by Andrew Haydn Grant, Technical Director, MIT Game Lab

Project 3: High Level Design Document or "Back of Box Copy" vision statement due (1 per team)

Quintans, Desi. "Game UI By Example: A Crash Course in the Good and the Bad." tuts+ Game Development Series. January 22, 2013.

Buy at Amazon Norman, Donald. "The Psychopathology of Everyday Things." In The Design of Everyday Things. Basic Books, 2002. ISBN: 9780465067107. [Preview with Google Books]

{}Coding Tips
10

Assets and Project 3 Presentations

Project 3:
Product Backlog due (1 per team)

Either a Paper Prototype delivered in class or a Design Guide document to present & explain in class. Teams using Design Guides must also submit them. (1 per team)

Two minute presentation: the core of your game design idea (using Design Guide or Paper Prototype.)

Independent Focus Test: Using either your Paper Prototype or a running version of your game, conduct a focus test outside of class, gather data from your testers (at least 4), and use the data gathered from that test to improve your game. Record information on the Focus Test Summary (PDF) for submission at end of project.

  {}Cheap Assets
11

Production
Guest Lecture by Courtney Stanton, Producer Developer

Sprint Tasklist with time estimates due (1 per team)
  {}Videogame Production
12

Spring Retrospectives and Project 3 Presentations

Project 3 Due:
Group Presentation – 5 minutes

Digital Game Prototype (1 per team)
Send link to project web page before class starts. The web page must include clearly labeled links to the Final Build and the build used for focus testing. Additional working builds, labeled with date, will enable instructors to better see your design iteration but are not required.

Individual Postmortems Due (1 per person)

Design Changelog (1 per team) & Focus Test Summary Due (1 per team)

Project 4: Team formation, start changelog, appoint producer or scrummaster.
Project 4: Small Game Project (PDF) – handout

  {}Sprint Retrospectives, Appreciations, and Recap
13

Agon and Alea

Finalize Teams

  {}Gamefeel - Decision and Fate
14

Rapid Iterative Prototyping
Guest Lecture by Eitan Glinert, Co-founder Fire Hose Games

Project 4 High Level Design Document or "Back of Box Copy" vision statement due (1 per team)

  {}Rapid, Iterative Prototyping Best Practices
15

Usability and Project 4 Presentations
Guest Lecture by Jenna Hoffstein, Founder Little Worlds Interactive

Current Product Backlog & Sprint Tasklist due (1 each per team)

Two Minute Presentation: Paper Prototype, Digital Prototype, or Design Guide

Design Guides, if used, must be turned in.

Current Sprint Tasklist due (1 per team)

  {}Usability
16 Game Design Fundamentals
Guest Lecture by Seth Sivak, CEO, Proletariat Inc.
  {}Game Design Fundamentals
17

Sprint Tasklists

Current Sprint Tasklist due (1 per team)

  Audio not available
18 UI and Polish   Audio not available
19

Cutting Features

Current Sprint Tasklist & Product Backlog due (1 each per team)

Present current build to class – 2 minutes

  {}Cutting Features
20

Process
Guest Lecture by Alex Schwartz, CEO, Owlchemy Labs

Current Sprint Tasklist due (1 per team)

  {}Process
21 Audio and Audio Contracting
Guest Lecture by Richard Gould, Lead Sound Designer, and Richard Ludlow, Creative Director, Hexany Audio
  Audio not available
22 Story in Games   {}Story in Games
23 The Indie Industry
Guest Lecture by Ichiro Lambe, Founder and President, and Rohit Shenoy, Director of Business Development, Dejobaan Games
Gworek, Jonathan D. This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader."The Low Down on Start-Ups." (PDF) The Practical Lawyer 47, no. 6 (2001): 31–45. {}The Indie Industry
24

Mechanics and Narrative

Current Sprint Tasklist due (1 per team)

Run at least 2 Independent Focus Tests: Using either a Paper Prototype (first focus test only) or a running version of your game, conduct focus tests outside of class, gather data from your testers (at least 4), and use the data gathered to improve your game. Create a Focus Test Summary (PDF) for each focus test, & turn in at the end of the project.

  Audio not available
25 Choosing Mechanics   {}Choosing Mechanics
26

Final Postmortems

Project 4 Due

Group Presentation & Game Demonstration – 20 minutes

Digital Game Prototype Due (1 per team)
Send link to project web page before class starts. Web page must include clearly labeled links to the Final Build, each build used for focus testing, and each build presented in class. Additional working builds, labeled with date, will enable instructors to better see your design iteration but are not required.

Individual Postmortems Due (1 per person)

Design Changelog (1 per team) & Focus Test Summaries Due (at least 2 per team)

  Audio not available