Assignments / Projects

Course Projects/Designs & Evaluation…

  • Intellectual Productions (50%): During the course you will be asked to produce a course wiki profile where you will create wiki entries on assigned topics in games/play/learning/design, etc. Each assignment will correspond to the week’s readings and class discussions. Written assignments may be multimodal (integrating images, screenshots, video-capture of play, etc.) to support arguments or observations, but please write well.Intellectual productions will include everything from doing a critical cultural studies analysis of a game to experimenting with game-making software like Twine.
  • Readings Meta-Texts (10%): Every week – as you read – create a concept ‘mind-map’ or system for annotating texts: Identify new terms, collect key quotes, and diagram ideas/take-away points (along with your own critical reflections and personal connections). Make connections between weekly readings (and as we move through the semester, draw relations between current and previous readings). Meta-texts will be turned in (portfolio) at the end of the semester, or you can post them on your wiki.
  • Attendance / Contribution to the Critical Discussions: You will be expected to attend class (having read the assigned texts, with your reading meta-texts – annotations & notes, questions, critical comments) and to contribute significant/critical, ‘scholarly’ work to our in-class seminar discussion.
  • Game Design Project (40%) and Final ‘Work in Progress’ Presentation

Practical Game Design & Development Project (40%)

You will be expected to design and develop you own (digital) game, based on our theoretical and research-based readings and your own interests in games and learning. Introductory-level technical instruction and support will be provided to create/design a ‘high-fidelity prototype’ with at least some ‘working parts’ (an aspect or level of game must be actually play-able by the end of the semester).

Because this will be a group project, and because it is necessary to recognize that different people produce different work and that inevitably some work harder than others, you will be asked to keep a log of your working hours on the project. You will also create a ‘credits’ document, which explains the various roles that people in your group had, which the whole group will approve.

In the past, students have created everything from self-contained games (e.g., in Unity, Gamemaker Studio, RPG boss) to transmedia games (integrating Twine with other websites, media platforms and even original videoworks) to experimental art games and interactive visual novels.

The game design project will be marked using the categories which will be used for the final project presentation, namely: for example, process of creation; how you game enacts design, artistic, or critical aims and purposes, game ‘playability’, game mechanics and rules, user interface(s) and controllers, as well as your theoretical ‘framework’ informing design, and general educational or critical aims and/or procedural intentions; some articulation of what you would do (further) if you had access to any/all technical support and funding. Every game is different, and to a large extent you will determine your own expectations through the iterative design cycle.

Around week 6 I will ask for a game proposal (based on a document I will send) and then I can provide feedback.

Note: Course theory, tutorials and models will provide support for game design.

It is expected that all work on this project will be completed by no later than one week after the final class, after receiving feedback from the instructor and peers on how to improve the project. Due: (one week after in class work-in-progress presentations or earlier).

Possible Tools

RPG-Maker / RPG Boss

Unity

GameMaker Studio

Ren’Py Visual Novel/Game Engine

Twine

This list is far from exhaustive!