Advanced Game Design - Fall 2015
When: Tuesday / Thursday 10:10am - 11:40AM
Professor: Brian Schrank (please just call me Brian) www.BrianSchrank.com
This is a studio course in which students work in teams to design and develop slices of polished, small-scale gameplay experiences. The focus is on developing team-based creative and technical processes to produce innovative, engaging, and playable games. Over the course of the quarter, each team will build two different short gameplay experiences or “vertical slices.” Each slice will demonstrate an understanding of the role of game mechanics, game art, audio, and technology platform in creating a cohesive and compelling gameplay sequence. Team roles will include game design, producing, game art/animation, and programming. Teams will iterate on projects until they can show through playtests that they have met their gameplay goals. Students can use any art assets, sound effects, music, or code they can find online as long these help flesh out the vision and intent of the game projects.
Extra Credit: Going above and beyond helping other students can earn you an extra 1-10% at discretion of instructor. The student who was helped needs to email the instructor and summarize the help that was provided.
You are expected to attend all classes and participate in class activities as scheduled. If you miss a class for any reason, you are expected to follow up with the instructor and your team, and find out what was missed and make up any work. A note from a doctor or nurse will be required for an absence to be excused. The third unexcused absence, and each subsequent absence, will result in an automatic final grade deduction of one letter grade. Being late to class counts as 1/3 of an absence. More than 4 absences will result in automatic failure of the course.
Late assignments will only be accepted within three days of the due date. Each day the assignment is late will decrease the possible point value by 20%.
IncompleteAn Incomplete grade is given only for an exceptional reason such as a death in the family, a serious illness, etc. Any such reason must be documented. Any incomplete request must be submitted at least two weeks before the final exam. Any consequences resulting from a poor grade for the course will not be considered as valid reasons for such a request.
Expect to work 20-30 hours a week on projects to do well. Do not rely on teammates to be told what to do. Be proactive and always think about how YOU could improve the game experience to meet the project's goals. Then run your ideas by your team before you do them. Seek and use DAILY feedback on your work. Get it from me, classmates on Slack, playtesters, roommates, anyone who’ll be honest, critical, and who understand the project's goal.
Team Studio Culture
For each project, students will form a new game studio, with each student adopting one of 4 roles. Communication is key to fostering and maintaining a healthy team dynamic. You must meet in person with your team TWICE A WEEK OUTSIDE OF CLASS. You must also create a Slack group for each project to facilitate rapid and fluid communication. You must check in with team at least TWICE A DAY on Slack. Post something you made / changed in game (screenshots / builds are good) or comment on a teammate’s post.
Team Member Roles
Each student will be responsible for producing quality work in one of the 4 following job fields:
Each team will either designate a person to serve as their Producer or the professor may appoint the producer himself. The producer must have a dual-role designation and be “designer and producer” or “artist and producer,” etc. In addition to their other responsibilities, the producer will be responsible for project scheduling, organizing meetings, and always ensuring that the big picture of the project is always being served.
Work done for this course must adhere to the University Academic Integrity Policy, which you can review in the Student Handbook or by visiting the Academic Integrity page at DePaul University http://academicintegrity.depaul.edu.
Students with Disabilities
If you feel you need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability please contact me privately to discuss your specific needs. All discussions will remain confidential. To ensure that you receive the most appropriate accommodation based on your needs, contact me as early as possible in the quarter (preferably within the first week of class), and make sure that you have contacted either: