Introduction to Computer Game Design

UTS

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Introduction to Computer Game Design

  • Host University

    UTS

  • Location

    Sydney, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Animation, Computer Programming, Computer Science, Graphic Design, Information Sciences, Information Technologies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    31080 Digital Multimedia

    Recommended studies: familiarity with computer graphics and experience with designing interactive systems

    Undergraduate

  • Course Level Recommendations

    Upper

    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

    6
  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    6
  • Overview

    Description
    Designing and building computer games is a challenging task. This subject focuses on the software technologies (such as graphics, networks, software design and artificial intelligence) used in computer games and covers basic interactive design, interface design, game design documentation and play mechanics through hands-on projects.
     
    Subject objectives
    Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
     
    1. Critique games in terms of their function as dynamic systems of formal and dramatic elements in order to create interactive experiences.
    2. Apply an iterative player-centric design approach to create computer games in a team.
    3. Apply playtesting techniques to evaluate games.
    This subject also contributes specifically to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes:
     
    Apply systems thinking to understand complex system behaviour including interactions between components and with other systems (social, cultural, legislative, environmental, business etc.) (A.5)
    Identify and apply relevant problem solving methodologies (B.1)
    Design components, systems and/or processes to meet required specifications (B.2)
    Synthesise alternative/innovative solutions, concepts and procedures (B.3)
    Apply decision-making methodologies to evaluate solutions for efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability (B.4)
    Implement and test solutions (B.5)
    Demonstrate research skills (B.6)
    Communicate effectively in ways appropriate to the discipline, audience and purpose. (E.1)
    Work as an effective member or leader of diverse teams within a multi-level, multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural setting (E.2)
    Identify and apply relevant project management methodologies (E.3)
    Be able to conduct critical self-review and performance evaluation against appropriate criteria as a primary means of tracking personal development needs and achievements (F.1)
    Teaching and learning strategies
    The material will be presented in 3 hours each week: 1 hour of lecture, and 2 hours of combined tutorial/laboratory class.
     
    In lectures, topics from the recommended texts are covered, with additional material from other sources being introduced where necessary. Questions in lectures are allowed, but the size of the lecture audience will frequently mean that a full answer is not possible. Students should ask questions in lectures when either:?(1) they believe that something being presented in the lecture is incorrect, or (2) if something is not immediately clarified they are likely to have trouble understanding the rest of the lecture. Questions driven by natural curiosity are welcome, but they should be asked at the end of the lecture, or at tutorials, or online discussion forums on UTS Online.
     
    Tutorial/laboratory sessions are used to support the lectures with illustrative examples and practice exercises, often also in sync with the assignment tasks. These are also extra opportunities for students to ask questions and clarify concepts.
     
    Please note students are expected to put in some additional study time outside of class time. The university regards a 6 credit point subject as requiring 9-12 hours of study per week, including class time.
     
    Content
    Major topics covered in this subject are:
     
    The Process of Designing a Game: Conceptualization, paper and digital prototyping, playtesting, game balance, fun.
    Game Design Basics: Role of game designer, structure of games, formal and dramatic elements in games, system dynamics.
    Working as a Game Designer: Local and international game industry, academic and trade conferences, magazines and journals on computer games, serious games for education, health, training and communication.
    Assessment
    Assessment task 1: Participation
    Objective(s):
    This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives:
     
    1, 2 and 3
     
    This assessment task contributes to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes:
     
    E.1
     
    Type: Laboratory/practical
    Groupwork: Individual
    Weight: 10%
    Criteria linkages:
    Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
    Lab Participation 70 1, 2, 3 E.1
    Discussion forum participation 30 1, 2, 3 E.1
    SLOs: subject learning objectives
    CILOs: course intended learning outcomes
    Assessment task 2: Design & Build a Board Game
    Objective(s):
    This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives:
     
    1, 2 and 3
     
    This assessment task contributes to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes:
     
    B.1, B.2, B.3, B.4, B.5, B.6, E.1, E.2, E.3 and F.1
     
    Type: Project
    Groupwork: Group, group and individually assessed
    Weight: 20%
    Criteria linkages:
    Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
    Game Quality (functionality, attractiveness and a gameplay assessment by another group) 40 2, 3 B.2, B.3, B.5
    Design Report (design diary, playtest reports and group reflection) 45 1, 2, 3 B.1, B.4, B.5, B.6, E.1, E.2, E.3
    Group Peer Review (ability to critique own/peer games based on class concepts) 10 1, 2, 3 E.1, F.1
    Individual Peer Review (ability to assess and justify own/peer contribution as part of the team) 5 1, 2, 3 F.1
    SLOs: subject learning objectives
    CILOs: course intended learning outcomes
    Assessment task 3: Quiz
    Objective(s):
    This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives:
     
    1, 2 and 3
     
    This assessment task contributes to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes:
     
    B.1, B.2, B.3 and B.4
     
    Type: Quiz/test
    Groupwork: Individual
    Weight: 20%
    Criteria linkages:
    Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
    Quiz grades (ability to apply class concepts to solve quiz problems) 27 1, 2, 3 B.1
    Quiz grades (understanding design principles taught in class) 27 2, 3 B.2
    Quiz grades (ability to apply class concepts to articulate conceptual designs in writing) 20 2, 3 B.3, B.4
    Quiz grades (ability to apply class concepts to make design decisions based on problem scenarios) 26 1, 2, 3 B.4
    SLOs: subject learning objectives
    CILOs: course intended learning outcomes
    Assessment task 4: Write a Game Critique
    Objective(s):
    This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives:
     
    1
     
    This assessment task contributes to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes:
     
    A.5, B.6 and E.1
     
    Type: Report
    Groupwork: Individual
    Weight: 15%
    Criteria linkages:
    Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
    Game Critique (ability to describe and dissect game based on class concepts, and thereby critique its game dynamics and fun factor) 100 1 A.5, B.6, E.1
    SLOs: subject learning objectives
    CILOs: course intended learning outcomes
    Assessment task 5: Design & Build a Digital Game
    Objective(s):
    This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives:
     
    1, 2 and 3
     
    This assessment task contributes to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes:
     
    B.1, B.2, B.3, B.4, B.5, B.6, E.1, E.2, E.3 and F.1
     
    Type: Project
    Groupwork: Group, group and individually assessed
    Weight: 35%
    Criteria linkages:
    Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
    Game Quality 47 2, 3 B.2, B.3, B.5
    Design Report 27 1, 2, 3 B.1, B.4, B.6, E.1, E.2, E.3
    Presentation ( 1. ability to prepare and clearly articulate core selling point of game within time allocated, 2. ability to create a short video presentation of their game that showcases its main selling points) 20 1, 2, 3 E.1
    Group Self Review (ability to critique own game based on class concepts) 3 1, 2, 3 E.1, F.1
    Individual Peer Review (ability to assess and justify own/peer contribution as part of the team) 3 1, 2, 3 F.1
    SLOs: subject learning objectives
    CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.