CGDD2002 - Fall 2011, Section 01


This schedule may change as the semester progresses.

Read the assigned readings before coming to class as we will discuss their content in class.  Lectures are boring, so I hope to have dialogs on the readings, but this can only happen if you're proactive and read before class.

For all assignments, write up your solution and capture any ideas with images as needed. Use Word or another word processor to ensure proper grammar and spelling.  All assignments are due on Friday at 6am unless otherwise noted.

Week Date Lecture Topic and Lecture Examples Reading Assignment
1 8/22 1 Course Introduction Challenges Chapter 1
60% Game Play
2 8/29 2 Atoms and Parts of a Game Challenges Chapter 2
Postmortem - Diablo 2
The Designer's Notebook: The Perils of Bottom-up Game Design
How Not to Write a College Essay about Videogames
One challenge chapter 2
3 9/5   LABOR DAY - No Class "MDA: A Formal Approach to Game Design and Game Research" by Hunicke, LeBlanc, & Zubek
Monopoly Killer: Perfect German Board Game Redefines Genre
All I Really Needed to Know About Games I Learned from Dungeons & Dragons
The Paper Chase: Saving Money via Paper Prototyping
Pick a modern game and analyze it with respect to MDA.  Define a one-page proposal for a game framed around the MDA structure
4 9/12 3 Puzzles Challenges Chapter 3
"The Art of Puzzle Design" by Kim and Pajitnov, GDC 2000
One challenge chapter 3
5 9/19 4 Genres Challenges Chapter 4
Game Genres (Wikipedia)
The History of Rogue
Deer Hunter's Three Month Development Cycle
One challenge chapter 4
7 10/3 5 Chance and Skill Challenges Chapters 5 and 6
Upping your Game's Usability
Begin your midterm game design by completing design challenge #2 in Chapter 6
8 10/10 6 Difficulty, Balance, and Flow Challenges Chapters 7 and 8
Difficulty Modes and Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment (DDA)
Flow in Games, by Chen
Difficulty and Reward in Super Meat Boy
Continue to develop your midterm game design by submitting an MDA-style proposal for your game.
9 10/17 7 Game Design Documents Why Design Documents Matter
The Anatomy of a Design Document (parts 1 and 2)
Design Document for Grand Theft Auto
Submit your completed midterm game design by adding playtesting results and modification detail that you made based upon the playtesting.
10 10/24   Game Design Analysis Design Document for Fallout Van Buren (two areas - Jericho and Burham Springs)
Design Document for Planescape
Read Game Writeups from other Students in Class
11 10/31 8 Intellectual Property and Sequels

Midterm Scores and Analysis
Challenges Chapters 9 and 10
Design Document for Metal Gear Solid 2
One challenge chapter 9
12 11/7 9 Iterative Design Challenges Chapter 14
Minimal Risk Design
Design Document for Play with Fire
One challenge chapter 14
13 11/14 10 User-Generated Content and Emergent Play The History of the Pinball Construction Set
Interview: Making User-Generated Content Friendly But Deep With ModNation Racers
14 11/21 11 Storytelling, Theme, and Immersion Challenges Chapter 13
Irreconcilable Differences: Game vs. Story
Examining Game Pace: How Single-Player Levels Tick
Begin your final game design by submitting a completed design document (including MDA style content). Be sure to include all elements of design documents as we've discussed previously in this course.
15 11/28 12 Games as Art Challenges Chapter 17
Why You Owe the Columbine RPG
Can a Computer Make You Cry?
"How I dumped electricity and learned to love design", Brathwaite GDC2010
Play Passage
16 12/5   Final Game Demos   Final Game Design (due before class on Mon)
  12/7   Final Exam: 1-3pm in Q104   Final Exam

This page was last updated on 10/31/2011.