MMST12017 - Game Design
Term 1 - 2017


All details in this unit profile for MMST12017 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student). The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.

Overview

Digital games, also referred to as video games, computer games, console games, online games or mobile games, exist in a variety of formats, platforms and genres. This unit provides an introduction to the theories, principles and methods of game design. It analyses the essential elements of games that designers work with to create the all-important player experience. Activities such as conceptualising, designing, prototyping and evaluating games are explored.

Details

Career Level Undergraduate
Unit Level Level 2
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125

Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Prerequisite DGTL11001

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Offerings

Term 1 - 2017
  • Brisbane
  • Bundaberg
  • Distance
  • Mackay
  • Noosa
  • Rockhampton

Website

This unit has a website, within the Moodle system, which is available two weeks before the start of term. It is important that you visit your Moodle site throughout the term. Go to Moodle

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Assessment Overview

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Practical and Written Assessment 30%
2. Practical and Written Assessment 25%
3. Practical and Written Assessment 45%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Procedures for more details of interim results and final grades.

All University policies are available on the IMPortal.

You may wish to view these policies:

  • Grades and Results Procedure
  • Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework)
  • Review of Grade Procedure
  • Academic Misconduct Procedure
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – Domestic Students
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – International Students
  • Refund and Excess Payments (Credit Balances) Policy and Procedure
  • Student Feedback – Compliments and Complaints Policy and Procedure
  • Acceptable Use of Information and Communications Technology Facilities and Devices Policy and Procedure

This list is not an exhaustive list of all University policies. The full list of University policies are available on the IMPortal.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Feedback Source Recommendation
The 'design brief' for Assignment Three could be relaxed a little to afford students greater flexibility when selecting a game style or genre. Moodle feedback and individual discussion. The assignment 'design brief' will be reviewed in order to afford greater flexibility (where possible).
Although the pseudo-code environment of Construct 2 is simpler than previous software, students would benefit from completing a basic programming concepts course. Direct observation, assessment task review. This issue should be remediated by the proposed 2017 Digital Media Course Program restructure (i.e. inclusion of an introductory programming subject).
A number of students seemed to struggle with the concept of using Adobe Photoshop as a digital illustration tool for the character design component. Assessment task review. Recommend the incorporation of cross-curricular strategies that foster the development of student digital illustration techniques.
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Explain theories, principles and methods of game design
  2. Conceptualise a game and communicate ideas through design documentation
  3. Competently use software tools for creating games and game assets
  4. Create a prototype for a game, applying theories, principles and methods of game design
  5. Evaluate a game in terms of theories and principles of game design

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Practical and Written Assessment    
2 - Practical and Written Assessment    
3 - Practical and Written Assessment

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

  • Introductory Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1. Communication
2. Problem Solving
3. Critical Thinking
4. Information Literacy
5. Team Work    
6. Information Technology Competence
7. Cross Cultural Competence  
8. Ethical practice  

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

  • Introductory Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 - Practical and Written Assessment
2 - Practical and Written Assessment
3 - Practical and Written Assessment

Prescribed Textbooks

Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games
Author/s: Tracy Fullerton Year: 2014
Edition: 3rd edition Publisher: CRC Press
City: Boca Raton State: Florida
Country: USA
View textbooks at the CQUniversity Bookshop
Note:

The Game Design Workshop textbook is an essential requirement for this course and provides weekly readings, contemporary case studies and the underpinning philosophy. It is available in traditional (paper) and digital formats from a variety of online bookstores. Be aware that the CQUniversity Bookshop only hold a limited quantity of paper copies.

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • Unity Personal Edition (free from https://store.unity.com)
  • Adobe Photoshop CC (Student pricing - http://www.adobe.com/au/education/students/how-to-buy-eligibility.edu.html?)
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
  • Adobe Illustrator CC
  • Adobe Audition CC
  • Microsoft Word
  • Piskel (free from http://www.piskelapp.com)
All submissions for this unit must use the Harvard (author-date) referencing style (details can be obtained here). For further information, see the Assessment Tasks below.
Unit CoordinatorJames Picton (j.picton@cqu.edu.au)
Note: Check the Term-Specific section for any additional contact information provided by the teaching team
Week Begin Date Module/Topic Chapter Events and Submissions
Week 1 06-03-2017

An introduction to games

Hunicke, R, LeBlanc, M & Zubek, R 2004, MDA: A Formal Approach to Game Design and Game Research, viewed 28 January 2017, http://www.cs.northwestern.edu/~hunicke/MDA.pdf

Kramer, W 2000, What is a Game?, viewed 07 January 2017, http://www.thegamesjournal.com/articles/WhatIsaGame.shtml

Maroney, K. 2001, My Entire Waking Life, viewed 07 January 2017, http://www.thegamesjournal.com/articles/MyEntireWakingLife.shtml

Week 2 13-03-2017

The role of the Game Designer

Fullerton, T 2014, Chapter 1: The Role of the Game Designer, in Game Design Workshop, CRC Press, 2014.

Week 3 20-03-2017

The structure of games

Fullerton, T 2014, Chapter 2: Structure of Games, in Game Design Workshop, CRC Press, 2014.

Huizinga, J 1949, Homo Ludens: A study of the play-element in culture, second Edn, viewed 02 February 2017, http://art.yale.edu/file_columns/0000/1474/homo_ludens_johan_huizinga_routledge_1949_.pdf
Week 4 27-03-2017

Conceptualising a game

Fullerton, T 2014, Chapter 6: Conceptualisation, in Game Design Workshop, CRC Press, 2014.

Week 5 03-04-2017

Prototyping a game

Fullerton, T 2014, Chapter 7: Prototyping, in Game Design Workshop, CRC Press, 2014.

Paper Prototype, Written Report & Game Design Journal (Weeks 1-4) Due Friday (07 Apr 17) 11:45 PM AEST
Vacation Week 10-04-2017
Week 6 17-04-2017

Working with formal game elements

Fullerton, T 2014, Chapter 3: Working with Formal Elements, in Game Design Workshop, CRC Press, 2014.

Week 7 24-04-2017

Working with dramatic game elements

Fullerton, T 2014, Chapter 4: Working with Dramatic Elements, in Game Design Workshop, CRC Press, 2014.

Visual and Sound Design for Games & Game Design Journal (Weeks 5-7) Due Friday (28 Apr 17) 11:45 PM AEST
Week 8 01-05-2017

Working with system dynamics

Fullerton, T 2014, Chapter 5: Working with System Dynamics, in Game Design Workshop, CRC Press, 2014.

Week 9 08-05-2017

Communicating your designs

Fullerton, T 2014, Chapter 14: Communicating your Designs, in Game Design Workshop, CRC Press, 2014.

Week 10 15-05-2017

Digital prototyping

Fullerton, T 2014, Chapter 8: Digital Prototyping, in Game Design Workshop, CRC Press, 2014.

Week 11 22-05-2017

Publishing a game

Fullerton, T 2014, Chapter 15: Understanding the New Game Industry, pp. 470-474, in Game Design Workshop, CRC Press, 2014.

Week 12 29-05-2017

Review

Digital Prototype, Game Design Document & Game Design Journal (Weeks 8-11) Due Friday (02 Jun 17) 11:45 PM AEST
Review/Exam Week 05-06-2017
Exam Week 12-06-2017

1 Practical and Written Assessment

Assessment Title Paper Prototype, Written Report & Game Design Journal (Weeks 1-4)
Task Description

During MMST12017 you will complete three sequential assessment tasks which will each contribute to the development of a Unity 2-Dimensional (2D) digital prototype game.

Your challenge during Assignment 1 is to design and develop a 'Paper Prototype' game design which will become the basis of a 2D digital prototype game that you will develop for your Assignment 3 (Week 12). The development of a 'Paper Prototype' is a key step in the game design process as it allows the designer to rapidly bring their ideas to life, whilst providing a practical and economical way to test, evaluate and tweak a given set of mechanics, dynamics and aesthetics in order to deliver the most engaging gaming experience.

The prototype that you submit for Assignment 1 will include a game board, game rules, a game 'Event' card system and all game assets required to play the game (e.g. components such as tokens, counters). Once you have developed your prototype, you will document it within a written report, and reflect upon the process within a Game Design Journal.

Deliverables:

  • Paper Prototype game (including all assets required for gameplay);
  • Written Report (1500 words), and
  • Game Design Journal (ongoing task). Complete entries for Weeks 1-4 on the course website (Moodle).

Please refer to the course website for the assignment details.

Assessment Due Date Week 5 Friday (07-Apr-2017) 11:45 PM AEST
Return Date to Students 2 weeks after submission
Weighting 30%
Assessment Criteria

The assessment criteria for this assignment are summarised below:

  • Paper Prototype Game Design: Provide a copy of the game rules, game board, along with photographs, scans or digital files in JPG format for all of the components required for gameplay (e.g. counters, tokens, game 'Event' cards etc).
  • Written Report – 1500 words: Thoroughly document the mechanics, dynamics and aesthetics of your prototype game i.e. the rules and systems, how it should play and what the experience should ‘feel like’ for the player. The report should also detail (approximately 300-400 words) how you conducted play-testing (participant details and methodology), and how you incorporated player feedback (aligns with the play-centric approach of the Game Design Workshop textbook). A suggested structure and supporting resources are provided on the course Moodle site.
  • Game Design Journal (ongoing task): Complete one entry per week during Weeks 1-4 using the individual Game Design Journal blog on the course Moodle site (located in the 'Assessment' block in the left-hand menu). One of the journal entries must critically reflect on your experiences with Assignment 1, whilst a second journal entry will evaluate a digital game of your choice in terms of the underpinning game design principles. The remaining two entries are your choice and may simply include ideas, concepts or reference images for your game designs. Your journal entries do NOT need to be written; you may opt to record and upload a short video instead. Refer to the course Moodle site for specific information about the expectations for your journal.

Allocation of marks:

  • Complete Paper Prototype game - 15 marks
  • Written report (1500 words) - 9 marks
  • Game Design Journal (ongoing task) - 6 marks

Supplementary notes:

  • The game design ideas which underpin your Paper Prototype must be original and you cannot use someone else's Intellectual Property (IP) within your work e.g. Star Wars.
  • Evidence of successful experimentation, innovation or high quality artwork will result in higher marks.
  • Penalties will be applied for late submission, or failing to comply with the assignment's requirements.

Please refer to the course website for more detailed assignment criteria.

Referencing Style Harvard (author-date)
Submission Online

Please refer to the course web site for assignment submission instructions.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Explain theories, principles and methods of game design

4. Create a prototype for a game, applying theories, principles and methods of game design

5. Evaluate a game in terms of theories and principles of game design

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy

5. Team Work

6. Information Technology Competence

7. Cross Cultural Competence

8. Ethical practice



2 Practical and Written Assessment

Assessment Title Visual and Sound Design for Games & Game Design Journal (Weeks 5-7)
Task Description

This assignment will challenge you to develop visual and audio media to support your primary game character (protagonist).

Deliverables:

  • Visual design. Delivered in two formats - 1x Character Model Sheet, and 1x game-ready 'Sprite Sheet' for your game protagonist.
  • Sound design. Spawning, movement and death sounds for your game protagonist.
  • Game Design Journal (ongoing task). Complete entries for Weeks 5-7 on Moodle.

Please refer to the course website for more detailed task information.

Assessment Due Date Week 7 Friday (28-Apr-2017) 11:45 PM AEST
Return Date to Students 2 weeks after submission
Weighting 25%
Assessment Criteria

The assessment criteria for this assignment are summarised below:

  • Visual design:
    • 1x Character Model Sheet delivered in either unflattened Adobe Photoshop (PSD), or Adobe Illustrator (AI) format
    • 1x game-ready 2D 'Sprite Sheet' delivered in .PNG format for your game protagonist. The Sprite Sheet must include sprites for all of the main poses (movements or actions) required by your protagonist during the digital game that you will develop for Assignment 3.
    • Note: It would be appropriate to upload progressive character design ideas and sketches as part of your ongoing Game Design Journal via the course website (Moodle).
  • Sound design:
    • Spawning, movement and death sounds for your game protagonist.
    • Delivered in two formats: game-ready, compressed audio files (MP3 format) and raw source files (unflattened Adobe Audition or similar)
  • Game Design Journal (ongoing task): Complete one entry per week during Weeks 5-7 using the individual Game Design Journal blog on the course Moodle site (located in the 'Assessment' block in the left-hand menu). One of the journal entries must critically reflect on your experiences with the visual or sound design tasks for Assignment 2, whilst a second journal entry will evaluate a digital game of your choice in terms of the underpinning game design principles. The remaining entry is your choice and may simply include ideas, concepts or reference images for your game designs. Your journal entries do NOT need to be written; you may opt to record and upload a short video instead. Refer to the course Moodle site for specific information about the expectations for your journal.

Allocation of marks:

  • Character Design - 10 marks
  • Sound Design - 10 marks
  • Game Design Journal (ongoing task) - 5 marks

Supplementary notes:

  • Your character and sound design must be original and you cannot use someone else's Intellectual Property (IP) within your work e.g. Star Wars.
  • Penalties will be applied for late submission, or for failing to comply with the assignment's requirements.

Please refer to the course website for more detailed assignment criteria.

Referencing Style Harvard (author-date)
Submission Online

Please refer to the course web site for assignment submission instructions.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Explain theories, principles and methods of game design

2. Conceptualise a game and communicate ideas through design documentation

3. Competently use software tools for creating games and game assets

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy

5. Team Work

6. Information Technology Competence

7. Cross Cultural Competence

8. Ethical practice



3 Practical and Written Assessment

Assessment Title Digital Prototype, Game Design Document & Game Design Journal (Weeks 8-11)
Task Description

The summative assessment task will draw together everything that you've learned from the theory and lab activities through the creation of a functional two-dimensional (2D) Unity digital game prototype and a supporting Game Design Document. Additionally, you will finalise the entries in your personal Game Design Journal for Weeks 8-11 of the course.

Deliverables:

  • Functional Unity prototype 2D digital game (including all supporting media assets);
  • Game Design Document (GDD), and
  • Game Design Journal (ongoing task). Complete the final entries for Weeks 8-11 on the course website (Moodle).

Please refer to the course website for the assignment details.

Assessment Due Date Week 12 Friday (02-Jun-2017) 11:45 PM AEST
Return Date to Students By Certification Date
Weighting 45%
Assessment Criteria

The assessment criteria for this assessment are summarised below:

  • Digital Prototype: A functional 2D game produced using the Unity game development software which fully addresses the Assignment 3 design brief.
  • Game Design Document (GDD): A complete GDD (based upon the supplied template) which accurately reflects the technical design and implementation of the digital prototype.
  • Game Design Journal (ongoing task): Complete one entry per week during Weeks 8-11 using the individual Game Design Journal blog on the course Moodle site (located in the 'Assessment' block in the left-hand menu). One of the journal entries must critically reflect on your experiences with Unity for Assignment 3 i.e. did your Paper Prototype game design concept translate successfully to digital? Why, or why not? Within a second journal entry you will evaluate your ongoing journey as a Game Designer i.e. is this something that you'd like to pursue as a career, will it remain a hobby...or neither? The remaining two entries are your choice and may simply include ideas, concepts or reference images for your game designs. Your journal entries do NOT need to be written; you may opt to record and upload a short video instead. Refer to the course Moodle site for specific information about the expectations for your journal.

Allocation of marks:

  • Unity digital prototype 2D game (incl supporting assets) - 22 marks
  • Game Design Document - 17 marks
  • Game Design Journal - 6 marks

Supplementary Notes:

  • You are to provide copies of all supporting assets used in the design of your prototype i.e. source media files for visual and audio components.
  • All media components developed for the digital prototype game must be original and you cannot use someone else's Intellectual Property (IP) within your work e.g. Star Wars.
  • Evidence of successful experimentation and innovation will result in higher marks.
  • Penalties will be applied for late submission, or failing to comply with assessment requirements.

Please refer to the course website for more detailed assessment criteria.

Referencing Style Harvard (author-date)
Submission Online

Please refer to the course web site for assignment submission instructions.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Explain theories, principles and methods of game design

2. Conceptualise a game and communicate ideas through design documentation

3. Competently use software tools for creating games and game assets

4. Create a prototype for a game, applying theories, principles and methods of game design

5. Evaluate a game in terms of theories and principles of game design

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy

5. Team Work

6. Information Technology Competence

7. Cross Cultural Competence

8. Ethical practice




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