• This is the second course in the Video Game Design program.  Instruction includes the study of 2D & 3D game design concepts, technologies and programming, including 3D modeling, animation, scripting and production.  Students will create a professional portfolio while developing intermediate skills and knowledge in game design, concept development, storyboarding, character development and user interfaces, as well as performing more advanced scripting and programming of game sequences which give their finished games a more polished, marketable look and feel and provide an enhanced, exciting user experience.

     

    Create a GitHub account/page OR a Personal Website for all your work to be uploaded to.

    This will be your portfolio of work for this/future Game design classes.

    Submit work to teacher as an emailed link to the work assigned.

    UNIT A. Game Design Industry

    Students begin the year with an overview of the evolving video gaming industry. They will research industry trends, look at indicators of new factors that may define future iterations of various game types and platforms, as well as chart the progress and future viability of leading game design companies. Written research papers will compile and assess notable trends, as well as focus on the ethics of gaming and efforts to reposition esports and game players in the public’s eye through the rising practice of “healthy gaming”.

     Unit Assignment(s): 

    Due September 20, 2019- 100 pts

    KEY ASSIGNMENT #1: Students will research the video gaming industry and will compile a research paper that analyzes several factors (listed below) across different market segments (e.g., types of video games, styles of play, demographic and psychographic target audiences, etc.). Factors to research should include (at the least) the following:

    1. Market analysis
    2. Demographic & psychographic analyses of video game end-users by market segment
    3. Geographic / Regional differences of game iterations (e.g., North American vs. Asian releases of similar titles with different playability options NOT offered in other regions)
    4. Distribution channels used / preferred
    5. Business ethics / copy write law infringements
    6. Promotion / Ignorance of “healthy gaming” related to game styles and titles
    7. Styles of play (solo <free-to-play (F2P) or pay-to-play (P2P) models>, tournaments, leagues, etc.)

     

    Due October 16, 2019- 100 pts

    KEY ASSIGNMENT #2: After having researched the video gaming industry and presented their findings, students will work in small groups to review their individual works and synthesize a gap analysis of the common pitfalls found in the industry. As consensus in formed around failing points, each work group with then speculate about a new video game that is responsive to current market indicators, and also solves for some or all of the gaps they have identified. Students will present their gap analysis and suggestion for a new gaming model to the larger class group using multimedia, graphics and visual prompts (graphs, charts, etc.)

     All final work will be saved for inclusion in the year-end Individual Contributor Portfolio.

     

    UNIT B. Game Environment and User Interface

    Springboarding off the previous year’s course content, students review trade articles online about changes in players’ play styles that have had an effect on the peripherals that are sold and used for specific game types. Trend analysis will be used to consider a new and marketable form of peripheral device to answer the inferred need of gamers.

     Unit Assignment(s):

    Due Noveber 1, 2019- 100 pts

    KEY ASSIGNMENT #3: The user interfaces (input, output and player perspective-centered devices like keyboards, mice, game-specific input devices, monitors, 3D glasses and biometric interface technologies, etc.) are analyzed by type, with consideration given for which devices are most popular among gamers, and which devices have undergone the most adaptation in response to gamer preferences. Students prepare a report with media graphics / data to support their research and critical thinking.

    Due November 22, 2019- 100 pts

    KEY ASSIGNMENT #4: Armed with the data in KA #3, student work groups form a consensus on how a change to a particular piece of peripheral equipment could benefit their new game model (KA #2) while promoting “healthy gaming” as a feature of their new game.

    All final work will be saved for inclusion in the year-end Individual Contributor Portfolio.

    UNIT C. 2D / 3D Game Design and Planning

    Students will identify the various job classifications directly and indirectly impacting the video game industry (the “ecosphere” of game design). Once the various positions have been identified, students will create a résumé that indicates their best fit for a particular job in a game design company. To complete the résumé and to indicate their “best fit” for a particular job, students will demonstrate their unique skills relevant to game design (e.g., writing an game sequence or character back story; rendering 2D (line-drawn) and 3D generated character art; preparing samples of working codes for animating a character, etc.), student work groups will develop a design theory-based working timeline to develop, create, test & analyze, refit and promote / ship the game model that they determined was necessary in KA #2.

     Unit Assignment(s):

    Due December 13, 2019- 100 pts

    KEY ASSIGNMENT #5: Students determine their own interests in jobs available in the game design universe and create a résumé and interview responses they imagine would be asked during a job interview at a video game design studio. Résumés should highlight students’ fit and readiness for two (2) jobs at a game design studio.

    Due Decmber 20, 2019- 100 pts- This is your FINAL

    KEY ASSIGNMENT #6: Student work groups develop a game concept from their consensus of research in KA #2; each student will work collaboratively in the capacity of the job type they would want to be (KA #5) to create a sales pitch for their game concept. The co-created sales pitch should include:

    1. A written story arc overview of their game world / “lore” about the milieu
    2. Early, clear line-art and 2D / 3D images of chief characters, bosses and opponents
    3. Digital drafts or line art of game environments (e.g., areas or levels where game action will take place, key structures or locations where pivotal story elements will occur, etc.)
    4. Samples of musical scores or sound effects to be used in the game.

    All final work will be saved for inclusion in the year-end Individual Contributor Portfolio.

    UNIT D. Line-Art Checkpoint: Storyboarding

    The next four sections compose a sequence of refresher and enhancement learning about the “nuts and bolts”, basic elements of video game design. Having self-identified a preferred job classification in KA #5, students will take a deeper dive into their topic of interest. While all students will be required to master a baseline skill set in Units D-G, those who have selected a particular pathway as their “career choice” will be called upon to produce end products well above the class norm.

    In Storyboarding, students will be tasked with composing a line art, visual representation of a two minute animation sequence set in the game environment.

     Unit Assignment(s):

    Due Jan 17, 2020- 100 pts

    KEY ASSIGNMENT #7: Student work groups will determine which two minute sequences will be crafted from the written story arc they created for KA #6. A line drawn storyboard sequence representing two (2) minutes of actual game play time will include several required elements (listed in the section competencies).

    All final work will be saved for inclusion in the year-end Individual Contributor Portfolio.

    UNIT E. Software Utility Checkpoint: 3D Modeling (Autodesk Maya)

    In this unit, students will be challenged to convert 2D line art or digital renderings into 3D models (representations with front, side and top views).

     Unit Assignment(s):

    Due Jan 24, 2020- 100 pts

    KEY ASSIGNMENT #8: Individual students will demonstrate proficiency with available 3D modeling software by rendering 3 common objects from 2D into 3D, to include several required elements (listed in the section competencies).

    Due Jan 31, 2020- 100 pts

    KEY ASSIGNMENT #9: When students are comfortable with the 3D rendering software, each work group will determine which key characters / bosses / opponents will be rendered into 3D from line art. Students will then convert their own 2D artwork into a 3D model.

    KEY ASSIGNMENT #10:  Students will each create a 3-view, detailed Key Character Model from a 3-view basic shape of their chosen key character, to include several required elements (listed in the section competencies).

    Due Jan 24, 2020- 100 pts

    KEY ASSIGNMENT #11:  Putting all of the units together, students will create backgrounds and scenes in which their key character will be viewed in the game (to include several required elements listed in the section competencies from the story arc).

    All final work will be saved for inclusion in the year-end Individual Contributor Portfolio.

    UNIT F. Software Utility Checkpoint: 3D Animation

    Having successfully converted line art into 3D models, students will next revisit basic animation skills by demonstrating their ability to use available software to bring to life a sequence of moves the key character would commonly accomplish in the game.

     Unit Assignment(s):

    KEY ASSIGNMENT #12: Students will animate their selected key character by first creating a skeletal wire-frame of its image. Next students will use the available 3D animation software using forward and inverse Kinematics to include several required elements (listed in the section competencies).

    All final work will be saved for inclusion in the year-end Individual Contributor Portfolio.

    UNIT G. Software Utility Checkpoint: 3D Scripting / Programming

    In this last core skills unit, students will refresh and/or enhance their knowledge of scripting and programming related to animating the world they have envisioned in the previous units.

     Unit Assignment(s):

    KEY ASSIGNMENT #13: Students will use a variety of programming techniques (e.g., If/Then statements, arrays and loops, etc.) to control aspects of game elements they have created (to include several required elements listed in the section competencies). Students must demonstrate proficiency with designing, creating, running and debugging / fixing code they are given from a work group member or the instructor.

    All final work will be saved for inclusion in the year-end Individual Contributor Portfolio.

    UNIT H. 3D Game Production

    One of two major, year-end deliverables occurs in this unit: student work groups will use all the research conducted in previous units, along with a consensus model of a unique game design based on identified gaps in current game models, to create their game design from concept to market ready product. Scrum principles and agile processes will be reviewed and integrated into each work group’s design and functional practices, mimicking real-world practices and expectations for the development and delivery of software.

     Unit Assignment(s):

    KEY ASSIGNMENT #14: After reviewing the classic model of video game design, student work groups will research agile processes and scrum methodology. Collaboratively, students will choose a general and specific aspect of scrum that will be used to “teach back” to the larger class group. All work groups will teach back, delivering a well-rounded definition of scrum and a deep dive into specific practices that can be adopted by all groups.

    KEY ASSIGNMENT #15: Using scrum and agile work processes as a base, work groups will design their team values, will organize the division of labor for video game production, and will create a project timetable (the end of which is one week before end of the school year), set reasonable milestones and deadlines, and will calculate / plan for scope creep as they work to deliver a fully functional, unique video game by the end of the school year.

    KEY ASSIGNMENT #16: Student work groups will either delineate work assignments or will work collaboratively to produce marketing collateral and talking points for a mock “release date / launch day” to be added to the project timetable and presented with the game launch during the last week of the school year.

    All final work will be saved for inclusion in the year-end Individual Contributor Portfolio.

    UNIT I. Student (Individual Contributor) Portfolio

    The second year-end deliverable and net sum of all work in the semester, all individual contributions and collaborative final product representations are compiled in a digital folder. Additionally, a LinkedIn profile is either created or updated to include this project work, with representative work elements uploaded for review on the LinkedIn website. Specific required elements are listed in the section competencies.

     Unit Assignment(s):

    The second year-end deliverable and net sum of all work in the semester, all individual contributions and collaborative final product representations are compiled in a digital folder. Additionally, a LinkedIn profile is either created or updated to include this project work, with representative work elements uploaded for review on the LinkedIn website. Specific required elements are listed in the section competencies.

    KEY ASSIGNMENT #17: Students will have created a digital folder where they have been storing all of their individual work and team contributions for the year. One to two examples of one’s best work per unit should be included in the digital folder; for 2D and 3D art samples, either GIF or JPEG format will suffice to store the work safely. Copies of a résumé, cover letter, introduction letter, follow-up response to an interview, etc., should be included in the folder and should mirror EXACTLY any document posted to the LinkedIn website.

    KEY ASSIGNMENT #18: Students will each create or update a LinkedIn page wherein this project is prominently featured. The class instructor and other designated teacher(s) will grade the web presence based on the immediate appeal, demonstrated career-ready skills and overall mature tone a student takes with the video game design materials used.

    Textbooks

    Title Author Publisher Edition Website Primary
    Video Game Design Foundations D. Michael Ploor Goodheart-Willcox 2nd / 2014 WWW.G-W.COM No
    Video Game Design Composition D. Michael Ploor Goodheart-Willcox 2nd / 2014 WWW.G-W.COM Yes

    Manuals

    Title Author Publisher Edition Website Read in entirety
    The Game Maker's Apprentice Habgood, Jacob and Overmars, Mark Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1st / 2006 http://www.springeronline.com No

    Websites

    Title Author(s)/Editor(s)/Compiler(s) Affiliated Institution or Organization URL
    Unity 3D Unity.com Orange County Department of Education / Career Technical Education Partnership https://unity3d.com/learn
    Autodesk - Maya 3D Software Autodesk.com Orange County Department of Education / Career Technical Education Partnership https://www.autodesk.com/education/free-software/maya
    Scratch Scratch.mit.edu Orange County Department of Education / Career Technical Education Partnership https://scratch.mit.edu/