CISC 496/3.0 Game Development Project

Original Author: Nicholas Graham
Last Revised: February 7, 2013

Calendar Description

Team-based project involving the development of a game using modern tools and software engineering techniques.

Learning Hours: 128.5 (3G;5.5I;120P)

Prerequisite: CISC 226/3.0 and (CISC 326/3.0 or COCA 201/3.0 or permission of the School of Computing), Level 4 and an overall GPA of 1.90.

Course Format

Students will meet with a project supervisor over the term, with on average a half hour meeting weekly. During the final week of term, students will present their projects to the class as a whole. Throughout the term, students will work in small groups outside the classroom to develop their project.

Course Objectives

This course will allow students to master the design and development of a complete digital game. The students will gain practical experience with game design, architecture, implementation and usability testing in a team setting, and experience in working with a game engine.

This will be a "capstone" course for students in the Game-Development sub-plan of Software Design but ideally students in other programs (such as Computing and the Creative Arts) would also participate as team members.

Course Content

Digital games are sufficiently complex and time consuming to develop that most courses can allow students to develop only the most simple of games. This project course allows students to apply the knowledge they have gained in earlier courses in the program to the design and development of a complete game. Students will work in groups of 2-4. They will meet weekly with a supervisor to ensure that the project is meeting its milestones. This course reinforces and expands the content of earlier courses in the game development stream by allowing students to practice the techniques they have learned, and allows them to express their creativity in the concrete realization of a novel game idea.

Students will create and document the design of a novel game, evaluate and choose a suitable development platform, perform early evaluation of the game (e.g., through low-fidelity prototypes), develop and document the game's software architecture, implement the game, and perform user testing.

Course Outline

1 Week:
Establish project milestones. Pick and justify development platform.

1 Week:
Create initial gameplay design document.

1 Week:
Evaluate game through low-fidelity prototype; iterate design.

6 Weeks:
Implement game.

2 Weeks:
Perform usability and playability testing; iterate design and implementation.

1 Week:
Present game demo to class and write final report.