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Information Technology 108

ITEC 108: Introduction to Game Development.

Credit Hours: (3) Two hours lecture; two hours laboratory

An introduction to problem solving and programming in the context of game development.  Topics follow the framework laid out by the International Game Developers Association (IDGA) and will touch on each of the core topics:  Games and Society, Game Design, Game Programming, Visual Design, Audio Design, Interactive Storytelling, Game Production, and  Business of Gaming.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

 Topics include:

1. Critical Game Studies - Criticism, Analysis & History of electronic and non-electronic games.

2. Games and Society - Understanding how games reflect and construct individuals and groups, as well as how games reflect and are constructed by individuals and groups.

3. Game Design - Principles and methodologies behind the rules and play of games.

4. Game Programming - Aspects of traditional computer science and software engineering – modified to address the technical aspects of gaming.

5. Visual Design - Designing, creating and analyzing the visual components of games.

6. Audio Design - Designing and creating sound and sound environments.

7. Interactive Storytelling - Traditional storytelling and the challenges of interactive narrative.

8. Game Production - Practical challenges of managing the development of games.

9. Business of Gaming - Economic, legal and policy aspects of games.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Concepts of game development are covered in the lecture portion of the course.  These concepts are reinforced by the programs and critiques that the students write.  A significant portion of the lab time is spent in the microcomputer lab.  This provides the opportunity for close contact between the student and the instructor while the student is designing and implementing games and writing critiques.  The lab time may also be used to cover specific design details.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Students who complete the course will be able to:

1. Articulate a brief history of video games, covering the evolution of the major genres, platforms, publishers, and developers of the last several decades.

2. Describe the sociology of games, including audience demographics, societal reactions to sex and violence, and the emergence of online communities.

3. Explain ludology – the academic study of games – including the issues and individuals central to this rapidly growing field.

4. Explain the theories, processes, and design considerations that form the foundation of game creation.

5. Describe the nature of fun, including ideas such as game structure, game flow, and the role of choice in generating an entertaining interactive experience.

6. Discuss the specifics of actually designing a game, from high-level conceptualization and design documentation, to specific topics such as interface design, play mechanics, platform modifications, and performance testing.

7. Explain programming teams and processes, and common game programming languages.

8. Explain fundamental concepts in computer programming including variables, looping, and branching.

9. Describe how to debug games and explore their use of system resources.

10. Articulate the basics of math and physics used in game development – geometry, applied trigonometry, vectors and matrices, transformations, general physical concepts, real-time game physics, rigid body simulations, and particle systems.

11. Explain general visual design principles, such as graphic design, color theory, and user interfaces.

12. Describe the “real-world” aspects of the game industry, including the domains of producers, attorneys, and game business professionals.


Assessment Measures

Course will include both individual and group development assignments as well as individual game critique assignments.  Multiple exams will also be used to assess student progress.


Other Course Information


Review and Approval

February 2010             Initial Course Approval          Art Carter, Chair

Revised: June 1, 2012