CMDI1100 Tentative Schedule REVISED

*** GDW refers to Game Design Workshop

WEEK DATE TOPIC ASSIGNMENT *** CRITICAL QUESTIONS
Week 1 Tue Jan 29 Introduction to the course None Why do you play games?
Thu Jan 31 The Role of the Game Designer GDW Chapter 1 What does it take to become a game designer? What is the "game design process"? Why is playtesting so important to good game design?
Week 2 Tue Feb 5 (WEATHER RELATED CANCELLATION) The Structure of Games GDW Chapter 2 What common elements are found in games? What will engage a game player?
Thu Feb 7 (WEATHER RELATED CANCELLATION) Pattern Recognition and Tic-Tac-Toe Read this article (note that it is two pages long) What changes would make Tic-Tac-Toe more interesting? What is the underlying pattern of Tic-Tac-Toe?
Week 3 REVISED Tue Feb 12 What Games Are What makes something a game? What makes something a good game? Does War meet the definition of a game? What is the major weakness of the game? What changes would make War more interesting?
Thu Feb 14 Formal Elements of Games GDW Chapter 3 What are the formal elements of War? Can we make changes to make War more interesting?
Week 4 REVISED Tue Feb 19 Dramatic Elements of Games
  • GDW Chapter 4
  • Think about a game that you really like. Hand in a short paper (3-5 pages) in which you use the information from GDW Chapter 2 to explain why the game is so enjoyable. Include enough information about the rules of the game so that someone not familiar with the rules will be able to understand your explanation.
What are the dramatic elements of games? Do dramatic elements make games better? Are dramatic elements necessary? What is "flow"? Would dramatic elements make War more interesting?
Thu Feb 21 Games as Systems GDW Chapter 5 What are the objects of War? What are the properties of those objects? Behaviors? What do the system dynamics of War look like? Can we make War more interesting by changing something about its system dynamics? Does War have an economy? Should it? What kind of information structure does War have?
Week 5 Tue Feb 26 Playtesting War Modifications Describe (in writing) how to play your new game so that someone may playtest it without help from you How do we describe our games unambiguously so that someone else may play them? Is your new game better than the original game of War? Why or why not?
REVISED Thu Feb 28 Presenting War Modifications
  • 10 Minute Presentations on War modifications
What are the rules of your new game? Do these rules make the game more interesting to play? What changes are most important for any improvements you saw?
Week 6 Tue Mar 4 Presenting War Modifications continued More Presentations None
REVISED Thu Mar 6 Presenting War Modifications continued More Presentations None
Week 7 REVISED Tue Mar 11 Conceptualizing a New Game
  • GDW Chapter 6
  • 5 page Paper describing your new game and the changes you made
What interests you in life? Which of these interests might make a good game?
Thu Mar 13 Game Design Session None What kind of game are you going to create? What steps do you have to take in order to create this new game?
Week 8 Tue Mar 18 NO CLASS Spring Break NONE
Thu Mar 20 NO CLASS Spring Break NONE
Week 9 Tue Mar 25 NO CLASS--Team meetings with the instructor Bring Exercise 6.8 (page 150) results for three game possibilities to your team meeting What do you want to say with your new game? What is your message?
Thu Mar 27 NO CLASS--Team meetings with the instructor Bring Exercise 6.8 (page 150) results for three game possibilities to your team meeting What do you want to say with your new game? What is your message?
Week 10 Tue Apr 1 Prototyping Your Game
  • GDW Chapter 7
  • Hand-in a treatment for your game (see Exercise 6.9 on page 156)
What game materials are critical to playing your game? How can you create those materials quickly?
Thu Apr 3 Playtesting GDW Chapter 8 What kind of playtesting will you do? What do you want to know from your playtesters?
Week 11 Tue Apr 8 Early Playtesting Session
  • Bring your prototype to class
  • Hand in a short paper (3-5 pages--1 per team) describing your game. Be sure to check the rubric for this paper in the game project assignment description document.
What do the playtesters think of your game? Is your game meeting its goals?
Thu Apr 10 Functionality, Completeness and Balance GDW Chapter 9 What do you do with the results of your first playtesting session? Is your game functional? Is your game internally complete? Is your game balanced?
Week 12 Tue Apr 15 Game Design Session Bring game materials to class. Respond to the playtesting results by making some changes to your game. What did the playtesters say about the game? How can the game be improved to better meet the goals of the game? How can the game's message be strengthened?
Thu Apr 17 Playtesting Session
  • Bring your revised prototype to class
  • Hand-in a short paper (3-5 pages--1 paper per team) explaining the changes you made to the game. Be sure to check the rubric for this paper in the game project assignment description document.
What do the playtesters think of your game? Is your game meeting its goals?
Week 13 Tue Apr 22 Fun and Accessibility GDW Chapter 10 Is your game fun? Can you make changes to make it more fun? Is your game accessible? Can you make changes to make it more accessible?
Thu Apr 24 Game Design Session Bring game materials to class. What additional changes should you make to the game? How can the game be improved to better meet the goals of the game? How can the game's message be strengthened? What more do you want to know from playtesters?
Week 14 Tue Apr 29 Final Playtesting Session
  • Bring your revised prototype to class
  • Hand-in a short paper (3-5 pages--1 paper per team) explaining the changes you made to the game. Be sure to check the rubric for this paper in game project assignment description document.
What do the playtesters think of your game? Is your game meeting its goals?
Thu May 1 NO CLASS I will be at a conference NONE
Week 15 Tue May 6 Presentation Planning Session Games DUE. Be sure to check the game project assignment description document to see what you are supposed to hand in. What do you want to tell us about your game?
Thu May 8 Projects Project Presentations begin None
Week 16 Section 1:
  • Thu May 15 (8am-10:30am)
Section 2:
  • Tue May 13 (8am-10:30am)
Final Exam Period Project Presentations continue None



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Updated February 29, 2008 by Cathie LeBlanc