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Kursusbeskrivelse
Kursusnavn (dansk):Game Design 
Kursusnavn (engelsk):Game design 
Semester:Efterår 2015 
Udbydes under:cand.it., spil (games) 
Omfang i ECTS:15,00 
Kursussprog:Engelsk 
Kursushjemmeside:https://learnit.itu.dk 
Min. antal deltagere:12 
Forventet antal deltagere:70 
Maks. antal deltagere:65 
Formelle forudsætninger:This is an introductory course, but it is an advantage to be aware of different computer- and video game genres, as well as board games and other non-digital games. A wide knowledge of games is desirable but not required.
Similarly, Design students would greatly benefit from having programming, artistic, or sound creation skills.
The student must meet the admission requirements of the IT University.


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Information about study structure

This course is part of the mandatory modules om Games. 
Læringsmål:After the course students are expected to be able to:
• Conceptualize, prototype, design, develop and test a digital game.
• Reflect on the relation between game design and interaction design, as well as other design disciplines, and how they can inform the design activity.
• Reflect on the role of the designer in the production of a game, from concept development to testing, with focus on decision making, responsibilities, group-and-schedule management, and creativity.
• Reflect on the relation between design choices and player experiences, as a central element for making innovative and engaging computer games.
• Reflect on their individual contribution to a team-oriented game development process, using the appropriate design terminology and examples.
• Evaluate the originality of a game concept based on design theories and game history.
• Evaluate game concepts through playtesting and usability methods.
• Structure the process from concept development to testing, from board to digital game.
• Practice different concept development and game design methods.
• Practice different usability and playtesting methods.
• Perform basic programming, art, project management and/or design activities, applied to computer game development.
• Perform the basics of sketching, prototyping, iterative design and development methods applied to computer game development 
Fagligt indhold:Please note, that due to technical challenges, changes may occur before the start of the semester (week 35) – this applies to all sections of the course description.

The course is centered on the concept development, design, implementation and testing of a computer game prototype, as well as on the critical reflection on the design process and the role of game developers as reflective practitioners. The student is free to choose genre, style, platform and technology of the game prototype as long as the project can be realised within the scope of the course.

We want to encourage students to create innovative, experimental games. Innovation and experimentation are understood in a broad sense: an experimental game can be defined as any game that uses either the technology, the platform, or the presence of players in a way that challenges game design conventions, explores new expressive means, addresses new mechanics or design types, or introduces input or output devices previously unused in game development. The students will have the help of the course manager in deciding on the appropriateness of a concept for the course.

The course has two areas of relevance:
• Theoretical: this course will explore the relations between game design theory and practice. To do so, students will be required to familiarize themselves with a wide selection of texts, ranging from interaction design to usability and industrial design. The goal is for the student to understand how game design as a discipline relates to the design of other media and objects. At the same time, this theoretical background introduces them to the most important design methods.
• Practical: this course is focussed on the development of critical practice skills – the capacity of creating and reflecting upon what is created. Students will have to develop a game prototype. The prototype will be developed in self-selected groups of no more than 5 people. Besides the game prototype, students will be asked to create different types of objects, from board games to game concepts, based on key notions explored in the lectures.

The course will give the students:
• A basic understanding of game design and design methodologies, from concept development to user experience testing and evaluation.
• A familiarity with essential game design and design literature.
• The tools for developing reflective practitioner skills, and the capacity to adapt them to different creative contexts.
• The ability to improve a game design based on prototyping and testing on actual users.
• Skills on a number of game development platforms, methods, and tools. To achieve these goals, the students will have to:
• Read and familiarize themselves with the selected design and game design literature.
• Make balanced development groups, with representation of different skills and goals.
• Create a game prototype, from concept to user testing.
• Familiarize themselves with the technological platform they want to use for the creation of their prototype or pick a platform they are familiar with 
Læringsaktiviteter:14 ugers undervisning bestående af forelæsninger og øvelser

The course consists of 14 weeks of teaching. Teaching is here understood as a wide array of activities:
• Lectures: lectures are typically focused on one set of related game design issues. They are typically teacher-centric lectures, but student participation is highly encouraged.
• Practical exercises: exercises are typically conducted in the last segment of the class. There are two types: short exercises are performed during the first hour, and discussed and evaluated during the second. Long exercises are often proposed before a weekend, and evaluated the first day of classes afterwards, using two hours. There are also shorter exercises as part of the lectures.
• Group supervisions: group supervision takes place in the last two months of the course, and is focused on direct interaction between the teacher and the groups developing a game, with the goal of providing early feedback on the production. Group supervisions are voluntary.
• External talks: external talks are often one hour long, and given by industry representatives, on topics that are either not addressed in class, or only superficially touched upon, and that are external to the core pensum of the course.
Students are expected to attend lectures and participate in the exercises. Group supervision and external talks are strictly voluntary. 

Obligatoriske aktivititer:Der er ingen obligatoriske aktiviteter. Vær venlig KUN at ændre denne tekst når der er obligatoriske aktiviteter./
There are no mandatory activities. Please, change this text ONLY when there are mandatory activities. 
Eksamensform og -beskrivelse:C: Skriftlige arbejder uden mundtlig eksamen., (7-scale, internal exam)

The course evaluation is divided in three main blocks:

Block One
An oral test based on the readings for the precedent lectures (lectures 0 - 6 - if a lecture was cancelled, the readings for that lecture will not be evaluated in that test). The oral test consists of a 10 minute conversation based on a question from one topic from the course literature. The student is expected to:
• be familiar with all the literature,
• be able to critically engage with the readings,
• be able to address the exam topic using the appropriate literature, as well as the students’ own experience,
• be able to relate the topic to other texts from the course.
The student will be evaluated taking into consideration:
• the critical understanding of the literature,
• the capacity to relate the question to the course contents (literature, exercises)
• the capacity to relate the question to the students’ practice as a game designer, in the context of the course.
The oral exam will account for 20% of the final grade.

Block Two
Students will have to produce a game during this course. The game will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
• It has to have at least 5 levels or equivalent, showing a set of core mechanics identifiable by players.
• The game has to have some skill and challenge progression.
• The game has to be fully playable, with a clear endstate.
• The game has to have exclusively original content. No copyrighted material is allowed.
• The game has to be either:
a polished clone of an existing game, introducing at least one incremental innovation (eg. an eight-way shooter with cooperative gameplay), or
an original game based on a unique mechanic, platform, or interaction model (eg. a webcam-controlled cooperative multiplayer game).

The game will be evaluated in two stages: the first stage corresponds to an alpha deadline in mid-November, where the game mechanics and core concept of the game will be locked. Students will receive feedback on the game and an orientation on the possible grade awarded to it. The criteria for evaluation of each single game will be specified in this meeting (since the types of games developed for this course can be quite different, there is no unified criteria of what constitutes a 'good game').

The second stage is the final deadline for the finished game prototype, the second week of December. Students will submit their game to the course manager, who will play the game, grade it, and write feedback regarding the game. Special cases such as multiplayer games or games requiring particular set-up or hardware will be evaluated in person, with a presentation time of max. 40 minutes.
70% of the grade is based on the submitted game

Block Three
The third deliverable consists of the formalized results of at least one playtest and one usability test. These documents should include:
• Details on the realization of the tests: how were they planned, how were the testers recruited, when did the tests take place, how were results collected and processed. Max. 3000 words.
• All documentation used for/in the test: questionnaires, audio/video files, interview transcripts, gameplay logs, …
The documentation will be evaluated as follows:
• The student should identify the different parts of the game development process, as well as her/his role in each of these.
• The student should be able to reflect about her/his participation on each of the development stages, identifying critical situations and how those were addressed.
• The student should use references from the course literature to illustrate her arguments and reflections. This use includes critical readings of the literature as well as the use of the game produced as a case study.
The evaluation results account for 10% of the final grade.

Students who do not qualify for the final examination will be entitled to re-examination. Re-examination will consist exclusively of a deliverable consisting of:
• a 4000 words essay on one topic chosen from the readings of the first 11 lectures (evaluated with the same criteria as the oral test). Grade weight: 30%
• All the components of the final hand-in (individual reflection, game, review/game depending on track). Grade weight: 70%  

Litteratur udover forskningsartikler:The main books of the course are:
Fullerton, Tracy. Game Design Workshop. A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games (Gama Network Series). 2nd edition. Morgan Kaufmann, 2008.
Norman, Donald A. The Design of Everyday Things. Basic Books, 2002. 
 
Undervisere
Følgende personer underviser på kurset:
NavnStillingUndervisertypeIndsats (%)
Martin Pichlmair Adjunkt, Linjeleder(ITU) Kursusansvarlig 100
Jelena Mescanova Hjælpelærer(ITU) Hjælpelærer 0
Simon Stålhandske Hjælpelærer(ITU) Hjælpelærer 0
Miki Nørgaard Anthony Hjælpelærer(ITU) Hjælpelærer 0