Computer Game Design


This is a module taught both as an individual and as a team approach. The individual takes a specific role during the creation of the game design, and keeps a detailed personal log of his/her work and how it feeds into the final design. There are three pieces of work produced, each worth a third of the final mark:
  1. a detailed game design
  2. a technical game design
  3. a personal log book of work done

The same marking regime applies to all three parts:

"The work presented is ...

A - of a standard that would be expected in a professional games development studio
B1 - satisfies all the criteria requested
B2 - satisfies all the criteria presented, but has some significant flaws
C - is adequate but not of great quality
D - requires significant rework in order to pass
E - requires restarting from scratch
F - shows no evidence of any work being done"

The work will be marked by Dr John Sutherland and the overall work checked again by the moderator, Mr Glenn Afleck.

The Design Document

This should be an e-presentation of the game ideas in a mix of words and pictures. It should include the following:
  • an outline of the game idea
  • pictorials, created using such as Lego 3D Editor (or another tool), of proposed levels
  • storyboards of significant action scenes in the levels
  • sketches of characters, scenery, etc. created using traditional means and scanned into the document
  • some team-created/sourced imagery of the characters, buildings, vehicles, etc. which is generated for this document
  • some vidcaps of pilots of the gameplay using such as Game maker 7 (or another tool), of parts of proposed levels or a complete level.
  • sound and music exemplars for effects and aesthetic experience of the game, created/sourced for this document
  • all imagery, sound, etc. should be IP that the team has written agreement to use for this purpose
  • all placed on a team website with each member's role clearly outlined
  • to be submitted by Thursday 5th November (draft) and Thursday 3rd December (final)

The Technical Design Document

This should be an online document that outlines, in detail, the development environment, tasks, personnel, target hardware and costs of developing the game. It should include the following:
  • possible development environments, with reasoning for preferred option
  • task breakdown, assuming a one-year development project to hit the streets for early November 2010
  • personnel requirements for creative components, administration, roll-out, etc of the game
  • traget hardware, with reasonings detailing target demographics
  • development cost of the game, pricing options, with models for pay-back and profit within a 2 year period from roll-out
  • each member's role clearly outlined in the creation of the document
  • to be submitted by Thursday 19th November (draft) and Thursday 17th December (final)

Personal Log

Each team member should keep a detailed log of all work done on the project. This will probably be on a traditional notebook, but may also be partly electronic. This should all be scanned and submitted electronically. The e-log should include a range of the following items:
  • personal sketches of ideas, imagery and notes
  • details of real-world sites visited
  • details of games played/considered, software used/considered, hardware considerations
  • personal blog on progress
  • reflections on the process and lessons learned for the next project.
  • to be submitted by Monday 18th January

Marking and Feedback

The lecturer will mark and give feedback within a week of work being submitted. Early hand-in is not encouraged as the project takes time to develop and allow time to consider different strategies and approaches. All marking is finalised at the examination board, although it is unlikely that the mark agreed by the lecturer and moderator will be changed by the final board.