What you'll learn
- Learn how to design a game by working on the game mechanics
- Learn how to put game ideas to the test by making quick and easy prototypes and testing them before moving into full production
- Learn how to use scripting to empower your game with the power of programming
- Learn the best practices of the industry
- Learn the best sources for obtaining and making assets like 3D models, sounds, music and animations
Diploma in Game Design and Development
This lesson teaches students the definition of a game. Students will be shown various examples and they will be given the opportunity to guess if it is a game based on the definition of a game. We will cover the roles of the Game Designer and Game Programmer and students will learn how much goes into making a game. At the end of the lesson, students will be tasked with thinking of a game idea (new or existing).
Genres in General
This lesson covers Game Genres and how they are classified. Students will learn the main game genres and how they are defined. They will then be able to identify the genres of existing games. They will also be able to classify the genre of the game idea they thought of in the previous lesson. At the end of this lesson, students will be able to create new "compound genres" by combining different game genres.
Students will learn about the various techniques used in Game Design. All the forms of inspiration and planning will be made apparent to them in an overview fashion. By the end of this lesson, students will have made a basic game design from the idea they came up with in lesson 1.
Let's Talk Teams
This lesson explains the importance of working in teams when making games. Students will learn the different kinds of teams and how they communicate with one another to make games. Students will also have to think about the kind of team they would like to work in and what role they think would fit them best.
This lesson covers Game Mechanics. Students will learn the basics of Game Mechanics and how they differ from Game Rules. Students will be tasked with thinking of the mechanics involved in each of a few example games shown to them. By the end of the lesson, students will think of the mechanics they want to use in their game idea.
In this lesson, we cover the Software Engineering Discipline and how it conects to Game Design and Development. Students will learn the best practices of the industry while taking their first steps down the path to a prototype of their game.
Here is where students will test their prototype with people they know. They will measure the success of each of their prototype's mechanics and find any errors that exist in their design. They will plan any improvements and then modify their prototype accordingly. Students may repeat this process as many times as they see fit. Lots of repetition is recommended.
Game Engines Galore
This lesson shows students all the most popular game engines available (and some more obscure ones). Students will learn the pros and cons of each of the major game engines. By the end of this lesson, students will be familiar with the reason we will start off with the Godot Game Engine and will have learned how to acquire and install it on their computers.
Intermediate in Game Design and Development
Good to Godot
This lesson exposes students to the Godot Game Engine's Interface. Students will become familiar with the various panels, nodes, components and other elements that work together to make the engine work. Students will learn the best way to set up a prototype using the principal of "The Minimum Viable Game". By the end of this lesson, students will have set up the scene of their prototype and will be ready to move onto scripting in the next lesson.
After setting up their scene in the previous lesson, students will learn how to make things happen in their scene by writing a script to control their player's proxy by copying code from the video, evaluating the logic of the script and adding in their own script code to adance the capabilities of their player.
Control Your Camera
Students will learn about the way cameras shape gameplay and how different camera control techniques fit in with different genres. Students will compare these techniques against one another and choose the correct technique for their prototype. After choosing their preferred camera control technique, students will program and script the controls for the camera for their prototype.
Play Your Game!
While the lesson title sounds fun, playtesting is an important part of the development lifecycle. Students will learn how to play their games in 2 ways. They will play their games to identify any errors in the game, but also how to play their game from the player's perspective. Students must be able to distinguish these 2 playstyles and use them both to enhance their prototypes. By the end of this lesson, students will have played their game from both perspectives and compiled a list of the various criticisms they have with their game's mechanics.
Dare to Debug
Debugging is an essential tool which every Programmer needs to use to fix the mistakes made in the coding process. This lesson covers the different techniques students can use to find errors and also teaches them how to look for answers to their problems. Students will be able to search for answers and fix their errors by the end of this lesson.
More on Mechanics
The way Game Mechanics come together to make a game work is a complex process. In this lesson students will learn more about Game Mechanics so they can criticise their prototype's mechanics with more confidence. Students will be able to separate the mechanics that work from the mechanics that do not (based on the criteria they learn in the lesson). By the end of the lesson, students will have a new set of mechnics for their prototype which they will put through the Test and Debug phases again.
Students will repeat the steps they learned in the previous lessons to refine their Game Mechanics. This refinement relates to the correctness of their code and also to the viability of the Game Mechanics in their prototype's design (consistency, fun, sensibile, etc.). They will repeat the process of refinement until they are satisfied with the way their game is played. Once they are satisfied, they will move onto the final lesson in module 2.
Scope Creep and Feature Freeze
Scope Creep is a real and dangerous threat to game development. This lesson teaches students about the different ways Scope Creep can occur and how it can affect their game's development. They will also learn about Feature Freeze as a mitigation strategy against Scope Creep. By the end of this lesson, Students will integrate Feature Freeze into their game's design and they will begin module 3 with a finalised game design.
Advanced in Game Design and Development
All About AI
This lesson is the first of 2 lessons about Artificial Intelligence. This intermediate level lesson covers the more basic aspects of Artificial Intelligence in Games (The minimum level of AI required for the game a student wants to make). In this lesson students will learn the various types of Artificial Intelligence in Games as well as some of the theory and put this into practice by creating the AI for agents in their game. By the end of the lesson students will have programmed (planned) the AI for their game and will be ready to move onto the next lesson where they will script it.
Some More Scripting and Scores
Now that students have programmed their AI successfully, it is time to write the script for these agents. Students will write the script to control the AI Agents in their game and then test and debug their logic until they are satisfied. Once they have finished scripting the AI they will learn about the usefulness of scores and how it plays an important role in keeping players engaged with the game.
Theme and Narrative After Mechanics
The purpose of this lesson is to teach students the importance of getting the Minimum Viable Game up and running before choosing a theme or narrative. In many cases the game mechanics can even help to establish a narrative. Students will learn about some of the techniques used for narrative in games and then they will choose their own theme and narrative for their games.
Assets: Models and Animation
Students will be shown a selection of sources for 3D models to use in their games. These models are sometimes free and sometimes for money and they must decide which assets to acquire for their games on their own. Students will also be shown a few applications and websites which offer quick and easy animation services for their 3D models and they will have the choice of which of these options to use. At the end of this lesson students will learn how to import these assets into their game and put them to use.
Assets: Sound Effects and Music
Students will be shown a selection of sources for sound effects and music to use in their games. These assets are sometimes free and sometimes for money and they must decide which assets to acquire for their games on their own. Students will also be shown a few applications and websites which offer quick and easy sound and music generation services and they will have the choice of which of these options to use. At the end of this lesson students will learn how to import these assets into their game and put them to use.
Assets: Textures and Materials
There are a variety of websites that offer materials free of charge. Students will learn about these sources and how to obatain the materails they need for their games. They will also learn about texture painting software and Physics Based Rendering (PBR) material creation software which they can learn about to enhance their content creation skills.
Juice and Polishing
Juicing is a broad term given to the addition of decoration and embellishments. Students will learn how to add juice to their game and also how to polish their gameplay in order to finalise it for the build process.
User Interaces, Platforms and Building the Game
This is the last stage for students in the process of developing their first game. Students will learn about User Interfaces (UI) and how to create them in Godot. The last thing Students will do in this module is optimise their game for the platform they want to target and then they will build their game.
Proficient in Game Design and Development
Hit the History Books
The history of game development is an interesting topic to cover and now that students have made their first game, it is a good time to learn about it. Students will learn about the field of game development from the first games to modern games and how technology has improved over time.
The Unity Game Engine
We have covered the differences between the various game engines in a previous lesson. This lesson will teach students the basics of the Unity Game Engine. The next step is to design and plan their next project which will be done in Unity.
Artificial Intelligence is a complex topic even when specialisng in the Artificial Intelligence relating to games. In this lesson students will go more in-depth about game AI and even script the behaviour of boids and pathfinding.
Procedural Generation in Unity
Procedural Generation is helpful when their is little time to design a level manually or if the level is large and complex. Students will learn the basics of procedural generation and by the end of the lesson they will have made a basic environment procedurally.
Meaningful Play helps to enhance the quality of gameplay. Students will learn about Meaningful Play as a concept and what factors contribute towards it. At the end of this lesson, students will design improvements to their original game such that the gameplay is more meaningful.
Adding Buoyancy to Water
This lesson is not meant only to teach students how to add buoancy to a body of water. The true objective is to teach students what it is like to be a game programmer. Game Programmers have to create game behaviours like buoancy and the process of creating these behaviours is the true purpose of the lesson.
Facilitating Emergent Gameplay
Emergence in Games is a fascinating concept where behaviours emerge from players interactions with the game which the designers had not originally anticipated. This leson will teach studetns about emergence in games and which factors help to facilitate Emergent Gameplay. By the end of this lesson students will have thought about ways to modify their game to add Emergent Gameplay.
Go With the Flow
There is a mental state that players should reach when playing games. This state is known as Flow and it enhances the player experience of your game. This lesson will teach students about the Flow state and, by the end of the lesson, they will have thought of ways to modify their game to allow players to remain in the state of Flow.