Syllabus

DESMA 157: Game Design
Spring 2018, UCLA Design Media Arts

Professor: Eddo Stern
TA: Hye Min Cho

Broad Art Center room 4240
Office Hours @ UCLA GAME LAB ROOM 3252
Hye Min : Thursday 2:00-3:00 (or Friday by appointment)
Eddo : Wednesday 1:00 – 2:00

Course Description:

This course provides a foundation in digital game design and development.  The coursework develops concepts that are unique to game design and production. The focus is on digital game creation skills and conceptual game design. Throughout the course students will produce six projects, each project will explore various conceptual aspects of game design and more technical tools and techniques, including: game balance, multiplayer dynamics, randomness, sound, user interface, basic game programming, and working with 2D and 3D visual elements. The course will cover game design concepts through a rigorous weekly regimen of projects, lectures, written assignments, and playtesting and debugging sessions.

Weekly Overview:
Week 1: Introduction to game development tools
Week 2: User Interface Project
Week 3: Point and Click Game
Week 4: Review #1
Week 5: Top Down Adventure Game
Week 6: Soundscape Game
Week 7: Review #2
Week 8: 3D Physics Game
Week 9: Physics Multiplayer Game (small group project)
Week 10: Review #3

Attending Visiting Lectures:
We will be incorporating attendance and feedback to the DMA and Game Lab visiting lectures and workshops as part of the requirements for the class. There are several visitors this quarter that overlap with our class topics: 1) Mark Flurry (Game designer and developer, creator of the game Thumper, who previously worked on the Guitar Hero and Rockband games),  2) Dan Klitsner  (Toy and game designer, creator of Bop It,  3)  Ian Cheng (Contemporary artist, working with 3D animations and simulations).
*Students in the class will be required to attend and write a 1-2 page response for
three of these events with a fourth response as extra credit.

Workload:
The Game Design class  is a 5 unit studio class, you are expected to work 6 hours a week in class and 9 hours a week outside of class. Every week we expect to see developed projects that reflect the 15 hours of weekly work for the class.

Importance of writing your own code and not Copy-pasting from the internet!:
An important learning goal of this class is to strengthen understanding of game  programming and computer programming in general. The class is structured as a series of short projects with a clear expectation that you write all of your game code by yourself and from scratch for each project. This repetition and rigor will contribute greatly to your progress and success in the class.

157 Weekly Schedule

Week 1

Monday April 2

Student Introductions
Class Overview
Intro to Unity

Wednesday April 4

Programming Basics
In Class Demo

(Wednesday: Mark Flurry @ UCLA Game Lab)

Week 2

Monday April 9

User Interface / Hello World
In Class Demo
Handout: Project 1

(Tuesday: Ian Cheng @ EDA)

Wednesday April 11

Hello World
Work in Class on Project 1
Due: Printed Project 1 Outline

Week 3

Monday April 16

Point and Click Game
In Class Demo
Handout: Project 2 , Due: Project 1

Wednesday April 18

Point and Click Game
Work in Classon Project 2
Due: Printed Project 2 Outline
(Thursday: Dan Klitsner @ UCLA Game Lab)

Week 4

Monday April 23

Games Debug
Due: Project 2

Wednesday April 25

New Concepts
In Class Demo

Week 5

Monday April 30

Top Down Adventure Game
In Class Demo
Handout: Project 3 , Due: Project 1+2  Reviews

Wednesday May 2

Top Down Adventure Game
Work in Class
Due: Printed Project 3 Outline

Week 6

Monday May 7

Soundscape Game
Handout: Project 4 , Due: Project 3

Wednesday May 9

Soundscape Game
Due: Printed Project 4 Outline

Week 7

Monday May 14

Games Debug
Due: Project 4

Wednesday May 16

New Concepts
In Class Demo

Week 8

Monday May 21

3D Physics Game
In Class Demo
Handout: Project 5 , Due: Project 3+4  Reviews

Wednesday May 23

3D Physics Game
Work in Class
Due: Printed Project 5 Outline

Week 9

Monday May 28

Memorial Day Holiday
*** NO CLASS ***

Wednesday May 30

2 Player Game
In Class Demo
Handout: Project 6, Due: Project 5

Week 10

Monday June 4

2 Player Game
Work in Class

Due: Project 5 Reviews

Wednesday June 6

All game presentations
Due:  Project 6
Due week 11: All lecture reviews