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T-634-AGDD: Advanced Game Design & Development, Spring 2018

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Basic Info

  • Instructors: David Thue, Jonatan (Joon) Van Hove
  • Contact: David: Office in Venus floor 2, telephone 599-6412, e-mail davidthue[ ]
  • Contact: Joon: joon[ ]
  • Weekly Meetings:
    • Monday 10:20-11:55 (M106)
    • Wednesday 10:20-11:55 (M106)
    • Wednesday 13:10-14:45 (M106)
  • Online Forum: Piazza Course Page
  • Project Tracking Software: Trello


This course expands RU’s prior offerings in game design & development with more advanced topics in game and interaction design. Through lectures, lab exercises, and project work, students will learn and gain experience with a variety of game design topics. Working together in teams, students will design, develop, and critically analyze several smaller games, each focused on applying the concepts that are discussed in class. Each of these exercises will differ in terms of either the team’s composition, the game’s scope, or the constraints that the instructors provide to guide the creation process. Each student will also take on a different development role for each exercise. After the exercises are complete, students will form new teams and apply their new knowledge to a larger development project.


There is no course textbook, but you have access to several books in the library: Game Programming Gems 1 through 8 (various), GPU Gems 3 (Nguyen), and CryENGINE 3 Cookbook (Tracy). You also have access to Game Developer's Magazine (several years). There are also many helpful tutorials online, hosted by the makers of game engines like Unity, Unreal, and Godot.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • Knowledge
    • Discuss game design, interaction design, player experience
    • Explain different methods for game design
    • Understand the roles and responsibilities required in a game’s production
  • Skills
    • Critically analyze given game designs and interaction designs
    • Conduct design sessions involving players
    • Develop focused game prototypes
    • Identify uses for game design outside of the games industry
  • Competence
    • Assess team health and their effect on it
    • Design game mechanics to achieve an intended experience
    • Analyze and evaluate game prototypes
    • Develop a game informed by past prototypes and research

Project Work: Design, Development, & Analysis

The term will consist of the development and analysis of a variety of different games, both in teams and as individuals. After completing work on three smaller games (an Analog Game, a Minimal Game, and a Constrained Game), students will propose and develop a larger game during the second half of the term (Final Game). Each deliverable is generally due at the end of the Timeframe shown in the table below. Specific due dates will be given during class meetings as each project is assigned. Much of the course work will be completed by students outside of class time, but many class meetings throughout the term will be dedicated to project work (“Jam Labs”) with the course instructors on-hand to offer help and advice.

DescriptionDeliverableTimeframeWeight (B.Sc.)
Group Work 63%
Analog GamePresentation & Demo Weeks 1 & 23%
Constrained GameDemonstration & Code Weeks 4 & 5 15%
Analysis of Constrained GameDocument (2-3 pages) Week 6 10%
Final GameDemonstration & Code Weeks 7-12 35%
Individual Work 37%
Analysis of Given GameDocument (2-3 pages) Week 3 3%
Minimal GameDemonstration & Code Weeks 2-6 8%
Analysis of Minimal GameDocument (2-3 pages) Week 7 6%
Analysis of Final GameDocument (3-4 pages) Finals 15%
Attendance & ParticipationN/A Weeks 1-12 5%
Total 100%

Discussion System

Please use this course discussion system for posting questions regarding lectures or your projects, rather than sending us emails. That way we can build a shared repository of useful questions/answers (you can of course still send us emails, but consider first whether you can post things here instead).

Piazza Course Page


Please note that attendance during all three weekly meetings is required. Please inform the instructors if this is hard for you for some reason, such as scheduling conflicts or sick leave.

Participation Grade

The participation grade will be based on: (1) Attendance (during the three weekly meetings), and (2) Participation in online discussion. To the extent possible, this will also be based on how actively the student participates in in-class discussion (based on the instructors' subjective assessment). The base participation grade will be calculated as 5 * (portion of meetings attended). The instructors can then add possible bonus points to this base grade based on a subjective evaluation of the student's participation throughout the semester (into which the online discussion may factor).


**NB: To pass the course, it is necessary to earn a grade of at least 50% (i.e., 5/10) across all Individual Work (see calculation and table above). If a student's Individual Work Grade is less than 50%, this grade will count for 100% of their grade for the course.

/var/www/ailab/WWW/wiki/data/pages/public/t-agdd-17-3/main.txt · Last modified: 2018/01/05 02:24 by davidthue