Interactive Game Design
By Jim Whitehead
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Foundations of Interactive Game Design has now concluded. The course was taken by 213 students at the University of California, Santa Cruz, from January 5 through March 19, 2007. People interested in the contents of the course are encouraged to view the syllabus and the lecture notes, and listen to the lecture podcasts.
||Key Issues in Game Design & Course Overview||Introduces the Rules, Play, Culture framework for analyzing computer games.||11/22/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Gamelog and Game Ontology Overview, Game Definitions||Overview presentation on the Gamelog and Game Ontology projects, given by Jose Zagal, PhD student at Georgia Institute of Technology (presented live at UCSC). Prof. Jim Whitehead presents second half of the lecture, starting with details and questions abo||11/22/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Games & Play Definitions, Role of Rules||Details several definitions of what is a game, and several definitions of play. Each definition of games is explored via discussion of six common gamelike activities. The magic circle. The role of rules in a game is discussed, focusing on rules as limitat||11/22/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Rules Rule!||List of qualities of rules from Juul, Half-real. Three levels of rules, operational, constituative, and implicit, from Salen and Zimmerman, Rules of Play. Games of emergence and progression from Half-real. State machines. Conway's game of life.||11/22/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Introduction to RPG Maker and Game Maker||Played first episode of Astro Boy, the first anime television series. Brief discussion of significance of anime and impact of Astro Boy. Discussion of Gamelog assignment. Overview of RPG Maker by Nate Emond. Demonstration of The Life of a Chicken 2: True||11/22/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Key Abstractions in Game Maker||Lecture begins with description of upcoming assignments. Next, an overview of Game Maker is given, including a link to the discussion forums online. Key abstractions within Game Maker are described, including sprites, objects, events, actions, and rooms.||11/22/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Overview of Game Ontology Project||Gives overview of goals of game ontology project, then provides a summary of important aspects of the gameplay rules tree. Substantial discussion of gameplay segmentation aspects. Begins with description of upcoming assignments.||11/22/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Overview of Exam Topics, Doodler||Intended to be an overview of more of the game ontology project, but ended up just covering exam topics, and an overview presentation on Doodler. Ran out of time before it was possible to go over more of the game ontology.||11/22/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Game Genres: Shmups||A history of the design evolution of the genre of space shoot-em-up (Shmup) games. Also provides a description of why genre specific studies complement broad game studies. Covers cultural background of space shooters, including influence of Apollo, and St||11/22/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Game Genres: Platformers||Overview of the design history of the genre of platform games. Explores Donkey Kong, Pitfall!, Super Mario Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog, and Super Mario 64 in detail. In class demonstrations given of these games.||11/22/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Game Genres: Role Playing Games||Provides an overview of the design evolution of computer role playing games. Guest speaker Matthew Group gives an overview of the deisgn history of RPGs by examining the Final Fantasy series. Guest speaker Nate Emond gives an overview of design innovation||11/22/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Creating a Shmup in Game Maker||Description of using the Game Maker room, view, port, and background concepts to create a scrolling starfield and steadily advancing window on a gameworld. In-class demonstrations using Game Maker. Overview of game concept document assignment.||11/22/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Creating a Platformer in Game Maker||Describes key issues in creating a platform game using Game Maker. Lecture provides an in-depth discussion of collision detection, including why objects can end up in the middle of platforms, stuck to the side of platforms, and pass right through platform||11/22/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Creating A Platformer in Game Maker, Part 2||Discusses collision detection handling for platform games, and jumping onto a moving platform. Gives detailed description of an all-in-one collision detection handling routine that resolves most issues with collision detection in platform games in Game Ma||11/22/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Challenge and Conflict||An overview of the concepts of challenge and conflict in games. Dimensions of challenge. Types of conflict. How conflict make challenge personal. Overview of upcoming assignments. Details on the functional game prototype assignment, and game ontology assi||11/22/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Interactivity and the Core Game Mechanic||Overview of the concept of interactivity, including questions to ask to determine if a game has high or low interactivity. Crunch per bit ratio. Core game mechanic, and examples of this. Guest lecture by Eric Carter, describing how he found a job in the c||11/22/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Games as systems of pleasure, goals, and rewards||Provides an overview of types of pleasure in computer games. Describes double seduction required by game designers to entice players to play and stay. Discussion of reward systems in games, and how they create pleasure for the player. Class discussion on||11/22/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Narrative in Games||Discussion of narrative elements of computer games. Embedded and emergent narrative. How a gameworld both contributes to narrative, and limits the kind of narratives that can be told. Questions to pose a design about its narrative. Overview of questions f||11/22/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Games for Women & Girls, Violence in Games||Description of research by Maria Klawe and Brenda Laurel on gender issues and design issues for computer games for girls and women. Discussion of gendering of computer equipment. Historical overview of violence in computer games. Death Race, Mortal Kombat||11/22/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Economics of Virtual Worlds||Survey of issues concerning how to create "fun" economies in virtual worlds. Provides an overview of concepts found in Chapter 8 of Synthetic Worlds by Edward Castronova.||11/22/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Governance of Virtual Worlds||Provides an overview of the dominant governance structure of virtual worlds, including the Coding Authority, and the Customer Service State. Expense of governing, and hence background state of anarchy. Longevity of virtual worlds. Switching costs of movin||11/22/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
Lacking content in narrative
I was listening to the narrative lecture in order to get more story/character development into my gaming knowledge, but about a quarter of the lecture was just talking about assignments in class. This audio file should just cut that useless info out and get at what the lecture is supposed to be teaching.
classic arcade oriented - monophonic - 5 years old
This class is relatively oriented toward classic arcade platformers and space shooters. its about 5 years old at this time (late 2012) and the computer game industry has changed dramatically since 2007. the class is just audio and lo fi monophonic. - With its imperfections you will still find some useful ideas. So I would recommend it but with low expectations.
If you are story oriented or RPG oriented you may want to avoid this one - its biased against this type of work and it can be hard listening to those lectures. In general I like the MIT game design class better even with its significant technical problems.