This final game demo will build on the previous semester’s prototype, creating content in the form of multiple levels or expanded environment or narrative. Students bring together knowledge and skills from all SDE studies to create a focused, limited, but professional-level game. This final prototype will be the product of several iterations, and should the solidify game mechanics for which content will be created in the second semester of capstone. Ideas should be innovative enough to draw attention, but smartly executed. Ambitious ideas are welcome but must be strategically reigned-in by the final playtesting session.
For a successful project, keep in mind:
- Scope: all aspects of gameplay must be present, though levels and content are not necessary at this stage. Visuals and audio should provide sufficient feedback to the player, but do not require polish.
- Gimmick: you must have a strong, original concept–preferably a novel play mechanic (if only the story is unique, consider using it to inspire new gameplay)
- Platform: is the platform itself impressive (ex: game console, new interface, augmented-reality cellphone)? If not, what can you do to compete with the inherent interest of a new platform?
- Start early, work steadily: If a team member is AWOL, reorganize the work. Continue to work and have something new to show at each playtesting session.
- Specialize, with flexibility: The work will not be spread evenly between different tasks, so be prepared to step in and help out in other areas.
- Make sacrifices: for the good of the game. Have an alternate plan if you can’t complete all aspects of the original idea. Over-ambition does not excuse poor performance. Re-scale, don’t abandon.
- Archive: one member of the group (ideally the project manager) should collect all significant developmental materials, such as sketches, prototypes, component models, sound files, etc., saving these items in more than one location, including the student server. These materials are very useful for publicity and teaching purposes.
- Ownership and Intellectual Property: The University of Baltimore reserves the right to use games and resources developed in the Seminar for publicity purposes. Every member of the group has the right to use common work product in his or her portfolio, and the obligation to represent his or her contribution accurately. You are free (as U.S. citizens) to arrive at any formal agreements about intellectual property and business development, provided such agreements do not interfere with the two previous provisions.
- Playability (lack of bugs, polish, demonstration of design skills): /25
- Gameplay and Mechanics: /15
- Art and Aesthetics: /15
- Story and Concept: /15
- Usability and Responsiveness to Playtesting: /10
- Originality (Mechanics, Art, Concept, etc): /5
- Professional Demeanor + Attitude: 5 pts
- Audiovisual Materials: 5 pts
- Persuasive Pitch: 5 pts
Prototype Days and Peer Feedback
Demonstrations will involve playtesting games. You must show prototypes and a playable demo at each session. Missing a demonstration date or failure to show sufficient progress will result in a reduced grade. Remember to keep up with the schedule.
Every class member (not just a group representative) must provide written comments on prototype presentations. This should be constructive criticism: describe at least one aspect that works, and one provide one suggestion or describe an aspect that could be improved. You may even pass along links to helpful resources. These evaluations will be completed during class.
The final project will need to be submitted on CD/DVD or by file transfer service before
rehearsals on May 9th, along with an individual reflection on everyone’s
contributions to the project (not counting first semester, but can include work done over