Final Game

For your final game, you will be working in teams on an idea selected from our pile of idea cards.

Your goal is to start with a fork of the game6 base code (or, really, any of our base code), and develop a new game which will be released to the public at our our December 6th Final Game Expo and Launch Party.

To get there, there are a few steps:

Idea Selection + Team Formation [In-Class, October 15th]

We will select ideas using a deck of ideas cards (created from your in-class final game suggestions). Selection will proceed in two rounds:

  1. Culling round. Theme cards will be shown one-by-one. If any member of the class votes "keep" on a card, that card will be kept. Otherwise, it will be discarded.
  2. Selection round. Theme cards shown one-by-one. Any card with 3 or 4 votes gets made. Any card with more gets put on the bottom of the stack. Any card with fewer gets eliminated.

Bonus Ideas: The first game selected in round two gets two bonus theme cards, which the team is able to integrate or ignore. The second and onward games selected in this way get one bonus theme card. Bonus theme cards will be taken from the pile of unselected themes.

Planning [In-Class, October 15th]

Write (and share with Jim and Yixin) a Google Doc that answers the following questions about your game:

  1. Overall
    1. Who is making the game?
    2. Assign these roles: (These roles don't exclude the team member from doing other things; but they do make it clear who is responsible for what decisions.)
      1. Who is the project manager? (This is the team member in charge of scheduling and task-tracking.)
      2. Who is the design lead? (This is the team member who gets the final say on design decisions.)
      3. Who is the art lead? (This is the team member who gets the final say on asset decisions.)
      4. Who is the architect? (This is the team member who gets the final say on code decisions.)
    3. How will you stay in sync during the collaboration?
    4. What is your game's one-word code name?
    5. What is the key gameplay idea?
    6. What theme and plot surround this idea?
  2. Prototype
    1. How you will you demonstrate the key gameplay idea in the prototype? (Walk through the gameplay in the prototype.)
    2. What is the key technical challenge of the prototype?
    3. What assets are needed for the prototype and where will you get them / what will you use as placeholders?
    4. Who is responsible for what in the prototype? How many hours will they spend?
  3. Vertical Slice (draft this section, don't need to be exact)
    1. What level or area will you build for the vertical slice? (Walk through the gameplay of the vertical slice.)
    2. How will the vertical slice demonstrate the theme or plot of your game?
    3. What asset pipeline tools will you create to help build the vertical slice?
    4. What other technical challenges do you foresee in building the vertical slice?
    5. How will you create final assets for the vertical slice?
    6. Who is responsible for what in the vertical slice? How many hours will they spend?
  4. Build Out (draft this section, don't need to be exact)
    1. What levels or areas remain to create during the build out? (Briefly describe each level or area.)
    2. What additional assets, tools, or game systems are needed for the build out?
    3. Who is responsible for what in the build out? How many hours will they spend?

Don't worry if your plans for Vertical Slice and Build Out are a bit sparse -- you'll be revising and resubmitting this document along with every checkpoint in the final game.

Prototype (5pts) [Due Before Class, October 29th]

The prototype demonstrates the key gameplay idea of your game. At this point, assets can be placeholders, and the plot or theme can be minimal. They key is that the core mechanic of your game is playable.

Your game must be playable because we are playtesting in class.

Vertical Slice (5pts) [Due Before Class, November 12th]

The Vertical Slice is going to show a whole level or area of your game with near-final assets. The idea is to carry over the key gameplay idea from the prototype but place it in a setting and a theme that match your finished game.

We'll be having a "trade show" in class to view the demos, with each team holding a scripted demo during their "keynote" followed by a "show floor" playtesting experience.

I may invite external judges to award a "Best of Show" ribbon.

Build Out (5pts) [Due Before Class, November 26th]

Quite simply, the build out is where you build out the rest of your game. Finish your remaining levels, assets, etc. You shouldn't need to make much new technology and should be focused almost entirely on asset production at this point.

The result of the build out should be a finished game, playable from start-to-end, with completed assets, gameplay, and sound. We'll be swapping builds at this point so that we can all hunt for bugs in each-others games.

Polishing and Presskit (5pts) [Due Before Class, December 5th]

A finished game isn't finished until you've created a web page, selection of promotional screenshots, and so on. Also, this time exists so you can fix the game-breaking bugs your classmates will discover while playing your game.

At the end of this sprint, you should have built a web page which hosts screenshots, a description, and -- possibly -- a gameplay video of your game; along with up-to-date builds for MacOS, Windows, and Linux.