SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3I625712
Module Leader Hamid Homatash
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Applied Computer Games
  • A (September start)

Summary of Content

This module introduces students to the preproduction process. Students work in groups to create a series of game pitches and prototypes, each of which responds to 'publisher' feedback. The module affords students the opportunity to experiment iteratively with designs and identify which solutions hold the most promise. The module's structure will loosely follow the games industry publisher green-light process, where many projects are pitched and only a few are fully developed. As such, throughout the module, student groups on more promising projects will grow as other projects are 'cancelled' by the 'publishers' at key milestones. By the end of the module, students will have created a small number of high quality gameplay prototypes and visual render targets that can be used as the basis of a full game production.


- Market research: Player demographics; Video game age ratings systems; Commercial awareness and justification of demand; Marketing plan. - Publisher pitching processes: Creative problem solving and applying design principles to the creative process; use of "kit" or "lens" approaches; Elevator pitch, Pitch video and presentation; Conceptualisation and storyboard of the game. - Preproduction game prototype development: Feedback and iteration; Rapid prototype development; Multi-disciplinary approach; Concept art, theme, story and UI development; Aligning early development with usability goals or early lifecycle evaluation techniques; Playtesting plan. - Project management: Scheduling and task management; The role of budgets in game preproduction; SMART objectives; Milestones. - Documentation: The game design document; One Page Design Document; The art bible; The production path; The technical design document; The project plan.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the student should be able to:1. Demonstrate an awareness of the publisher green-light process.2. Create a series of prototypes that implement key game systems.3. Manage time effectively using milestones as targets4. Identify and illustrate an understanding of preproduction techniques associated to the creation of computer games.5. Create high quality game assets, content and/or game systems to prove the preproduction process for the given brief.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The University 'Strategy for Learning' documentation has informed the learning and teaching strategy for this module. The module material will be introduced through lectures, while practical exercises, based on the lecture material, will be given to students for their laboratory sessions. Tutorials will be used to help explain and elaborate on both the lecture material and the laboratory exercises. Full use will be made of GCU Learn to provide Lecture-based and related study materials, along with sample solutions of Tutorial and Laboratory exercises, thus encouraging the development of independent learning and allowing self-reflective feedback on student performance. Staff-based feedback on student performance for submitted work will be provided in line with the University feedback policy, with summative feedback and grades on the coursework assessment utilising GCU Learn. The additional interactive discussion features of GCU Learn will be utilised, as appropriate to the module, to stimulate independent and flexible student learning out with scheduled class time.

Indicative Reading

- Bies, B. (2017). Indie Gaming: Finding Entrepreneurial Success in Video Games. New Degree Press. ISBN-13: 978-1544500065. - Chandler, H, M. (2013). The Game Production Handbook. 3rd edition. Jones and Bartlett. ISBN-13: 978-1449688097. - Fullerton, T. (2018). Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games. 4th Edition. CRC Press. ISBN-13: 978-1138098770. - Guardiola, E. (2016, November). The Gameplay Loop: a Player Activity Model for Game Design and Analysis. In Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology (p. 23). ACM. - Macklin, C. and Sharp, J. (2016). Games, Design and Play: A detailed approach to iterative game design. 1st Edition. Addison-Wesley Professional. ISBN-13: 978-0134392073. - Schell, J. (2014). The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses. CRC Press. ISBN-13: 978-1466598645.

Transferrable Skills

D1 Specialist knowledge and application D2 Critical thinking and problem solving D3 Critical analysis D4 Communication skills, written, oral and listening D7 Computer literacy D8 Self confidence, self discipline & self reliance (independent working) D9 Awareness of strengths and weaknesses D10 Creativity, innovation & independent thinking D13 Reliability, integrity, honesty and ethical awareness D14 Entrepreneurial, independence and risk-taking D15 Ability to prioritise tasks and time management D16 Interpersonal skills, team working and leadership D17 Presentation skills D18 Commercial awareness

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Tutorials (FT) 12.00
Lectures (FT) 12.00
Assessment (FT) 18.00
Practicals (FT) 48.00
Independent Learning (FT) 110.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 100.00 40% Practical Based Assignment