The University of Southampton
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ARTD1116 Iterate and Prototype

Module Overview

This module builds upon and deepens the learning undertaken in the module in Interrogate, Investigate, Instigate, and features additional research trips. Through a series of projects, you will be introduced to an advanced range of activities and workshops, building on semester one. New activities to engage in structured principles of iteration, testing and feedback in the production of more complex game assets and game practices related to player engagement will be introduced through a series of activities, workshops, prototypes, user testing events and minimum viable products (MVP). The introduction of specific game methodologies such as Agile and Kanban will form a solid basis for project structure and management approaches within the module. Starting points will be provided to engage in an analytical and reflective process that will culminate in a portfolio of work that translates and communicates ideas via a series of game making approaches that also evidence your learning. Each project, alongside your creative investigation will culminate in a games related artefact, prototypes and a series of outcomes. The learning within each project will build throughout the semester and you will advance your personal toolkit for your own game making and creative investigation. Projects will conclude in outward facing pop up arcade events throughout the semester held both on and off campus. Your portfolio should consist of all studio work developed over the course of the semester, including evidence of workshop and tutorial activities, all sketchbooks, research, annotation and preparatory material alongside outcomes specified within the projects

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• to build on the specific Games Design and Art skills and problems that you encountered in semester one and deepen your own concepts and research led games practice; • to introduce you to concepts, techniques and methods appropriate for more advanced understanding of games creation; • to introduce you to basic industry processes for iteration, prototyping and user testing.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • an introductory range of methods, materials, techniques and skills specific to games design production;
  • game production teams, task management and project schedule;
  • a game project through the research and reflection of games design production.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • translate industry processes into prototype outcomes;
  • apply critical thinking and different working methods to a range of different specialist techniques and processes relevant to game production in order to manifest your ideas;
  • begin to evaluate specialist concepts and methods in relation to contemporary practice covered by the scope of games production.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • document your own learning journey in systematic fashion;
  • manage and work in an effective team;
  • gather research, analyse and synthesise it to make it applicable to prototype practices.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • undertake user testing and evaluate feedback in relation to your prototypes:
  • use 2d and 3d games specific software, coding and related methodologies.

Syllabus

This module continues the work of your previous module Interrogate, Investigate, Instigate. In this module, you will undertake activities that will introduce you to a broader range of design research practices and principles coupled with industry practice for working in an iterative team-based game environment. You will be set specific projects that will help you focus your work. User testing events and practical application of games for players will feature heavily in the development of your games design and application of industry practices will become embedded in your process. Reflective documentation of your learning journey will form a key component of this module. This module provides you with an opportunity to enhance your research led approach to games design and introduces you to a range of further pertinent practices, techniques, methodologies and skills associated with game production. The projects and content of this module provided a focused pathway to the development of your practical skills and conceptual awareness of Games Design & Art. Through theme-informed introductions to content and critical thinking you will explore your ideas and develop an understanding of how different components make up a game. An important feature of this module is the way in which your involvement with the practices, techniques and content of game production can begin to direct and focus your thinking towards an individual understanding of specialist practice within games practice. Introduction to 3d design processes for both assets and game coding, 3d animation, game design, character design and project management techniques will be enhanced. These examples are illustrative and not exhaustive. They may vary each academic year. The module will consist of a number of projects that will span the semester utilising methods introduces to create a portfolio of work both individually and working with others.

Special Features

Specific field trip opportunities to support a location-based investigation that yields new game possibilities. Projects will culminate in outward facing pop up arcade events throughout the semester held both on and off campus. .

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: • Talks • Field trips • Project briefings • Tutorials • Group critiques • Workshops inductions • Supporting material distributed via virtual learning environments (VLE) such as Blackboard, Panopto and Bob National Learning activities include: • Review and revision of material provided in lectures and VLE’s • Workshops • Observational drawing activities • Research method inductions • Using, comparing and evaluating specialist resources for Games Design & Art. • Team work • User testing events • Discussion • Presentations • Group critiques • Various Tutorial Activities • Peer group learning • Self-assessment Relationship between the teaching, learning and assessment methods and the planned learning outcomes In this module teaching and learning activities will focus on helping you to enhance your research led critical skills through making which you will explore through a series of projects. You will experience a variety of inductions that are designed to give you a broad introduction to the specialist areas of Games Design & Art and offer you tools through which to experiment and explore your projects. Talks, workshops, tutorial activities and project briefings will introduce you to the projects and contextualise your thinking. Tutorial activities and your own learning documentation will allow you to reflect on and discuss the projects as they progress and how it bears on your own practical work and the work of others

TypeHours
Preparation for scheduled sessions25
Supervised time in studio/workshop20
Seminar10
Tutorial45
Practical classes and workshops90
Fieldwork20
Completion of assessment task110
Follow-up work60
Wider reading or practice70
Total study time450

Resources & Reading list

Lynda.com (via Blackboard). Lynda.com

Norman, D.A. (2013). The Design of Everyday Things,. 

Sicart, M. (2014). Play Matters,. 

Solarski, C. (2012). Drawing Basics and Video Game Art. 

Gamasutra.

Bestley, R. & Noble (2016). Visual Research. 

Rogers, S., (2014). Level Up! The Guide to Great Video Game Design. 

McCloud, S (1994). Understanding Comics. 

Salmond, M. (2016). Video Game Design. 

Panaopto Recordings (via Blackboard). 

Isbister, K. (2016). How Games Move Us. 

Perea, A. (2012). Epistemic Game Theory: Reasoning and Choice. 

Holmes, D. (2012).  A Mind Forever Voyaging. 

Sharp, J. (2015). Works of Game,. 

Wigan, M. (2015). Thinking Visually for Illustrators. 

Elwes, R (2010). Maths 1001: Absolutely everything that matters in mathematics. 

Costikyan, G (2013). Uncertainty in Games. 

Ambrose, G., (2015). Design Thinking for Visual Communication. 

Juul, J., (2013). The Art of Failure,. 

Salen, K. & Zimmerman, E (2004). Rules of Play. 

Glossary of Terms.

Blackboard. www.blackboard.soton.ac.uk

Dille, F. and Platten (2007). The Ultimate Guide to Video Game writing and Design. 

Sherrod, A. (2008). Games Graphic Programming. 

Academic Skills Hub.  http://library.soton.ac.uk/sash

Adams, E (2010). Fundamentals of Game Design. 

Dille, F. and Platten, J.Z. (2007). The Ultimate Guide to Video Game writing and Design. 

Schell, J., (2015). The Art of Game Design,. 

Guardian Games.

Bateman, C., (2007). Game Writing: Narrative Skills for Videogames (Charles River Media Game Development). 

Dutta, P., (1999). Strategies and Games: Theory and Practice. 

Assessment

Formative

Portfolio Development

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Portfolio 100%

Repeat

MethodPercentage contribution
Portfolio 100%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Portfolio 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Costs

Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Art Equipment and Materials: Drawing paper; painting materials; sketchbooks

Costs associated with the module may include key texts, studio related materials, sketchbooks, printing, photocopies, USB stick/s, and external hard-drive. The cost of material and media may vary depending on the nature of your chosen response to your studio project. The quality and choice of materials and media in producing your final work will be directed by you, however some basic materials may be made available to you for free in certain modules i.e. paper, calico.

Equipment and Materials

Required Sketchbooks / notebooks Implements for drawing / writing Credit for printing and copying Tape Scissors and or scalpel Any material that you may wish to use for experimentation and production of your work Memory stick Optional Software subscriptions (such as Adobe CC) Hard Drive Laptop Camera Trips associated with this module would cost total around £60 return with a student rail card. Provided Office 365 subscription General studio Materials (paper, pens) Materials and media for certain workshops A field trip is core to this module and will be funded by the programme

Field Trips

Trips associated with this module would cost total around £60 return with a student rail card.

Textbooks

Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the mandatory/ additional text as appropriate

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

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