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The University of Southampton
Courses

ARTD2114 Games Development

Module Overview

This module represents the next step in the development of the Games Design module. You will take forward one of the Game Design Documents (GDD) from the previous module into production. You will choose and pitch for a specific industry role within the production of a “Vertical Slice” from said GDD and, during the semester, work within a team, to realise its development. You will take an in-depth approach to understanding and translating a GDD into production and utilise methods to realise in depth research and professional team work methodologies, to create the related assets dependant on your role within the team. Weekly Sprints will take place to inform team progress. The teams for each “Vertical Slice” will be set up in the form of a small indie game operation, working under roles of Chief Technical Officer (CTO) and Chief Operating Officer (COO), which will be allocated by staff on the programme. Your own role will determine the specific nature of your work, be that translating mechanic ideas into code, or concept art into working 2d or 3d game assets. The work from this module will form a public facing pop up arcade event at which each team will showcase their projects. Your process documentation and reflective outputs, alongside your portfolio of specific assets, will be produced in an online format, suitable to best communicate your learning, for example as an illustrated blog with associated materials. 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 as directed.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • knowledge gained from a range of sources and contexts to advance your team project;
  • how to identify a teamwork role and the characteristics of its practical application;
  • experimental methods to advance your discipline-specific ideas.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • analyse and produce your practical work through sustained engagement and critical awareness of your ideas;
  • interpret an idea or motivating concept into a self-designed team project;
  • select appropriate tools in order to support the develop of a ‘Vertical Slice’;
  • evaluate your teamwork role in relation to its professional contexts.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • articulate and summarise your critical reflection of the project;
  • develop and manage your contribution to a sustained team project;
  • effectively utilise academic resources and apply appropriate methodologies to your practice.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • confidently use a range of technical skills to realise your Vertical Slice;
  • test and advance your ideas in a practical and critical context appropriate to your discipline.

Syllabus

Developing from the module Games Design, you will consider and vote for a Games Design Document that will be taken forward into Development as a “Vertical Slice”. You will pitch and take on a specific role in the production of the “Vertical Slice”. The module operation is like a professional Games Studio, with staff taking on key roles as Chief Technical Officer (CTO) and Chief Operating Officer (COO) and students as creative leads in teams that engage in weekly sprints, using processes such as Agile and Kanban methodologies in a robust and industry approach utilising related tools. You will assemble a portfolio of work that demonstrates your experimental process, the products of your testing and examples of work which creatively address the concerns and ambitions of the “Vertical Slice”. You will produce a “Vertical Slice” suitable for professional presentation within the Game Industry. You will keep detailed process documentation throughout the module which will contain notes, mapping of ideas, recording examples of experimentation, and commentary on your work as it progresses with reflection on how you utilise information about the contemporary context and your team role. For example as an illustrated blog and the associated materials.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: • talks; • weekly Sprints; • 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; • process documentation; • workshops; • using, comparing and evaluating specialist resources for Games Design & Art; • team work; • discussion; • weekly Sprints; • various Tutorial Activities; • peer group learning; • Academic Skills Hub; • self assessment. Relationship between the teaching, learning and assessment methods and the planned learning outcomes In this module learning and teaching activities focus on helping you to direct your exploration and investigation of your ideas.

TypeHours
Supervised time in studio/workshop60
Completion of assessment task110
Practical classes and workshops60
Follow-up work80
Tutorial55
Wider reading or practice30
Preparation for scheduled sessions55
Total study time450

Resources & Reading list

Agile Methodology, n.d., What is Agile Methodology.

CPrime, What is SCRUM.

Eyal, N. (2014). Hooked. 

Panopto Recordings (via Blackboard).

Lynda.com (via Blackboard).

Blackboard.

Knapp, J., Zeratsky, J. & Kowitz, B. (2016). Sprint. 

Academic Skills Hub.

Glossary of Terms.

Gamasutra.

Whitehead, R. (2001). Leading a Software Development Team. 

Guardian Games.

Gothelf, J. (2017). Lean vs. Agile vs. Design Thinking. 

Stellman, A. & Greene, J. (2014). Learning Agile. 

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.

Design 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 Online Blog Optional Software subscriptions (such as Adobe CC) Hard Drive Laptop Camera Provided Office 365 subscription General studio materials (paper, pens) Materials and media for certain workshops Location for Pop up Arcade

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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