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CCCC Game Programming

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    1. CCCC Game Programming and Design CertificateOur Experience thus Far Dr. Lewis Pulsipher Certificate devised by Bob Joyce and Mike Orsega Web site for this talk: PulsipherGames.com/teaching1.htm

    2. My Goals Today Our experiences with our game classes so far What we did in our first game class How our certificate is organized Discuss the diversity of the industrymuch more than video games I am not going to talk about game programming per se -- nor about game engines etc.

    3. Who am I Began playing commercial wargames in 1963 Played the original Atari 2600 and have played some PC games heavily, but rarely play any video games these days; never owned a game console Designer of five commercially-published board wargames; next one forthcoming this August (Britannia Second Edition) Active designer of board and card games (playtesters solicited!) My main job is teaching networking, Internet Tech

    4. Courses in the Certificate CSC 192 Intro to Gaming (Topics class) Fall CSC 293 Game-based Programming (3 SCH) Spring Students now programming original games in DarkBasic GRA 151 Graphics in Gaming (2 credit hours) Spring Students programming games in Flash CSC 285 Programming Project Summer CIS 115 (Intro to Prog); CSC 134 C++ Programming MontE Christman, the game programming instructor, is talking about Flash programming on Friday

    5. Intro to Gaming Two contact and credit hours; would be better with three or four contact hours Two textbooks, one about game design, one about getting into the industry Andrew Rollings and Ernest Adams on Game Design. New Riders; 1st edition (May 2003) Break Into The Game Industry: How to Get A Job Making Video Games by Ernest Adams. McGraw-Hill; 2003. Students individually required to create preliminary design for a video game and write a game treatment for it Students in groups required to design a prototype of a non-video game (board, card, etc.) No programming required in this class

    6. Intro to Gaming--Goals Make students aware that: you cannot just take some classes and walk into a game industry job most people making a living from games do not work on Big-Time off-the-shelf video games programming is a small part of video game production owing to supply and demand, game programming/ production is not a way to make much money enthusiasm is required, but is just a start

    7. Intro to Gaming--Atmosphere Essentially a literacy class, should be fun Provide real-world examples whenever possible Negotiation Experience of designing published games We did not play or look at video games No time Students already familiar with many games

    8. Gaming Community Game and Computer Club Play video games on the big projector Playtest non-video games No required participation As with all clubs at non-residential colleges, requires a high critical mass of number of studentsat present even CCCC isnt large enough

    9. Marketing First time around: Flyers in local game shop College Web site Night section offered, no signups 10 people in day version, almost all of them were already students (or graduates) of our department Next time Department Web site (computers.cccc.edu) Much recruiting in high school classes

    10. Results The programming-oriented students have continued to the next two classes One of the boardgames produced was quite good, being played many times by the group The computer game ideas tended to be quite derivative (sounded like lots of existing games), but thats the nature of the entire video-game industry, little risk-taking

    11. Video Games Many types, for example: Big-time video games (both console and PC) Sold in Best Buy, Babbages, Staples, and the like Very visible but only a part of the industry Console and PC games are quite different Cont forget handhelds Online games Not the massively multiplayer games, the other online games Some for a charge, some for advertising Small games on other devicescell phones, PDAs, etc.

    12. Big-time Video Games Console games are very different from PC games I used to say computer games; now I say video games Console games are simpler, less intellectual consoles are underpowered consoles market to teens/ Gen Y consoles lack keyboards the buyers dont want intellectual games Attitudes toward PC games from console gamers Would rather play on a console! Console game sales of same game are much larger (say from 3-1 to 10-1 ratio)

    13. Non-computer Games Family boardgames Board wargames Traditional miniatures battles Role-playing games (D&D etc.) Specialized card game (CCG, TCG) Specialized miniatures games (HeroClix) Euro-style boardgames

    14. Family boardgames Have a bad reputation among adults as most involve a lot of luck Still sell much more than other kinds of boardgames Examples: Monopoly Game of Life Pachesi

    15. Board wargames Conflict oriented strategic games, often historically based 15,000 individual attendees each year at Origins convention (31st annual in Columbus OH, June 30-July 3, 2005) (includes non-video games of all kinds) Tends to be the domain of middle-aged gamers these days Examples: Axis & Allies Risk Diplomacy Britannia

    16. Traditional miniatures battles Tactical table-top battle games Mostly land-based One inch miniatures most popular, but there are other scales Painting and collecting often as important as playing

    17. Role-playing Games Original commercial success was D&D, 1973-4 Dungeons and Dragons Third Edition hardcover book sales in the millions for the past five years Many D&D related novels also published Most major movie/book properties have an associated role-playing game 50,000 person-days attendance at GenCon, Indianapolis, IN (next one August 05)

    18. Specialized card games Usually collectible cards Short game play, lots of tournaments, rules change over time These are the biggest moneymakers in the USA after big-time video games Examples: Magic: The Gathering Poke-mon, Yu-Gi-Oh Games for most major book/movie properties such as Lord of the Rings

    19. Specialized miniatures Many are pre-painted, collectibles with a game attached Examples: Heroclix Heroscape WarHammer and related baroque Games Workshop games are a separate high-revenue hobby have their own retail store attractive to teenagers

    20. Euro-style boardgames Especially popular in Germany, where families play boardgames together every week Can sell over a million copies, comparable to most PC games Family games on steroids Much more strategy, but still enough chance for the kids Often somewhat abstract A dislike of dice is very noticeable Emphasis on appearance and tactile satisfaction Examples Settlers of Catan Ticket to Ride

    21. Some Observations The current generation (Y or millenialup to 25 or 26 years old) really is different from earlier generations It is hard for many of them to understand that they need to work at finding a place in the industryit wont just happen even if they are skilled programmers Many tend to rely on trial and error, which is how theyve learned to play video games They are disinclined to read, preferring to see or hear (via computer, usually) Prenskys Digital Immigrants idea