Assignment 7 The Game
Assignment #7 is worth 25 points: • You are grading each other’s participation • I will be grading the proposal • Your peers will grade your proof-of-concept and presentation (although I reserve veto/revision power on those grades). • Each member of the team will receive the points received on the Proposal, Proof-of-Concept, and Presentation. The Participation points will then be added to your final grade (so each group member will not necessarily receive the same final score on this project). You will not know the point breakdown for each section—you will only receive a final grade from me.
The Proposal Simply put, the proposal and game concept will be graded rhetorically based on the work we have done all term in this class. Completing the GDD Proposal Outline in a fashion appropriate to its intended audience is the basis for passing the assignment. This includes a Works Cited page correctly formatted. The highest grades are reserved for teams who do the following: • research and describe a problem in some depth • appropriate explanation and analysis of the procedural rhetorics of their game • game concepts that are original and engaging • figures and conceptual images • realistic timelines and cost/personnel sections • intelligent document design.
The Presentation • The Presentation's purpose is to sell your game. You should make sure to describe the problem, your game concept, and how your game addresses the problem. • The presentations are expected to be 20 minutes long. They can go over by a few minutes, but you will be cut off after 25 minutes. You will be given 5 minutes of prep time. • The primary criteria are audience engagement and professionalism.
Presentation Criterion #1: Audience Engagement • Imagine your peers as investors, businesses, game producers, non-profit organizations, or other groups who would fund your game. Your job is to convince them through pathos, ethos, and/or logos that the game you are proposing is right for them. • Although you are imagining your peers as would be investors (the intended audience), also remember they are an actual audience who may not be interested in certain approaches. • Few people want to be talked at for 20 minutes. • short-term and working memory can only retain 7 bits of information (the so-called Miller’s Magic Number), and if no processing is occurring, whether writing notes or even doodling (Andrade et al., 2009), people will forget (your audience will probably not take notes). • Recognize that your audience has different learning styles, some process more behaviorist approaches while others want the big picture, abstract concepts. • Answer questions, provide handouts and information they can refer to, and let them have hands-on access to your game or proof-of-concept. If you are worried, break people into groups, and have each presenter work with a small group. • Think advertising strategies here—demonstrative, illustrative, and associative. You want to tell them about your game, show it to them, and associate happiness and a positive lifestyle with your game concept.
Presentation Criterion #3: Professionalism • There are two levels to professionalism. • First and foremost, be prepared for anything. If you have a proof-of-concept for everybody to play, make sure you can give them all access immediately and play test it on different computers. If you are showing storyboards in one medium, have a backup plan in case your computer crashes or aliens abduct the sole group member who has all the information (or he/she gets stuck in traffic or decides that he/she is dropping out of college). • Professionalism doesn’t mean to be serious all the time—it means to be appropriate to your game and purpose. If your game is set in Hawaii, come in Hawaiian shirts; if it is an antiadvergame against Best Buy, come in blue shirts and khakis. If you want to be serious, dress up. If you want to have fun, break out the ironic t-shirts. Give out candy for the person who can beat your game. • Above all, as audience and presenter, recognize that a lot of work went into these projects, so do that work justice.
Presentation Checklist You should cover the following: • The problem • Your pitch or game idea • General gameplay • Explain the proof-of-concept Other considerations: • Hands-on / demo proof-of concept • Storyboard walkthrough • CBA (cost/benefit analysis) • Video or audio demos • PowerPoint of the presentation and/or game • Costumes, props, food • Inventive use of the time to produce an engaging game pitch.
Grading the presentations You will grade the presentations on the following scale: 5 (excellent) 4 (superior) 3 (good) 2 (fair) 1 (poor) The total of the three will be divided by 3 to get the total points for presentation. Audience Engagement 5 4 3 2 1 Professionalism 5 4 3 2 1 These grades will then be averaged for your total Presentation grade.
The Proof-of-Concept (PoC) • The PoC is a multimedia representation of the proposed game idea. The number in parentheses were the percentages of projects done in 2010 and 2011. Some groups were multimodal that’s why the numbers don’t add up to 100%. • It can be a static or interactive storyboard using video, paper, or multimedia authoring software (10%). • It could be a hyperlinked representation of the game using HTML, PowerPoint, or Word (75%). • It could be video or audio that uses original or existing media to represent the gameflow, gameplay, or cutscenes/narrative (50%) • It could be an actual game, but usually a part of a game, or minigame from a larger work, written in Alice, Scratch, GameMaker, Python or any other programming language (10%). • The PoCs won’t be perfect games, but they should represent the game in a way appropriate to the game’s intended audience and also show some professional engagement on behalf of the team producing it. • Overall, you will be graded at two levels: Concept and Professionalism.
PoC Criteria • Concept – Is the PoC fun, engaging, interesting, or is it a boring series of stick figure drawings on notebook paper? Sometimes a boring game presentation can be saved by a well-done, challenging, and engaging PoC. Just remember, the PoC isn’t the finished game—it’s a representation of the game that can help the audience better understand how a game might work. Also, remember that by “concept” you are grading the PoC and the proposed game it represents. A fully functioning Playstation3 game that only consists of jumping up and down, even if it has stunning graphics and licensed Arcade Fire soundtrack, would get a low score in this category. • Professionalism – Did the team put effort into the PoC or not? That’s really how you will be evaluating professionalism. If the PoC is a six panel storyboard with stick figures and 4 lines of dialogue, that is a poor representation of the game. If, however, there is a fully functioning game demo, that would be rated higher. A “bad” game programmed in Flash with interactive full-motion video, and William Shatner doing voiceovers would still get a 5 or 4 in this category.
A note about audience • The Presentation is for your peers as investors—the PoC serves the purpose of being both for the investors and for the game’s intended audience. • If your PoC is a silly and superficial walkthrough of your game, Genocide in Darfur, this is not appropriate for either audience. • The PoC is asking your audience to imagine the game you are proposing, and in so doing, you are asking them to imagine playing as the intended audience of the game.
Grading the PoC • Grading the PoCs will present an opportunity to consider criteria appropriate to the PoC genre. How do you judge a product that is a 15 item storyboard versus a project that is a completed game? That’s up to the rhetorical situation. Your PoC is also showing what the game’s intended audience will experience. You will grade the presentations on the following scale: 5 (excellent) 4 (superior) 3 (good) 2 (fair) 1 (poor) The total will be divided by 1.25 to get the total points for the PoC. Concept 5 4 3 2 1 Professionalism 5 4 3 2 1 These grades will then be averaged for your total PoC grade.
Participation • Each group member will email me with an assessment of their group members. You will write 2-3 sentences about each group member about what everyone contributed to the project. You will then grade each member on a 5 point scale: 5 (excellent) 4 (superior) 3 (good) 2 (fair) 1 (poor) • I will average these grades across the group and also add/subtract based on any special circumstances that I witnessed during work on the project and assign a final grade. Example Bob Roberts wrote the first draft of the proposal and participated in group work days. He didn’t do any of the work on the PoC, but he definitely put his hours in on the proposal and in preparing a PPT for the presentation. GRADE: 4
Due Date • Your Presentation and Proof-of-Concept will be shown in class on March 6 & 8. Peer grades are due at the end of class. • The Proposal and Participation email are due by midnight, March 8. If it is feasible, I would like a copy of your PoC, but your grade doesn’t depend on it. • I will have a flash drive in class on March 8 if you want to hand in all of these materials then.