Computer Games Laboratory (IN7106, IN710615)

hold by Prof. Dr. Westermann

Time, PlaceWednesday, 17-18.30, 02.13.10 
(only on days with milestone submissions, see detailed schedule below)
Begin:Oct. 18., 2017
Mandatory kick-off meeting: Oct. 09., 2017, 14:00-16:00, room: 02.13.010 . (No matching system needed. If you cannot make it to the kick off, contact us... it won't be possible to join later on!)

Details:

Main wiki: https://wiki.tum.de/display/gameslab1718/home 
This course is open only to master students in Informatik: Games Engineering. The module comprises lectures, programming exercises, and student presentations
Final pres.:The final presentation of results will take place during the demo day (exact date tba), and there will be a prize for the best game!
PrerequisitesBachelor Informatik: Games Engineering

Short Summary

Computer games development comprises the conception of the game world and the specification of the game flow and rules, artistic aspects, as well as the technical realization of the game via software, interaction- and display-devices. The goal of this course is to facilitate an in-depth understanding of the game development process. Students gradually design and develop a computer game in small groups and get acquainted with the art of game programming.

Description

The Computer Games Laboratory addresses modern three-dimensional computer games technologies. In small teams, students will design and develop a computer game. The focus will be on the technical aspects of game development, such as rendering, interaction, physics, networking, distribution and parallelization, animation, and AI. In addition, we will cultivate creative thinking for advanced gameplay and visual effects. 

This is a practical course which involves a hands-on approach with neither traditional lectures nor exercises. Instead, we will meet ca. once a week to discuss technical issues and to track progress. Students can utilize available game engines, yet we will make sure that a considerable own programming effort will be invested. While development will take place on PCs, students are free to choose the target platform of their final game. 

At the end of the course, all results will be presented to the public. The best projects, choosen by the audience and a jury of experts from industrial partners, will be awarded hard- and software prices.  

Prerequisites

  • Good programming skills (course projects are written in C++).
  • Students should have passed successfully the Bachelor program Informatik: Games Engineering.
  • We recommend higher level courses in the area of specialization related to the game technology making your game distinct.

Organization

Regardless the content of the game, the development process must adhere to the guidelines proposed below. Students are encouraged to design a game that has strong links to one of the areas of specialization in the curriculum of the Master program Informatik: Games Engineering.     

Students chose their favorite area of specialization and contact the corresponding adminstrator (see list below) to propose and discuss the intended game. Teams from different areas can also join to create an even more complex game. 

All students have to sign up for the Computer Games Laboratory and attend the mandatory lectures. It is not possible to join later on during the semester.

Note that sign-up for this practical course is happening only during the kick-off meeting at the end of the semester break (i.e., shortly before the summer or winter semester starts). The matching system (for seminars etc.) is not used, and thus you won't see this practical course within the matching system.

Milestones

The following milestones have to be reached over the course of the semester. On the one hand this ensure that no group is completely left behind, or looses track of producing a playable game at the end of the semester. On the other hand, it will be cool to see the progress of all participating teams!

Deadlines:

  • Introduction
  • Form groups
  • Informal pitch of the game idea
  • Formal proposal & physical prototype
  • Interim demo
  • Alpha release demo
  • Playtesting results
  • Final presentation

Final presentation details:

The final demo of the game projects will take place at the Demo Day 2017. The course supervisors will visit the booth of each team then for an in depth demo. The following things are required on that day:

  1. the regular 1min demo day presentation, use the final digital video here (see project structure)
  2. the 10min presentation 
  3. final materials & video uploaded to the wiki by the end of the day

Timeline

The following table gives an overview of all in class meetings during the semester. On all none mentioned weeks there is no class.

lecture / milestonedateteam presentationto publish on the wiki
(due before presentation)
Lecture: kick-offOct. 9th
Lecture: softskills and prototypingOct. 18thForm groups, email to westermann@tum.de (also if you didn't find a group so far, but still want to participate!)
1. Milestone: Game idea pitchNov. 6thGame ideaReport: Game idea proposal
Slides: Game idea
2. Milestone: PrototypeNov. 15thPrototypeReport: Prototype
Slides: Prototype
3. Milestone: Interim DemoDec. 6thFirst programming resultsReport: Interim results
Slides: Interim results
Lecture: Playtesting
4. Milestone: Alpha release
Jan. 10thAlpha versionReport: Alpha release documentation
Slides: Alpha release
5. PlaytestingJan. 24thPlaytesting resultsReport: Playtesting results
Slides: Playtesting results
6. Final ReleaseFeb. 7thFinal releaseReport: Final documentation
Slides: Final
Video
Compiled final game version
Demo Day live presentationFeb. ???Live Demo