Health Warning Please remember that the Exam Board doesn’t provide MAs for anything beyond U4, so this is my best interpretation of the markgrids and other paperwork…
Scenario A small games company is trying to break into the more steady education market using a health education game. The ones they’re thinking about are focused on healthy eating. NOTE that for this Unit you need access to and familiarity with3D animation software! On your own head be it!
Task 1: Know the Basics There’s more to this than being a contemptible script-kiddie, you know… Here we want you to be a professional, to understand the ‘why’ behind the ‘how’. So to start with, you have some research to do. Let’s just look general, to start with, then head for the more specialised stuff…
Task 1: Know the Basics So if we’re going with generalised programming, we’re looking at such as: process analysis data structures algorithms control structures input output good programming practice Still, remember to tie this into GAMES PROGRAMMING!
Markgrid – AO1 PASS Candidates demonstrate a basic understanding of programming principles. They use limited game-specific examples.
Markgrid – AO1 MERIT Candidates demonstrate a detailed understanding of programming principles. They analyse a simple game sequence and describe the underlying programming processes which make it work. They use a range of game-specific examples.
Markgrid – AO1 DISTINCTION Candidates demonstrate an in-depth understanding and practical knowledge of programming principles and practice. They analyse events and processes from existing games with comprehensive clarity. They use a wide range of game-specific examples.
Task 2: Tighter focus Right – you’ve got your head round the Gen Purp stuff. That’s a good place to start. As always, things develop to fit a specific need – and games software is one of the most punishing of all. Think – it caters to the teenage market, the most fickle of all, it makes phenomenal demands on hardware- often greater than capacity for a while on release, and once you’ve played a game… then what? It’s B-O-R-I-N-G…
Task 2: Tighter focus So this is a fast-moving area, and I can only reflect what’s roughly current as I type: you will need to go beyond this with any new stuff, OK? The list on the next slide is current – for now. Look beyond for the higher grades, and keep looking at ‘real’ use and application for each one in this field.
Task 2: Tighter focus Professional languages: e.g. concept of high and low level languages high level: C++, C, Java, graphics APIs low-level: CPU and GPU assemblers brief code examples Development tools: e.g. level editors 3D modelling systems graphics editors Simpler integrated systems - select one from the following: darkbasic blitzbasic Any others you come across!
Markgrid – AO2 PASS Candidates produce evidence of their basic knowledge of programming languages and tools used in computer game programming. Their descriptions may not be fully accurate.
Markgrid – AO2 MERIT Candidates describe and discuss professional games programming practice, demonstrating knowledge of the programming languages and toolsets used at professional and hobbyist level. Candidates demonstrate a good understanding of the difference between high and low level languages and their relationship and deployment in games programming.
Markgrid – AO2 DISTINCTION Candidates describe and discuss professional games programming practice, demonstrating an in-depth knowledge of the programming languages and toolsets used at professional and hobbyist level. Candidates demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the difference between high and low level languages and where each is best deployed. They will compare and contrast different hobbyist and semi-professional languages and analyse the strengths and weaknesses of each.
Task 3: Part of the picture By now you ought to be aware that the image of the programmer in their attic, typing away on a black and green screen, living on coffee and dreams… is baloney. Successful games writing is teamwork. Every time. So where do you – the programmer – fit?
Task 3: Part of the picture In this AO, you’re looking at the big picture. Programming as a part of the games development process - how it integrates with art, animation, design and testing. Look at specialist game programming areas, at least three from the following: graphics AI physics audio game play and scripting middleware Graphical User Interface (GUI) Tools Development
Markgrid – AO3 PASS Candidates produce evidence of their basic knowledge of programming practice and three specialist areas used in computer game programming. Their descriptions may not be fully accurate.
Markgrid – AO3 MERIT Candidates demonstrate a detailed understanding of games programming practice. They describe and distinguish between at least three game programming specialisms and relate them to the features and functionality of a range of existing game examples. Their descriptions are mostly accurate.
Markgrid – AO3 DISTINCTION Candidates demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of games programming practice. They demonstrate a detailed understanding of at least three different specialisms of game programming and show where and how each specialist area is deployed to create current exemplar game titles. All descriptions are accurate.
Task 4: Identify the process Programming is not only part of a team task, it’s part of a process, So here you need to look at game development systems, selecting one from the following: Virtools Connitec 3D Gamestudio Auranjet Quest 3D Any other you locate (this is gonna be outdated quick!) And Modifications (Mods), select one from the following: Quake Half Life unreal Any other you come across!
Markgrid – AO4 PASS Candidates follow simple tutorial-led procedures using a game development tool or game modification system, showing that they are aware of the toolset and its basic methods and techniques. They may struggle when it comes to solving problems which do not have template solutions. They may require a fair amount of assistance.
Markgrid – AO4 MERIT Candidates develop a basic competence in the chosen game authoring or game modification tool to be able to go beyond tutorial level and start to develop their own content, with some assistance. They show a good understanding of the principles and procedures used by the given system. They list the main strengths and weaknesses of the authoring system or game modification tool.
Markgrid – AO4 DISTINCTION Candidates develop competence in the chosen game authoring platform or game modification system and are able to create and solve programming tasks and problems using these tools requiring little to no assistance. They also are able to critically analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the authoring system or game modification tool and suggest improvements in its design.
Task 5: Design your Game Enough with the theory! Let’s hit some practical stuff…! You need to cover all four of these sections in enough detail (you know this already) that someone else could use your stuff to create the same product.. And it would come out the same…
Task 5: Design your Game The four stages I’m talking about are: Plan the project Specify the functionality Create the paper design Produce the flowchart
Markgrid – AO5 PASS Candidates specify and plan a simple game demo to a basic level, outlining functionality without any particular level of detail or depth. Basic flowcharting skills are demonstrated.
Markgrid – AO5 MERIT Candidates efficiently analyse and plan their own game demo using paper design and flowcharting techniques. The specification will be feasible and well thought through.
Markgrid – AO5 DISTINCTION Candidates will demonstrate a thorough understanding of the game development process and an understanding of the production procedures used in the modern game development environment. They effectively analyse and plan their own game demo. Flowcharting skills, algorithmic analysis and application of control structures are used to a very high standard.
Task 6: Here goes nuthin’… It’s planned. Sketched. In your head clearly now (I hope) so let’s go to it. In this final AO, you produce the healthy eating game demo in its entirety. And what do I mean by that? Review design and flowchart (is it OK?) Acquire assets (the bits you need!) Build and implement (create it!) Test, tune and debug (and document this!) Document program (user and tech guide)
Markgrid – AO6 PASS Candidates are able to construct the initial workings of a game demo; however, it may not necessarily run with the desired or predicted functionality. Candidates may require some assistance and guidance either with their programming or use of a game development system. Candidates provide evidence of some testing. They may not provide evidence of debugging some errors Some limited documentation is provided. The finished demo may not reflect their plans.
Markgrid – AO6 MERIT The final game demo project will be mostly robust, but not all the specified functionality will have been successfully implemented. Candidates require minimum assistance with either programming or when using a game development system. Candidates provide evidence of testing most of the main areas of the program. They may provide evidence of debugging some errors The documentation is thorough and of a consistent quality. The finished demo will reflect their plans.
Markgrid – AO6 DISTINCTION Candidates effectively build and implement their final game demo to a good standard, resulting in a smooth running and robust build demonstrating competence in game play programming and execution. Candidates require little or no assistance with either programming or when using a game development system. Candidates provide evidence of testing most of the main areas of the program. They also provide evidence of debugging some errors. All programming will be thoroughly documented. The finished demo will match their plans.