Course Presentation: Games design


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Course Presentation: Games design

  1. 1. BA Games Design @BrunelUni #ExploreBrunel
  2. 2. Why Study Games Design at Brunel? Unique focus on game design through theory Supported by multinational game companies Investment in games, labs & facilities Great graduate employment record Taught by industry veterans and pioneers of game studies
  3. 3. The Teaching Team
  4. 4. Professor Steve Jackson • 30 years experience in the role-playing and videogames industries • Co-founder of Games Workshop • Co-creator of Fighting Fantasy interactive game books • Designed first telephone game (F.I.S.T.) • Games page of The Daily Telegraph • Co-founded Lionhead Studios • Created Battle Cards (collectable trading cards) • Course fairy-godfather and über-industry contact
  5. 5. Justin Parsler • Over 30 years of professional game design experience. BAFTA Nominated. • Senior Consulting Designer at Mediatonic, with 9 games currently in production, including work for EA, Disney and The Walking Dead IP • Research focuses on the nature of agency (choice) and player empowerment • Published academic work has includes analysis of World of Warcraft, Lord of The Rings Online
  6. 6. Chris Cox • Background in the creative arts and running gaming events across the UK • Game Designer / Lead Game Designer at Lady Shotgun • Producer and consultant at Octopus 8, one of Develop’s 2013 Top 100 New Games Studios • Teaches the Design and Application modules
  7. 7. Matthew O’Dell • Graduate of CSM Industrial Design MA • User Interface Designer for Xerox and others • 3D / 2D game artist for web game developer JailDog • Many years life drawing in acrylic, water colour, ink • Freelance vector illustration • Initially taught Comic Book Art at Chelsea College; since taught a wide range of Adobe Creative Suite, video games, various web / mobile / digital graphics
  8. 8. Dr Kelly Boudreau • Player / avatar hybridity in the networked process of digital game play • Emerging digital / game research methodologies • Modes of governance of toxic gamer culture • Relationship between design and play experience
  9. 9. Dr Ashley Brown • PhD in Sociology from University of Manchester • Fan of Role Playing Games (tabletop / digital) • Board member of DiGRA (Digital Games Research Association), and founder of UK chapter • Research interest in nature of sexuality in games • Active cosplayer and makes own outfits
  10. 10. The stuff that really matters • The enthusiasm / respect we have for games design • Our deep commitment to student learning – small team, highly A great time to be studying games… • In April 2014, EU agreed to UK tax credit of 25% of production costs. 500 development studios in UK, employing around 9000. • New generation of hardware (PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, Vita) • Access to huge, growing market - 1 billion smart phones will be sold in the coming year GTA V made $800 million dollars in it’s first weekend Flappy Bird made $30,000 a day responsive, game jams, internships
  11. 11. The Degree Programmes & Possible Routes Single Honours: BA Games Design – BBB / DDM Or BA Games Design and Film & TV studies BBB / DDM BA Games Design and Creative Writing AAB / D*D*D inc. English BA Games Design with Film & TV studies BA Games Design with Creative Writing BA Film & TV studies with Games Design BA Creative Writing with Games Design Joint Major Minor Note: entry requirements are under review, and likely to increase
  12. 12. ProPgrarcaticme-Tmheeor yE Smyntphehsias:sis Practice informed by theory; theory informed by practice Theory Design Application • Textual / formal dimension – games as a particular language • Socio-cultural dimension – games as products of societies, cultures • Industrial dimension – how games are shaped by commercial and institutional structures. • Practical engagement with designing games • Self-evaluation and appraisal • Creativity • Pitching and market • Group work •Working with industry briefs and formats • Communication • Presenting/pitching ideas • Prototyping ideas • Appreciation of the industrial context of game production •Workshops on key skills. • Industry speakers with variety of roles. Underpinned by art and animation skills
  13. 13. Single Honours – Additional Content Additional Strand: Asset & Story Creation • Examine a range of methods for creating assets for your games and flesh them out even further • No prior experience required • Additional Level 3 project choice Game-focused modules in: • Game Mechanics • Animation • Technical skills • History of Games Optional crossover with computing modules • Round off your game projects with more assets and spend more taught time on their narratives • Your projects will be your primary assessments for the whole 3 years
  14. 14. Ongoing Project Assessment No exams.
  15. 15. Modules (each year worth 120 credits) Level One • Reading Games (20) • Games Design 1 (20) • Application (20) (optional for Minor/Joint) Joint: 40 or 60 credits taken in other subject. Single Honours: • Historical Context and Asset Creation & Story 1 or • Film Style and Intro to Programming Level Two • Critical Approaches(20) • Games Design 2 (20) • Application 2 (20) (optional for Minor/Joint) • Joint: 60 or 80 credits taken in other subject. Single Honours: • Game Mechanics • Asset Creation & Story 2 • Animation (optional) Level Three* • Socio-Cult. Contexts (20) • Major Design Project (40) and /or • Medium Design Project (20) (Term 1) and / or • Major Theory Project (40) (Terms 1 and 2) and / or • Medium Theory Project (20) (Term 2) • Single Honours: Asset Creation Project * Options to be significantly expanded and revamped
  16. 16. An example student game – “Autoscroll”
  17. 17. By the end of the course, you will have… • gained much experience of making games • a good understanding of how the games industry operates • had contact with a range of people working in the industry / commenting on it and its products • the ability to make use of a range of conceptual models that aid the process of critical, independent thought and problem solving
  18. 18. LudoLab - teaching • Dedicated computer lab space for BA students • High-end PCs, each with dual screens, Wacom tablet • Two Macs, for exporting games to iOS • Multimedia Fusion 2.5, Adobe Creative Cloud, Autodesk Entertainment Suite 2014, Toon Boom Studio, Mixcraft 6 • Committed to further investment in computing resources • 24 hour access • Kitchen, bathrooms nearby
  19. 19. Ludolab - play • PCs are available for LAN gaming • Console lounge area with two HDTVs – PS3/4, Xbox 360/One, WiiU. • Vintage machines / games available (PSX, MD, DC etc.) • Free to play / install own games (e.g. via Steam, XBLA) • Small console game library
  20. 20. The Flat Room • Secondary teaching space • Large board game archive (£1500+ spent in the last year) • Flexible layout, with tables to play games on
  21. 21. The ‘Ready’ Graduate Attributes Programme • For first year undergraduates, 200 places available per term (10 weeks). • 2 hours per week, with 2.5 hours outside work. • Builds attributes / skills sought by employers: • Communication • Financial and other Data Analysis • Personal Resilience • Teamwork • Commercial Awareness • Organisation and Planning • Problem Solving • Time Management • Work with students and staff from across Brunel along with a wide range of guest speakers. • Project work reflects Brunel's focus on real-world learning, professionalism, and both local and global communities. • More info: • Enquiries to
  22. 22. Careers • Games industry, in all its diversity – e.g. designing, testing, producing, marketing • Media industries, journalism, publishing, research, critical writing, arts administration… • Transferable tech-industry focused skills e.g. Adobe, Autodesk, Microsoft software; understanding of programming / computing concepts. • Opportunities offered by the other subject of a joint honours degree.
  23. 23. Employment: all this and more! • Junior Game Designer at Lionhead Studios • Junior Game Designer at Asylum Entertainment • Junior Game Designer at Curve • Junior Game Designer at Nik-Nak • Internships, Games Designers at Mediatonic • Game and Level Designers at Supermassive Games • Games Designer - Creative Assembly (BAFTA winner!) • Games Designer at Splash Damage Games • Games Designer at Rebellion Games • Lead Games designer at Rovio (Angry Birds!) • Games Designers at Zynga • Games Designer at Riot Games USA • Internships at Lionhead • Internships at Ubisoft, Shanghai • Localisation at Square-Enix UK
  24. 24. Summary: Why games at Brunel? • Unique programme designed to help students gain a foothold in the industry • Proven track record of industry jobs • Supported by a range of industry affiliates, including some of the most well-known developers world-wide • Internship possibilities for talented students • Taught by pioneering industry and academic experts; regular guest speakers from the industry • Dedicated programme lab – promotes collaboration and a strong sense of ‘belonging’ • Join a community of game enthusiasts with a host of different skills and backgrounds @BrunelUni #ExploreBrunel