Jhu Gaming Initiatives

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Presentation at the New Media Consortium conference in June 2009

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  • JOAN
  • Jhu Gaming Initiatives

    1. 1. Playing Together: Establishing an Interdisciplinary, Interinstitutional Gaming Initiative Mike Reese Assistant Director, CER Joan Freedman Director, DMC
    2. 2. Today’s Game Plan Lab Course Project Gaming Industry Mentors Digital Media Center Computer Science Center for Ed Resources Sheridan Libraries Outside Funders Big Huge Games/ Firaxis Lecture Students
    3. 3. Cast of Characters Peter Fröhlich CS Lecturer Mike Reese Center for Educational Resources Joan Freedman Digital Media Center Sue Vazakas Research Services Librarian
    4. 4. Why play? Credit: http://www.moserware.com/2009/02/rebooting-computing-why.html
    5. 5. Gaming Lab <ul><li>2 custom workstations with NVIDIA cards </li></ul><ul><li>Mac and PC w/ DMC standard apps </li></ul><ul><li>Surround sound system </li></ul><ul><li>Assorted controllers </li></ul><ul><li>and other toys </li></ul>
    6. 6. Game Lounge <ul><li>PS2 and 3 consoles, arcade game table, controlled sound system, wii fit station </li></ul>
    7. 7. Challenges <ul><li>Pre-course Design Conversations </li></ul><ul><li>Structure of Game Project </li></ul><ul><li>Format of Labs </li></ul><ul><li>Schedule of topics </li></ul><ul><li>Balancing Student Teams </li></ul><ul><ul><li>R&D: NMC, local schools, industry </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Structure of Course <ul><li>Lecture (3 X 1hr) </li></ul><ul><li>Lab (DMC) (1 1 / 4 hrs/week) </li></ul><ul><li>Industry Mentors </li></ul><ul><li>Students from many disciplines and schools (JHU, MICA) </li></ul>
    9. 9. Student Assessments <ul><li>Biography/Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Blog entries </li></ul><ul><li>Game reviews </li></ul><ul><li>Course project – make a game </li></ul><ul><li>Alpha, Beta, Gold presentations </li></ul><ul><li>Optional </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mentor feedback </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lab attendance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>pARTy demo </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Course Project Assignment <ul><li>Game must be/include </li></ul><ul><li>Fun </li></ul><ul><li>A game </li></ul><ul><li>Levels </li></ul><ul><li>Graphics </li></ul><ul><li>Sound </li></ul>
    11. 11. Lecture Overview <ul><li>Hodge Podge of topics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Archetypal Games </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Programming 101 (Pygames) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Introductory Graphic design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>History of Gaming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Working in the Industry </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Alpha, Beta, Gold Presentations </li></ul>
    12. 12. Lab sections <ul><li>Ten teams of four </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2 programmers, 2 artists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Handpicked/Skills Survey </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lab sections met 1x a week </li></ul><ul><li>Mon or Wed, noon – 1:15 pm </li></ul><ul><li>Grouped by team when possible </li></ul><ul><li>MICA students all together </li></ul>
    13. 13. Lab Objectives <ul><li>Expose programmers to media making techniques </li></ul><ul><li>Expose artists to new tools </li></ul><ul><li>Introduce new workspace and tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hardware and software </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work and play spaces </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Lab 1: Design and planning <ul><li>Deconstruct Super Mario </li></ul><ul><li>Recreate planning docs </li></ul><ul><li>Treatment, storyboard, timeline, </li></ul><ul><li>Character development </li></ul><ul><li>Level design map </li></ul>
    15. 15. Lab 2:Game rules and play <ul><li>Group makes game with physical props </li></ul><ul><li>Writes rules and explanation </li></ul><ul><li>Another group plays game </li></ul><ul><li>Gives feedback </li></ul>
    16. 16. Labs 3, 5, 11: characters, animation and cut scenes <ul><li>Rotoscoping in Photoshop </li></ul><ul><li>Animation concepts in Flash </li></ul><ul><li>Titles in After Effects </li></ul><ul><li>Basic editing in </li></ul><ul><li>Final Cut </li></ul>
    17. 17. Labs 4 and 10: Sound effects and score <ul><li>Listen to sounds in Triplets of Bellville </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss how sound </li></ul><ul><li>enhances visual </li></ul><ul><li>Hands on experience w/ </li></ul><ul><li>Soundtrack Pro </li></ul>
    18. 18. Labs 6 and 7: 3D modeling <ul><li>Demo 3D S Max </li></ul><ul><li>Character creation (low polygon) </li></ul><ul><li>3D set building with textures and rendering </li></ul>
    19. 19. Instructions and packaging <ul><li>Examine packaging and instructions </li></ul><ul><li>Design and layout with InDesign </li></ul><ul><li>Write and test instructions </li></ul>
    20. 20. http://www.vimeo.com/5295315 Want to see some of the games?
    21. 21. Evaluation Activities <ul><li>Course evaluations </li></ul><ul><li>Online surveys </li></ul><ul><li>Focus groups </li></ul><ul><li>Mentor surveys </li></ul>
    22. 22. Student Feedback <ul><li>Students Likes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ We got to make games – that was cool!” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Our mentor was amazing!” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Humbling what CS can do.” / “Artist are amazing!” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ We played games - valuable research! And no, I'm not just saying that, it was. :)” </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. Student Feedback <ul><li>Lecture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Finalize syllabus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assign more homework (really!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allow for specialization (offer two courses) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ People didn’t learn enough to master anything, rather just enough to make one a Jack of all trades. ” </li></ul></ul>
    24. 24. Student Feedback <ul><li>Course Project </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ We need more deadlines for project.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ We did not understand it [grading] – it seemed totally random.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stipulate development framework </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ We learned more from each other than the teachers.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ There was a lot of disconnect, a language barrier [b/w artist and programmers].” </li></ul></ul>
    25. 25. Student Feedback <ul><li>Lab </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on labs more than lecture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lengthen lab meetings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Include more hands-on activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allow for team meetings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use open curriculum </li></ul></ul>
    26. 26. Future Plans <ul><li>Sustainability - Tuition dollars </li></ul><ul><li>Lab Changes </li></ul><ul><li>Post course Recruiting Session </li></ul><ul><li>Partnership with other schools </li></ul>
    27. 27. Discussion <ul><li>Is a gaming program a legitimate curriculum to support in higher education? </li></ul>

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