CISC 226: Game Design


School of Computing • Queen's University • Winter 2017

Game Design Progress Report

This submission is provided after the half-way point in the term. By this time, you should have a substantially running version of your game, and you should have performed significant play testing. This submission is intended to capture the state of your game at this point in the course.

Please provide one submission per group. The submission should not exceed 10 pages of text, 11 point, 1" margin, single-spaced. Your submission should include concept art and/or screenshots, and these do not contribute to the 10-page limit.

Your progress report should communicate:

  • How has your game design evolved?
  • How far have you progressed in your implementation?
  • What have you learned from your play testing?
  • What is your plan moving forward?

Suggested outline

I suggest that your progress report include the following sections, detailed below.

  • Executive Summary
  • Game Design
  • Development status including prototyping
  • Milestones to completion

Executive Summary

Provide a brief overview of your progress. This should summarize the contents of all sections of the report. This is a summary, not a "teaser" or an introduction. E.g., ½ - ¾ pages.

Game Design

Consider chapter 14 of the Fullerton text for ideas on how to communicate your game's design. Adapt these ideas to fit your game. Chapter 14 is rigid. Rather than following this as a rigid template, use it more to get ideas of the sorts of information that it might be useful to convey. Include topics such as:

Vision statement

  • Gameplay synopsis - uniqueness, mechanics, setting, look and feel
  • Target audience and platform (3.1 and 3.2 only from Fullerton)
  • Gameplay Overview
  • Gameplay Description
  • Controls
    • No need for wireframe visualizations
  • Rules – brief (your game should be simple!)
  • Scoring/winning conditions
    • 5.4-5.7 – likely not necessary
  • Game characters - character design, character types
  • Story - customize to fit – probably very simple for your game
  • Gameworld – as above, customize to fit
  • Media List - Sprites, animations, sounds. Keep it brief

Add a section clearly delineating:

  • Core design - What must be completed to allow game to be playable and enjoyable. These will definitely be included in your final game at the end of term.
  • Optional features – what optional features you will add if time permits.

Make sure that your development schedule guarantees that core design is implemented.

Development Status

Provide an overview of your development: - What features have been completed so far - What features remain to be completed - Any significant barriers to completion and possible fallback positions - Any known problems in design revealed by testing with other players.

Report on results of your play-testing. - Keep it simple - three-five people are likely sufficient for initial play-testing - Select people as close to your target user group as possible - Have them play, and record what problems they may have - Use the "think out loud" protocol – have them speak out loud as they are playing, explaining what they are trying to do – gives context to problems they may encounter - Look out for problems like - Controls confusing or too hard - Gameplay confusing – not clear what objective is, how to progress - Game too easy or too hard (most student games are too hard!) - Game not engaging

In your report, explain your testing method, describe (in a non-identifying way) the demographics of people you tested - age range, novice vs expert game players.

Milestones to Completion

For each of remaining weeks of term, provide description of goals for that week.

The final week should include preparation for final show

Each week from this point on should include some user testing

E.g.:

Week of March 2-8:

Complete implementation of space ship control system. Test usability of control system with at least three players. Add animation for space centipede.

Milestones should be specific – avoid milestones like "work on game design and implementation".

Over all…

  • There is a lot of material to cover
  • Be succinct, to the point, choose the most important information to relay
  • Be sure to use media (screenshots, concept art) – these don't count in your 10 page suggested length.

Submitting

Submit your progress report in PDF format to OnQ. Your file should be named with the format progress-KhadriMarnerMatthews.pdf, substituting the last names of your group members.

Evaluation

Before submitting, please consult the rubric attached to this assignment on OnQ to see how it will be graded.

© 2017 Nicholas Graham