CISC 226: Game Design

School of Computing • Queen's University • Winter 2017
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Phase 1: Project Proposal

The goal of your project proposal is to describe the game you plan to create in enough detail to show how it will be played, how the game will be fun, how it will be novel, and what tools you will use to create it. It is particularly important that your game's novel aspect is clearly explained.

Your proposal should contain approximately 5 pages of text (single-spaced, 1" margins, 11 point text), not including figures. You should also include illustrations such as concept art that shows how your game will look and play. There is no limitation on illustrations.


I suggest the following outline.

Brief statement of game concept

Start with a one-sentence overview of the key game idea. This sentence should capture not just what the game is, but why it will be fun and novel. For example: "The game is a fast-paced platformer where you control between one and four characters simultaneously", or "The game is a standard chess game, but when one piece attacks another, the player must carry out a real-time combat to determine the outcome", or "We will create a tower-defence game that is played in the dark." Then elaborate this concept to a paragraph or two in length.

Explanation of novel idea

Provide a more detailed explanation of what is novel in this game. Refer back to our notes from lecture to help describe the aspect of the game that is new. Your game might involve a novel game mechanic, a novel control scheme, a novel application domain, a novel target user group or a novel way of engaging player creativity - or may involve novelty in some other way. It is not sufficient to provide a cosmetic twist on standard forms of games, e.g., "a first-person shooter game played on a map of Jeffrey Hall." Once establishing the type of novelty, be clear about exactly what in the game will be novel. For example, if you are proposing a novel game mechanic, provide a clear description of the mechanic. Explain why this novel aspect is interesting and will be fun.

Outline of gameplay

Explain the game from the player's perspective. Make reference to your concept art. Outline the game setting. Describe gameplay at the macro level, indicating the player's broad goals and activities. Outline the gameplay at the micro level, clarifying what the player does at the 10-second level of play.

Target platform

Briefly describe the target game platform. Normally, this will be a single PC/Mac computer using a mouse and keyboard or using a game controller. Describe any special features of the platform. Keep in mind that I must be able to play the game on hardware available to me. If you are not sure about this, be sure to ask.

Development tools to be used

List your development tools. Normally this will be the Unity game engine and the C# programming language, together with tools for creating 2D sprites and tools for creating audio segments. All of these tools should be listed. Only in very rare and compelling circumstances will it be permitted to use a game development engine other than Unity; if you wish to do so, you must discuss with me first.

Group coordination plan

Describe in one paragraph how your group will work together. Perhaps you will largely work separately, coordinating by email and GITLab, and meeting one hour/week in person to coordinate activities. Or perhaps you will have two long in-person meetings in CASLab weekly where you will all work together. You should commit to at least one weekly in-person meeting that all members attend. Specify the time and location of this meeting.

Points to consider

You must be able to complete your game within this term. It is important to make your game sufficiently simple that you will be able to complete it, test it and iteratively refine it before the end of term show. Part of the challenge of this proposal is to show that you have created an interesting and novel game concept that can be implemented within the available time.


Submit your project proposal using OnQ. You should submit one copy of the proposal for your group. Your project should be formatted as a PDF file. Your file should be named with the format proposal-KhadriMarnerMatthews.pdf, substituting the last names of your group members. Your proposal is due by 9:00 PM on the deadline date.


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

© 2017 Nicholas Graham