Designing an online computer game exam
The course's examination procedure has been designed so as to guarantee
flexibility and allow each student to emphasize the part where they are
stronger in order to be examined as fairly as possible.
What each group has to turn in by November 22nd
- A game prototype. (main evaluation criteria: playability, if it meets
your own previous criteria, if you show awareness of issues and problems
/ optional: design aspects)
- A document which is either a game design document or a collection
of theoretical papers or a combination of the two (see the 3 document
models below). If your document is entirely theoretical, a brief description
(2 pages) of the game prototype is required, for example using Jesper
Juul's analysis model.
Note that a snapshot will be taken of your game's state on November 22nd.
Oral examination (end of January)
A group of 5 people has 110 minutes of exam (including feedback), so
typically you will have half of the time to talk about your game prototype
and the document in the proportion and order that you want (all members
of the group should talk some).
The rest of the time, the censor and us two will ask you questions about
the game and the document you turned in in November, then there is a little
time for us to think about your mark.
Document model 1
Pure design document (i.e. following Rouse) around 30 pages (it could
contain sketches, description of quests, etc. that you have already done)
has to contain explanation of what you are hoping to achieve, evaluation
of own game (i.e. post-mortem).
If the whole group decides to go for this, it is not necessary to note
who wrote each section, but you can do it if you want to.
Document model 2
Pure theoretical papers: 7 pages for each student paper (questions should
be "negotiated" with us and related to your game and the course)
Examples of questions for theoretical papers from the three perspectives
(design, theory, programming):
- Strategy options for interesting flow (design)
- Creating interesting bots (design)
- A typology of social interaction (theory)
- Considerations upon the role of narrative in rpg structures (theory)
Individual paper writers should be properly identified. Remember that
if you choose this option, a brief description (2 pages) of the game prototype
is also required, for example using Jesper Juul's analysis model.
Document model 3
A design document with some theoretical papers by one or more of the
group members (7 pages per person, the description of models 1 or 2 apply
for each of the parts).
Example: 3 students make design document (21 pages) and 2 make individual
papers (7 pages each)
If your group decides to go for this, it is not necessary to note who
wrote each section in the design document, but you can do it if you want
to. Of course the individual paper writers should be properly identified.
13-scale, taking into account the game, the document, and your presentation.
The group chooses where the emphasis should be: game, design document,
Remember that there is a pensum. If there is a relevant text in the pensum,
you have to at least reference it in your papers. I.e. you have to demonstrate
that you have read the course pensum.