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CCCC Game Programming and Design CertificateOur Experience thus Far


... board and card games (playtesters solicited! ... Specialized card game (CCG, TCG) Specialized miniatures games (HeroClix) ... card games. Usually ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: CCCC Game Programming and Design CertificateOur Experience thus Far

CCCC Game Programming and Design CertificateOur
Experience thus Far
  • Dr. Lewis Pulsipher
  • Certificate devised by Bob Joyce and Mike Orsega
  • Web site for this talk

My Goals Today
  • Our experiences with our game classes so far
  • What we did in our first game class
  • How our certificate is organized
  • Discuss the diversity of the industrymuch more
    than video games
  • I am not going to talk about game programming per
    se -- nor about game engines etc.

Who am I
  • Began playing commercial wargames in 1963
  • Played the original Atari 2600 and have played
    some PC games heavily, but rarely play any video
    games these days never owned a game console
  • Designer of five commercially-published board
    wargames next one forthcoming this August
    (Britannia Second Edition)
  • Active designer of board and card games
    (playtesters solicited!)
  • My main job is teaching networking, Internet Tech

Courses in the Certificate
  • CSC 192 Intro to Gaming (Topics class) Fall
  • CSC 293 Game-based Programming (3 SCH) Spring
  • Students now programming original games in
  • GRA 151 Graphics in Gaming (2 credit hours)
  • Students programming games in Flash
  • CSC 285 Programming Project Summer
  • CIS 115 (Intro to Prog) CSC 134 C
  • MontE Christman, the game programming instructor,
    is talking about Flash programming on Friday

Intro to Gaming
  • Two contact and credit hours would be better
    with three or four contact hours
  • Two textbooks, one about game design, one about
    getting into the industry
  • Andrew Rollings and Ernest Adams on Game Design.
    New Riders 1st edition (May 2003) 
  • Break Into The Game Industry How to Get A Job
    Making Video Games by Ernest Adams. McGraw-Hill
  • Students individually required to create
    preliminary design for a video game and write a
    game treatment for it
  • Students in groups required to design a prototype
    of a non-video game (board, card, etc.)
  • No programming required in this class

Intro to Gaming--Goals
  • Make students aware that
  • you cannot just take some classes and walk into a
    game industry job
  • most people making a living from games do not
    work on Big-Time off-the-shelf video games
  • programming is a small part of video game
  • owing to supply and demand, game programming/
    production is not a way to make much money
  • enthusiasm is required, but is just a start

Intro to Gaming--Atmosphere
  • Essentially a literacy class, should be fun
  • Provide real-world examples whenever possible
  • Negotiation
  • Experience of designing published games
  • We did not play or look at video games
  • No time
  • Students already familiar with many games

Gaming Community
  • Game and Computer Club
  • Play video games on the big projector
  • Playtest non-video games
  • No required participation
  • As with all clubs at non-residential colleges,
    requires a high critical mass of number of
    studentsat present even CCCC isnt large enough

  • First time around
  • Flyers in local game shop
  • College Web site
  • Night section offered, no signups
  • 10 people in day version, almost all of them were
    already students (or graduates) of our
  • Next time
  • Department Web site (
  • Much recruiting in high school classes

  • The programming-oriented students have continued
    to the next two classes
  • One of the boardgames produced was quite good,
    being played many times by the group
  • The computer game ideas tended to be quite
    derivative (sounded like lots of existing games),
    but thats the nature of the entire video-game
    industry, little risk-taking

Video Games
  • Many types, for example
  • Big-time video games (both console and PC)
  • Sold in Best Buy, Babbages, Staples, and the
  • Very visible but only a part of the industry
  • Console and PC games are quite different
  • Cont forget handhelds
  • Online games
  • Not the massively multiplayer games, the other
    online games
  • Some for a charge, some for advertising
  • Small games on other devicescell phones, PDAs,

Big-time Video Games
  • Console games are very different from PC games
  • I used to say computer games now I say video
  • Console games are simpler, less intellectual
  • consoles are underpowered
  • consoles market to teens/ Gen Y
  • consoles lack keyboards
  • the buyers dont want intellectual games
  • Attitudes toward PC games from console gamers
  • Would rather play on a console!
  • Console game sales of same game are much larger
    (say from 3-1 to 10-1 ratio)

Non-computer Games
  • Family boardgames
  • Board wargames
  • Traditional miniatures battles
  • Role-playing games (DD etc.)
  • Specialized card game (CCG, TCG)
  • Specialized miniatures games (HeroClix)
  • Euro-style boardgames

Family boardgames
  • Have a bad reputation among adults as most
    involve a lot of luck
  • Still sell much more than other kinds of
  • Examples
  • Monopoly
  • Game of Life
  • Pachesi

Board wargames
  • Conflict oriented strategic games, often
    historically based
  • 15,000 individual attendees each year at
    Origins convention (31st annual in Columbus OH,
    June 30-July 3, 2005) (includes non-video games
    of all kinds)
  • Tends to be the domain of middle-aged gamers
    these days
  • Examples
  • Axis Allies
  • Risk
  • Diplomacy
  • Britannia

Traditional miniatures battles
  • Tactical table-top battle games
  • Mostly land-based
  • One inch miniatures most popular, but there are
    other scales
  • Painting and collecting often as important as

Role-playing Games
  • Original commercial success was DD, 1973-4
  • Dungeons and Dragons Third Edition hardcover book
    sales in the millions for the past five years
  • Many DD related novels also published
  • Most major movie/book properties have an
    associated role-playing game
  • 50,000 person-days attendance at GenCon,
    Indianapolis, IN (next one August 05)

Specialized card games
  • Usually collectible cards
  • Short game play, lots of tournaments, rules
    change over time
  • These are the biggest moneymakers in the USA
    after big-time video games
  • Examples
  • Magic The Gathering
  • Poke-mon, Yu-Gi-Oh
  • Games for most major book/movie properties such
    as Lord of the Rings

Specialized miniatures
  • Many are pre-painted, collectibles with a game
  • Examples
  • Heroclix
  • Heroscape
  • WarHammer and related baroque Games Workshop
    games are a separate high-revenue hobby
  • have their own retail store
  • attractive to teenagers

Euro-style boardgames
  • Especially popular in Germany, where families
    play boardgames together every week
  • Can sell over a million copies, comparable to
    most PC games
  • Family games on steroids
  • Much more strategy, but still enough chance for
    the kids
  • Often somewhat abstract
  • A dislike of dice is very noticeable
  • Emphasis on appearance and tactile satisfaction
  • Examples
  • Settlers of Catan
  • Ticket to Ride

Some Observations
  • The current generation (Y or millenialup to
    25 or 26 years old) really is different from
    earlier generations
  • It is hard for many of them to understand that
    they need to work at finding a place in the
    industryit wont just happen even if they are
    skilled programmers
  • Many tend to rely on trial and error, which is
    how theyve learned to play video games
  • They are disinclined to read, preferring to see
    or hear (via computer, usually)
  • Prenskys Digital Immigrants idea