Game & Simulation Foundations #8208110

  • oculus rift This is the Level 1 course in the 3-year Gaming sequence.

    In this course you will:

    • Work in small teams
    • Understand the roles of people on a design team
    • Practice soft skills 
    • Learn 3 different game engines
    • Create many different types of games 
    • Appreciate the history of games and gaming
    • Generate design documents for your games
    • Make characters, active objects, and backgrounds


    Click here for my wiki.  


    This course is performance-based with classwork weighted at 40% and projects weighted at 60%. Most of the assignments are digital files which are uploaded for grading, and then returned electronically to the students. Most of this class will be paperless. I use a wiki to deliver and collect student work. The assignment list will update as new assignments are due.


    There are 29 custom State standards for this course:

    Describe the complex interaction between video games and players and the role it plays in the popularity of a game. – The student will be able to:

    • Analyze and deconstruct game environments and interactions. 
    • Compare and contrast the top selling video games in terms of player interaction, plot complexity, and reward.

    Understand the general procedure and requirements of game design. – The student will be able to:

    • Describe the design process from conception to production.
    • Discuss the iterative nature of game and simulation design. 
    • Develop design plans, character sketches, documentation and storyboards for proposed games.

    Explore the methods used to create and sustain player immersion. – The student will be able to:

    • Research and define the term “player immersion”. 
    • Explore and explain the factors that create player immersion in a game. 
    • Examine popular games and explain the methods each game uses to increase player immersion.

    Become familiar with popular game tools such as DirectX, 3DMAX, and different gaming engines. – The student will be able to:

    • Identify and discuss the popular game development tools currently used in the industry. 
    • Identify and discuss popular gaming engines. 
    • Research and analyze the uses for different game development tools.

    Demonstrate an understanding of interface design and hardware constraints on video games including processors and I/O devices. – The student will be able to:

    • Identify the different control systems for video games. 
    • Compare and contrast personal computer and video game console hardware. 
    • Explain the factors that can limit the game playing ability of personal computers. 
    • Chart the evolution of video game hardware over the past 20 years.

    Demonstrate language arts knowledge and skills. – The student will be able to:

    • Locate, comprehend and evaluate key elements of oral and written information. 
    • Draft, revise, and edit written documents using correct grammar, punctuation and vocabulary. 
    • Present information formally and informally for specific purposes and audiences.

    Demonstrate mathematics knowledge and skills. – The student will be able to:

    • Demonstrate knowledge of arithmetic operations. 
    • Analyze and apply data and measurements to solve problems and interpret documents. 
    • Construct charts/tables/graphs using functions and data.

    Demonstrate science knowledge and skills. – The student will be able to:

    • Discuss the role of creativity in constructing scientific questions, methods and explanations. 
    • Formulate scientifically investigable questions, construct investigations, collect and evaluate data, and develop scientific recommendations based on findings.

    Methods and strategies for using Florida Standards for grades 09-10 reading in Technical Subjects for student success in this program. Key Ideas and Details

    • Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to the precise details of explanations or descriptions. (LAFS.910.RST.1.1)
    • Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text’s explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text. (LAFS.910.RST.1.2)
    • Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks, attending to special cases or exceptions defined in the text. (LAFS.910.RST.1.3)

      Craft and Structure

    • Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9–10 texts and topics. (LAFS.910.RST.2.4)
    • Analyze the structure of the relationships among concepts in a text, including relationships among key terms (e.g., force, friction, reaction force, energy). (LAFS.910.RST.2.5)
    • Analyze the author’s purpose in providing an explanation, describing a procedure, or discussing an experiment in a text, defining the question the author seeks to address. (LAFS.910.RST.2.6)

      Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

    • Translate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text into visual form (e.g., a table or chart) and translate information expressed visually or mathematically (e.g., in an equation) into words. (LAFS.910.RST.3.7)
    • Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author’s claim or a recommendation for solving a scientific or technical problem. (LAFS.910.RST.3.8)
    • Compare and contrast findings presented in a text to those from other sources (including their own experiments), noting when the findings support or contradict previous explanations or accounts. (LAFS.910.RST.3.9)

      Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity

    • By the end of grade 9, read and comprehend literature [informational texts, history/social studies texts, science/technical texts] in the grades 9–10 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
    • By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend literature [informational texts, history/social studies texts, science/technical texts] at the high end of the grades 9–10 text complexity band independently and proficiently. (LAFS.910.RST.4.10)

    Methods and strategies for using Florida Standards for grades 09-10 writing in Technical Subjects for student success in this program. Text Types and Purposes

    • Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content. (LAFS.910.WHST.1.1)
    • Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/experiments, or technical processes. (LAFS.910.WHST.1.2)

      Production and Distribution of Writing

    • Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (LAFS.910.WHST.2.4)
    • Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience. (LAFS.910.WHST.2.5)
    • Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically. (LAFS.910.WHST.2.6)

      Research to Build and Present Knowledge

    • Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation. (LAFS.910.WHST.3.7)
    • Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation. (LAFS.910.WHST.3.8)
    • Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (LAFS.910.WHST.3.9)

      Range of Writing

    • Write routinely over extended time frames (time for reflection and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences. (LAFS.910.WHST.4.10)

    Methods and strategies for using Florida Standards for grades 09-10 Mathematical Practices in Technical Subjects for student success in this program.

    • Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. (MAFS.K12.MP.1.1)
    • Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (MAFS.K12.MP.2.1)
    • Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. (MAFS.K12.MP.3.1)
    • Model with mathematics. (MAFS.K12.MP.4.1)
    • Use appropriate tools strategically. (MAFS.K12.MP.5.1)
    • Attend to precision. (MAFS.K12.MP.6.1)
    • Look for and make use of structure. (MAFS.K12.MP.7.1)
    • Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning. (MAFS.K12.MP.8.1)

    Create a game design production plan that describes the game play, outcomes, controls, interface and artistic style of a video game. – The student will be able to:

    • Use industry standard game design production documents to create a game design production plan.

    Design and create a playable game. – The student will be able to:

    • Use a number of computer tools to enhance and ease game programming and artistry. 
    • Use a game engine to create a playable game. 
    • Use animated objects. 
    • Program sound and music to enhance the game experience. 
    • Test and debug the completed game.

    Categorize the different gaming genres. – The student will be able to:

    • Research, compare and categorize the different gaming genres. 
    • Analyze examples of different gaming genres. 
    • Define and use the necessary vocabulary related to gaming and the different genres.

    Categorize different gaming systems. – The student will be able to:

    • Research, compare and categorize different gaming systems. 
    • Analyze the distinctive features of each system. 
    • Define the target audience for different systems based on features, available games, and price of system and games. 
    • Define and use the necessary vocabulary related to gaming hardware.

    Understand the historical significance of electronic and non-electronic games. – The student will be able to:

    • Discuss the history of non-electronic games. 
    • Describe the history and theory of mainstream and experimental media including radio, movies, television, art, and theatre.
    • Explain the historical timeline of electronic games, marking the significant highlights in their evolution.

    Describe the trends in current and next-generation game development. – The student will be able to:

    • Determine and analyze the significant trends in game development in the past two decades. 
    • Research and brainstorm the possibilities for the next generation of electronic games based on current and emerging technologies and future predictions.

    Understand the role of play in human culture. – The student will be able to:

    • Discuss the word “play” and its many definitions. 
    • Discuss the effect of play on today’s culture, specifically why it is important and what it provides in terms of balance in our lives.
    • Describe the history of play and its importance in developing societies and cultures. 
    • Investigate and discuss how play can help humans, particularly children, acquire knowledge.
    • Describe the benefits of role-playing games and simulations, including online economies and community-building.

    Understand the psychological impact of games on individuals and groups. – The student will be able to:

    • Investigate studies that discuss the impact of violent games on children and adults. 
    • Compare and contrast the different opinions on the effects of games on behavior, cognitive development, and motor skills. 
    • Research and discuss differing opinions on video game addiction and what would define addiction. 
    • Examine online digital worlds such as Second Life and the impact these worlds have on individuals and groups.

    Understand the business model commonly used in the game development industry. – The student will be able to:

    • Identify, define and discuss the different ways games are funded, marketed and sold.
    • Identify and describe licensing management for different gaming platforms. 
    • Discuss the product value and business differences between major game platforms. 
    • Identify successful business models and analyze various facets of those models, such as market analysis, marketing strategy, and product value.

    Examine and categorize the significant processes in the production of interactive games. – The student will be able to:

    • Discuss the relationships between publishers, developers, distributors, marketers, and retailers. 
    • Identify processes of development including content creation, team roles, design documentation, and process management.
    • Explore and describe the effects of globalization on the design and production of video games.

    Understand the core tasks and challenges that face a video game design team. – The student will be able to:

    • Identify and define the roles and responsibilities of team members on a video game design team. 
    • Describe the effects of group dynamics and the importance of team building for a design team. 
    • Explore and discuss methods of communications and scheduling for design teams. 
    • Describe the importance and interrelationship between development schedule and budget constraints in video game design.

    Understand legal issues that affect games, developers and players. – The student will be able to:

    • Define and discuss intellectual property and contract law as it relates to the gaming industry.
    • Describe legal and liability issues that could affect online communities. 
    • Compare and contrast government and industry content regulation and industry ratings of video games.

    Describe the impact of the video game industry on the economy. – The student will be able to:

    • Explore and discuss the impact of video games on the economy including domestic sales, foreign exports, and video game rentals. 
    • Research and describe the effect of game software in driving new technologies and the purchases of video game hardware, gaming PCs, and complementary technologies such as high-definition televisions. 
    • Analyze the technological transfers from video games to other industries, such as education, medical, corporate training, and military simulation technologies that were developed by the video game industry, as well as 3D "gaming" graphics cards that have found use for other applications. 
    • Describe how frequent exposure and/or access to video games has reshaped the level of technical proficiency of our work force.

    Demonstrate the professional level of written and oral communication required in the game development industry. – The student will be able to:

    • Use listening, speaking, telecommunication and nonverbal skills and strategies to communicate effectively with supervisors, co-workers, and customers.
    • Organize ideas and communicate oral and written messages appropriate for the game development industry environment. 
    • Identify, define, and discuss terminology appropriate for both internal and external communications in the game development industry environment.

    Demonstrate human relations/interpersonal skills for the workplace. – The student will be able to:

    • Solicit and accept constructive criticism.
    • Demonstrate personal and interpersonal skills appropriate for the workplace such as responsibility, dependability, punctuality, positive attitude, initiative, respect for self and others, and professional dress. 
    • Collaborate with individuals and teams to complete tasks and solve problems.

    Investigate career opportunities in the game industry. – The student will be able to:

    • Use personal assessment tools to identify personal strengths and weaknesses related to learning and work environments. 
    • Analyze job and career requirements and relate career interests to opportunities in the global economy. 
    • Describe job requirements for a variety of occupations within the game development industry.

    Demonstrate an understanding of the vocabulary for discussing games and play. – The student will be able to:

    • Identify, define, and discuss professional game design and analysis terminology appropriate for internal and external communications in a game design environment. 
    • Identify and define the vocabulary used by game players and online gaming communities.

    Demonstrate an understanding of the techniques used to evaluate game mechanics, game play, flow and game design. – The student will be able to:

    • Test and analyze games to determine the quality of rules, interfaces, navigation, performance, play, artistry and longevity in design and structure. 
    • Research and evaluate the game analysis techniques used by the video game industry. 
    • Identify the key elements in a game and make intelligent judgments about whether the game succeeded or failed in its objectives. 
    • Evaluate professional reviews and write a critical analysis of a current video game.