Minor Game Design

News

 
  • 15/05/2017This website is out of date. The content of the minor has changed somewhat due to a change in curriculum at the HKU. This website reflects the 2015-2016 edition of the minor.

Old news can be accessed through the forum in Blackboard. By subscribing to the news forum, e-mail notifications can be received when news is posted.

Minor Description

 

The game design minor is a special minor for game technology students who want to learn more about the design aspact of games, as opposed to the technology side. Most of this minor will be taught at the HKU School of the Arts in Hilversum (Oude Amersfoortseweg 131, near the Hilversum Sportpark train station).
The minor consists of several courses and projects on game design, partially corresponding to the second year curriculum of the HKU programme on Game Design & Development. In most courses the students will be collaborating with HKU students, which will provide them with valuable experience to create games in an interdisciplinary team and valuable connections to start a game development career.

It is not possible to enrol for this minor through Osiris. Instead, you will have to apply for one of the spots with a short motivation letter. The application round is in May or June. A mail will be sent to second year (and higher) game technology students around that time.
It is highly recommended to have followed the Game Design course before attending this minor.

The minor is full-time in period 1 and 2. It must be done as a whole, it cannot be done partially. It is very difficult to combine the minor with other simultaneous courses: the workload has high peaks, attendance at the HKU courses is mandatory, and the course scheduling does not match. The minor is designed to fit in the third year of the game technology curriculum. Make sure that you passed all required courses in the first two periods ("Functioneel programmeren" and "Modelleren en systeemontwikkeling"). If you need to do a retake for one of these courses, you can still apply but mention in your application how you want to handle this.
This minor provides a special chance for technology students to develop themselves in a design direction. As such, it is expected that you are highly motivated and will work hard to complete the minor succesfully.

Links:

Minor Content

 

The minor consists of three parts:

  • An introduction to Unity.
  • Courses and projects at the HKU.
  • It concludes with a series of seminars at the HKU, a presentation and the global game jam.

Introduction to Unity

This part covers the first three weeks of the first period. See the roster for the scheduled meetings. First, there will be an introductory Unity course at the HKU. After that, you will individually create a Unity game from scratch under support from the HKU and the UU teaching assistant. You are expected to work full-time on this, nearly 40 hours a week! The deadline for the Unity game is Friday 18th of September.

Courses and projects

The following courses are attended at the HKU:

  • Tools for Thinking - a course about creativity
  • Action Design Principles 3 - focuses on paper prototyping and game design aspects
  • Principles of Game Design - focusing on the core of game design
  • Playability - focuses on user experience and playtesting
  • Level Design
  • Game Audio Design

Note that attendance at the course meetings is mandatory.

Additionally, the HKU also organizes several "flux lectures", which are expert guest lectures. The location and time of these lectures are announced about one week in advance. You will have to write a short summary about each of these lectures.

The following projects are part of the minor:

  • Design for Space - A large project focusing on the innovative use of space in 3D games. You will create a 3D game in a team with HKU students. Many of the courses are connected with this project. An example of last year is the game Conflux which was also featured on Gamekings (0:00-15:00).
  • Applied Game Design - A smaller project where you will research, design and paper prototype an applied (serious) game.
  • (And the Unity introduction project in part 1 of the minor.)

Conclusion

A series of seminars will be given by fourth year HKU students on various topics.

The students will join the Global Game Jam, where they will create a game in 48 hours simultaneously with thousands of other teams around the world. This will require a fee which you must pay yourself.

Final presentation: The students will present to the minor coordinators on what they have learned. The students should reflect on their work and learn to present/sell themselves.

The students will present the game created in the Design for Space project at the Gametechnologie Introductieproject symposium. (Not sure yet.)

Studying at the HKU

The study climate at the HKU is different from the study climate at the UU. In general it is an open and creative atmosphere where students are working on all kinds of projects throughout the building. Some UU students previously attending the minor found some aspects of this atmosphere difficult to adjust to. The HKU is in general less structured than the UU, and it occurs that locations or times of lectures can change shortly in advance or that other important course information is published short in advance. Another aspect some students did not expect was that most courses focus less on theory and rely more on learning by example. Most courses are about creating something and consequently there are few exams.

Schedule

 

The group is split into two, each having a slightly different time schedule. Note: these rosters may (and will) change! Check them regularly.

The rosters are never final, dates and/or times will change.
Roster group 1
Roster group 2

Literature

 

Literature

This is not arranged centrally. Usually literature will be provided by the teacher of respective course. Often no purchases are necessary. (Note that there is a fee for the global game jam.)

Grading

 

Format

Students will receive grades from the courses and projects at the HKU. However at the UU side, the minor is evaluated as a whole. Students will not get a grade for the minor, but instead a "pass" or a "fail" mark. Passing the minor is rewarded with a certificate.

All of the following criteria must be met to pass the minor:

  • All parts of the minor must be attended.
  • Only one course/project/part of the minor may be failed (i.e. a grade lower than 5.5 or a fail).
  • The design for space project must be passed.

Note that the UU coordinator can change the passing criteria (including the content of the minor) at any time to cope with any unexpected changes.

Retake arrangement

The HKU provides retakes for each course separately. There is no retake for the minor as a whole.

Academic dishonesty

Fraud or plagiarism has to be reported to the Board of Examiners, as required by the Education and Examination Regulations. This includes for example copying from the internet or other students, letting other students/people create (parts of) your assignment and letting other students copy from your assignment.