It is Sept 19th. Intro. to Game Design has entered its 3rd week. You’re probably wondering how everything has been going. Let’s recap:
- I secured academic licensing for Source for my entire class just in the nick of time
- I was able to get in touch with Half-Life 2 Mods for Dummies author and we’ve been communicating
- My developer contact at Valve offered additional advice on various issues of the course
- I completely fleshed out the entire rest of the semester
We started class on Sept. 7th. I was surprised to see that all of my students had laptops so that was a big relief for me as I was worried about the prospect of running my class’ hands-on lessons in Rider’s CIS Lab.
I have a mix of students in the class; hardcore gamers, casual gamers, & people who aren’t gamers. So far their attitudes about the course have been enthusiastic.
The capstone assignment for my course is for a student to design from scratch their own map in any of the Valve Source games we’ll be touching upon in class (Portal, HL2:DM, TF2, L4D, etc.). One student already approached me with his idea for the class and I must say I am very impressed with the vision this student has demonstrated in this short amount of time. I look forward to seeing his finished project.
We spent the first three week’s in Phil Co’s book to give the students a baseline about game development terminology and a high level overview of what game design entails. Today we started with the hands on exercises in Dummies to get them familiar with using Source SDK. We’ll see how it goes but I have high hopes thus far.
On the subject of teaching game design, Valve Corporation has rolled out its new initiative, Learning with Portals. Its nice to see that I am a little ahead of the curve on using Source SDK in class. I hope that it gets more widely adopted at both the collegiate and elementary/high school level.
I will report back in a few weeks to discuss our progress with the more advanced Source SDK techniques that the students will be learning soon.