CS185C 05 / CS286 03
Game Design Studio

Game Design Studio is the capstone course in Game Design. Inter-disciplinary teams will create a substantial project over the course of the semester and present it to the public. The class will cover game production and development with groups operating as small indie-game startups. Emphasis will be placed on rapid prototyping, iteration and refinement. Lectures focus on gaming, society, and recent directions in the indie-game movement, with occasional guest lecturers from professionals in the field. Weekly activities include play-tests, prototyping and presentations. Game development will be done in Unity, or another platform with consent of instructor.

Instructor: John Bruneau
Email: john.bruneau@sjsu.edu

Class Days/Time: Tu Th, 6:30p to 7:45p
Classroom: MH 222
Office Hours: T 5:30p to 6:30p
Office Location: DH 282


Green Sheet
CS185C Google Group
Ebooks at King Library

SJSU Game Developers Club

Watch List

Brenda Romero: Jiro Dreams of Game Design

Martin Jonasson & Petri Purho: Juice It or Lose It

Extra Credits: Beyond Fun

Extra Credits: Aesthetics of Play

Extra Credits: Play Testing

Extra Credits: Art Is Not the Opposite of Fun

A Life Well Wasted: Big Ideas (interviews 1 & 2)

Jonathon Blow: Design Reboot Lecture

Superbrothers w/ Jonathan Blow: Design Reboot HD

Sequelitis: Mega Man Classic vs. Mega Man X

PBS Off Book: Video Games

PBS Off Book: Creativity of Indie Games

PBS Idea Channel: Super Mario Brothers is Surrealist Art

Rev Rant: Fun isn't enough

RetroforceGO!: Ep 4. Games as Art (start at 11:25)

Individual Assignment

Personal Game

This game can be simple, this game can be retro, but it needs to be your original idea. It needs to be something meaningful to you. This is your chance to think out side of the box and to show off the kinds of ideas that you want to pursue. Class Presentations will be used to inform what groups you are in. Impress us.
Due: 2-11-14

Writing Assignment

What makes a game good?
Think. This is a harder thing to deduce than one might suspect.
Due: 2-20-14

Pitch and Prototype

Pitch: Put together a presentation. PowerPoint is strongly recommended. Everyone should talk. We are investors. Sell us your game.
Prototype: Give the class a sense of your gameplay and mechanics. The more you can show, rather than just tell, the better.
Due: 3-6-14

Guest Speaker: Patrick Khachi


Alpha Version

A rough version of your game released for playtesting. There will be some obvious flaws and bugs and unfinished levels but it needs to have the shape and feel of your game, not just a tech demo.
Due: 4-3-14

Writing Assignment 2

What type of general feedback are you looking for from testers of your game? What six questions are you planning to ask.
Due: 4-3-14

Writing Assignment 2.5

As a group, consolidate all the feedback that you got from your alpha gametesters.
Due: 4-17-14

Beta Version

The Open Beta of your game released for playtesting by students outside this class.
Due: 4-17-14

Beta / Gallery Postmortem (Writing Assignment 3)

Prompted writing on the development of your game so far, where you are going and what it will take to get there.
Due: 5-6-14

Guest Speaker: Elton Sanchez


Guest Speaker: Tim Huynh


Gallery Show

An exhibition quality version of your game, finalized and bug free, will be made available to the public. Some members if each group should also assist in managing the exhibition. Installation is the weekend of the 26th.
April 28th to May 1st 2014
Opening Reception is 6pm 4-29-14, Art Building: Gallery 8

Guest Speaker: Jared Finder


Guest Speaker: Chris Head


Game Website

This is a website to promote your game. It can be small: 1 to 4 pages. The site needs to have screenshots, a video highlighting gameplay footage, a description of the game, team members and credits, a link to download the final version and anything else you want to add to help promote your final game.
Due: 5-15-14

Final Summery Writing

This is a final synopsis on your game and your work group. 
Due: 5-15-14

Final Presentation

The final presentation of your game and site to the class. Tell us why your game is amazing. Tell us what you learned.
Due in Class: 5-15-14

John Bruneau 2015