Game Making - Earning The Higher Levels
Making a game can allow you to produce evidence of work at level 7, 8 or Exceptional Performance. In order to earn one of these levels, you will need to present your evidence in a word-processed report.
Throughout the project, you should select the appropriate tools to complete each task and be able to explain why that choice is suited to the task you are undertaking.
Your report will have the following sections,
What Kind Of Game Should You Make?
In order to reach the higher levels, you need to have a good choice of game to develop. For your game to be complex enough to earn the higher levels, your game needs to have multiple levels or should be open-ended in some way. You need to think about why someone would want to carry on playing your game.
Your game should have progression. This means that the game becomes more challenging as the player learns how to get the better of the early parts of the game. There should be things for players to aim for and appropriate rewards for them when they reach this stage. Think about how the way your game progresses will keep the player involved.
For the highest levels, you should include some Artificial Intelligence in your game. This means that the bahaviour of some game objects should depend on what the player is doing. For example, an enemy character that follows your player, dodges player attacks, only targets a player when they are about to reach a goal within the game etc.
Some general tips for choosing a game are,
- Be ambitious but realistic. Use your experience of making games and the games you have seen to guide your choice.
- Remember that you will learn exactly how to do some things when you make the game itself.
- If you base your game on a classic game, think about how you can add an extra twist to make your game more interesting.
- Game play is always more important than graphics and sounds.
- Remember that you are the developer and not the player - always put them first in your thinking.
Completing & Presenting The Work
The analysis and design sections need to be completed before you start to make the game. Get these checked with a teacher before going any further - it will be easier to iron out any problems with the choice of topic at this stage than later on.
The ideal way to submit the work would be in a single, word-processed document with consistent and simple formatting and subheadings for each of the tasks listed in the assessment grids below. A table of contents and page numbers would make your work easier to read for someone else - this can be done automatically in Word.
Earning The Levels
This is a big project. When you have completed the work, you will be awarded a single level for the work as a whole.
Your teacher will award the level based on the whole piece of work, awarding levels for each section and subsection.
You do not need to earn a level for every section in order to get that level overall. For example, a level 8 might be awarded where the majority of the work is of level 8 standard but some sections are at a level higher or lower.
This section must be completed before the game is made. By analysing the problem you are setting for yourself, you can consider the purpose of your game and the needs and expectations of its target audience.
For the higest levels, you will need to come up with an efficient method of gathering data that will give you a large enough sample that you can draw meaningful conclusions from the data.
|Introduction||Brief outline of the game concept. Achievable game concept of a game including complex interactions and progression.||Clear description of the game concept. Clearly identifies the game type making comparison with similar games. The game concept is challenging to implement but realistic for a game complex interactions and planned progression in difficulty. Basic AI.||Clear explanation of the game idea. Game genre is clearly identified and list of features of games of that genre is provided. Demanding, open-ended game concept including complex interactions, consideration of the purpose of progression and game narrative, complex AI.|
|Target Audience & Purpose||Description of target audience and their expectations.||Clear description of the target audience. and their game expectations drawing on comparisons with other games of the genre.||Detailed, accurate description of the target audience with assertions supported by evidence from other games of the genre.|
|Audience Research - Primary Sources||Questionnaire or data capture sheet created and used to gather useful information from the target audience.||Efficient method of data collection selected and used to gather a reasonable sample of data. Clear analysis and presentation of data gathered using appropriate tools.||Efficient method of data collection selected and used to gather a large sample of data. Method of data capture is justified and compared with alternatives. Well-structured analysis and presentation of data gathered using appropriate tools.|
|Evaluation Of An Existing Game||Good and bad features of the game are listed. Ideas are drawn from the game being evaluated.||Well-structured explanation of the good and bad features of a game including media, technical limitations and game play. Explanation of the ideas taken and not taken from the game being evaluated.||Detailed analysis of the good and bad features of a game including media, technical limitations and game play, the extent to which the game meets its objectives and the expectations of its audience and the suitability of the game for the platform(s) for which it exists.|
|Objectives||List of meaningful and realistic objectives/requirements of the game.||List of meaningful and realistic objectives/requirements of the game. Some objectives are measurable and/or technical and based on the research previously conducted.||List of meaningful and realistic objectives/requirements of the game. Some objectives are measurable and/or technical and based on the research previously conducted. Explanation of how objectives can be tested.|
This section must be completed before the game is made. The key to a good design is to plan with enough detail and present your work clearly so that another developer would be able to make the same product that you are hoping to make.
When planning the object interaction (game events), you can use flowcharts or pseudo-code. Pseudo-code means writing out a list of actions in words. You don't need to use the exact words here, just try to describe the steps that need to be followed to achieve each interaction.
Some elements of a game do not emerge until you have started developing. However, good design work would have covered all of the main interactions that are expected in the game.
Don't forget to plan what happens when the game is first loaded, when a life is lost or a level completed and when the game is over.
|Game story||A description of a basic game story that is appropriate for the target audience.||Detailed description of the game story and explanation of why the game narrative is well-suited to the target audience.||A complete description of the game story is provided with an explanation of how the game story is suited to the target audience.|
|Required Resource Lists||Listing most of the objects that will be required in the game, identifying possible sources for the items.||All game objects listed with possible sources. Suitable software is selected for the production of some items. Some technical issues (file formats, sprite sizes, subimages, bounding boxes) explained.||Exhaustive listing of game objects with full explanation of technical issues like bounding boxes, image sizes, transparency, file formats and sizes etc.|
|Sketch designs of graphical objects||Main game objects sketched and annotated.||Complete set of sketches of all game objects suited to the target audience.||All game objects designed and explained. Explanation of how the game objects match the purpose of the work.|
|Storyboard of game level layouts||Overall level layout shown with some explanation of object interaction.||Main level layouts shown, indicating the progression of the game and explaining reasons for choice of fonts and colour schemes with reference to the target audience and game objectives. Start, end, high score screens also shown.||All level layouts shown with planned progression of difficulty and full explanation of choices of fonts, colour schemes and object interaction. Start, end, high score, help and splash screens designed.|
|Explanation of human computer interface||List the input methods used in the game.||List and justify the choice of input methods for the game.||A full explanation of the choice of input methods. Suggest alternative methods and list the advantages and disadvantages of each of the methods, thereby justifying the choice.|
|Flowchart or pseudo-code designs of key game objects||Some attempt to design the main object interactions and events for the game listing the actions required.||Well-structured design of key events and object interactions in the game using a standard method like flowchart or pseudo-code. Designs would allow another developer to make the game with some additional planning.||Detailed design of most events and object interactions in the game using pseudo-code. Sufficient detail is provided that another developer could make the game from the designs.|
In this section, you show evidence of the game that you developed and the way you went about doing so. You should develop the game in stages and keep separate files so that you can go back a few steps if you need to.
|Graphics used||Suitable graphics are imported, some may not be royalty free and some sources are not identified.||Some suitable graphics have been designed using an appropriate package and this choice is justified. Images are at appropriate sizes for the game and grid snapping.||Most graphics are designed or edited by the student. All are well-suited to the game objectives. Animated or transparent sprites are designed and an explanation of import settings is included.|
|Sounds used||Suitable sounds imported and sources identified.||Suitable sounds imported from royalty free sources and some sounds created using suitable methods.||Suitable sounds created using appropriate software. Explanation of why the sound is suitable is included.|
|Versions - stages of development||At least 2 stages of game development are explained with some indication of a strategy for the design of complex interactions.||Several stages of game development are shown, explaining the strategy used to develop the game in a logical fashion.||Use of versioning and appropriate folder structures to allow staged development of a complex game.|
|Game screenshots & object code listings||An overview of the finished game is provided. The game includes increasing difficulty and complex object interactions developed from designs. Most expected features are implemented although some may be basic.||Detailed description of the game included with all screenshots. The game progresses in both difficulty and sustains interest among players. Complex object interaction is developed from clear designs. Some artificial intelligence implemented for enemy or computer characters. Efficient use of a range of programming techniques from selection, iteration, inheritance, expressions, scripts. Expected features are implemented and a useable product is designed to a high standard.||Complete description of all game elements. The game progresses in difficulty according to a rationale described in design. The game is open-ended and can sustain interest over multiple plays. Complex object interaction is implement from design. Complex artificial intelligence implemented for some game objects. Use of a wide range of programming techniques including selection, iteration, inheritance, expressions and scripts. Expected features are implemented and a useable product is designed and packaged to near professional standard. Some evidence that the game has been optimised to run quickly and smoothly through the choice of game resources, settings applied and limiting unnecessary use of resource by reducing collision detection, altering bounding boxes etc.|
It is important to test that the interactions work properly. A detailed test plan would list all the things that need to be tested and record the expected and actual results of those tests.
|Test plan||Test plan created and used to ensure that the game works as intended and meets its objectives. Comments included as to why some tests did not pass.||Detailed test plan designed listing tests, expected and actual results with comments on each test. Screenshots and explanations of changes made to the game as a result of testing are also included. Tests are designed to check the correct functioning of the game as well as the extent to which game objectives are met.||Full test plan created and used to test all aspects of the game. Expected, actual results listed with conclusions drawn and items fixed where necessary. Tests are designed to check the correct functioning of the game as well as the extent to which game objectives are met.|
|Samples of testing (annotated screenshots)||Samples of some tests are shown.||Well-selected samples of tests, cross-referenced to the test plan.||Selection of appropriate samples of tests, cross-referenced to the testing plan.|
Evaluating the game allows you to improve the game you have made as well as learn from your experience of making the game.
|Evaluation of the finished game||Some evaluation of the game comparing performance against objectives.||Game compared against objectives and good, bad points listed.||Detailed evaluation of game performance against game objectives. Measurable objectives tested.|
|Extensions||Suggested improvements for the game.||Viable improvements explained for the game based on the evaluation and taking into account user feedback.||List of improvements and extensions to the game based on evaluation and user feedback. Analysis of benefits of some of the extensions are clearly explained.|
|User feedback||A questionnaire is used to gather feedback from a suitable test group.||Analysis of feedback gathered from a suitable test group using an appropriate method of data capture.||Detailed analysis of feedback gathered from a suitable test group using an appropriate method of data capture.|