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Game Design

Games change media from passive to active; that is, the user determines the outcome. In this unit, we will explore the various principles of active media design as you create a 2D pixel art game.

  • Unit Assignments and Project:​

  1. Game Design Overview
    Game Design is a massive a massive industry. Indeed, games make more money than movies. In this unit, we will only scratch the surface of game design as we create a simple 2D game. Take a look at the Game Design Overview Graphic to review the basic elements and principles of game design. After viewing the Game Design Overview, answer the Game Design Questions in a Word document.

  2. Game Analysis Day
    Playing games with a critical eye is a great way to learn about designing them. In this lesson, you play various Online games and take notes using the Game Analysis table.

  3. Flowlab Account
    Explore the Online Software Flowlab by using the supplied user name and password given to your by your instructor. You must use the Flowlab Student Login site! Please change your password to the same one you use for your school account. Explore the site and try out some of the example games.

  4. Introduction to FlowLab - Level 1
    Time to jump in and start to learn how to develop a game. Complete the first 3 tutorials on the FlowLab Video Tutorial site, then show your instructor your tutorial game.

  5. Basic 2D Game Art
    In this lesson, you will learn how to design a very basic game object in Photoshop or Pixilart and import it into FlowLab.

  6. Write A Game Review
    Reviewing games is a popular and even rewarding part of the Game Design Industry. Indeed, many people make a living off of reviewing new game releases. Read the article "How To Write A Game Review." Then install and play the instructor's game "Ezmore's Crystals." Write your review on (you must create an account).

  7. Introduction to FlowLab - Level 2
    Let's carry on with the example game we are producing. Complete the next 3 tutorials (tutorials 4-6) on the  FlowLab Video Tutorial site. Once you have completed them, show your finished version to your instructor.

  8. Advanced 2D Game Art
    Time to create animated sprite. Create your frames in Photoshop or Pixilart​ and import it into FlowLab.

  9. Game Design Crossword
    Complete the Game Design Crossword. To hand it in, take a screen capture of the finished crossword and hand it in to the digital hand in folder. Use the Screen Capture Tutorial to help you with handing in this assignment.

  10. Introduction to FlowLab - Level 3
    Let's carry on with the example game we are producing. Complete the last 4 tutorials (tutorials 7-10) on the  FlowLab Video Tutorial site. Once you have completed them, show your finished version to your instructor.

  11. Download & Insert Game Art
    You do not need to create all your own game art nor are you limited by Flowlab's sprite creation. Explore the site OpenGameArt and find one animated sprite that you can use in your platformer game. Note the artist's name to include in your game credits (for final projects). Screenshot the animation window in flowlab showing the new animation and hand it in as OpenGameArt-YourName.jpg.

  • Final Project:​

  • Time to start your final game. Begin by reviewing your game options. Explore each of the game options below then plan out your game in the GDD. After that, begin working on your game.

  1. OPTION A: Table Tennis Project (Beginner)
    This is the easiest project option. Focus on creating your own artwork for this design. Use the
    Table Tennis Assignment Outline to get started. Once published, print off the peer evaluation and have a classmate play your game. Have the classmate fill out the peer evaluation from the assignment outline (print it).

  2. OPTION B: Space Pilot (Beginner to Intermediate)
    In this game option, create an outer space game. This game features realistic momentum, multiplayer, and space simulation. Here are the lessons:
    A. Lesson One - Starting A Space Pilot Game [Play Example]
    B. Lesson Two - Adding A Camera [Play Example]
    C. Lesson Three - Losing Health And UI [Play Example]
    D. Lesson Four - Animations & Dangerous Traps [Play Example]
    E. Lesson Five - Laser Projectiles & Music [Play Example]
    F. Lesson Six - A Portal To The Next Level [Play Example]

  3. OPTION C: Adventure Game (Intermediate to Advanced)
    In this game option, you will create an adventure game. This game features top down graphics, melee combat, enemy UI and more! Here are the lessons:
    A. Lesson One - Starting A Top Down Adventure Game [Play Example]
    B. Lesson Two - Background & Adding A Camera [Play Example]
    C. Lesson Three - Enemy & Its Movement Logic [Play Example]
    D. Lesson Four - Sword Attack & Hit Boxes [Play Example]
    E. Lesson Five - Damaging Enemies [Play Example]
    F. Lesson Six - Player Health UI & Damage [Play Example]

  4. OPTION D: Your Own Creation (Advanced)
    In this option, you will start with a simple template to create your game you envision. Using the Flowlab Resources Page, design your own game from scratch. 

  5. Publishing Your Game
    To finalize your game, including creating a copy that you can take away with you, complete the Publishing from Flowlab tutorial. Don't forget to hand in your final game!

  6. Peer Review
    Once published, print off the peer evaluation and have 2 classmates play and review your game.

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