Computer Games Development (Winter 2017/18)

The course gives a complex overview of computer games development. It covers programming (middleware for games, scripting languages, etc.), game design, project management, game marketing and also briefly touches basics of computer graphics for non-programmers. This is a joint course for students from multiple faculties and universities. In the course, the students create their own small game in small teams of 3-4 students. Every team is given own exclusive mentor who is a professional game developer. Lectures are led by game development professionals and a mini game development conference is organized as part of the course. The lectures will likely be given in English.

Main parts of the course are led by Otakar Nieder (Bohemia Interactive Simulations)Martin Klíma (Warhorse Studios), Zdeněk Záhora (FF MUNI)Jakub Gemrot and Cyril Brom (CUNI).

The course is opened for MFF UK students as well as limited number of students from FF UK, ČVUT, FAMU, ZČU Plzeň and VŠUP Praha.

This year, lectures will be given in blocks. Every block will run at MFF UK (Malostranské nám. 25) in the room S1 every Friday since 2017/10/06 according to the Schedule below. The blocks start typically at 9:00 AM and end typically between 11:00 AM and late evening (see Schedule below).


ORGANIZATION

  1. First of all, be sure to have fun!
  2. The Fun starts at 2017/10/06 at 9:00 AM, MFF UK (Malostanské nám. 25) room S1. Mark this in your calendar. YOU MUST ATTEND THIS INTRODUCTORY LECTURE. We are going to tell you EXTREMELY IMPORTANT organization information, which WILL NOT BE REPEATED AGAIN, plus we will be signing up you to the mailing conference.
  3. Read about the Grading (the scoring system), Team rules, the Experiment and Mini-grant applications at the second half of this page.
  4. Subscribe to the lecture’s mailing conference. (Deadline: 2017/10/13)
  5. If you have Facebook, stay connected with our FB page (we really appreciate your like ;-).
  6. If you use Twitter, follow our Twitter account.
  7. Sign-up for the experiment, see information at the bottom of this page (Deadline: 2017/10/13).
  8. Attend a networking event that is organized during the evenings 2017/10/20.
  9. Decide on a game you want to make and as a team give a pitch presentation about your idea. Pitch presentation session is organized during 2017/10/27.
  10. Join or form a team. Mind the Team rules at the bottom of this page. (Deadline: 2017/11/02). You can use this shared spreadsheet to track who is available (who does not have a team yet) for that.
  11. Decide whether your team needs some mini-grant money for SW or HW or assets. (Mini-grant application deadline: 2017/11/09)
  12. If you received a mini-grant, submit invoices to Jakub Gemrot. (VERY hard deadline:2017/11/24)
  13. Meet all deadlines, attend to all mandatory events.
  14. Create a magnificent game prototype!
  15. You will pass the course with A if you manages to collect at least 90 points AND you will participate on the experiment. See bottom of the page for grading details.

SCHEDULE

Note that end-times can vary.

Schedule Legend Lectures / Blocks / Consultations / Events
(mandatory for everybody
if not stated otherwise)
Deadlines
(be sure to meet them)
Optional events
(you do not have to attend those,
but they are featured as interesting
opportunities)
Experiment
(you have to attend
at least one slot, read 
info below in Experiment
section)
Date Entry Place Notes
2017/10/06

(9:00-11:00)

Introductory lecture

(for everybody, mandatory)

MFF UK, S1 Led by Otakar Nieder, Martin Klíma and Jakub Gemrot.

Handouts for the experiments.

Announcement of the theme for this year.

2017/10/06

(16:00-18:00)

Networking: Primer
(for everybody, optional)
VR gaming house at Hradčanská (map) We invite you to VR gaming house to experience the latest and greatest VR equipment – HTC Vive and Oculus Rift! Come and see (for free) what VR is about and meet your colleagues in informal and highly inspiring setting!.

Unfortunately we will have to split into two groups as the capacity of the gaming house is rather limited (15 people).

Beer will conquer the night then!

2017/10/13

(9:00-15:00)

Block: Production

(for everybody, mandatory)

MFF UK, S1 Led by Martin Klíma.
2017/10/13

(18:00-22:00+)

Networking

(for everybody, optional but highly recommended)

Some pub near Malostranské náměstí or Anděl Let’s meet together and talk about games and stuff in the informal atmosphere of warm pub and cold beer / cola / juice / water / pizza. Ideal opportunity to join some team or form new one!
2017/10/13 Deadline: Sign-up to the conference

(for everybody)

Sign-up to the mailing conference, see information below.
2017/10/13 Deadline: Sign-up for the experiment

(for everybody)

Sign-up to the experiment, see information at the bottom of this page.
2017/10/20

(9:00-15:30)

Block: Design

(for everybody, mandatory)

MFF UK, S1 Led by Zdeněk Záhora (FF MUNI).

2016: slides, example GDDs

The block will be opened by Regina Urazajeva with the talk on gamedev conference volunteering as a way for getting into the industry (30 minutes)!

After the block, there will also be a presentation given by Pavel Barák, Chief organizer of Game Developers Session giving you a great overview about various conferences and opportunities, which lie in there!

2017/10/20

(19:00-22:00+)

Networking:

(for everybody, optional)

Some pub near Malostranské náměstí or Anděl Let’s meet together and talk about games and stuff in the informal atmosphere of warm pub and cold beer / cola / juice / water / pizza. If you do not have a team yet, be sure to come!
2017/10/21

(9:30-12:00)

Experiment slot

(you must attent one of those)

MFF UK, SW1 If you are interested in participating on this date, please write to lukas.kolek(at)post.cz
2017/10/27

(10:40-13:10)

Experiment slot

(you must attent one of those)

MFF UK, SW1 If you are interested in participating on this date, please write to lukas.kolek(at)post.cz
2017/10/27

(18:30-20:30)

Pitch Session

(for everybody, mandatory)

MFF UK, S1 Pitch Session where your team will be presenting an idea for a game you would like to make in front of your future mentors. Prepared to be asked tough questions about your idea!

In your team, prepare a pitch presentation, max 5 minutes long! Aim for 3 mintues!

See pitch presentation tips and two example pitch presentations from 2016: Black sun, Press to play

2017/10/27

(20:30-23:00)

Meet your mentors!

(for everybody, mandatory)

Some pub near Malostranské náměstí or Anděl We will all conclude the day with a drink talking with your mentors about project management and game development.
2017/11/02 Deadline: Team Registration

(for everybody)

Register formally your team; one team member has to send us an email on behalf of the whole team. State: name of the team, name of the game, all team members (their names, emails and what faculty are they from).

Submit the registration through mailing conference: SWI115@braille.mff.cuni.cz

2017/11/03

(9:00-10:30)

Block: Graphics

(for everybody, mandatory)

MFF, UK, S1  9:00-10:30
2017/11/04

(9:30-12:00)

Experiment slot

(you must attent one of those)

MFF UK, SW1 If you are interested in participating on this date, please write to lukas.kolek(at)post.cz
2017/11/09 Deadline: GDD

(for everybody)

Every team has to submit a GDD for their game. You have to follow given template.

GDD examples from 2016.

Submit them to (both via CC): otakar.nieder@gmail.com and jakub.gemrot@gmail.com

2017/11/09 Deadline: Minigrant Applications

(for every team that is interested in getting a mini-grant)

You can ask for a small amount of money on gamedev SW & HW; this is a deadline for applications.
2017/11/10

(9:00-13:30)

Block: Programming

(mandatory for programmers only)

 MFF UK, S1  Led by Otakar Nieder. Will be a bit longer, about 13:30
2017/11/10

(13:30-??:??,30 minutes per team)

Consultations: First round

(for everybody, mandatory, whole team must attend)

MFF UK, S1 Led by Otakar Nieder and Jakub Gemrot.
2017/11/17-18 Game Developers Session

(for everybody, optional)

National House of Vinohrady, Prague Czech traditional gamedev conference, opportunity to get in touch with everyone who is doing gamedev professionally in Czech Republic. A place to be for everyone interested in game development.
2017/11/24

(10:40-12:10
13:50-17:20)

Block: GameDev Talks #4

(for everybody, mandatory)

One-day mini gamedev conference. Czech game developers are invited to talk about their professional experiences.
2017/11/25 Cyberspace 2017

(for everybody, optional)

MUNI, Faculty of Law (Veveří 70, Brno)  Video Games and Society conference track.
2017/11/24 Deadline: Mini-grant Invoices

(for all teams that received a minigrant)

Mini-grants — invoices etc. all given to Jakub Gemrot. If your team received a minigrant, you have to submit any invoices or bills to Jakub Gemrot (jakub.gemrot@gmail.com); otherwise, they will not be refund. Period.
2017/12/01-04

(48+ hours)

Ludum Dare 40

(for everybody, optional, open-event, invite even your friends!)

 MFF UK, S8-11 The best worldwide game jam! Thousands of developers and games created in 72 hours.

Real-life site will be organized at MFF UK. You can come with your team and focus on coding your game prototype for 48+ hours! Or just work on some fun/ny small game. Extremely useful experience, highly recommended.

MFF UK students may even score extra credits for doing the game jam via course SWI159 (but only if they create a different game that they are woring on for GameDev Course).

2017/12/14 Deadline: Game Prototype Alpha Submit us you game prototype alpha version.

Use a service like uschovna.cz or wetransfer.com to submit your prototypes to (both via CC): otakar.nieder@gmail.com and jakub.gemrot@gmail.com

2017/12/15

(9:00-??:??, 30 minutes per team)

Consultations: Second round

(for everybody, whole team must attend)

MFF UK, S1 Led by Otakar Nieder, Jakub Gemrot.
2018/01/09 Deadline: Game Prototype Beta

(for everybody)

Submit us your game prototype beta version.

Use a service like uschovna.cz or wetransfer.com to submit your beta to all following emails: otakar.nieder@gmail.com, jakub.gemrot@gmail.com, martin.klima@warhorsestudios.cz, zc.inuc.ffm.ivsk reverse-it morb

2018/01/12

(9:00-??:??, 30 minutes per team)

Presentation Day!

(for everybody, mandatory)

MFF UK, S4 Present your game prototype final version.

Assessed by Otakar Nieder, Martin Klíma, Jakub Gemrot and Cyril Brom.

2018/02/??

(18:00-20:00)

GameDev Hub Meetup Presentations

(for everybody, optional but highly recommended)

Not known yet Meet local professional developers and present yourself, your team and your project publicly!
2018/01/? Lecture: Educational games and experiment debriefing

(for everybody, optional)

 Not known yet Extra post-course lecture regarding educational (aka serious) games including debriefing of the experiment you participated on.

Teams

Each team should game 3 – 4 people, 4 is an ideal number, 5 is a bit too many but acceptable occasionally. Members of the team must be from at least two different faculties. Ideally, every team should have at least one creative guy/gal and a programmer. There can be at max 1 person from FF UK in each team. (Students from FF UK should not flock together!)

Deadline for forming teams is: 2017/11/02 !

We advise you to write your name into this spreadsheet that can be used to quickly check who still does not have a team…

Team Name
Members Game Title
Mentor Awards
ϱbot Roman Borufka MFF UK – Programmer
Marek Náprstek – FAMU – Graphic and animation artist
Jan Knot – FAMU – Sound designer, music artist
Pavlína Vítková – FAMU – Game designer
Toasty Conquest
Repository (TBD)
Pavel Barák
Handjoy
Pitch – The Best Presentation Award
FOOT Filip Hauptfleisch – MFF UK – Programmer
Ondřej Lakomý – MFF UK – Programmer
Ondřej Lazar – ZČU FDU – Artist, animator
Tereza Šimanovská – ZČU FDU – Artist, animator
Trashscraper
Repository (TBD)
Michal Harangonzo
Charged Monkeys
Pitch – The Most Doable Award
WNTN
(We Need a Team Name)

Daria Bolšich – ZČU FDU – Artist, animator
Filip Rybín – FF UK – Game designer, writer
Alexandru Buhai – MFF UK –  Programmer

Tenebrae/Umbra
Repository (TBD)
Eduardo Calcada
Bohemia Interactive Simulations
Thirsty Deer Adam Kaňovský  – FDU ZČU – Concept artist, illustrator
Ian Iličić  – MFF UK – Game designer
Klára Bělorová – FAMU – Story writer
Merve Tuncel – MFF UK – Programmer
Wonderbox
Repository (TBD)
Jaroslav Meloun
Dreadlocks
Random Space Carrot Regina Urazajeva – FSV UK – Graphic design, team management
Andrea Hubertová – FF UK – Game design
David Třebický – FF UK – Programmer
As Blind as a Cat
Repository (TBD)
Jiří Wallenfells
ESQ Game
Rossum’s Workshop Elina Semenova – FDU ZČU – Illustration, artwork
Filip Novák – FF UK – Story, game design
Petr Lukeš – FSV UK – Story, game design
Ivan Latták – MFF UK – Programmer
Josephine Ortgies – MFF UK – Asset creation, team management
Robota: The Fourth Law
Repository (TBD)
Jarek Kolář
Bohemia Interactive
VRaid

Harsh Kedia – MFF UK – Programmer

Kliment Sokolov – MFF UK – Programmer

Daniel Sviták – VŠUP – Artist, design, storytelling

Timo Copp – MFF UK – Organization & Communication
Duck Slayer
Repository (TBD)
Vladimír Hrinčár
Hyperbolic Magnetism

Deadlines

All deadlines are here to be met!

As in game industry itself, all deadlines are strict. If not stated otherwise, deadline 2017/10/14 means the very day till 23:59:59 GMT+1. If you are unable to deliver, you have to mail us in advance explaining your problems. If you mail us after the deadline, you’re doomed (well not literally, you will not receive points, but that may ultimately lead to failing the course). Piece of advice to teams (and their “managers”), make sure all your team members is committing to deadlines, otherwise they might lose motivation working on the project if they found out they will not be able to receive A…


Project

In this year, your goal will be to develop a small casual game on a given theme (to be announced during introductory lecture 2017/10/06) that can compete with other existing games on an international competition. Creating such game is a question of good game design and 15-20 days of programming and graphics making. You can check on projects from previous years 2015, 2016. We will require you to form a team, write a Game Design Document (the link contains a template with instructions) and implement the game according to it. Finally, you will have to present and defend your game during presentation day.

Student teams are interdisciplinary as gamedev teams usually are. We aim at having a distinctive person for roles: programmer, designer, artist at each team. But it is up to you to form teams. Deadline for forming a team is  2017/11/02. We require that all members creatively contribute to the project. No team member should be “hiree-to-do-some-dull-stuff”.

You can use our Facebook page or email conference to promote yourself or propose your projects. We are going to organize two informal networking events in some pub (2017/10/13, 2017/10/20). You should also read “Teams Rules” section above first (if you haven’t already)!

We are trying to find external mentors who have a lot of experiences with game development and team management to help you with project management and game development. Each team should get one and you will have to report to them regularly; take this opportunity to learn from them!

You will have to pitch your project to mentors first (2017/10/27) as if they are potential investors (which they truly are, they will be investing their own time to you!).

You are also required to use Git as SCM (namely GitHub); if you do not know what that is, ask your programmers ;-). GitHub provides you with many usefull stuff, namely it allows you to have a project’s front page, wiki, forum, etc.

As a part of the project we will require you to create a webpage that describes your game (example pages from 2016: Spring, 2015: Time Lapsus, Swappie) and a small gameplay video (example: Spring)


Experiment

You have to attend an experiment related to educational games development.

This year’s topic is: „Computer games and their effects on its players“

Why?
Popularity of the computer games is on its rise. Historical computer games became one of the most common and successful forms through which the past is engaged. However the research about the effects of those games on their players is still limited. This user study is focused on perception of the historical topics represented in the game.

Place
Malostranské náměstí 2/25, Prague 1 in a room SW1

Possible Dates
1) 21.10. 2017, 9:30-12:00
2) 27.10. 2017, 10:40-13:10
3) 4.11. 2017, 9:30-12:00

It is necessary that you choose ONE date which suits you the best. Deadline for the registration is 2017/10/13.

How to register?
Write an email to the administrator with your prefered date: lukas.kolek(at)post.cz.
Do it as soon as possible since there is limitation of participants per date!

Experiment results
At the end of the semester, there will be a debriefing session organised regarding the results and the design of the study.

In case of any trouble, please contact the administrator of the user-study as soon as possible: lukas.kolek(at)post.cz


Grading

You final grade depends on your team performance throughout the whole semester. Points are collected both by teams and individual members. Every team member can gain up-to 123 points in total. We will be sending a link to the scoring sheet through mailing conference, if you miss it, mail to jakub.gemrot@gmail.com who will resend the link to you.

Grade Point range
A (129-)100-90
B 89-80
C 79-70
Fail 69-0

You can receive points for various meetings / events / consultations / awards, 10 points == grade difference:

Opportunity Points Event / Deadline
Signing-up to the mailing conference.

You are accredited with those points if you meet the deadline.

2 2017/10/13
Signing-up to for the experiment.

You are accredited with those points if you meet the deadline.

3 2017/10/13
Giving a pitch presentation

Whole team will show up and at least one member will give a presentation.
Every member is accredited with the points.

5 2017/10/27
Award: Best pitch

GameDev professionals will decide on the best pitch presentation.
Every member is accredited with the points if you meet the deadline.

5 2017/10/27
Registering a team

Team will send us an email with team registration information.
Every member is accredited with the points if you meet the deadline.

5 2017/11/02
Submitting GDD

Team will send us an email with GDD.
Every member is accredited with the points if you meet the deadline.

5 2017/11/09
Award: Best GDD

Lecturers will decide on the best GDD.
Every member of awarded team is accredited with the points.

5 2017/11/09
Attending first round of consultations

Whole team will attend the first round of consultations.
Every member who shows up before the consultation with their teams starts is accredited with the points.

3 2017/11/10
Submitting Game Prototype Alpha version

Team will submit Game Prototype Alpha version to lecturers.
Every member is accredited with the points if you meet the deadline.

5 2017/12/14
Attending second round of consultations

Whole team will attend the second round of consultations.
Every member who shows up before the consultation with their teams starts is accredited with the points.

6 2017/12/15
Submitting Game Prototype Beta version

Team will submit Game Prototype Beta version to lecturers.
Every member is accredited with the points if you meet the deadline.

10 2018/01/09
Game Prototype Presentation

Whole team will attend a presentation day. You will present us your game, its gameplay
and every member will point out what they have been working on during a development. You will also appoint The Most Valuable Player of the team.

Lecturers will have a time to play your game as well as ask questions.

Every member is accredited with the points if you meet the deadline and give a presentation. Lecturers may decide to award each member of a team differently if they found out delivered prototype or given presentation to be lacking.

Note that you do not have to present Game Prototype Beta version you submit on 2017/01/09. You can still work on and polish your Beta after that day. Just be sure not to drag new bugs in your game, which is known to be hard.

50 2018/01/13
Sticking to the game theme of the year

If you manage to convince judges that your game prototype is theme based (theme is to be announced), every member of the team will score extra points.

Theme of 2016 is: Feeling X (substitute X with a feeling you would like to evoke with your game)

10 2018/01/13
Award: Best Game Prototype

Lecturers will decide on Best game prototype.
Every member of awarded team is accredited with the points.

10 2018/01/13
Award: The Most Valuable Player in the Team

Every team will vote on the best team member, who will be awarded with extra points.

5 2018/01/13
Sum (maximum number of points you can score) 129

Mini-grant Application Instructions

  1. Application text must be submitted (that is delivered!) together with design documents till 2017/11/09 midnight (i.e., 11:59.59 PM GMT+1) to: Jakub Gemrot (gemrot@gamedev.cuni.cz)
  2. There must be at least 1 CUNI MFF member within the team applying for a mini-grant.
  3. Application must include:
    1. Name of the team (together with names and affiliations of its members) and name of the project
    2. Concrete description what do you apply for.
    3. Concrete description how are you going to obtain it.
    4. Price including VAT (round up to 500 CZK).
    5. Reason, why do you want the “thing” and how are you going to use it within the scope of the project.
    6. How will your situation change, if you do not get the mini-grant.
  4. You can apply only for things that can be bought against a receipt (a bill for hardware or an invoice for services). If you cannot comply with this condition (you need real money), you might try to apply nevertheless, but it will lower your chances for getting the money.
  5. Everything you buy must “exist” and it will remain the property of Charles University. This applies to hardware as well as sounds, graphics, etc. (but that does not mean you will have to remove the graphics or sounds from your game at the end of the term). You must return the “thing” after you finish the project (subject for discussion, state your reason why you will need to keep the “thing”).
  6. Altogether, we can split up to 10.000 CZK. You may ask for any amount up to 10.000 CZK you consider appropriate, but in case of multiple high-quality applications we will split 10.000 CZK among the applicants.
  7. Evaluation criteria:
    1. Formal compliance of the application with the rules above
    2. Meaningfulness
    3. Game design document quality and quality of your project in general
  8. You have to buy the “thing” no later than 2017/11/24, bills must be handed to Jakub Gemrot no later than 2017/11/24. We will not refund bills after that date. Period.

ČVUT Students

Please note that if you are ČVUT student, you have to write to Cyril Brom (zc.inuc.ffm.ivsk reverse-it morb) that you wish to attend the course. Send the email no later than 2016/09/29.


ZČU Students

Please note that if your of age 15-26 you are eligible for getting a “Žákovské jízdné” discount from ČD on trips between Pilsen and Prague.

Step-by-step guide (kudos to Olga Tesliuk, who has punched this through!):

  1. Buy a Žákovské jízdné card for 2 CZK at train station (they should have it available both in ČD and Regiojet desks).
  2. Fill in your name, surname, birthdate and towns you going to commute between (Pilsen – Prague); of course write this in Czech 😉
  3. Go to your student affairs at ZČU and have it signed (let tem fill “date from-to” for you).
  4. Go back to the train station and have it signed by ČD (you will need that card, your identity card – občanka, and 50 CZK).
  5. PROFIT!

Another generic step-by-step guide available here (in Czech only).