Computer Games Development (Summer 2020/2021)

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. Many 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)Jakub Gemrot, Lukáš Kolek 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, we are still under the influence of COVID, therefore all events will happen online. For that matter we plan to use Zoom for lectures and Discord for networking, no worries, we aim to squeeze the maximum of online stuff, you will feel Among Us in no time.


News

Follow the appropriate channel at Gamedev Discord!
https://discord.gg/c49DHBJ


ORGANIZATION

  1. First of all, be sure to have fun!
  2. The Fun starts at 2021/Mar/05 at 13:15 AM at Discord (Gamedev Matfyz: Lecture Hall >>> AUDITORIUM). 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 and Mini-grant applications at the second half of this (not so short) page.
  4. Subscribe to the lecture’s mailing conference. (Deadline: 2021/Mar/14) and the Gamedev Matfyz Discord.
  5. If you have Facebook, stay connected with our FB page.
  6. Attend networking events that are organized during evenings (see schedule below).
  7. Decide on a game you want to make, find or form a team and as a team give a pitch presentation about your idea. The Pitch presentation session is organized during 2021/Apr/02.
  8. Mind the Team rules at the bottom of this page. Deadline for forming the team is 2021/Mar/25). Fill in your bio into this shared spreadsheet, which serves both us and you to track who is part of this course and especially who does not have a team yet.
  9. Decide whether your team needs some mini-grant money for SW or assets. Mini-grant application deadline: 2021/Apr/15
  10. If you received a mini-grant, submit invoices to Jakub Gemrot. (VERY hard deadline:2021/May/12)
  11. Meet all deadlines, attend all mandatory events.
  12. Create a magnificent game prototype!
  13. Present your game prototype during the Presentation day (2021/Jun/11).
  14. You will pass the course with A if you manage to collect at least 82 points. See bottom of the page for grading details.

AWARDS

Teams who create high quality game prototypes will be granted money to present their games at Game Developers Session 2021 and/or Game Access 2021, Brno!


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)
Date Entry Place Notes
Fri
2021/Mar/05
(13:15-15:00)
Introductory lecture
(for everybody, mandatory)
Discord
Lecture hall
AUDITORIUM
Led by Otakar Nieder, Martin Klíma and Jakub Gemrot.
Extremely important to attend.
Wed
2021/Mar/10
(20:30-24:00)
Networking: Primer
(for everybody, optional)
Discord
Community
MAINSTAGE
We invite you to our Discord, where we are preparing virtual networking, pub quiz and games both digital and tabletop! So equip yourself with your favorite drinks and meet your soon-to-be teammates!
Thu
2021/Mar/11
(14:00-17:00)
Block: Design
(for everybody, mandatory)
Zoom
Link will be sent via mailing conference
Led by Martin Klíma. Slides from 2016, Stash of example GDDs
Sun
2021/Mar/14
Deadline: Sign-up to the conference
(for everybody)
Sign-up to the mailing conference, see information below.
Wed
2021/Mar/17
(20:00-24:00)
Networking
(for everybody, optional)
Discord
Community
MAINSTAGE
So, you got the introduction to game design and now is really the time to find a team! Damn, covid, online, how could that be done?! Eeeeeasy answer, let’s play more games! Plus it would be cool if you come with some favourite game of yours in mind and be able to present it shortly and perhaps say what you would like to work on during this course.
Fri
2021/Mar/19
(14:00-17:00)
Block: Presentations
(for everybody, mandatory)
Discord
Lecture hall
AUDITORIUM
Led by Jakub Gemrot and Lukáš Kolek. This block is targeted to develop your presentation skill wrt. to the upcoming evening where you have to pitch you game idea to the mentors.
Thu
2021/Mar/25
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, i.e., send email to: SWI115@artemis.mff.cuni.cz
Thu
2021/Mar/25
(14:00-17:00)
Block: Production
(for everybody, mandatory)
Zoom
Link will be sent via mailing conference
Led by Martin Klíma.
Thu
2021/Mar/25
(18:00-20:00)
Pitch Session
(for everybody, mandatory)
Discord
Lecture hall
AUDITORIUM
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 game idea!
In your team, prepare a pitch presentation, max 5 minutes long! Aim for 3 minutes! (You will the most likely be nervous and talk slower than usual.)
See pitch presentation tips and example pitch presentations from 2016: Black sun, Press to play, 2017: Toasty Conquest, Tenebris, 2018: Silicomrades, Straitjacket
Thu
2021/Mar/25
(20:30-23:00)
Meet your mentors!
(for everybody, mandatory)
Discord
Community
MAINSTAGE
We will all conclude the day with a glass of [fill in your favorite drink] talking with your mentors about project management and game development. In the end, each team will get their own channel that will be made private in the end, so you can use it as a communication tool later on.
Fri
2021/Apr/09
(14:00-17:00)
Block: Programming
(mandatory for programmers only)
Zoom
Link will be sent via mailing conference
Led by Otakar Nieder. Will be a bit longer 😉
Fri-Sun
2021/Apr/16-18
(48+ hours)
Surprise Jam
(for everybody, optional, open-event, invite even your friends!)
Game development jam done online, we will connect on the fun experience of https://itch.io/jam/gds-jam-2020, stay tuned for the theme! This is a chance to experience the game development process in short burst of 48 hours, quite eye-opening experience!
MFF UK students may even score extra credits for doing the game jam via course NCGD006 (but only if they create a different game that they are working on for this GameDev Course).
Thu
2021/Apr/15
Deadline: GDD
(for everybody)
Every team has to submit a GDD for their game. You have to follow given template. GDD examples from 2016, 2017. Submit them to (both via CC): otakar.nieder@gmail.com and jakub.gemrot@gmail.com
Thu
2021/Apr/15
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 or assets; this is a deadline for applications.
Fri
2021/Apr/16
(9:00-12:00, 30 minutes per team)
Consultations: First round
(for everybody, mandatory, whole team must attend)
Discord, Auditorium Led by Otakar Nieder, Jakub Gemrot and Lukáš Kolek.
Doodle!
Wed
2021/May/12
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.
Wed
2021/May/12
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 (via CC): otakar.nieder@gmail.com, jakub.gemrot@gmail.com, lukaskolek@live.com
Fri
2021/May/21
(9:00-12:30, 30 minutes per team)
RESCHEDULED!
Consultations: Second round
(for everybody, whole team must attend)
Zoom
Link will be sent via mailing conference
Led by Otakar Nieder, Jakub Gemrot and Lukáš Kolek
Fri
2021/May/21
(14:00-15:30)
RESCHEDULED!
Block: Games and the Law
(for everybody, mandatory)
Zoom
Link will be sent via mailing conference
Led by Jaroslav Menčík (Mavericks), who will be speaking mostly about how to start your first company and what to be watch out for during this process.
Fri
2021/May/28
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, lukaskolek@live.com
Fri
2021/Jun/18
(9:00-??:??, 20 minutes per team)
RESCHEDULED!
Presentation Day!
(for everybody, mandatory)
Zoom
Link will be sent via mailing conference
Present your game prototype final version.
Evaluated by Otakar Nieder, Martin Klíma, Jakub Gemrot, Cyril Brom and Lukáš Kolek.

Teams

Each team should have 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. Every team must have a programmer. Ideally, every team should have at least one creative guy/gal. 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: 2021/Mar/25 !

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

Follows the table with currently registered teams.

Team Name
Members Affiliation Role Game
Mentor Awards
Acid Growth Games Michal Ivičič
Jitka Uhříčková
Tomáš Kalva
Alexander Chubar
MFF UK
ZČU Plzeň
MFF UK
MFF UK
Programmer
3D artist, animator
Programmer
Programmer
Flowerized
GDD
Pitch
Landing page
Lukáš Miláček
Bohemia Interactive Simulations
Crawlmind Kristýna Sulková
Jakub Stacho
Daniel Šipoš
Jakub Kozelka
FFUK
MFF UK
MFF UK
UMPRUM
Lead sound, VFX designer, story writer
Lead programmer, game + story designer, leader
Programmer, story designer
Lead artist, game + story designer
Daidalos
GDD
Pitch
Landing page
Vladislav Spevák
Mingle Games
Dapper Cat Lucie Gašparínová
Robert Wiesner
Jiří Filek
Martina Fusková
Shivam Sharma
ZČU Plzeň
MFF UK
MFF UK
MFF UK
MFF UK
Visual artist, animation, sound design
Programmer
Programmer
Game designer, sound designer
UI designer
Ruins of Theragan
GDD
Landing page
Jan Vaněček
Keen Software House
Silly Con Games Patrik Křepinský
Robert Badronov
Alex Petrova
Karel Petr
Roland Johnson
MFF UK
MFF UK
MFF UK
MFF UK
FF UK
Developer
Developer
Technical artist
Developer
Artist, story writer
Little witch
GDD
Landing page
Andrew Barron
Bohemia Interactive Simulations
The Best Pitch
The Best Game
The Team Behind Karel Vlachovský
Nika Kulik
Jan Koblížek
Michaela Štolová
MFF UK
ZCU Plzen
MFF UK
MFF UK
Game design, team leader, programming
Lead artist
Lead programmer, shaders
Programmer, sound designer
Magical Pet Shop
GDD
Pitch
Landing page
Jan Kunt
About fun
The Best GDD

Deadlines

All deadlines are here to be met!

As in game industry itself, all deadlines are strict. If not stated otherwise, deadline 2021/Mar/26 means the very day till 23:59:59 (CEST). 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 leaders), 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 that can compete with other existing games on an international level. Creating such game is a question of good game design and 15-30 days of programming and graphics making. You can check on projects from previous years 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019. 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. 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 DiscordFacebook page or email conference to promote yourself or propose your projects. We are going to organize two informal networking events in (2021/Mar/05, 2021/Mar/17). 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 (2021/Mar/26) 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 useful 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 2019: Afterlife Dogs of Eden, Breach, 2018: SilicomradesOut of Sight, 2017: Trashscraper, Toasty Conquest; 2016: Spring, 2015: Swappie) and a small gameplay video (examples: BreachToasty ConquestSpring). You can setup your own webpage anywhere, but you can also use GitHub Pages, itch.io or similar services.


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 116 points in total. We will be sending a link to the scoring sheet through mailing conference, if you miss it, mail to gemrot@gamedev.cuni.cz who will resend the link to you.

Grade Point range
A (116-)91-82
B 81-72
C 71-62
Fail 61-0

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 2021/Mar/14
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 2021/Mar/25
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 2021/Mar/26
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 2021/Mar/26
Submitting GDD
Team will send us an email with GDD.
Every member is accredited with the points if you meet the deadline.
5 2021/Apr/15
Award: Best GDD
Lecturers will decide on the best GDD.
Every member of awarded team is accredited with the points.
5 2021/Apr/15
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 2021/Apr/16
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 2021/May/12
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 2021/May/14
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 2021/May/28
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 2021/Jun/11
Award: Best Game Prototype
Lecturers will decide on Best game prototype.
Every member of awarded team is accredited with the points.
10 2021/Jun/11
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 2021/Jun/11
Sum (maximum number of points you can score) 111

Mini-grant Application Instructions

  1. Application text must be submitted (that is delivered!) together with design documents till 2021/Apr/15 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 1000 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 2021/May/13, bills must be handed to Jakub Gemrot no later than 2021/May/13. 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.


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 some money).
  5. PROFIT!

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

 

https://gamedev.cuni.cz/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/logolink_OP_VVV_hor_barva_eng.jpg