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Gamedec.UKW in IGDA Curriculum Framework

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Gamedec.UKW in IGDA Curriculum Framework

Abstract

Launched in October 2013, GAMEDEC: Game Studies & Design is a specialisation track within the 2nd Gen Humanities (aka Humanities 2.0) 3-year BA programme at Kazimierz Wielki University (UKW) in Bydgoszcz, Poland. The curriculum was created by UKW academic staff with game design experience, guided by the IGDA 2008 Framework and consulted with game dev professionals. It underwent slight modifications in 2014 and a significant transformation in 2015. This paper aims at a thorough analysis of the structure of the curriculum as seen through the lens of the IGDA Framework (2008), including the coverage of both Core Topics and Institutional Considerations. The analysis is conducted in the context of foreign (mostly U.S.-based) game degrees and supported with comments on its design, implementation and modifications.
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REPORT IN EARLY ACCESS
This is an early access version which means this is a completed report after final revision but
ahead of its inclusion in the published online journal issue.
More information: http://www.replay.uni.lodz.pl/earlyaccess.html.
Michał Mochocki
Kazimierz Wielki University
Gamedec.UKW in IGDA Curriculum Framework
1. History, Background and Vision
The founder of Humanities 2.0, Prof. Mariusz Zawodniak, aimed to create an
innovative BA programme that would combine the traditional liberal arts background (such
as literature, philosophy, history and language studies) with new technologies, digital culture
and practical ICT skills. Unlike other humanities-based degrees in Poland, this one was
officially labelled as ‘practical’ instead of ‘general-academic’ (Polish degrees must choose
one of the two). It was employability-oriented, dedicated to hands-on project work and
collaboration with stakeholders outside of university. Prof. Zawodniak had initially planned
three specialisations: E-Writing & Computer Editing (for e-writers/editors), Online
Journalism & Social Media (for e-journalists and marketers), and Information & Digitisation
Society (for e-librarians). Responding to his call for curriculum contributions, I offered to
create a fourth specialisation track: for game designers.
I had the necessary experience in higher-ed curriculum design, having been the head
of the programme committee at the Institute of Modern Languages and Applied Linguistics
for two years then, responsible for the redesign of BA and MA programmes in accordance
with the National Qualification Framework. As highlighted by Extra Credits in their episode
“On Game Schools” (2012, 5:51), it is also essential that at least some of the academics who
run game degrees have real game industry experience. In the Humanities 2.0, the game staff
comprised four teachers/researchers employed at the English Studies department. Dr. Paweł
Schreiber had long been a video game critic, journalist and blogger, expert in interactive
fiction, speaker at industry conferences and juror in game dev competitions (e.g. Indie
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Basement). Dr. Aleksandra Mochocka: a tabletop RPG writer and translator, also speaker and
juror at game conventions. Mgr Mikołaj Sobociński: a practitioner and proponent of game-
based learning. Dr. Michał Mochocki: a tabletop RPG designer, editor, writer and translator,
larp designer, juror and speaker at game events, and game-based learning consultant with
Nowa Era edu-publisher. Except for Schreiber, we had all experimented with edu-
gamification. Except for Sobociński, we had also been members of Games Research
Association of Poland, involved in academic game studies.
Summing up the legal, institutional, and organisational aspects:
2nd Gen Humanities was a 3-year (6-semester) full-time undergraduate (B.A.)
programme, the total of 1800 contact hours, each semester comprising 15 teaching
weeks.
It was offered to high-school graduates free-of-charge and without entrance exams,
the selection process based on scores in high-school exit exam (matura).
Specialisation tracks would start already in Semester 2 and continue to 6, the total of
exactly 720 contact hours in 12 modules.
In addition to the 720 h, each specialisation had a 30-h introductory lecture in
Semester 1, two special modules (Project + Collaboration with Stakeholders) in
Semesters 2-4, and BA Seminar in 5-6.
The ‘practical profile’ of education focused on employability and skills, with the
prospect of early start on the job market.
In line with the above, the Game Studies & Design curriculum prioritised hands-on
design labs run by instructors with relevant professional experience. Given the humanities-
based nature of the degree and the specific expertise of the involved UKW staff, a substantial
part of the curriculum focused on non-digital games: board & card games, tabletop and live
action role-playing, and urban location-based games. The digital section included interactive
fiction and several (initially: 4) semesters of video games design labs with middleware tools
(UDK, Unreal, Unity), which would be taught not by academics but by industry practitioners.
There were also modules in educational games and gamification, their aim being to extend
employability from commercial game development to serious games and also to non-game
industries. Finally, there were game studies seminars to supplement the theoretical
background provided by humanities and social studies modules in the general (i.e. non-
specialisation) section of Humanities 2.0.
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The semi-official name “Gamedec” was borrowed from a sci-fi novel series by
Marcin Przybyłek, in which gamedecs are licensed investigators, experts and problem-solvers
in virtual MMO worlds. They combine technical skills with extensive knowledge of
gameplay, game design, world-building, human (player) psychology and social behaviour.
2. Literature Review: Academia and Industry
Back in 2008, IGDA Framework said: “Over the last ten years, there has been
a dramatic increase in the number and type of programs related to games” (p. 2). Seven years
later, Frans Mäyrä (2015) in his keynote speech at CEEGS conference talks about the game
academia as well-established, well-funded and thriving. Curricula and syllabi can be accessed
online, and personal insights from both game students and teachers are proliferating on blogs
and social media. Nevertheless, academic publications on game curriculum design are scarce,
especially those relevant for Gamedec.UKW: rooted in the humanities and focused on
employability-oriented skills across digital and non-digital platforms. Beside the IGDA
Framework and the study of industry expectations vs game curricula by McGill (2009),
primary sources consulted in the Gamedec curriculum design process (in 2012 and early
2013) were books intended to be used in college-level game education.
The classic Rules of Play by Salen & Zimmerman (2003) helped define the scope and
structure of the whole curriculum, its different chapters entering the reading lists of many
modules across all three years. An Introduction to Games Studies by Mäyrä (2008) helped
define the scope of digital game studies. The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses by Schell
(2008) provided general guidance to practical game design and design thinking, applicable
across all design labs. Also, together with Game Design Workshop by Fullerton (2008), it
inspired the organisation of team-based game design projects and collaboration with industry
partners. Challenges for Game Designers by Brathwaite & Schreiber (2009) helped
conceptualise the integration of non-digital and digital modules, and provided excellent
exercises for students. A Theory of Fun for Game Design by Koster (2005) and The
Gamification of Learning and Instruction by Kapp (2012) resonated well with our view of
games as learning environments and of game design as parallel to instructional design, and
reinforced our will to include edu-gamification and edu-games among Gamedec design labs.
Together with Kapp (2012), The Multiplayer Classroom by Sheldon (2012) guided our
efforts to gamify the learning process (see Mochocki 2015). We also received personal advice
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from people involved in game degrees at Brunel University (UK): teacher Justin Parsler and
graduate student Tomasz Kaczmarek.
Equally important as the academic sources was the voice of game industry
professionals. The prior involvement of the English Studies / Gamedec.UKW staff with game
design, gaming media and communities translated to a large network of connections to people
employed in digital and non-digital game companies. This proved useful in obtaining direct
feedback on the curriculum and general advice on what skills and qualifications are valued by
the industry, and in discussing options for partnership and collaboration. At the preparation
stage, this took the form of:
1. Questionnaire about possible collaboration, internships and employment, taken by 13
game companies in May 2013 (results published on personal blog, Mochocki 2013).
2. Attendance at game industry events (e.g. Poznan Game Arena, Game Developers
Convention, Game Industry Trends, Pyrkon Festival, Game-based Learning
conference) in order to: a) present Gamedec.UKW to the audience, b) listen to
presentations on starting a career in game dev
3. Early arrangements with Vivid Games and CI Games about hiring their staff to teach
Video Game Design at Gamedec.UKW,
4. Informal personal communication with game dev professionals.
Given the number of conference talks and panels, invited guest lectures, and personal
meetings, representing both digital and non-digital sectors in Poland (special thanks to
Krzysztof Maliński, Maciej Miąsik, Rafał Bełka, Tomasz Kaczmarek, Ignacy Trzewiczek,
Krzysztof Szafrański, Michał Stachyra) and abroad (special thanks: Justin Parsler, Sandy
Petersen, Claus Raasted, Povl Heiberg Gad, Derrick Ferry, Yaraslau Kot, Gameforge team),
it is not possible to recall precisely who-said-what. Other useful sources of industry opinion
were Extra Credits episodes on game education (2012a, 2012b). Suffice it to say that all were
strikingly similar, with many points overlapping, others complementary, never contradictory.
They may be collectively summarised as follows:
Activities (what game students should do):
Make games: the most important thing is actual practice of creating games.
Start small and finish early: it is better to have a portfolio of small completed projects
than grand visions which are never finished
Learn the tools: work hard on mastering the technical skills and tools
Play games: have an extensive player’s knowledge of games and game genres
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Get inspired: look for inspiration beyond games, to other media, science, life
experience
Network: connect with people who are already working in the industry
Be visible: attend industry events, have an online portfolio, participate in the
community
Skills, personality, behaviour (what game students should be like):
Be ready for criticism: do not get discouraged by online hate
Kill your darlings: accept that a large part of your creative work will be abandoned
Endure crunchtime: be able to stay productive and creative when working long hours
Attention to details: pay it
Teamwork: timeliness, team spirit, shared responsibility
Respect partners: stay on good terms with co-workers and ex-partners
Communicate: “single most core skill” (Extra Credits, 2012b, 0:48)
Based on both the industry and academic advice, it was obvious that design labs with
team project work would constitute a significant, if not central, part of the curriculum. Such
skills are valued even in programming-focused degrees in Computer Science departments
(e.g. Bourdreaux, Etheridge & Kumar, 2011, p. 26; Brown, Lee & Alejandre, 2009, p. 240).
Secondly, these skills should be integrated with game studies with a strong liberal arts
background, as recommended e.g. by Extra Credits (2012a, 5:34), Elling (2013, p. 36),
recently again by Extra Credits (2016, 4:27), and three fourths of respondents representing 73
higher-ed institutions granting video game degrees (HEVGA, 2015a, p. 4).
3. Gamedec.UKW in IGDA Curriculum Framework
As said above, in the first two iterations of the programme, the Gamedec
specialisation block comprised 720 contact hours in 12 modules, plus three special modules
conducted mainly in non-contact form: Project, Collaboration, and BA Seminar. Internal
university regulations insisted that at least 50% of all contact hours be lectures. As much as
possible, the lecture hours were concentrated in the general Humanities 2.0 modules so that
labs and seminars could dominate in the specialisation blocks. The 50% requirement was
later lifted for practical programmes, leading to a significantly higher number of practical
classes in iterations 2015/16+. Table 1 (below) shows these changes for all versions of the
programme.
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3.1 Gamedec.UKW Modules in Semesters
Table 1 lists all modules in the Gamedec block, their assigned number of hours and
class format (lecture, seminar, lab), as well as placement in semesters.
Table 1: Gamedec.UKW Modules in Semesters
Semesters
(Levels)
GAMEDEC: Game Studies & Design Modules
2013/14 and 2014/15
2015/16 and 2016/17
Level 1
Intro to Game Studies &
Design: 30 h lecture
Intro to Game Studies & Design:
15 h lecture [2015] / 30 h [2016]
Interactive Fiction: 30 h lec***
Logic with Elements of
Application Logic: 15 h lec****
Level 2
Board Games Design: 30 h
lec + 30 h lab
Role-playing Games
Design: 30 h lec + 30 h lab
[2013] / 60 h lab [2014]**
Video Games Design
(Scratch): 30 h lab [2013] /
none in [2014]**
PROJECT 15 h*
COLLABORATION
w/Stakeholders 15 h*
[2013] / none in [2014]**
Board Games Design: 30 h lec +
45 h lab
Role-playing Games Design: 30
h lec + 30 h RPG-Lab + 45 h
Larp-Lab
Law & Economy of Game
Industry: 15 h seminar
PROJECT 15 h*
Level 3
Video Games Design: 30 h
lab
Gamification of Education
& Management: 45 h lec +
30 h lab
PROJECT 15h*
COLLABORATION
Video Games Design: 30 h lab
Gamification of Education &
Management: 30 h lec + 45 h lab
Game Theory for Designers: 30
h seminar
Grant Writing: 30 h seminar
PROJECT 15h*
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w/Stakeholders 15h*
COLLABORATION
w/Stakeholders 15h*
Level 4
Video Games Design: 30 h
lab
Game Studies: Ludology:
30 h lec + 30 h seminar
Game Studies: Narratology:
30 h lec + 30 h seminar
PROJECT 15h*
COLLABORATION
w/Stakeholders 15h*
Video Games Design: 30 h lab
ARG & Urban Games: 30 h lec +
45 h lab
Game Studies: 60 h seminar
(with submodules)
PROJECT 15h*
COLLABORATION
w/Stakeholders 15h*
Level 5
Video Games Design: 30 h
lab
Interactive Fiction: 30 h lec
+ 30 h lab
ARG & Urban Games: 30 h
lec + 30 h lab
BA SEMINAR: 30 h*
Educational Games Design: 30 h
lec + 45 h lab
Games in Adaptations &
Transmedia: 30 h seminar
Game Studies: 60 h seminar
(with submodules)
History of Digital Games: 30 h
lec
BA SEMINAR: 30 h*
Level 6
Educational Games Design:
45 h lec + 30 h lab
History of Digital Games:
30 h lec
Gamer Communities in VR
and RL: 30 h lec
Games in Cultural Context:
30 h lec
BA SEMINAR: 30 h*
BA SEMINAR: 30 h*
Industrial Placement: 3 months
(no contact hours at university)
* Project, Collaboration with Stakeholders, and BA Seminar are not regular contact classes. The hour count is
there only for the purpose of calculating salaries.
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** The only modification in the second iteration of Gamedec curriculum was the deletion of Video Games
Design on Level 2 in order to add the saved 30 h to Role-playing Games Design lab. The deletion of
Collaboration with Stakeholders on Level 2 was a general decision for the whole Humanities 2.0.
*** In 2015, Interactive Fiction was moved to the general Humanities 2.0 block on Level 1. Technically, it was
removed from the Gamedec block, leaving spare hours to be added to other Gamedec courses. In fact, gamedecs
take this class anyway, together with all Level 1 students before they choose specialisations.
**** In 2015, Logic with Elements of Application Logic replaced Elements of Philosophy on Level 1. It does
not belong to the Gamedec module block, but was added at the request of Gamedec staff as a welcome
introduction to mathematical / algorithmic thinking (compare: Extra Credits, 2016, 5:15).
3.2 IGDA Core Topics and Gamedec.UKW Modules
The IGDA Framework outlines ten Core Topics relevant for game education. In Table
2, the topics are paired with the respective Gamedec.UKW and general Humanities 2.0
modules. Table 2 is based on the third (2015/16) iteration of the curriculum (almost identical
with the 2016/2017).
Table 2: IGDA Core Topics and Gamedec.UKW Modules
IGDA Core Topic
3.1.1 Game
Criticism
Game studies
Experience-
centered criticism
Consumer-oriented
criticism
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Genre analysis
Auteur studies
Analysis of Game
Design
3.1.2 Non-Game
Media Studies
Media Research
Methods
Core Experiences
3.2 Games and
Society
Gaming
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Demographics
The “Cultures” of
Gaming
History
Experience of Play/
Historical aspects
Experience of Play/
Social aspects
Experience of Play/
Psychological
aspects
Experience of Play/
Economic aspects
Experience of Play/
Human-machine
interaction
The Construction
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of Games /
Historical aspects
Anthropology of
the Game Industry
3.3 Game Design
Atomic parts of
games
Play Mechanics
Approaches to
Game Design
Boardgame and
Roleplaying
Design
Ideas
Fun
Abstract Design
Elements
Psychological
Design
Considerations
Interface Design
Iterative Nature
Serious Game
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Design
Practical Game
Design
3.4 Game
Programming
Game Engine
Design
Design/Technology
Synthesis
Graphics
Programming
3.5 Visual Design
Basic Visual
Design
Visual narratives:
painting, comics,
photography, film
Motion Graphics
Visual Asset
Generation
Architecture
Working with 3D
Hardware
Information
Visualisation
3.6 Audio Design
3.7 Interactive
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Storytelling
Story in Non-
Interactive Media
Narrative in
Interactive Media
Writing for Other
Media
3.8 Game
Production
3.9 Business of
Gaming
3.3 IGDA Institutional Considerations
IGDA 2008 Framework lists the following nine qualities as “some of the components
of a strong program” (p. 33). Gamedec.UKW meets 7,5 of these, the missing one being (4.)
local IGDA chapter, and the missing half being (6.) labs and libraries.
IGDA Institutional
Considerations (p. 33)
How they apply to Gamedec.UKW
1. Advisory Board (local
professionals if available)
An informal network of consultants and sponsors in
local and national digital and non-digital game
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companies: Huuuge Games, Remivision, Insane Code,
Rebel.pl, Fabryka Kart Trefl. Never officially
formalised as Advisory Board, but a good functional
equivalent.
2. Focus on portfolio
development (graduation
requirement, professional/
academic judges)
Mandatory game projects created in all design labs, in
all Project modules. Evaluation by industry
professionals highly recommended in all projects, and
mandatory in BA diploma projects.
3. Internship network with
studios, companies and
community organizations
including non-profits.
Established with local video game companies: Huuuge
Games, Vivid Games, Remivision (all of which have
already employed gamedecs full-time), with local board
game store Centrum Gier Pegaz and board game blog
Przystanek Planszówka.
4. Relationship with local IGDA
chapter (student memberships)
No IGDA chapter exists in Poland.
5. Faculty with industry
experience (especially for
development-focused programs)
Beside the initial four UKW staff (see above: History,
Background and Vision), Gamedec was joined by:
Krzysztof Chmielewski, larp designer and
educator
Piotr Milewski, larp designer, board & card
game designer, game-based learning expert
Piotr Pieńkowski, long-time editor-in-chief of
video game magazines, video and board game
designer
Łukasz Juszczak, editor at board game blog
“Przystanek Planszówka”
Vivid Games professionals teaching Video
Games Design (W. Dziuk, G. Brol, M.
Dzikowski, F. Kucharski)
6. Labs and libraries (access to
hardware/software/games
students don’t have)
Available but underequipped, especially in high-quality
computer hardware.
7. Speaker program (bring
Guest speakers from local and national digital and non-
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current professionals on campus)
digital game industries on campus: video game
publishers, game/level/sound designers, media workers,
marketers, community managers, translators;
board/card game designers, publishers and retailers;
larp designers and event organisers; tabletop RPG
designers and editors. Additionally, foreign guest
lectures via Skype: Sandy Petersen (USA), Claus
Raasted (Denmark), GameForge team (Germany),
Mads Haahr (Ireland).
8. Mixed classes (courses
involving programmers and
artists on same project, team-
based)
Project module on semesters 2-4, with three mixed
team projects per semester. Also, platform-specific
design lab.
9. Extracurricular projects
(student-led mods, projects
outside the classroom)
Project module is based entirely on student-led projects
developed beyond the classroom. Collaboration with
Stakeholders is carried out with partners outside of
university.
3.4 Special Modules, Employment Rate & Retention Rate
In the Project module (Levels 2-4), teams of gamedecs are required to create three
small game projects per semester, using some professional project management tools (e.g.
Gantt chart). In the Collaboration module (Levels 3-4), they collect experience in
collaboration with stakeholders outside university; preferably, as long-term internships in
game dev companies. In the BA Seminar, each gamedec develops their own game project
supervised both by an academic supervisor and an informal 'supervisor' (consultant) from a
relevant industry.
Emphasis on constant project work in contact with industry professionals contributes
to a high employment rate: as of July 2016, as many as 39% of seniors and sophomores found
full-time employment in video game dev before graduation (Gamedec.UKW 2016), with the
number rising to 47% in January 2017 (Gamedec.UKW 2017)- to be compared with 55,8%
within a year post graduation among graduates of Western (mostly US-based) degrees
focused specifically on video games (HEVGA, 2015b, p. 3). On the other hand, the amount
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of hard work required systematically across semesters contributes to a high drop-out rate. The
freshman-to-sophomore retention was only 55,5% in the first two cohorts, compared to 88%
in video game degrees in the USA and 64,2% on average in US-based academic degrees
(HEVGA, 2015a, p. 4).
This paper focuses on the composition of the curriculum in the view of the IGDA
framework, thus the section on special modules, employability and retention is only briefly
sketched. For a more detailed analysis of these aspects, see Mochocki 2016.
Summary
The curriculum of Gamedec.UKW specialisation within the Humanities 2.0 BA
degree has a very strong coverage of the following IGDA core topics: 3.1.1 Game Criticism,
3.1.2 Non-Game Media Studies, 3.2. Games and Society, 3.3. Game Design, and a strong
coverage of 3.7 Interactive Storytelling. It has a relatively weak coverage of 3.8 Game
Production and 3.9 Business of Gaming, very weak for 3.4 Game Programming and 3.5
Visual Design, and zero for 3.6 Audio Design. Also, it meets 7.5 out of 9 Institutional
Considerations which refer mainly to collaboration with the industry environment and the
organisation of after-class student assignments. The two leading sections of the curriculum
are: practical game design team projects and rich liberal arts background, in line with
recommendations from both academia and game industry.
The curriculum has undergone a significant modification in its third year
(2015/2016+), including the removal of regular classes from Semester 6, leaving only the BA
Seminar and 3-month industrial placement. This provides students with a greater mobility:
they do not need to be present at university, contacting their BA supervisor online. Also, they
can merge the industrial traineeship with the seminar, building their BA project upon the
design work they do for the company in the traineeship.
In my opinion, the 2015/16 version of the programme is the best that we could
achieve given the 'glass ceiling' of institutional, financial and organisational constraints as a
specialisation of Humanities 2.0. Hence, no significant changes were introduced in the
newest (fourth) iteration for 2016/2017. Further improvement of the curriculum would
require the ‘emancipation’ of Game Studies & Design as an independent degree with its own
specialisations.
APPENDIX
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Table 3 lists all modules taken by gamedecs in the 3-year programme, including those
in the general Humanities 2.0 section.
Table 3: Complete Gamedec.UKW 2015/16 Curriculum
Level 1
Interactive Fiction
2nd Gen Humanities: Fields & Disciplines (includes: Intro to Game Studies &
Design 15 h)
Human Capital: Soft Skills
Philosophy & New Technologies
Logic with Elements of Application Logic
Language of Social Communication
Popular Culture and the Internet
Introduction to IT
Introduction to Applications
Basics of Computer Editing & Design
Internet Law
Foreign Language
Level 2
Human Capital: Soft Skills (II)
Society of Knowledge, Information and Digitisation
Language of Social Communication (II)
Visualisation of Knowledge and Information
Correspondence of Sciences and Arts
Foreign Language (II)
Tech Incubator
Gamedec Spec-Track:
Board Games Design
Role-playing Games Design
Law and Economy of the Game Industry
PROJECT
Level 3
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Human Capital: Soft Skills (III)
Visualisation of Knowledge and Information (II)
Sociology of the Internet
Correspondence of Sciences and Arts (II)
Foreign Language (III)
Physical Education
Tech Incubator (II)
Gamedec Spec-Track:
Video Games Design (I)
Gamification of Education and Management
Game Theory for Designers
Grant Writing
PROJECT
COLLABORATION with STAKEHOLDERS
Level 4
Ideas of Contemporary Humanities
Human Capital: Soft Skills (IV)
Methodology of Social Research (in Cyberspace)
Correspondence of Sciences and Arts (III)
Foreign Language (IV)
Gamedec Spec-Track:
ARG and Urban Games
Video Games Design (II)
Game Studies (I)
PROJECT
COLLABORATION with STAKEHOLDERS
Level 5
Human Capital: Soft Skills (V)
Correspondence of Sciences and Arts (IV)
Internet Law (II)
free elective (lecture)
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Gamedec Spec-Track:
Educational Games Design
Games in Adaptations and Transmedia
History of Digital Games
Game Studies (II)
B.A. SEMINAR
Level 6 (no contact hours at university)
Gamedec Spec-Track:
B.A. SEMINAR (II)
INDUSTRIAL PLACEMENT (3 months)
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Abstract
Launched in October 2013, GAMEDEC: Game Studies & Design is a specialisation
track within the 2nd Gen Humanities (aka Humanities 2.0) 3-year BA programme at
Kazimierz Wielki University (UKW) in Bydgoszcz, Poland. The curriculum was created by
UKW academic staff with game design experience, guided by the IGDA 2008 Framework
and consulted with game dev professionals. It underwent slight modifications in 2014 and a
significant transformation in 2015. This paper aims at a thorough analysis of the structure of
Replay. The Polish Journal of Game Studies 1 (3) 2016 Early Access
the curriculum as seen through the lens of the IGDA Framework (2008), including the
coverage of both Core Topics and Institutional Considerations. The analysis is conducted in
the context of foreign (mostly U.S.-based) game degrees and supported with comments on its
design, implementation and modifications.
Key words: curriculum, game design, game studies, IGDA Curriculum Framework
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Chapter
Full-text available
Focused on game dev job-relevance of humanities education, this paper consists of two parts. First, it discusses the current trends in the employment market, both in the general economy and in the video game industry. Special attention is given to the value of humanities-based education, whose usefulness is frequently questioned or denied, while the analysis of expectations formulated by employers proves otherwise. With people frequently moving between companies, teams, tasks, and positions in the dynamic work environment, much more value is assigned to soft skills such as communication , creativity, and logical thinking, which have traditionally been the domain of the humanities. Surveys among game industry specialists in the USA, EU, and Poland universally acknowledge the practical importance of at least some of the liberal arts. The second part of the paper is a case study of Gamedec.UKW: a specialisation within a Humanities 2.0 undergraduate degree which combines the liberal arts background with an intense training of practical skills for careers in the game industry. This part starts with the practical side of the curriculum: modules related to team-based game design, project management and industry collaboration. Next comes a discussion of the admission process, the relatively low retention rate (62,8% from freshman to sophomore), and the high rate of pre-graduation full-time employment (39% for seniors and sophomores). The study is concluded with a set of good and bad practices for potential consideration by creators of game-ed programmes.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
When developing a game curriculum, one of several key areas to consider is the type of skills needed by the game industry. The purpose of this quantitative survey research is to compare the hiring needs of industry for recent college graduates seeking game developer positions against game development curriculum currently available at post-secondary institutions. One survey was given to industry participants and a similar survey was given to academic participants. Four major categories, abilities, technical skills, supporting knowledge areas, and contextual fluency, each had specific subcategories that were rated by both industry and academia. A t-test of independent means was then used to analyze to determine if there is an expectation gap between the game industry needs and academic program curriculum. This paper details the results of the surveys and provides a limited discussion on how these results might impact game developer curriculum.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Engineering education has evolved from providing students solely with technical skills to providing them with courses that provide students with the non-technical "soft skills". Among the soft skills desired by employers are student's ability to receive and respond to feedback, manage multiple requirements, and work in multidisciplinary teams. The use of Capstone courses in Computer Science education has been a means of providing students with the aforementioned soft skills and experiences prior to graduation. We define and implement a model for an educational video game design and development course that provides students with real-world game design experiences. Students learn the complexity of developing an educational game while functioning in multidisciplinary teams. Additionally, we provide students with an opportunity to visit K-12 schools to witness, first hand, the conditions in which their video games will be used. Finally, we present lessons learned and discuss methods for the successful development of multidisciplinary courses in Computer Science Education.
Conference Paper
A work-in-progress report on the edu-gamiflcation introduced in 2013 at a Polish university to teach Game Studies & Design. The report presents elements of the gamifled system and online environment used to support it, including the use of mobile technology.
Article
Aim: To evaluate OSCE's educational value and assessed learning during the OSCE. Methods: Four-station OSCE, including different case scenarios, was administered to seventy one postgraduate residents between January 2008 to October 2010. Faculty assessed residents' general communication, assessment, management, and global skills using Likert scale. Residents completed a pre-OSCE survey of experience, interest and competence in the subject under study, and a post-OSCE survey evaluating its educational value. Learning during the OSCE was also assessed by measuring performance improvement from the first to the final OSCE station. Results: Data analysis was done using SPSS version 17. Perceived educational value of the OSCE was high (9.2), and feedback improved subsequent performance. Residents performed better in general communication (mean score across stations=7.8) than assessment (7.0) or management (6.5). Across first to the last station the mean score in general communication increased from 6.7 to 8.3, in assessment from 6.1 to 7.7, management from 5.4 to 7.3 and during global skill rating from 6.1 to 8.1. Conclusion: Although residents perform well in general communication skills, but lack adequate skills for assessing and managing complicated and sensitive issues such as prenatal diagnosis and thromboprophylaxis. They may not have accurate perceptions of their abilities regarding these issues. There is a positive effect of immediate feedback on learning competencies. We recommend that future educational interventions should target specific assessment and management skills.
Book
Anyone can master the fundamentals of game design - no technological expertise is necessary. The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses shows that the same basic principles of psychology that work for board games, card games and athletic games also are the keys to making top-quality videogames. Good game design happens when you view your game from many different perspectives, or lenses. While touring through the unusual territory that is game design, this book gives the reader one hundred of these lenses - one hundred sets of insightful questions to ask yourself that will help make your game better. These lenses are gathered from fields as diverse as psychology, architecture, music, visual design, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, writing, puzzle design, and anthropology. Anyone who reads this book will be inspired to become a better game designer - and will understand how to do it.
Evolving Interdisciplinary Collaborative Groups in a Game Development Course
  • H Bourdreaux
  • J Etheridge
  • A Kumar
Bourdreaux, H., Etheridge, J., & Kumar, A. (2011). Evolving Interdisciplinary Collaborative Groups in a Game Development Course. The Journal of Game Design & Development Education, (1), 25-37.