CS/INFO 3152: Introduction to Computer Game Development

Assignment 14
Beta Release

Demo: Monday, April 25th at 10:10 am
Due: Saturday, April 30th at 11:59 pm

Your fourth presentation is your beta presentation. The beta demonstration should show off a clearly recognizable (but unfinished) game. Your game should have a clear progression. Usually, this means three different levels of progressive difficulty (e.g. easy, medium, and hard). For games that do not use levels, you need to clearly demonstrate have the game gets harder over time.

While placeholder art is still acceptable, we do not want to hear about major future gameplay elements. Anything in your gameplay spec that is listed as "critical" must be finished. After beta, you should not be doing anything but tweaking parameters and making levels from your existing gameplay elements. You can add some "desirable" features, but only if the game with your critical elements is finished with level design and testing. In fact, if you add any new elements at all, we suggest that you take a "snapshot" of your beta release before continuing. Save a copy of that code in some folder that will never, ever be erased or modified.


Class Presentation

The vast majority (up to 75%) of your presentation should consist of someone playing the game and showing it off to the class. You should have one person playing it while another team member narrates the play; the narrator and player should not be the same person (so that the player can concentrate on playing). The narrator should point out game play elements, challenges, and strategies as the player encounters them. We expect this to be somewhat rehearsed. You should develop a script for this presentation and stick to it (to the best of your player's ability at the game).

However, just as we split alpha between the level editor and your example level, we want you to spent part of this presentation (at least 25% of the time) discussing how you are approaching your level design. Since there is no level design document this year, this will serve as a review of your ideas for level design in the final weeks before Showcase.

We want an actual slide show presentation discussing the level design. You can do this in PowerPoint, Keynote, or whatever you want. In the slides we want:

  • A brief of your design philosophy (as stated in the gameplay specification)
  • At least three basic patterns that you have identified in your game.
  • A composite pattern that combines two or more of these patterns together.

To come up with your design patterns, you should review the level design lecture from class. You also consider the feedback that you received on the level design communication lab.


Presentation Schedule

As you can see from looking at the calendar, this presentation is very similar to Alpha. It takes place over three classes days: the Monday and Wednesday lectures and the Tuesday lab. This is to give us enough time to cover the presentations.

So that you are prepared, the presentation schedule is as follows:

Monday (April 20)

  • Magic Studios (Deserted)
  • EleventhKnight (Teddington)
  • SmokeStack (District 12)

Tuesday (April 12)

Section 201 (11:15-12:05)

  • Luxophobia (Brought to Light)
  • The Beige Gang (Mount Sputnick)
  • Team Ramen Studio (Sandglass)

Section 202 (12:20-1:10)

  • Blueberry Gloom (RoboControl)
  • Game Brigade (Downstream)
  • Serendipity Productions (Fara Heim)

Wednesday (April 13)

  • Intertidal (Shoal Storm)
  • Tempest (Sync)
  • Matchbox (Aiden)

Submission

Due: Saturday, April 30th at 11:59 pm

Once again for this assignment, we ask you to turn in your game code. This should be a rough snapshot of your game. In particular, we would like an executable JAR, though you are welcome to send us the whole project if you wish. You should gather all the necessary files for your release and zip them together in a file called beta.zip before submitting.

In addition, you should not forget to turn in your fourth two week report. This will allow us to see how you are organizing you time, and make suggestions for the final milestone.