CS/INFO 3152: Introduction to Computer Game Development

Assignment 14
Beta Release

Demo: Monday, April 24th at 10:10 am
Due: Saturday, April 29th 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 you may still be working on art, 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).


Level Design Ideas

As with all of the presentations, we do want a slide presentation with design ideas. However, the design presentation will be different this time. We no longer want to see art in your design presentation. Our philosophy is that, from this point forward, any finished art should be incorporated into the game.

Instead, we want you to review your level design ideas. In this slide presentation, we want the following:

  • 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 know when to bring your demonstration, the presentation schedule is as follows:

Monday (April 24)

  • S.L.A.P. Studio (Aftermath)
  • Fish Tank Games (Descent into Dip)
  • ApocalypSquidInk (Felongeist)

Tuesday (April 25)

Section 201 (11:15-12:05)

  • 100% Juice (Paint it Up)
  • Mishka (Mistic)
  • Mantis Ink (Askew)

Section 202 (12:20-1:10)

  • Gr8 (Operation Bitwise)
  • SOOB Studios (The Big Friendly Oob)
  • Syomic Games (Fridge Raiders)

Wednesday (April 26)

  • Shrike Studios (Entropy)
  • The Nines (Pony Up)
  • Helios (Spotlight)

Submission

Due: Saturday, April 29th at 11:59 pm

Once again for this assignment, we ask you to turn in your release. This should be a rough snapshot of your game. In particular, we would like an executable JAR, and not a build of the whole project.

You should gather the files for your prototype and zip them together in a file called alpha.zip. This zip file should contain everything that is necessary to play your prototype. This usually means the executable and a quick readme explaining the controls. You should then create a Release for us, like you did with the gameplay prototype. There is nothing to turn into CMS.

However, this time there is something to turn in to CMS. We want the slide presentation this time, as we always need good level design examples and you do not have a level design document (the design specification precluded the need to collect previous design slides). Convert the slides to a PDF and submit them as levels.pdf to CMS.

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.