CS 4154: Analytics-driven Game Design

Project Requirements

We have several requirements for the game you will be making in CS 4154 this semester. These are not just arbitrary rules, and in fact they are for your own benefit. To reduce confusion, here is a list of exactly what these requirements are, our reasons for requiring them, and what exceptions we might make regarding them:

Your game must use ActionScript3 / Flash.

Why: There is an established "deployment circuit" of Flash game websites (i.e. Kongregate and Newgrounds) that will allow you to deploy your game to hundreds (or thousands!) of people in a short amount of time.

Exceptions: None.

Your game must be feasible in a semester with each person contributing 10 hours each week.

Why: The purpose of this course is to have a completed game by the end of the semester, not parts of a game or game technology. Because of this, there are certain types games that we frown upon because they require significantly more work and content than other types. Students are encouraged to avoid RPGs, real-time strategy games, and exploration-style adventure games.

Exceptions: There are no exceptions to the feasibility requirement. However, we do make specific exceptions to the games listed: RPGs, real-time strategy games, and exploration-style adventure games. Your game can have elements taken from these games so long as the scale is kept small. In particular, you should take a look at the adventure and RPG flash games at Kongregate to get an idea of what might be feasible in a semester.

Your game must be original, and it must not be directly based upon previous work.

Why: This is a course about designing games, so if you come in with a game that's already designed or steal someone else's, something is wrong. Hopefully you will be excited to come up with new ideas and this won't be an issue.

Exceptions: There are no exceptions. However, this requirement refers to your game as a whole and your game's design; It is still okay for you to borrow code/art/sound/whatever from previous things you have done or even from labs/demos or anything anyone else has done (within the limits of legality) as long as your game itself is original, not a complete rip-off, and contains a sufficient amount of work from each group member.

Your game must be fun to play and contain a reasonable amount of content.

Why: Despite how subjective the word "fun" is, this is the entire point of making a game, so at the very least you should be able to enjoy it and have a sense of why others might enjoy it. Also, a game that is not finished tends not to be fun, so if your game ends up being incomplete, the parts you did complete had better be good.

Exceptions: Nope. This is an expectation we have of your game, even if we cannot technically require such an intangible thing.

Your game must not be networked, and it must have a single-player mode.

Why: We do not want your game to rely on the presence of human opponents to be fun, especially because most people who try your game will do so alone, and time you spend getting networking to work could be spent making the rest of the game more fun. Also, we want you to have some AI in the game, and not just rely on human opponents.

Exceptions: If you can convince us that your single-player mode is sufficiently done, you can add networking as an extra feature. Multiplayer co-op-required games are also a possibility. However, the single player game must be finished and fully tested before we will allow this.

Your game must be 2D.

Why: This will be hard enough to do in one semester.

Exceptions: None.

The Flash SWF file (including embedded graphics) must be less than 10 MB. Note that sounds and music can be streamed from local servers.

Why: We do not want your game to be so bloated that nobody will bother to download it.

Exceptions: If you think you need more than 10 MB for your game talk to us about it. If you can convince us that you are right, we'll make an exception, otherwise we will tell you how to be less wasteful. We will be reasonable; we do not want to limit what you can do with your game.

Your game must not run slower than 60 frames per second.

Why: If your game runs slower than this on whatever computer you are using, you are probably doing something wrong.

Exceptions: 60 FPS is more of a goal for you than a hard requirement, but if it often drops below 55 or so and you are not sure how to fix it, then you should ask us and we'll give advice on how to speed up your game.

Those are the main requirements. Your grade will be affected if you fail to meet any of them without permission to do otherwise. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the course staff.