Michael Hadley, [email protected]
Class: Art 250, Spring 2017
Location: 400 S Peoria St, Room 5226
Time: Mon & Wed, 1p - 3.40p
Office Hours: By Appointment
Class website: mikewesthad.com/uic-gameplay-spring2017/
Class communication: gameplay-spring2017.slack.com/
This syllabus is a living document - it may be updated over the course the semester.
This class is a hybrid seminar/studio examining the ways artists employ games and game-like strategies within their practice. Through critical play, readings and prototyping, you will simultaneously gain the technical skills needed to create your own games or game-like art, as well as the theory & historical precedents for contextualizing your work. You will create several small game prototype "sketches." You will present these sketches with the class for critique and playtesting, then refine and iterate on one or more them, creating a finished game as your final project.
The specific technologies we will use will be varied. We will start with non-digital games, move into hypermedia-based games using Twine and finally move into the realm of 3D with the Unity engine.
By the end of the semester, you will be able to:
- Unpack the concepts of "game", "game art", "art game" and "notgame"
- Place your work in the context of how artists have used games and game-like strategies historically
- Create games or game-like art with meaningful/expressive/subversive gameplays
- Build the technical knowledge to create hypermedia works with Twine and 3D works in Unity
- Participate in all class activities especially critiques and discussions. Your active input is essential to creating a supportive community in class.
- Be resourceful and seek out help when needed.
- Be present! Do not surf the web, chat, twitter, facebook, or check email during lectures and discussions.
- Take notes during class. We will be doing a lot of demos and exercises in class that won't necessarily have slides.
Attendance & Participation
- Attendance is mandatory. We have a lot of material to cover and each new concept builds on the last, so missing a class can really set you back.
- Be here and be on time. Showing up more than 15 minutes late or leaving early will count as an absence.
- If you have to miss a class (illness, religious holiday, etc.), let me know as soon as possible. Make sure to check in with you classmates to catch up on material.
- 3 or more absences will result in the failure of the class.
- 10% active participation in class (critiques, workshops, etc.)
- 45% prototypes and homework assignments
- 15% final project proposal
- 30% final project & presentation
I don't know you all yet, but I imagine that each of you will have vastly different areas of expertise and interest. Because of this, your starting point will be taken into account when grading. The most important thing I'm looking for is artistic development over the course of the semester.
Extra credit may be given for work that goes above and beyond the assignment. Late assignments will only be accepted with my permission. You will lose a letter grade for each day the assignment is late.
Week 1: Introductions & Game Hacking
Week 2: Subversive Play
Week 3: Hypermedia & Twine
Week 4: Twine Prototype Critiques
Week 5: Unity Crash Course
Week 6: Unity Notgame Prototype Critiques
Week 7: Scripting in Unity Fundamentals
Week 8: Advanced Scripting in Unity
Week 9: 3D Model Pipeline & Photogrammetry
Week 10: Uncanny Valley Unity Prototype
Week 11: Advanced Topics in Unity/Twine
Week 12: Final Project Proposals
Week 13: Advanced Topics in Unity/Twine
Week 14: Final Project Check-In
Week 15: Final Project Workshop
Week 16: Final Project Critiques
- There will be 3 - 4 game prototype assignments, spaced out with at least two weeks in-between them. There will be in-class time to work on these. Note: these are sketches, not polished pieces.
- The final project has two parts: a written project proposal and the actual work itself.
To better facilitate class communication, and because I don't have a deep love for Blackboard, we will be using a Slack channel. This is a private message board where we can share references, readings, assignments, etc. You can post messages to everyone in on of the Slack channels, or you can contact an individual via direct messages.
Check out the getting started guides on Slack's help page. Here's a cheatsheet. You can access Slack from the browser or from any of the Windows/Mac/iOS/android applications.
If you need to contact me privately, you can always send a direct message on Slack or shoot me an email.
Students who wish to observe their religious holidays shall notify the faculty member by the tenth day of the semester of the date when they will be absent unless the religious holiday is observed on or before the tenth day of the semester. In such cases, the student shall notify the faculty member at least five days in advance of the date when he/she will be absent. The faculty member shall make every reasonable effort to honor the request, not penalize the student for missing the class, and if an examination or project is due during the absence, give the student an exam or assignment equivalent to the one completed by those students in attendance. If the student feels aggrieved, he/she may request remedy through the campus grievance procedure.
UIC is committed to maintaining a barrier-free environment so that individuals with disabilities can fully access programs, courses, services, and activities at UIC. Students with disabilities who require accommodations for full access and participation in UIC Programs must be registered with the Disability Resource Center (DRC). Please contact DRC at (312) 413-2183 (voice) or (312) 413-0123 (TDD).