About a month ago, I got an e-mail from University of Florida instructor Dave Small regarding a “Game Design” class the university is offering this summer. For the class, Small is using the Game of the Year edition of Morrowind for its construction set (as well as other games) to help implement their game ideas. For those considering looking for a school with game design classes, check out the syllabus for the class. There’s also a discussion about the course within our forums, including participation from one of Small’s students.
Despite being jaded towards UF for making the BCS title game over my beloved Wolverines (even though they deserved it), this sounds like a cool opportunity those looking to get into game design. I’m a bit jealous, though I did get to take a blow off class that dealt with films of the 1990′s and gaming my senior year. It was the easiest class this side of Volcanoes and Earthquakes.
Via e-mail, I asked Dave for a little more information about the class. Click below for more details…
How many students do you have?
What are you guys working on now?
The students are in the midsts of developing their second (of three) games. On Monday they’ll be submitting physical prototypes and will then be using UnrealEd to implement them. For their third game they’ll have a choice between TES:CS and UnrealEd.
What are some of cool things students have provided?
Right before the Summer Break the students submitted their first Morrowind mods. Since the goal of the first project was primarily to familiarize them with TES:CS, I told them to focus on gameplay and scripting and to repurpose the existing assets (e.g., just because a model represents a Dark Elf in Morrowind doesn’t preclude it from representing an alien in their game). As expected, the quality of their work varied significantly, as did the amount of time spent–anywhere from 18 to 131(!) hours, with most putting in around 35. The games are:
* Amberoke: an adventure/puzzle game set in a prison
* ArthurAdkinsMod: save Balmora from the orcish hordes
* Dodgeball: as the name suggests
* Flight Quest: take a tour of Vvardenfell
* Grand Lord of Trogdor: travel back in time to retrieve stolen crystals
* Invasion Force: disable the planet’s defense network so ships can land
* Morrowind Daycare: can you maintain control of a daycare center?
* Mythical Guardian: you are an anthropologist investigating local legends
* One Man Dungeon: explores gameplay that requires “kiting” to survive
* Rikki-Tikki-Tavi: protect Timmy and his family from the cobras
* Trinity: dispatch the elementals that have invaded Balmora
I’ve packaged up all the mods for download: