GAM 369: Virtual Reality Game Development
Dr. Brian Schrank
bschrank [at] gmail.com
School of Design
College of Computing and Digital Media
In this workshop students cultivate the skills to design, program, and develop VR (virtual reality) games. Students learn about the unique affordances and design opportunities inherent to the platform. Topics include the history of VR, VR art, as well as toy design and development. Students collaboratively develop cutting-edge VR toys and games using the studio model in which each student adopts a professional role on the team such as programmer, designer, and artist. Class time consists of lectures, workshops, workdays, playtests, critiques, and class discussions. Course is repeatable.
2 Work Sessions Weekly Outside of Class
You will meet and work with your team at least twice in person each week outside of class.
If you cannot dedicate at least 15-25 hours a week outside of class to work on your games, then drop the course. We do not want you here. Just drop. Seriously.
Success in this course requires consistent, weekly effort. The games you will develop in this course will be very experimental. They will likely be the coolest (or weirdest) games you have ever made, but they will also demand more from you to make than a normal game. They demand wilder brainstorming; they demand outside-the-box problem-solving to prototype; they demand braver iterations to get right; and they demand more from your average player so playtesting itself will prove challenging.
Success in this course requires a very open mind. VR game designers must be smarter and more intentional than their best players. You are in the position to truly invent the medium of VR. Break boundaries and define the medium. Be ready to create new kinds of games. To accomplish that you will have to take risks and work far, far outside of your comfort zone. You will know how well you are doing in this course by how uncomfortable you are developing your games.
Failure is an option.
If you worry too much about making the best possible game, you will only make crap VR games. You need to learn to both let go and hold on to be a great developer. Here is that concept graphed out for you:
Stay loose and open yourself to change:
Final Grade Calculation:
Kind and Helpful = 5%
Vocal and Participatory = 10%
Analysis and Critique = 20%
- Play and critique VR toys/games by peers and others
Projects = 65%
- Fantastic Non-human VR Toy = 20%
- VR Playgrounds = 20%
- Final VR Game = 25%
LETTER GRADE TO POINT SYSTEM CONVERSION:
A (90-100+), B (80-89.999), C (70-79.999), D (60-69.999), F (below 60).
Cell Phones and Mobile Devices
Cell Phones and Mobile Devices should not be audible (including audible vibration) during class. Any student who answers a cell phone during instruction will be excused for the day.
Students who feel they may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss their specific needs. All discussions will remain confidential. To ensure that you receive the most appropriate accommodation based on your needs, contact the instructor as early as possible in the quarter (preferably within the first week of class), and make sure that you have contacted the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) at:
Student Center, LPC, Suite #370
Phone number: 773-325-1677