11 Design: Project 2: Criterion A
Selecting a project
With the game development methods that Pygame brings, it is anticipated students will create a graphical project, most likely (though not necessarily) a computer game of some kind for Project 2. Either way, your intention is to showcase all you have learnt over the year with Python.
In considering project ideas, plan on having five weeks of class time dedicated for Criterion C. That’s 10 hours of in-class time plus whatever out-of-class time you wish to dedicate to the project. That time allowance should a guiding influence as to the expected scope/complexity of your project.
Task A1: Explain the problem
There are two ways you can approach this strand:
- Decide on the project you wish to build, and then consider who the target audience of customers for that project might be; OR
- Approach a potential customer/client and build a project that suits their needs.
Either way, you should address:
- The problem you are seeking to solve through making your product
- Describe the proposed client/customers/audience
- Why solving the problem is useful/important to the client. How will it affect/impact them?
Task A2: Identify your research
Now you have a problem to solve, it’s time to do some research by looking at those who have built successful projects before and learn from them.
Some videos I think are really interesting and would make great research for your Criterion A:
- Juice it or lose it - a talk by Martin Jonasson & Petri Purho
- How the inventor of Mario designs a game
Assuming you are planning to make a game, this list can be a good starting point of other successful games that may be worth looking at. Research into the game and the person who built it. Find articles/videos containing interviews with the person, about the person, about the game.
- John Romero - Doom, Wolfenstien and Quake
- Shigeru Miyamoto - Mario, Donkey Kong
- Toru Iwatani - Pac man
- Sid Meier - Civilization, Railroad Tycoon and Pirates!
- Satoshi Tajiri - Pokémon
- Dave Jones - Lemmings, Grand Theft Auto, Body Harvest, Crackdown, AP8
- Gabe Newell - Half-life, Counter-strike, Portal, Left 4 dead
- Jason West - Call of duty
Some questions you may consider include:
- What did they draw inspiration and ideas from?
- The keys to successful game design?
- Pitfalls/challenges to successful game design?
- What importance did they place on the various aspects of a game (Characters, visuals, style, personality, story, sound) and why?
To adequately address strand A2 you should:
- Identify research questions for further investigation. (Don’t create questions based on things you already know the answers to!)
- Prioritise your research questions using some form of scale to indicate those that are crucially important compared to those that are optional/nice-to-have in order to solve your problem.
- Justify each of your research questions by providing a rational for it’s inclusion and the level of priority you assigned.
Note: You are assessed on your research planning in A2. Conducting the actual research is assessed in A3.
Task A3: Get inspired!
Draw inspiration from existing software programs that you have access to or can research properly.
What has someone else made that solves (or attempts to solve, or partially solves) the problem? It could be the same problem or a similar problem. Their solution may work really well, or not at all. The idea is to learn from what others have tried before you.
To adequately address strand A3 you should:
- Ideally investigate at least 3 existing products for inspiration
- Seek to answer the questions you generated in strand A2.
- Include referencing/bibliography for your research
Note: You are assessed on your research notes in A3. The analysis of the research should be presented in A4.
Task A4: Design brief
To adequately address strand A4 you should:
- Summarise the problem you are solving from A1 (only a couple of lines).
- Summarise what you learnt from your research in A3
- Based on what you have learnt, what guidance/advice would you recommend to any one else attempting to solve the problem you will seek to solve.
|5A||Needs identification||Research planning||Inspiration analysed||Design brief|
|1-2||states the need for a solution to a problem for a specified client/target audience||develops a basic design brief, which states the findings of relevant research.|
|3-4||outlines the need for a solution to a problem for a specified client/target audience||outlines a research plan, which identifies primary and secondary research needed to develop a solution to the problem, with some guidance||analyses one existing product that inspires a solution to the problem||develops a design brief, which outlines the analysis of relevant research.|
|5-6||explains the need for a solution to a problem for a specified client/target audience||constructs a research plan, which identifies and prioritizes primary and secondary research needed to develop a solution to the problem, with some guidance||analyses a range of existing products that inspire a solution to the problem||develops a design brief, which explains the analysis of relevant research.|
|7-8||explains and justifies the need for a solution to a problem for a client/ target audience||constructs a detailed research plan, which identifies and prioritizes the primary and secondary research needed to develop a solution to the problem independently||analyses a range of existing products that inspire a solution to the problem in detail||develops a detailed design brief, which summarizes the analysis of relevant research.|