V1.1 – 28 August 2020
Location: STEM Center
Instructor: Mr. Delgado ([email protected])
Course Description: This course blends computer science and visual art by teaching students how to develop Virtual Reality (VR) video games. The course will be comprised of units focusing on end user experience (what makes games fun and engaging), visual design principles, programming, 3D modeling, and how to effectively use VR technology in a project based environment. Students will gain exposure to adobe photoshop and illustrator, the unreal and unity game engines, the oculus quest, and blender. Through this, students will be able to use the visual arts in conjunction with game design principals to make fun visually appealing video games. Students will then transfer and implement these skills in various VR games and applications they develop over the course of the semester. Students will be required to work collaboratively, and present goals and ideas pertaining to their projects with peers. Students will refine critical thinking skills as they analyze progress and use this knowledge to enhance and improve further iterations of their applications. This non-traditional 21st century course will implement alternative assessment strategies throughout the semester. Making games in VR, a rapidly advancing technology, will require students to be willing to take risks and incorporate feedback as they maneuver in this cutting edge field.
Course Website: The majority of class communication will occur via Canvas. This is also where I will post reference material such as video tutorials. Students will be expected to check canvas daily to ensure they are aware of assignments and due dates. It is highly recommended that students turn on email notifications on Canvas to receive updates when changes are made to the canvas site such as adjusted due dates and new assignments being posted.
I will also be storing many useful resources on my website, johnadelgado.com. Things like tutorial videos and game design discussions will be there for those of you who may find them useful and/or interesting.
Materials: Students are expected to bring their laptops (with the necessary software, Blender, downloaded) to every class along with their laptop chargers. Students must also bring paper and pencils to class as we will be doing a lot of our pre-development and design work on paper.
Class Requirements: The course will be broadly broken down into large topics that will revolve around a game the students will make in small groups (2-3 students). Each topic will typically last a couple weeks.
Students will have small homework assignments to complete. These will primarily revolve around discussions we will have in class about some aspect of game design or the video game industry itself.
There will also be regular small quizzes in class to assess what you’ve learned. Students will not be told when these quizzes will be given. These aren’t meant to be difficult, just to make sure everyone is following along. The lowest 3 quizzes will be dropped, but if you miss class when we have a quiz, you may not take the quiz at a later date. The 3 dropped quizzes are meant to account for these potential missed classes, but students will still be expected to complete work on time even if they have excused absences. Most quizzes will be open-notes so make sure you are taking notes and bringing them with you as reference material for our quizzes and discussions.
- Projects: 65%
- Class Participation: 15%
- Quizzes: 10%
- Homework: 10%
Late Work: All late assignments will be marked down 50%. The lowest three homework assignments will be dropped, but these are to account for illness and emergencies. Do not rely on these and fail to submit homework. Projects will have two due dates: one for the rough draft which will be graded for completion of the necessary elements, and one a few days after for the polished end product which will be graded according to the rubric. It is better to turn whatever you have in on time than turn something perfect in late. The homework assignments will generally not take long to complete, and the projects have a few weeks for you to work on them, so turning in assignments on time should not be an issue. If you are in the habit of turning in work a few minutes before class, unexpected internet issues will not be an acceptable excuse for late work. Don’t wait until the last minute to hit submit!
You may submit assignments as late as you wish after that (within the time I accept late work for that quarter/semester), but you can only earn a maximum of 50%. Students will not be given time to work on late assignments in class. If students need time to finish an assignment beyond what is allotted in class, they are expected to schedule a time with me to come in and use the school’s laptops if those are necessary for their work. I will always prioritize assignments turned in on time, so late assignments may be graded and returned later than work turned in on time.