GDD 1 (2019/20)

Game Design and Development 2019

Past Games: 2017 – 2018

  • Schedule (tentative)
    • 11.10. – Course Introduction, About Games
    • 18.10. – Game Prototyping, Game Design Document
    • 30.10. 25.10. – Submit First Individual Assignment
    • 30.10. – Group Registration, Submit First Game Idea (Abstract max 300 char) Link
    • 08.11. – Game Art (Blender)
    • 15.11. – Game Dev Process, Send Design Document as PDF to
      • Naming convention: ‘GDD1_GameDesignDoc_##.pdf’, where ## is your groupnumber, hence group 5 sends the file ‘GDD1_GameDesignDoc_05.pdf’.
    • 21.11./22.11. Tutoring Interviews (Doodle sign-up), NO LECTURE
    • 26.11. – Extra Lecture – Meeting Industry Experts – Patrice Désilets (Mandatory Attendance – 18:30 @ HSi7!)
    • 29.11. – no lecture
    • 06.12. – Game Engines Overview
    • 13.12. – Submit First Prototype
    • 20.12. – Submit Second Individual Assignment
    • 10.01. – AI in Games + Send QA Feedback
    • 17.01. – reserved lecture slot
    • 24.01. -reserved lecture slot
    • (31.01. Global Game Jam start)
    • 06.03 – Submit Final Games + Final Presentations
  • Guidelines
    • A: Diversity
    • B: Accessibility
    • C: Humanity
  • QA Strategy
    • Some instructions/tips for your testing sessions. You should test the (1) experience, the usability, and (3) QA (alias bugs).
  1. Game Design (Player Experience)
  • Fun fun fun?
  • Confused/bored/frustrated..?
  • Design good?
  • Ideaclear?
  • Mechanics?
  • Level too long/short…
  • Do you understand the game?

2. Usability

  • Interface etc intuitive and easy to use?

3. Quality Assurance (Severe Bugs)

  • Bugs, bugs, bugs

Provide a small report (.txt file, or excel sheet) with a list of issues you’ve found:
number + type of issue (number 1-3) + description of issue + severity of this issue (1 EXTREMELY BAD – 3 NICE TO HAVE) + tips for improvement,
which you should send by 10.01. (11:59 AM) to the group you’ve tested +

#4-1-the game controls are not clear-1-explain the controls in the start screen
#5-3-the game crashed when driving 100 times into the tree-1-fix the bug


Meeting Industry Experts

Mandatory Attendance – 18:30 @ HSi7!

1. Individual Assignment

Details: Your task is to create a classic little 2D side scrolling Shmup (“Shoot’em up”, think R-Type, Gradius, etc.) game with Unity to get a hold of game development basics.

Deadline: Oct 25th 23:59.

Extended Deadline: Oct 30th 23:59 – BUT with the following restriction: For every additional day you need, you have to implement two additional features of our pool (bonus features also count).

2. Individual Assignment


Deadline: Dec 06th 23:59. Extended: Dec 20th 23:59.

  • send to
  • subject: [GDD] TALK Summary
  • Naming convention:  ‘GDD1_Ass2_#.pdf’, where # is your matriculation number, hence student with matr. nr. 012345678 sends the file ‘GDD1_Ass2_012345678.pdf’

Group Assignment

30.10. submit the form with group names and game idea (link)

15.11.: send in the first draft of game design document to as PDF -> recommendation for collaboration: Overleaf for a living document (tutoring interviews)
Naming convention: ‘GDD1_GameDesignDoc_##.pdf’, where ## is your groupnumber, hence group 5 sends the file ‘GDD1_GameDesignDoc_05.pdf’.

21.-22.11.: Tutoring Interviews (design document): Doodle sign-up
13.12.: submit the first prototype

10.1.: send QA feedback
17.1.: tutoring interviews (first prototype) – not necessary as all project plans are in good shape 🙂  

06.03: final submission

the inspirational topics for 2019:

** Graz & Culture & Science Graz Culture 2020:

** Graz Science Museum:

so for your inspiration a few keywords related to that: Graz, urban, culture, cultural heritage, science, museum, engineering, environment, climate, urbanism

your game idea should *somehow* touch any/both of these topics.

Details Final Submission / Presentation

  • Schedule
    14:00 – 17:00 Game Pitches/Presentations
  • Presentation
    Short “pitch” (max. 4-5 minutes!) – try to “sell” your game/game idea; you can show your video or play the game life (or both if time).
  • Exhibition
    please bring your own equipment for the exhibition. In case you are missing HW contact jpirker in advance.
  • Submission:
    • Join TUGameDev 2019 at, create your own site for your game and upload/fill in the content of your game
      Example how your created page could look like.
    • Submit Printout (printed!) + DVD in a binder
      • Printout containing:
        • Title page: Game title + who worked on this game (+
        • Your final Game Design Document
      • DVD containing:
        • readme.txt with the following information, that we can feature your games on the website:
          (1) short game description
          (2) all names + matr. nr
          (3) Technologies used
          (4) Credits
          (5) Link to build for feature on website (such as on
        • .tex files from all individual assignments
        • digital Game design document
        • 4-6 screenshots
        • a small video of the gameplay (ca 2-3 minutes)


Books Recommendations for this course

This is my personal recommendation for a reading list. And also a list of books I use for the lecture.

*** Jane McGonigal – Reality is Broken One of my favorite books. Jane McGonigal gives some inspirations and ideas of how to use games in different contexts. Reads like a novel and avoids theoretical aspects.
*** Jesse Schell – The Art of Game Design This is the book I am using a lot for my lecture. Very good summary of the most important design aspects from different points of view (technical aspects, player psychology, all different design things).
*** Scott Rogers – Level Up (2nd Edition) Also a very good design on game design. I’ve especially enjoyed the bonus chapters with inspirational lists for environments, game mechanics, and different templates as an inspirational resource for your games.
** Jeremy Gibson – Introduction to Game Design, Prototyping, and Development This book gives also a very nice introduction to game design techniques, but in a more practical manner. The main part of this book is a unity and C# tutorial.
** Raph Koster – A Theory of Fun I simply love the style of this book. It has comics and sketches 😉
* Flow – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Wonderful book (THE book) about the flow experience with neat examples from all different fields.
* Katie Salen & Eric Zimmerman – Rules of Play Very interesting book on game design with a lot of practical examples. Note: Amazon credit me a small referral amount, should you purchase a book after following these links.