Students

COMP1150 – Introduction to Video Games

2021 – Session 1, Special circumstances

Notice

As part of Phase 3 of our return to campus plan, most units will now run tutorials, seminars and other small group activities on campus, and most will keep an online version available to those students unable to return or those who choose to continue their studies online.

To check the availability of face-to-face and online activities for your unit, please go to timetable viewer. To check detailed information on unit assessments visit your unit's iLearn space or consult your unit convenor.

General Information

Download as PDF
Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Convenor
Mitchell McEwan
Contact via Email
4 Research Park Dr, Rm 367
By Appointment
Convenor
Rowan Tulloch
Contact via Email
10HA 191C
By Appointment
Practical Tutor
Oliver Smith
Practical Tutor
Sammy Madafiglio
Practical Tutor
Benjamin Taylor
Practical Tutor
Cody Liu
SGTA Tutor
Gemma Roberts
SGTA Tutor
Kyla Allison
Credit points Credit points
10
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
MMCC1011
Unit description Unit description

Video games provide the only real example of the promise of interactive entertainment held out by modern technologies. Video games provide a rapidly growing form of entertainment and are also used for educational and business purposes. This unit provides an introduction to the design and study of computer and console games. Topics covered include: the history of games; the cultural and aesthetic study of games; and the game development process. The assessment includes a project using a game development package.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: demonstrate disciplinary knowledge of video games studies theories and practices.
  • ULO2: communicate clearly and effectively a range of ideas in a variety of media forms.
  • ULO3: identify and analyse different disciplinary approaches to video game analysis.
  • ULO4: apply game design skills and methodologies to the production of basic video games.

General Assessment Information

Unless a Special Consideration request has been submitted and approved, (a) a penalty for lateness will apply – two (2) marks out of 100 will be deducted per day for assignments submitted after the due date – and (b) no assignment will be accepted more than seven (7) days (incl. weekends) after the original submission deadline.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Practical Exercises 6% No Weekly
Active Tutorial Participation 10% No Weekly
Game Analysis 14% No Wednesday 11:59pm Week 6
Final Essay 40% No Friday 11:59pm Week 11
Game Design Task 30% No Friday 11:59pm Week 13

Practical Exercises

Assessment Type 1: Participatory task
Indicative Time on Task 2: 0 hours
Due: Weekly
Weighting: 6%

 

Practical exercises using a video game engine. These exercises are designed to introduce students to the basics of game development. Refer to iLearn for further information.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • apply game design skills and methodologies to the production of basic video games.

Active Tutorial Participation

Assessment Type 1: Participatory task
Indicative Time on Task 2: 0 hours
Due: Weekly
Weighting: 10%

 

A set of small tasks including student-led discussions and group activities that take place in the weekly tutorials (in-class activities). Refer to iLearn for further information.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • demonstrate disciplinary knowledge of video games studies theories and practices.
  • communicate clearly and effectively a range of ideas in a variety of media forms.
  • identify and analyse different disciplinary approaches to video game analysis.

Game Analysis

Assessment Type 1: Case study/analysis
Indicative Time on Task 2: 10 hours
Due: Wednesday 11:59pm Week 6
Weighting: 14%

 

A short answer online task, analysing the design of a game (to be provided) using the ideas taught in class. This exercise is designed to demonstrate students’ understanding of the concepts taught and their ability to apply them to analysing a game. Refer to iLearn for further information.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • demonstrate disciplinary knowledge of video games studies theories and practices.
  • communicate clearly and effectively a range of ideas in a variety of media forms.
  • identify and analyse different disciplinary approaches to video game analysis.

Final Essay

Assessment Type 1: Essay
Indicative Time on Task 2: 38 hours
Due: Friday 11:59pm Week 11
Weighting: 40%

 

Students write an essay critically analysing a video game or game community of their choosing. It must build upon, critique and/or extend the argument of one or more of the unit readings. It must also use academic theory from beyond the unit to support the argument. Students must identify the key theoretical ideas and assumptions associated with their chosen reading and apply them to the chosen game/community. Refer to iLearn for further information.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • demonstrate disciplinary knowledge of video games studies theories and practices.
  • communicate clearly and effectively a range of ideas in a variety of media forms.
  • identify and analyse different disciplinary approaches to video game analysis.

Game Design Task

Assessment Type 1: Design Implementation
Indicative Time on Task 2: 33 hours
Due: Friday 11:59pm Week 13
Weighting: 30%

 

A design implementation task using a 3D game engine. You will design a level for a simple video game and write a 1-2 page document describing the engine features you use and how they contribute towards your design.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • communicate clearly and effectively a range of ideas in a variety of media forms.
  • apply game design skills and methodologies to the production of basic video games.

1 If you need help with your assignment, please contact:

  • the academic teaching staff in your unit for guidance in understanding or completing this type of assessment
  • the Learning Skills Unit for academic skills support.

2 Indicative time-on-task is an estimate of the time required for completion of the assessment task and is subject to individual variation

Delivery and Resources

Classes

Each week you should watch a pre-recorded lecture, and attend a one hour tutorial and a two hour practical. For details of days, times and locations consult the timetables webpage. http://timetables.mq.edu.au

Note: Practicals and tutorials commence in Week 1.

You should have selected a tutorial and a practical at enrolment. You should attend the tutorial and practical you are enrolled in. For further details refer to iLearn.

 

Resources to assist your learning

Textbook

Adams, E. (2010) Fundamentals of game design is a recommended text for this subject but it is not required. It is, however, strongly recommended that students who are proceeding with the Bachelor of Game Design and Development buy this book as it will be a useful reference throughout your degree. For further details refer to iLearn.

The COMP1150/MMCC1011 readings will be provided online through iLearn.

 

Website

The website for this unit is provided through the University's iLearn system. iLearn can be found at http://ilearn.mq.edu.au. If you are enrolled in this unit you should have access to the material on iLearn once you log on.

 

Discussion Boards

The discussion board for this unit can be accessed through the iLearn site.

 

Technologies Employed

Game Design Environment: the Unity game engine will be used to create your game. This is a free download and runs on both PCs and Macs.

 

Consultation Times

The full contact details and consultation times of convenors Mitchell McEwan and Rowan Tulloch are available on the iLearn site.

Unit Schedule

Lectures and tutorials will cover weekly topics such as:

  • What is a game?
  • Player Experience
  • Discovery and Mastery
  • Game Analysis
  • Approaches to Discourse (including cultural impacts, violence and classification)
  • Game Essentialism
  • Gamification
  • The Magic Circle
  • Gender
  • Models and Metaphors
  • Games and Meaning

Practicals will introduce the Unity game engine and cover practical skills related to version control, 2D physics and animation, layers, triggers and prefabs, meshes and textures, terrain, ProBuilder and package manager, cameras, lighting, particle systems and interactivity.

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit the Student Policy Gateway (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/student-policy-gateway). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

If you would like to see all the policies relevant to Learning and Teaching visit Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central).

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/admin/other-resources/student-conduct

Results

Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to help you improve your marks and take control of your study.

The Library provides online and face to face support to help you find and use relevant information resources. 

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.