Archive for September, 2011

Lecture 8

September 27th, 2011 No comments

We are getting there!

Today was mainly about making objects, setting and getting variables, and playing around with obj-C. The truth is: That is it! 99% of what you will code deals with setting some variables and getting them from somewhere… sometimes a little messier then that. Everything that goes beyond this lecture is about explaining functions from other frameworks or the SDK but objective c doesn’t provide more.

Okay I haven’t talked about selectors and protocols but you will survive without them for quite some time.

Enjoy the homework and you can find the lectures here: lecture 8 and the pdf:lecture 8

Cheers Arend

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Lecture 7

September 25th, 2011 No comments

Almost done ….

at least with talking about all projects, we didn’t finished all, so three are missing but we got close. Once I heard all I will try and make categories so that I can focus on specific game mechanics in more detail.

Cheers Arend

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Lecture 6

September 21st, 2011 No comments

Game concept presentations Part I

Impressive, fun, and constructive. I guess that is my summary, but to be honest I was also pleased to see these ideas. I liked every one of them and I saw a lot of potential. Yes some ideas need tweaking, and some concepts have to be made more concrete, but after all I think you all put a lot of yourself into this. And I wanted to see exactly that. All these ideas appeared to be authentic, and you all seam to be motivated to do exactly these projects.

Also thank you for all the feedback you gave in class, that was honest and also very constructive, the question pointed to the flaws or missing pieces and the ideas were nice contributions and helpful.

I am looking forward to the next session.

Remember: If you want to avoid fiddling around with a German labeled computer, mail early and I do that for you…

Cheers Arend

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Lecture 5 – objective C intro

September 16th, 2011 2 comments

Yesterday I was so tired I couldn’t do a thing,

two lectures on the same day was a little much… anyway here are the slides:lecture 5 and the pdf:lecture 5

We covered the basic types and had a look at the NS classes dealing with data. We only touched objects peripherally, and only how to use them, defining them and all the magic around them will come later, for now we just need to get used to “[ ]“.

Anyway thanks for the feedback in the other poll, that was very informative. If you have 1 minute please also do this poll:

The total volume of stuff

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Check every statement that was true for you

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And of cause: Other comments, feedback, or questions are very welcome!

Cheers Arend

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Lecture 4

September 14th, 2011 No comments

A look inside,

This lecture was about basic game designs, we took a look at pong, Pac-man, and Donkey Kong, you can check out the slides here:lecture 4 or the corresponding PDF:lecture 4 .

I totally forgot to talk about office hours, but in general you can come anytime to BPS Building room 2228B, just enter into room 2228 and there you will find a big sofa with me either hanging out or being in my adjacent office.

office hours

time Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
10-11   no   no no
11-12   no   no no
12-1 lunch lunch lunch lunch lunch
1-2         no
2-3     no   no
3-4 no   no   no
4-5 no   no   no

I had the impression that sometimes I was talking over your heads, and sometimes I came across boring. Well, I have to admit I wasn’t in the best shape anyways due to the cold that I currently have…

Anyways, when we get into more code related things it is important that I don’t skip over stuff and assume you know that, at the same time boring you isn’t the goal, so please use the poll so that I can get a better idea where this lecture was:

Did you learn something?

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How much did you learn?

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What should I have emphasized more? (multiple answers possible!)

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Thank you, Cheers Arend

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Lecture 3

September 9th, 2011 No comments


very interactive, and very funny, and I hope it was also constructive. I have the slides here: lecture 3(zip) lecture 3(pdf).

There are two homeworks:

1) Everyone not having his/her app description please add it to the former post, try to stick to the schema discussed in class. I will comment on all of them as some form of feedback, and please feel free to comment on each others posts.

2) Prepare a 3-5 minute presentation about your game, imagine this is a sales pitch to sell your app concept/prototype to a major game label. Start with Title, pitch, summary, and catch phrase, add base storyline and rules. Answer Genre, Theme, Viewpoint, level of abstraction. Don’t worry too much about implementation but keep the main concept brief and to the point. This will be due Tuesday in a week (9/20/11).


Cheers Arend

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Third Lecture Excercise

September 8th, 2011 20 comments

We want to write a possible iTunes app description for some of our games.

I talk about it, but here is the base structure of such a description:

First Sentence (main game fun, key goal, theme, main mechanic)

Summary 3-5 Sentences (describe what the player does!)

Snapper (catchy phrase, provokes buying)

Feature List (add everything that is special to the user and makes the game better)

Also: Sell don’t lecture – avoid: [title] is a game … – no genre slang – everything must be a reason to buy – start sentences with a VERB – use “you” – don’t use “the user” – be brief – suspend realism

Objective: You want to sell a game!

I am going to comment within each post between these marks:

[* *] I can otherwise not put the comments directly after the posts


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second lecture

September 7th, 2011 No comments

This time I am a little mad with me:

I prepared three slides today giving crucial summaries which would have drastically helped to get an overview and I can only find the first one in my talk and I skipped it …%&^%#%$.

So sorry for that, I will give a better summary next lecture and I hope you find that the following explains what I missed:

-There is a fundamental difference between a game and real life

-In real life we have to choose our goal, in a game they are given

-we are good at life, but bad at choosing goals, and even worse at sticking to them

-a good game provides a way to have the feel of accomplishment and achievement  (in case these words mean different things)

I was happy that you all followed the game review, and I could see your “disappointment” when I concluded “everything has already been invented”and computer games are in most cases just recycled idea. I am curious how you will prove me wrong.

When I was talking about categories, I was laying the foundation for our later discussions, that wasn’t obvious at all and so I guess some of you were a little confused where this was going. I expected more enthusiasm when talking about themes because there are so many funny and creative ways to look at things and to put them into a different perspective, but we all had a down at that point, either I was confusing before or we were all tired or both. Anyway the point I wanted to make:

-Innovating game concepts and ideas, in particular having new and original ideas is very hard

-it is easier to use familiar schemes and add your own twist or point of view to that

-playing around with themes might create this original spark – example: Zombies do things differently then Pirates… and suddenly you think about how zombies build their new infrastructure when settling on a new world full or brain flowers (Sid Meier’s Colonization but as a zombie theme – you get the point)

I promise I make sure I have the correct edits in the correct presentation next time. Until then you might enjoy to read the lecture again:lecture 2 W08 or the pdf: lecture 2.

For next time: Prepare your game idea, keep things in mind like “what to achieve” “genre” “theme” where are you in “category space?” strategy/action/realism, what is new, what is old

And thank you for your picture efforts, Cheers Arend

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first lecture

September 1st, 2011 3 comments

Okay, we had our first lecture. And you can download the slides here:lecture 1 and as a pdf: lecture 1

After sketching the outline for this course, explaining some procedures and getting to know each other we dived right into the matter, playing Calvin Ball … each team had to write down “random” rules pertaining to a certain piece of game equipment. We had dice, a deck of cards, traditional chess board and figures, colored blocks, and colored sticks. After a little confusion about what to do, I guess we all ended up designing a game. Born in chaos, played in chaos, and all in the name of creativity.

The take home message was: You need a spark or initial source where you can start you developmental journey, but after that a random walk pretty much gets you somewhere. Also rules is what a games is made of, and I think it became quite clear that rules are not only giving a structure for a game, but also follow their own rules. You have to have a definition of initial conditions, you have to have a goal, and the rest of the rules define how to get from start to end.

In one of the later blogs I will summarize the five games we “developed” on the fly. Check out the image, and you see happy faces and very concentrated designers immersing themselves in a very unique struggle.


Or look a the picture from this game where you had to throw pins at each other which ultimately had consequences out side of the class room. Still I felt kind of old being the “responsible” person making sure the stick don’t deliberately injure someone. I was reassured that there was a “not in the eye” rule, but being cursed with hyper-creativity I still wondered if that rule also applied to spectators…:


We also have one exercise:

Play the flash game on kongregate and all of its four episodes

And we have two homeworks:

Get XCode 4 and make a picture of someone playing you phenomenal iPhone game you will be designing (and coding)

Cheers Arend

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