Topic outline

  • Topic 1

    Week 0 - The Introductory Class

    Wherein we have found we don't have the technology necessary for this class here at Marlboro. But remember, to a geek, "impossible" is just another word for "Really? Oooh, let me try!"

    So we're going to do it anyway.

    We are just going to do it the hard way. The revised battle plan will be ready for class on Monday.
  • Topic 2

    Week 1: The Basics

    For now, as our working in-world has been delayed, I had a book on reserve at the library that I was going to do some selected readings from over the semester, but was too big and pricey for the amount we were going to use it, so for now, please read the following, just as a little background to get us thinking:

    • Introduction to Game Development (on reserve at the library):
      September 7th: Part 1.2 - Games and Society (pp.43-57)
      (I just noticed that in my printing, Part 2.1 is also accidentally titled Games and Society, even though the page headings are correct. Welcome to a publishing industry that doesn't think proof readers are a good use of their money.)

    Also, for the 10th, start to tackle the following:
    • Track down either the Meerkat Second Life Viewer or the Hippo OpenSim Viewer. We will need one or the other.
    • Poke around the OpenSim Web site and get a sense of what they have thiere in terms of resources.
    • Also to prep for the actual work, an interesting article that gives some perspective, though it may not mean much to you yet:
      An Interview with Alyne Dagger
  • Topic 3

    Week 2: Game Design

    Although this is a programming course, not a design course, it is useful to understand the basics. So we are going to take an entire week for a crash course in game design. The that end read the following for next week.
    • Introduction to Game Development (on reserve at the library):
      September 7th: Part 2.1 - Game Design (pp.61-138)
      (In my printing, Part 2.1 is accidentally titled Games and Society, just FYI and just like the previous chapter)
    • Also read the following article for some consideration of just how "real" virtual worlds have become:
      [EVE Online player elected council rep steps down in wake of insider trading]
  • Topic 4

    Week 3: The OpenSim

    This week we start working directly in OpenSim.

    There are no new readings this week because I am expecting you to be doing a fair amount of online research to do what you need to do for the assignments that are due this week. Which is to say, your reading assignment is learn what you need to know to do the assignments.

    An interesting article I have found on SL and AI:
    Open Forum: How Many Species of Artificial Life in Second Life Are There?

    And check out the Second Life history museum at:

    The link above is a Slurl (pronounced just like it's written). It will link you to a location through your SL client from your browser.
  • Topic 5

    Week 4: Sick of Plywood?

    This week we will look at working with graphics in game. There is a decent amount of reading. Since last week was a week when I expected people to be spending too much time learning the environment and thus not reading, don't be afraid to get a head start for this week in the assigned reading gap.
    • Introduction to Game Development (on reserve at the library):
      Try to have the following read for the 28th:
      • Part 5.1 - Graphics (pp. 423-475)
      • (Optional) Part 6.1 - Visual Design (pp. 643-655)
      • Part 6.2 - 3D Modeling (pp. 657-678)
      • Part 6.3 - 3D Environments (pp. 679-685)
      • Part 6.4 - 2D Textures and Mapping (pp. 687-700)
    We won't be making use of the 3D modeling quite yet, but it will help you to understand 6.4.
  • Topic 6

    Week 5: Getting Your Virtual Feet Wet

    This week we will start to look at scripting and coding for in game purposes. Please read the following:
    • Introduction to Game Development (on reserve at the library)
      Hopefully these will mostly be review, but whether or not they are, they should be informative:
      • Part 3.1 - Teams and Processes (pp. 167-188) (optional but informative)
      • Part 3.2 - C++, Java, and Script Languages (pp. 189-208)
      • Part 3.3 - Programming Fundamentals (pp. 209-238)
    • Scripting Your World
      • Chapter 1 - Getting a Feel of the Linden Scripting Language (pp. 2-35)

  • Topic 7

    Week 6: When Things Go Splork

    This week we will start to look at some points of debugging and troubleshooting:
    • Introduction to Game Development (on reserve at the library):
      • (Optional) Part 3.6 - Debugging Games (pp. 313-227)
    • Scripting Your World
      • Chapter 2 - Making Your Avatar Stand Up and Stand Out (pp. 36-65)
      • Chapter 14 - Dealing with Problems (pp. 310-333)
      • Chapter 15 - New and Improved (pp. 334-340)
  • Topic 8

    Week 7: Communcations
    This week we will look at how objects can communicate with avatars and each other. Since it is Hendrick's day this week, it is a light reading load:
    • Scripting Your World
      • Chapter 3 - Communications (pp. 66-97)
      • Chapter 5 - Sensing the World (pp. 124-139)
  • Topic 9

    Week 8: Motion

    This week we will start to look motion and game physics. This will take a few weeks. The good news on the math chapter is that I realize much of it is high level and I don't expect you to understand it all. The bad news is that everything is the math chapter is something a professional game programmer should know cold.
    • Introduction to Game Development (on reserve at the library):
      • Part 4.1 - Mathematical Concepts (pp. 331-366)
      • Part 5.2 - Character Animation (pp. 477-520)
    • Scripting Your World
      • Chapter 4 - Making and Moving Objects (pp. 98-123)
  • Topic 10

    Week 9: Physics and Movement

    This week we will continue looking at game physics and motion. The material from the book on reserve is running slightly behind the material in the textbook because, well, this is a place where you really can do first and understand later.
    • Introduction to Game Development (on reserve at the library):
      • Part 4.2 - Collision Detection and Resolution (pp. 367-386)
    • Scripting Your World
      • Chapter 7 - Physics and Vehicles (pp. 156-185)
  • Topic 11

    Week 10: Particle Systems

    The last week of game physics, we look at particle systems, which help to understand game physics overall:
    • Introduction to Game Development (on reserve at the library):
      • Part 4.3 - Real-Time Game Physics (pp. 387-420)
    • Scripting Your World
      • Chapter 9 - Special Effects (pp. 198-227)
    • Topic 12

      Week 11: Managing the Environment

      This week we some issues in managing the game environment:
      • Scripting Your World
        • Chapter 6 - Land Design and Management (pp. 140-155)
        • Chapter 8 - Inventory (pp. 186-197)
        • Chapter 10 - Scripting the Environment (pp. 228-241)
      • Topic 13

        Final Project Info

        Information regarding the final projects.

        Last day of classes for us is the 7th. Therefore you should have something to show by then so we have something to talk about.

        All work should be done by the 11th so you have time to make any fixes before the drop dead date.

        Nothing will be accepted after the 14th without prior arrangement.

        Nothing will be accepted after noon on the 16th period because grades close out at 1:30 on the 16th.


        This is a programming class, so point dings for lack of visual flair will be pretty minimal.

        But, at a bare minimum, the product must work, and must show and awareness of that programming tools and techniques we have covered over the semester.

        I will be looking for good coding style, an understanding of programming concepts, and general coding quality. Perfect scores will be reserved for projects that not only work, but show some flair and elegance in the quality of the solutions.

        • Topic 14

          • Topic 15

            • Topic 16