Games and Resources From My Game Development Course, Second Edition
by Ming Chow
Course website: http://www.cs.tufts.edu/comp/50GD
I just finished teaching my game development course at Tufts University. The first time I taught this course back in 2006 went extremely well. I continued to use Java for the programming aspects of my course. Most of the syllabus remained the same, but the 3D component of the class was vastly different, namely:
- I eliminated the use of Java 3D, and used the Lightweight Java Game Library (LWJGL) for 3D development
- Deeper discussion of game engines, and used the JMonkey Engine (jME)
Both changes worked out extremely well, and I did not encounter many problems. In the end, it was a very successful semester, and I cannot credit my students enough for what they accomplished. I thought my 2006 class was the best class that I had, but this year's class went over-the-top. The expectations and aspirations of the students this year were ambitious, and they all delivered nicely.
I invite everyone to check out my students' works at http://www.cs.tufts.edu/comp/50GD/students_works/. If you have some time to kill, feel free to play and hack some of the games. Two games you can definitely download and play with no code compilation: Barrel Blaster and Zapped! Barrel Blaster is Windows-only, a final project created with Multimedia Fusion Developer 2. Zapped! was written entirely in Java: its' soundtrack was homemade, and it has a vast set of challenging levels --just don't get hit, that is the goal of the game! If you are a programmer, try out the CS3 game engine, a final project written in C++. If you have been curious about using LWJGL and jME, try Penelope, a StarFox-clone. There are several cool and sophisticated action/adventure/RPG games: EquipmentQuest (RPG, Final Fantasy-like), Singularity (isometric tile), and Journey to the West (sidescroller). There is even a 2D fighter: Legendary Vaporware Forever. If you want to delve into Blender and all it can do, there are models and a demo of its' game engine. One student managed to tinker with the new open source game project, Solis (a 2D action/adventure game a la Zelda) --and created a new map based on the Tufts campus. Finally, my course notes and resources are available.
Everything is there for the taking: please feel free to use and distribute. There is something for everyone: from beginners to game hackers. I hope that this is valuable for hobbyists, game studios, and Computer Science departments that are interested in starting a course or a major in game development.