Semester(s) Offered: Fall
Credits: 4
Course Call Number: GAMES-UT 127
Prerequisite(s): Intermediate Game Development

The goal of this class is to develop an understanding of the unique design considerations that apply to action games and action systems, and to cultivate an appreciation and understanding of the minutiae that differentiate and characterize action mechanics in a wide variety of games. To accomplish this the class starts with weeks of critical play and replication of mechanics, and the production of original prototypes built in response to these games. In the final six weeks of the semester, students move on to the production of a more substantial action game, culminating in a final game which should demonstrate intentional use of the concepts and techniques discussed in class.

There are a large number of games to play in this class, but we will not be aiming to play them to completion; rather, we will focus in detail on the action mechanics, playing and replaying short segments of the games to understand how they are constructed.

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:
1) Understand the primary design challenges of action game development, and learn how they’ve been addressed by famous successes and failures of the style.
2) Learn strategies (both in code and in design) for implementing games that maximize immediacy and minimize latency.
3) Develop critical literacy in a diverse range of contemporary and historical action games.
4) Apply the lessons learned in prototyping and through critical play to the production of a complete original action game.
5) Develop a toolkit of second-best strategies used to finish action games under tight time constraints.