Summary: According to wikipedia, a “serious” game is one that is designed for a primary purpose other than entertainment.  This online course, presented in Spring 2013, covered selected concepts of serious game design in Python and Django including such game mechanics as points, scoreboards, badges, social and referral bonus mechanics through the guided exploration and enhancement of the serious game engine “Makahiki”.

This course consisted of online lectures, readings, and assignments.  Please see the Syllabus page for the  sequence of topics, the Modules menu for the list of released assignments, and the Calendar page for due dates.

The course was divided into two halves.  The first half consisted of a fast-paced introduction to serious games, Python, Django, software engineering and web development tools, and the Makahiki framework for serious games.  In the second half, students worked alone or in groups to develop a course project on some aspect of serious game technology.

By the end of the course, students obtained a solid exposure to Python and Django development, game application design techniques, as well as other software engineering tools and technologies including PyDev (a Python IDE based upon Eclipse), the git distributed version control system, the Heroku cloud-based hosting platform, and the Twitter/Bootstrap CSS framework. In addition, students attempted to “push the envelope” in serious game technology through their own project.

There were no required classroom times, however, we encouraged students to form teams and work together on assignments.

Prerequisites: Senior or grad standing, or at least two years professional development experience.  Prior experience with Python preferred but not necessary; will cover Python during the beginning of the course. Seniors can register for ICS 691 (See Gerald for details).  Community developers can register through UH Outreach College.