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Projects

This is the most important page. If you do any projects involving games, please take the time to write a quick blurb here. If you need help editing the wiki, let me know.

Inform 7 - Depauw

Civ IV - Dickinson College

Harry Brown is teaching a first-year seminar in the fall called "Literature and Ludology" exploring the connections between narrative and games. This is a question I addressed previously in other courses. The seminar is not yet fully developed, but it will involve some game-like literature (Borges, Calvino, Poe) as well as exercises in game playing, game analysis, and game design. I am fairly certain I will use Inform 7 for at least one major assignment--a decision based directly on our conference. I can of course send you a full syllabus when the time comes, but I wanted to send you this short preview for your report.

Todd Bryant will use the mod described at the conference of the world in 1492 to have a discussion with Ed Webb's class on Empires about the world at that time and the difficulties I encountered trying to set up a simulation of history.

Peacemaker - Dickinson College

Professors Shalom Staub and Ed Webb use the game as part of their courses on Conflict Resolution and Middle Eastern Politics

Summer Fellows Seminars - Dickinson College

One day of the eight day fellowship for professors with focus on games and simulations. Several applicants have mentioned games for courses they hope to redesign. These include Lucille Duperron for her content based French course focusing on WWII, Ed Webb and the possible use of MMORPGs to evaluate relationships of power as well as Inform 7 for his senior seminar on Authoritarianism, and Tom Arnold is planning on using several games and simulations for his course, Changing Ocean Ecosystems.

Data Structures this semester - Ursinus College

Richard Liston taught CS 174: Data Structures this semester, a freshman-level course in Computer Science. Toward the end of the course I assigned students to groups of 3 or 4, each of which implemented projects of their own choice and design. The idea was for them to gain some experience working on advanced projects, to learn how to integrate code written by others, and to employ some creativity. Two groups opted to design and implement game- related projects: a sudoku solver and a small civilization-type simulation.

A sudoku solver is a typical project to assign in an advanced CS course, Artificial Intelligence. I allowed them to go forward with it, alerting them to the fact that they may not fully complete it since it requires advanced techniques. My thinking was that they would give them some experience with the subject and and prime them to dig in to their upper- level courses where related topics are treated. This strategy seems to have been successful. They were engaged in the project and appear eager to learn more about the topics that they will be studying in preparation for the AI course.

The simulation project (they called it TribeSim) simulated a primitive society in which a nomadic tribe is placed on a partially randomly- generated map with different types of terrain. They begin with a fixed amount of food and automatically search the terrain for water where they can become an agrarian society, growing their own food and increasing population. The "player" can enter "god mode" and inject various events that affect the tribe: Rain, Snow, Drought, Meteor shower, Tornado, Hurricane, Earthquake, Apocalypse, Valentines Day.

What portion of this is useful for non-CS? Maybe just the fact that students can go off on their own and work through designing a game all on their own, and when they get together they enjoy throwing around lots of ideas and learn a great deal from each other.

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Page last modified on May 27, 2008, at 12:59 PM