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By Cooper, Kendra M. L.; Scacchi, Walt

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Extra info for Computer games and software engineering

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A collection of five case studies exploring the issue of reuse in game play mechanics from a repurposing perspective on the design of CGs and game-based virtual worlds is presented by Walt Scacchi in Chapter 11. The case studies are research and development projects that have been created with diverse purposes, target audiences, and external collaborators over an extended period of time. The projects include a K-6 educational game on informal life science education; training for technicians in advanced, semiconductor manufacturing; training for newly hired personnel on business processes; training for state employees on sexual harassment; multiplayer mission planning; and games on science mission research projects.

The four most popular game genres developed by students in these projects are shooter (38%), strategy (25%), board (13%), and platform games (12%). All the games developed so far have been 2D games. The course staff recommend the development of 2D games to avoid too much focus on technical challenges. Some students groups admit that they focus too much on the game itself and less on the software architecture. Another comment from the students is that they spend way too much time on the game project, so it hurts their effort in other courses.

We do not want the students to get stuck in technical problems during the project, as then they will not learn as much about the CS/SE topic. Thus, it is important that the GDF be easy to use and let the students be productive with relatively small amount of code. This means, in practice, that the course staff should, before introducing game development in a course, create some simple games in the GDF to get a feeling of how difficult it is to use. The GDF should provide high-level APIs, it should be well structured, and it should have a logical structure.

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