Simon McCallum, Department of Computer Science

Title: Computer Game Design
Computer Game Design:

In January 2004 the Computer Science Department will be offering a six point, third year course on Computer Game Design. This course will look at the interdisciplinary nature of the games development process and try to expose our students to information from the other fields that affect good design. In this talk, I will discuss the background to the course, and the international curriculum developed by the IGDA that will form the backbone of our content.

The very nature of this course asks the question "Is computer science an ART". Mike Atkinson gave a forceful argument for the interpretation of computer science as a science. In fact this was so successful that some members of the University were surprised to find that computer science is also listed in the Arts schedule and that you can do a BA in Computer Science. Over the last few years our department has drifted toward the sciences and a quick glance over the Honours projects shows that most have a science flavour. This paper, and the projects that follow it, have to be considered as part of an Arts curriculum. Good design is not just about following rules, and meeting an objective standard, it requires intuition, innovation, imagination, and dedication --- a healthy mix of process and freedom. In this course we hope to draw together some of the threads in computer science that make us more like artists than scientists or engineers.