Introduction to Game Development

Instructor: Peter Brinson

Sundays September 16, 23, 30, & October 7


This introductory class is focused on creating 2D games. We will develop a number of prototypes while learning the technical capabilities and challenges of the game engine, Torque 2D (Torque Game Builder). An emphasis will be placed on game design — projects will be expected to prototype a handful of simple and clear game mechanics, as opposed to incorporating well-crafted art assets, developed characters, a rich story, or even a winning scenario. The goal of such ’short games’ is to help the designer understand how the kernel of a more ambitious game concept is compelling or in fact fun to play.


Week 1

Discuss (1 hour)
- evaluate student’s interests, skills, laptops
- Torque overview. Comparison to other engines and programming languages.
- GarageGames- their resources and forums.
- Torque editors, scripting languages, and source code.

- level editor and physics engine
- basic behavior- player control, enemy movement
- functions, variables

Week 2

Due: Fish Game or Platformer Prototype (completed tutorials)

Discuss (30 minutes)
- play 2D games
- isolating a game’s mechanics

- classes and object oriented programming
- torquescript syntax, common practices
- schedules
- collision system
- physics engine

Week 3

Due: Single Mechanic Prototype

Discuss (30 minutes)
- benefits of prototyping- paper and digital
- play everyone’s prototype

- sound
- plan for final week and add to current prototype

Week 4

Due: Final Project (with some problems to fix)

Discuss (20 minutes)
- alternative game topics- What hasn’t been tried? What are games good at?

- finish projects, resolve issues.


System Requirements for Torque 2D:


500 MHz processor
256 MB RAM
Windows 98
OpenGL or DirectX compatible accelerated 3D video card

1.0 GHz processor
512 MB RAM
Windows XP
nVidia or ATI accelerated 3D video card


128 MB RAM
MAC OSX 10.3
nVidia or ATI accelerated 3D video card

G4, G5 or Intel Mac
256 MB RAM
MAC OSX 10.4+
nVidia or ATI accelerated 3D video card