FAQs

This course is pretty complicated. There’s a lot asked of you and not a lot of time to do it in. As such, it’s easy to gloss over some details. Here is a collection of Frequently Asked Questions to help when you feel like you’re just not quite getting something.

This FAQ is not a substitute for reading the syllabus closely and in its entirety. This is just here for clarification.


General


I clicked on a reading item but I’m being asked to request permission. What gives?

Many of the consumables are housed in Google Drive and require you to log in with your University NetID. They are set to be viewable by anyone at the university but not publicly or by personal Gmail accounts. Make sure you’re logged into your UA account and not with your personal Gmail. I always suggest having a separate browser profile that’s just for school. Makes these kinds of things much, much easier.


Is attendance required?

No. That said, it’s a virtual certainty that if you neither a) come to the live class sessions that are held, nor b) watch the recording later, you will be missing absolutely vital information. If you come to class you will have a vastly superior experience.


I missed a deadline. Can I still submit the assignment?

Nope.


I forgot to submit something a few weeks ago. Can I submit it now?

Still nope.


So, this whole grading declaration thing… you really won’t grade unless it’s there?

I really won’t. The grading declaration serves as both a verification for you to make sure you’ve got everything required in the submission and as a means of critical self-reflection. I don’t just want you to show me what you’ve done; I want you to tell me how you did it. No declaration? No grade. Remember: you can’t even submit the assignment until the declaration quiz is done! (And don’t worry, we’ll go over it in class.)


I see the little next to your name in Slack. Are you really online?

Probably! Only one way to check. 😊.


I missed class. Where’s the recording?

Recordings via Zoom can take some time to process in the cloud. Once it’s done (typically the next morning) I’ll put the link to the recording in Slack. I always pin this message so you can easily find them later. (The same goes for the Zoom link and the syllabus.)


Your home equipment is awesome. What is all that stuff?

I’m assuming you mean all this stuff: home studio audio equipment I run down my audio setup on my podcast.


How do you make these websites?

I use RStudio and a package called Blogdown. It’s plain text, super simple to use, and it lets me use R code right in the site, like this:

# example from https://www.r-graph-gallery.com/277-marginal-histogram-for-ggplot2.html
# load the necessary libraries
library(ggplot2)
library(ggExtra)

# create classic plot :
p <- ggplot(mtcars, aes(x=wt, y=mpg, color=cyl, size=cyl)) +
      geom_point() +
      theme(legend.position="none")
 
# add marginal histogram
p1 <- ggMarginal(p, type="histogram")

Turns into:

# show the graph!
p1

After that, it’s a lot of trial and error! 😅


Class Specific


So, we get to design any game we want? Really?

Yup! While we touch on serious and educational games, including how one might teach with games (a la game-based learning and gamification), your final project is to submit a single document that lays out everything you need to develop a game. More on that in the assignments section.


But we’re not actually developing and making the game?

Nope. We’re solely focused on the design aspect of games in this class. If you’re taking 405 and 406 back-to-back, you’re more than welcome to actually develop in 406 (ie, INFV 406: Introduction to Game Development) the game that you designed in this class.


So it’s all theoretical?

Not entirely. Along with your final project you’ll be submitting some mock-ups of assets for your game. What these are is entirely up to you (within reason; again, see the assignment for details).


Do we design just the one game during the entire class?

Absolutely not! Throughout the class you’ll be partaking in design challenges. These have you laser focused on specific formats, mechanics, and various other aspects of game design and then creating mini games based on those. Remember: enjoying eating doesn’t make you a chef; playing a lot of games doesn’t make you a game designer. This takes practice, repetition, practice, repetition, practice, and more repetition.


I see what you did there.

via GIPHY


So, how do the Slack channels work, again?

As you can see in the menu on the left, this class is broken down into modules that organize multiple weeks’ worth of content. The Slack channels are organized to match this:

infv405 - the general channel for non-module-specific content
infv405-module1 - for all things related to Module 1
infv405-module2 - for all things related to Module 2
infv405-module3 - you see where I’m going with this?
infv405-final - everything related to your final project
infv405-social - other than the introduction you share, for chat unrelated to class; is your band playing somewhere this weekend? Tell us here!