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TEACHING-->306: Humanities Computing - Narrative & Video Game Design

As a new offering from the English department, this course begins with introducing students to the study of narrative theory or narratology. Narrative theory wrestles with the ways in which a particular medium communicates events, characters, settings, and perspectives. The particular medium that will be the focus for this course is the video game. Video games, especially those that contain rich layers of story-telling, provide a dynamic context for exploring narrative frameworks. In turn, video game genres provide students a unique opportunity to design their own narratives and put theory into practice.

Download a PDF version of the Spring 2012 English 306 syllabus


Prezi Educational Account Sign Up and Prezi Tutorials

Text Adventure development software - Quest download
YouTube Quest tutorials.
QuestWiki link

Sign up for an account at 1up.com

Download Dropbox for cloud storage

WVU's free community.wvu.edu web hosting (optional) - obtain your Central ID

OTHER Game Development Resources

YoYo Games and GameMaker and Game Maker Lite
a hypertext editor

Skyrim mods for the PC!

Bogost, Ian. Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power Video Games. Cambridge: MIT, 2007.
Co, Phil. Level Design for Games: Creating Compelling Game Experiences. Berkeley, CA: New Riders, 2006.

Week 1:
YouTube - Crash Course in Games and Learning

Pixelate - Episode 1
Pixelate - Episode 2
Pixelate - Episode 3
Pixelate - Episode 4

Week 2:
Blog Post 1
Ch. 1 - Narrative & Life (pdf)

Week 3:
Blog Post 2

Ch. 2 - Defining Narrative (pdf)

Extra/Non-required reading:
1up article on Bioshock - 'You're playing the game wrong'
Online article on 'And Alice Played a Video Game'

Week 4:
Group Prezi presentations on CYOA book
Review of Uncharted 3 discussing user/gamer experience & the making of Uncharted

Week 5:
“Back of box” description and “Limiting what your players can do

Week 6:
Blog Post 3

Jaffe on why story-driven games don't work

Week 7:
Group Prezi presentations on “Planting your level ideas

Wired article, "The Curse of Cow Clicker"
Wardrip-Fruin, Ch. 1 from Expressive Processing

BONUS! Thursday the 23rd - Noah Wardrip-Fruin Skype interview
Colson 130 at 2:00 p.m.
Video link now available

Week 8:
Blog Post 4

Week 9:
Laying out your level

Week 10:
Blog Post 5

Week 11:
Blog Post 6

Week 12:
Spring Break

Week 13:
Blog Post 7

Week 14:
"Ship It!" and Bug Tracking

Week 15:
How to write a good bug tracking report (and other good bug info)

Sample Bug Tracking Sheet (.doc)

Week 16:
Final Presentations

Current-ish Events in Gaming
Julian Gough interview on writing the ending for Minecraft
Juul's Ludologist blog
Juul's 6 game features
Games that Teach - Digital Nation video links
Thatgamecompany's Journey discussed on BoingBoing and 1Up
The 10 most beautiful games ever?
Linux Tycoon Game (4 bucks)

Assignments/Documents [REQUIRED: Please email me your completed form by the last day of class]
Peer Review Forms