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8 am

January 7, 2008

Funny the things we’ll commit our future selves to. I have 8 am classes this quarter. It seemed like a great idea when I came up with it.

I return to my day job today as a professor at Savannah College of Art and Design where I teach game design in a variety of courses ranging from upper level to grad. It’s a great gig, and not unlike actual game development. The only way to really teach design is through repeated application of principles (hence the name of the site, Applied Game Design) so we make a mother load of games of all types. I liken learning game design to learning cooking: you can’t sit in a classroom and read a cookbook and expect to become a great chef. You have to get in the actual kitchen. That’s what we do.

The building where I teach is dubbed the Death Star. Technically, it’s Montgomery Hall, a former carriage factory in Savannah, that houses over a 1,000 machines all humming together as a big wired render farm. We have a motion capture lab, our own network department and the tragically-named “Cage” that contains all manner of consoles, games and other digital stuffs.

I’m particularly excited to be teaching a new course I designed, Narrative Content Design. I’m going to take the students through the exact process that was used on multiple Wizardry titles as well as expose them to numerous ways I could have done it lots better. We start today creating a scratch world on an enormous piece of graph paper. I am creating a game along with the students, so that has me pretty fired up. The design’s been in my head for a while now, and I’m looking forward to actually getting it out.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 7, 2008 10:02 am

    We also call it the Death Star because of its amazing capability to take out surrounding buildings in a concentrated maelstrom beam of electricity and fire.

    I wish I had managed to take that class with you. Narrative design is so essential to what I’d like to do.

  2. January 10, 2008 1:09 am

    I really wish I could go back to SCAD just to take your classes. Always got so much out of them.

  3. kukulala permalink
    January 10, 2008 1:31 am

    I think I can speak for at least one other person in the class when I say your students are excited about the class too. I prefer to think of Monti as home of the infamous and very disturbing Monti Hall Zombies. Not much unlike homeless persons actually…

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