Simulations and the technology to support those simulations continue grow at a rapid pace and the most visible area of this growth has been in the area of Video Game development. Video Games have become a vehicle not only for teaching complex subjects in the classroom but also offered a wide variety of ways for people who are interested in software engineering to learn about complex subjects such as 3d programming, artificial intelligence and physics. Wesleyan Game Development lab aims to open up a path way for both faculty interested in building these types of projects while at the same time recruiting and training students interested in learning about this type of development.
University Support / Academic Affairs
Before moving forward it is import we gain some support from Academic Affairs. We should present this to them as a new service to support faculty interested in simulations. Once this is accomplished we should do some R&D and develop a few (2 possible 3) prototypes that we can present to faculty. This prototypes do not need to be overly complex or flashy, but should demonstrate our abilities and also give faculty ideas of their own.
Work flow / Development Process
The game development lab aims to start small and keep projects simple. This way ensuring that faculty projects will be completed in a timely manner, while at the same time allowing the group to learn at a good pace. As new projects surface we can continue to build upon past projects, each time revisiting what we have done, and the technologies we have used to determine where we can evolve if possible.
1) First step is to advertise to faculty that we are looking to develop some simulations and game projects. Then hopefully identify at least one we feel can accomplish given out experience and resources.
2) After that we should meet with the faculty to determine the scope of the project.
3) Identify how to build it, but looking at the best tools (software) that will help us accomplish this, with out taking on too much of a learning curve. The tools should be determine by the type of project and how the faculty wished to deliver the simulation.
3) We develop a project plan and time line for development. Our time line will include, recruitment, design and planning, some R&D (for students) and finally development and testing time.
4) Recruit student workers, based on the size of the project and our time line. With most of these simulations we will need programmers, graphic designers and testers. By approaching the proposed projects in this manner we make ourselves much more efficient, by avoiding having developers sitting around for very long with out work to do.
5) If possible find a space to work out of. This is not necessary but makes the whole process much smoother and helps promotes transfer of knowledge between students and anybody else working on the project.
To start I believe we should begin with one project and hopefully work or way up over time. As we fine tune this process and hopefully build up experience, not only with in the core team but with student workers, we can hopefully take on more and more complex results.