In today's Gamasutra educational feature, as part of the site's expanded Gamasutra Education section
, McLeod, a student in the graduate game-development program at the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy at UCF, describes a typical day in his life working towards a master's degree in Interactive Entertainment.
In this extract, McLeod describes his afternoon schedule on a typical day at the school:
"After two cups of coffee and a round of Guitar Hero in the student lounge, I'm ready to switch gears back to my rapid prototype project, which I'm developing for my final presentation in my Principles of Interactive Entertainment I class. Sheets of paper representing city streets and buildings form an elementary maze across which march index cards full of taped-on figures, ready to confront the giant robots waiting for them at intersections, their electric brains equipped for justice.
It bears remarkable similarity to the scenarios I'd create for myself when I was a kindergartener, but the behind the toys on the table is the ruleset for the gameplay mechanics behind a strategy game that I hope is the winning presentation in my Principles of Interactive Entertainment I class.
As our class visit to EA's Tiburon Studio the previous week confirmed, the rudimentary action-figure layout is the perfect model for experimenting with key concepts that are most easily changed in the earliest stages of development. What makes a game fun? What makes a game balanced? What makes a game original? How can I design a game with my development team's strengths and interests in mind?"
You can now read the full Gamasutra educational feature on the subject
, including plenty more smart insight on a day in the life of a game development student (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).