Do you have a burning desire to create video games?
If funded, the class will run from June 3 through July 8. Each day I'll post new content online including:
- Working demonstration code illustrating new concepts
- Sample game code
- Video explanations of key topics
- Interactive online coding challenges
- New tasks and dares for students
- Feedback on student submitted tasks
All content will be posted on the class website. You'll be given accounts on the server to post your own demos and games, and a version control repository to keep track of your source code (you are not required to use it if you don't want to). The class website will also have a forum section for discussions related to the class. You will be able to post your task results in the forum or email them directly to me for feedback.
All the pledge levels from Student on up give you access forever to all the educational content of the class whenever you want it, whenever you have time for it. I'll never take down the class content.
- Able to edit text files
- Familiarity with basic HTML markup
- Ability to use a graphics program such as Photoshop or the GIMP to cut, crop, and do other basic operations on images
- Willingness to learn new technologies and programming techniques
The focus of the class is on creating games, not crazy programming techniques. We'll be using programming as a tool to help us create games.
If you're not sure that your programming skills are good enough, try this practice problem. In your favorite programming language, write a function that returns the sum of all the positive numbers in an array. If the input is the array [1, 3, -5, 10] then the result from your function should be 14. If you can write a solution in a few minutes without any problems then your programming skills are good enough for the class.
- $300 commissioned professional graphics for top game design proposals (will be CC-BY-3.0 licensed)
- $178 royalty-free music licensing service (two months)
- $60 server hosting for webpages and source code repositories (two months)
- $50 miscellaneous royalty-free music
- $40 email service for discussion group emails (two months)
- $51 Indiegogo and Paypal fees
- $30 video hosting for instructional videos (two months)
- $20 royalty-free game sound effects sets
One expense is commissioning professional graphics for the top game design proposal(s). I want this to be a part of the class to show students how it works and what the costs are like. Of course most of the graphics we will use will be Creative Commons graphics gathered from many sources throughout the web. For music, I plan to use Magnatune's ILicenseMusic service and iStockphoto (they also have music) in addition to my existing collection of appropriately licensed Creative Commons works.
If the funding goal isn't met I will not be able to conduct the class.
I've always been interested in creating my own video games ever since I could understand anything. Working to create my own games as a kid led me down the programming path that I'm still on today.
In college I studied math and physics because I love figuring out how things work and discovering hidden beauty. At the time I saw programming as a means to an end, a way of getting things working, not really interesting in its own right. Then I discovered functional programming. I fell in love with programming all over again and realized that computer science is full of hidden wonders just as much as mathematics. I ended up getting a PhD in computer science at the University of California--Santa Cruz. After I finished my degree I joined the world of professional software development.
As a graduate student I've helped teach many classes in mathematics and computer science. Far and away the most fun class I've ever taught has been the UCSC COSMOS Game Programming summer school. High school students came for a few months in the summer to learn about game design and game programming. I was amazed at the creativity and drive of the students and at what they were able to accomplish.
I want this class to succeed because I want to bring the excitement of game programming to more students and get more games created. With just a little bit of guidance and direction, I know that beginning game programmers are capable of amazing things.
How to Help
Even if you don't have time to take the class yourself you are encouraged to pledge at any level you can afford. Every contribution helps make the class possible. Because this is an all online class, you can never take away a spot from another student. There is always room for more students in a digital class!
Other Ways You Can Help
If you can't contribute to the campaign you can still be involved:
- Help get the word out to your friends that are interested in game programming
- After the class is over, play the finished games and promote your favorite game
NEW: Free Student Waiting List
I've gotten inquiries from students throughout the world in a variety of situations who would like to participate in the class but are unable to financially contribute. To help bring the class to as many deserving students as possible I've started up a waiting list for students to take the class for free.
If you pledge at the new "StudentPlus" level you get to be a student in the class with all the benefits that entails, plus you allow one student on the waiting list to take the class as well.