Course Outline

SGD304 Game Studio A

Course Coordinator:Justin Carter ( School:School of Business and Creative Industries

2021Semester 1

USC Sunshine Coast

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.


Online You can do this course without coming onto campus.

Please go to the USC website for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


This course is the first in a two-semester game design and development studio experience (followed by SGD305). Students will work in a multidisciplinary team to design a game, develop a playable prototype demonstrating core mechanics, and will plan project milestones to ensure readiness for the second stage in SGD305.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Lecture – 1 hour online lecture content for 12 weeks (or equivalent). 1hr Week 1 12 times
Laboratory 1 – On campus tutorial/workshop for 12 weeks (or equivalent). 2hrs Week 2 12 times
Online – 3 hours online content for 12 weeks (or equivalent). 3hrs Week 1 12 times

Course Topics

Introduction to Studio production methodology

Sprint 1 – game development session

Sprint 2  – Sprint review and retrospect

Sprint 3 – game development session

Sprint 4  – Sprint review and retrospect

Prototype critique


What level is this course?

300 Level (Graduate)

Demonstrating coherence and breadth or depth of knowledge and skills. Independent application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Meeting professional requirements and AQF descriptors for the degree. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory or developing knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally undertaken in the third or fourth full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Demonstrate initiative and judgement in planning, management and decision making in a simulated professional environment Empowered
2 Use and apply professional ethical principles and practices Ethical
3 Demonstrate cognitive and technical skills to produce an innovative games product Knowledgeable
4 Collaborate in a project team effectively and produce games industry products Empowered

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the USC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


Not applicable


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

You need to demonstrate exemplary skills in at least one of the game development disciplines: game art, game programming, interactive narrative, game design, game production, or game audio production. It is also recommended that you demonstrate some skill in a secondary game development discipline or a related discipline (e.g. the business of making games). This is a capstone project course. As such, it is recommended that you undertake SGD304 and SGD305 in your final calendar year of your undergraduate degree.

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

Regular feedback will be given to students as part of task 1 where groups of students will meet fortnightly with their tutor to discuss the progress of their project.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Activity Participation Individual 40%
200 words + 10 minute discussion every fortnight, for 10 weeks.
Throughout teaching period (refer to Format) Online Blog, Wiki or Journal
All 2 Plan Group 30%
2500 words
Refer to Format Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 3 Artefact - Creative Group 30%
15 minute presentation + video game prototype
Week 13 Online Submission
All - Assessment Task 1:Mentor consultations and self-reflection.
Organisation and fair distribution of effort is key to a successful game development team. This task ensures that each member of the team is contributing, and that the team as a whole is progressing towards their long term.
Product: Activity Participation
You will meet with your tutor fortnightly, to discuss the progress of the game plan and video game prototype. Prior to this meeting, you will submit a changelog/blog entry via Pebblepad, that summarizes your contribution for the fortnight. 

Each fortnight will be worth 10% of the total course marks. Only the 4 best sessions will be used, allowing for occasional absence.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Collaborated with other team members in a professional manner.
Demonstrated an organised and ongoing individual contribution to the project.
Assessment criteria are mapped to the course learning outcomes.
1 2 3 4
All - Assessment Task 2:Game development tender and plan
The game development plan brings all aspects of the game development process together, and helps to ensure that the game is developed on time and on budget.
Product: Plan
Submit: Friday, Week 6 and Friday, Week 13. 

Week 2 (0% of total course marks - formative assessment):
Your group will submit a tender for one (or more) of the client projects introduced in Week 1. The clients will select which student group they wish to work with based upon the submitted tenders. If you are not selected for a project for which you have submitted a tender, a different project will be selected based on negotiations with your tutor. Your tender must include the beginnings of a game design document (i.e. a game design pitch), as well as a description of your team and why you have the ability to deliver. 

Week 6 (0% of total course marks - formative assessment): 
Your group will submit a rough game development plan, outlining the development required to produce a release candidate by the end of SGD305, including the significant development milestone of a working game prototype by the end of this course. The development plan should include an agreement from all team members regarding the expectations on each team member, and any intellectual property agreements required to proceed with development. 

This submission is formative. It is not worth marks, but will allow the tutor to provide useful feedback that will assist in the in the development of the final submitted plan, the game prototype, and the weekly consultations.

Week 13 (30% of total course marks):
Your group will submit a detailed game development plan, outlining the development required to take the game from prototype to release candidate (beta or full release) by the end of SGD305.

The development plan will include all development requirements, including art (e.g. concept sketches, descriptions of required assets), narrative (e.g. character bible, interactive narrative map/flowchart), and programming (e.g. functional specification, object diagram), as well as organisational aspects such as playtesting, milestones, and distribution/monetisation strategies.

The development plan should include an agreement from all team members regarding the expectations on each team member, and any intellectual property agreements required to proceed with development.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Clearly communicated requirements with enough detail that professionals in their fields could develop a functioning game.
Designed a game that meet its player experience goals and non-entertainment (serious) purpose, and will be suitable for its target audience.
Realistically planned a development timeline, with appropriate milestones.
Quality and Quantity of Individual Contribution.
All - Assessment Task 3:Digital game prototype and game prototype presentation
As a significant milestone in the development of your video game prototype, your group will produce a game that demonstrates your game's core mechanic, and its intended design.
Product: Artefact - Creative
Game Design Summary (5% of total course marks):
Your group will submit a game design summary, which describes the design intent of the game, the player experience design goals that the game (and prototype) aim to achieve, and describes the intended player experience design goals.

Video game prototype and presentation (25% of total course marks):
Your group will submit and present a playable video game prototype, which demonstrates that the core mechanic of the game will contribute to the player experience design goals described in the game design brief.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Communicated the game’s non entertainment (serious) purpose, its player experience goal, and its target audience.
Demonstrated a game prototype or series of prototypes that demonstrate key serious game features.
Alignment between the game’s non entertainment (serious) purpose, its player experience goal, its target audience, and the gameplay.
Quality and Quantity of Individual Contribution.

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Directed study hours may vary by location. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

There are no required/recommended resources for this course.

Specific requirements

This course requires some commercial software or hardware which is provided at USC campuses for student use. If you elect to do this course online, you may either; attend a campus at which it is available, discuss alternative open source solutions with your course coordinator that would enable you to demonstrate the learning outcomes, or if you prefer you may acquire this software and / or hardware at your own expense

How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct.

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: - 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. - 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. - A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

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To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

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