Course Outline

SGD321 Interactive Narrative: Characters and Worlds

Course Coordinator:Alexander Muscat (amuscat@usc.edu.au) School:School of Business and Creative Industries

2021Semester 2

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

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?

Description

In this course, you will explore philosophy, psychology, personality and motives and how they are used to build characters; and explore geography and culture and how they are used to build worlds. You will also reflect on how world influences character and vice-versa. This will culminate in a documented core of your own customized characters and cultures, and a detailed description of your created world.

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
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – In-class tutorial 2hrs Week 2 12 times
Online
Lecture – 1 hour online content for 12 weeks (or equivalent). 2hrs Week 1 12 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Interactive zoom tutorial 2hrs Week 2 12 times

Course Topics

  • Interactive sequences in Unreal Engine
  • Quicktime events in real-time environments
  • Designing dynamic episodic experiences in video games
  • Sense of presence – story telling and virtual reality technology
  • Identity Formation
  • Self-Deception, Kinship Groups, Government / Economic Types
  • Brief History of Law, Tradition, Magic, Entertainment & Leisure

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 knowledge of a range of elements that build character personalities, cultural beliefs and practices and world characteristics. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
2 Analyse characters, cultures and worlds in a way that enables critical and philosophical thought about sustainability and ethical practices in managing resources and needs. Creative and critical thinker
Sustainability-focussed
3 Be empowered to develop original ideas and produce creative artefacts in alignment with industry standards. Creative and critical thinker
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”.

Pre-requisites

Not applicable

Co-requisites

Not applicable

Anti-requisites

Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

As this a 300 level course, it is recommended that students complete this course in their final year of study.

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

Week 3 will include an in-class peer assessment of a draft for Task 1.

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 Artefact - Creative Individual 30%
1500 words
Refer to Format Online Submission
All 2 Artefact - Creative Individual 30%
1500 words
Week 9 Online Submission
All 3 Artefact - Creative Individual 40%
2000 words (equivalence)
Week 13 Online Submission
All - Assessment Task 1:Game Prototype/Pitch
Goal:
The aim of this task is for you to demonstrate critical thinking in relation to the role of characters in interactive environments, studied/discussed in the course content, and to explore the implications of this thinking when applied to your own creative work.
Product: Artefact - Creative
Format:
Submit: Week 3: 1-Game Pitch Presentation, Week 5: - Full Assessment. Professional/Industry format 

Design and develop an interactive digital game containing three distinct story branches and characters. This is an individual practical assessment task. The game design must include a clear distinct interactive narrative experience. 

A prototype/pitch of your submission will be due in week 3 in order to gain preliminary formative feedback for your final submission in week 6.
Criteria:
No. Learning Outcome assessed
1
Application of interactive narrative design principles which address considerations discussed in course
1 3
2
Design and develop an interactive digital game containing three distinct story branches and characters
3
3
Demonstration of understanding of psychology principles that motivate character beliefs and behaviour
1
4
Original storytelling which is both innovative and respectful and showcases creativity in character
2 3
5
Scholarly references as necessary
2
All - Assessment Task 2:Design Journal
Goal:
The aim of this task is for you to demonstrate critical thinking and reflection in relation to cultural philosophy and practice studied/discussed in course content, and demonstrate the relationship between cultural understanding and creative practice.
Product: Artefact - Creative
Format:
Professional/Industry format  

A 1500 word design journal (pebble pad) containing three distinct cultures and story ideas. This is an individual written assessment task. Online submission to Blackboard. Audience is industry professionals. Cultural attributes must include descriptions involving the culture’s needs and wants, cultural laws and how they are made and enforced, cultural traditions and taboos and how they came to be, the technology or magic available to the culture and how it is used, and the entertainment and leisure practices of the culture.
Criteria:
No. Learning Outcome assessed
1
Application of design principles which address which addresses all components discussed in the course
1 3
2
Three original, distinct, well-defined culture profiles covering laws, traditions, technology, entertainment, etc.
2
3
Demonstration of understanding of philosophical principles that motivate cultural beliefs and practices
1 2
4
Original storytelling which is both innovative and resonant and showcases creativity in character and premise while respecting subject matter
2 3
5
Scholarly references as necessary
3
All - Assessment Task 3:Story Driven Game
Goal:
This task requires you to demonstrate a critical understanding of the role of characters and worlds in interactive cinematic experiences.
Product: Artefact - Creative
Format:
Professional/Industry format 

A story driven digital experience that emphasises the role of characters and worlds in interactive narrative design.
Criteria:
No. Learning Outcome assessed
1
Application of design principles which address all components discussed in the course
1 3
2
Design and develop an interactive digital game containing three distinct story branches and characters
3
3
Demonstration of understanding of philosophical principles that motivate global and/or intergalactic relations
2
4
Original storytelling which is both innovative and resonant and showcases creativity in character and premise while respecting subject matter.
1
5
Scholarly references as where required
1 3

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

Not applicable

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

Eligibility for Supplementary Assessment

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.

SafeUSC

USC is committed to a culture of respect and providing a safe and supportive environment for all members of our community. For immediate assistance on campus contact SafeUSC by phone: 07 5430 1168 or using the SafeZone app. For general enquires contact the SafeUSC team by phone 07 5456 3864 or email safe@usc.edu.au.

The SafeUSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email studentwellbeing@usc.edu.au.

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 studentcentral@usc.edu.au.

Wellbeing Services

Student Wellbeing provide free and confidential counselling on a wide range of personal, academic, social and psychological matters, to foster positive mental health and wellbeing for your academic success.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email studentwellbeing@usc.edu.au or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email AccessAbility@usc.edu.au 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

Visit the USC website: https://www.usc.edu.au/explore/policies-and-procedures#academic-learning-and-teaching

Student Charter

USC is committed to excellence in teaching, research and engagement in an environment that is inclusive, inspiring, safe and respectful. The Student Charter sets out what students can expect from the University, and what in turn is expected of students, to achieve these outcomes.

General Enquiries

  • In person:
    • USC Sunshine Coast - Student Central, Ground Floor, Building C, 90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
    • USC Moreton Bay - Service Centre, Ground Floor, Foundation Building, Gympie Road, Petrie
    • USC SouthBank - Student Central, Building A4 (SW1), 52 Merivale Street, South Brisbane
    • USC Gympie - Student Central, 71 Cartwright Road, Gympie
    • USC Fraser Coast - Student Central, Student Central, Building A, 161 Old Maryborough Rd, Hervey Bay
    • USC Caboolture - Student Central, Level 1 Building J, Cnr Manley and Tallon Street, Caboolture
  • Tel:+61 7 5430 2890
  • Email:studentcentral@usc.edu.au