Mobile gaming design and infrastructures

In recent times we are observing two major evolutions: the exponential grow of the digital entertainment industry and the increasing popularity of easy-to-program smart phones based on open platforms. The synergy between this two trends is leading to new opportunities for computer scientist: to design and implement entertainment applications exploiting unique features of mobile devices such as pervasiveness and ubiquitous connectivity. Despite the relative limited effort required to produce the software (these applications are already available in large numbers), programmers need a specific preparation in order to be competitive on the marked: game design for mobile devices is proving to be a complex task and efficient software implementations are subject to hardware and software constraints.

During this class we will address the subject of gaming in general and mobile gaming in particular with particular attention to design, networking, and client- and server-side infrastructures. The lab sessions will focus on an introduction to the android platform to implement gaming applications.

The project work for the student will be to propose, design, and implement a prototype of a game running on an android smart phone.

WORKLOAD

Form events hours Explanation
Contact teaching 21 h Total amount of contact hours
Lectures 3*4h 12 Amount of time needed for full participation in lectures
Demo lectures 2*3h 6
Exercises 1*3h 3 Amount of time required for participating excercises
Course duties 60 h
Pre course material 15 Studying the material described below before the course starts
Practical assignment 1 25 The practical assignment work
Preparing written report 1 20 Studying and writing a report
total 81 h ~3 ECTS

MATERIAL

  • Any OS for the host PC
  • Eclipse development platform
  • Android sdk for eclipse
  • Android handhelds for testing (Availability must be checked)

TEXTBOOK

Ed Burnette - Hello, Android: Introducing Google's Mobile Development Platform - ISBN 1934356492

Course material

Pre course - Literature

PLANNED timetable (subject to changes)

First day (Sat) - introduction and setup

lecture: . Introduction to mobile gaming

 . What is "gaming"
 . Story
 . The phenomenon
 . Consideration on the market
 . Companies and job opportunities

. Gaming applied to mobile . Game design

 . What is it ?
 . Game design applied to mobile
 . Devices
 . Gameplay
 . Coding problems
 . Interfaces
 . Many "kind" of mobile games
   . Fungames
   . Edugames
   . Exergames
   . Geogames

lab: . The Android environment (hands-on)

 . What is Android
 . Android architecture
 . The eclipse development environment

week-end assignment:

 . Some basic and quick reading about android development
 . try thinking to a mobile game to propose and implement

Second day (Mon) - mobile gaming architectures

lecture: . Mobile gaming infrastructures

 . Client-server gaming
 . Peer-to-peer gaming

lab: . Exercise (group activity)

 . Presentation of ideas for the week-end assignment
 . Student proposals and discussion for mobile gaming
 . Design of software architecture for the proposed games

Third day (Tue) - mobile and connectivity gaming

lecture:

. Putting players together

 . The network problems
 . Interactivity and delay-tolerant
 . Playing in a community

lab: . Advances in android for gaming

 . Using the network
 . 2 and 3-d graphics