A major component of this course will be the execution of a team
project. Each team will use Processing to create a game based on a college scenario
where players try to win by creating the most effective balance of grades, happiness,
and wealth. Ideally, one would want to maximize all three. Not suprisingly, these
three outcomes tend to compete with one another.
Projects will be done by teams of approximately five students.
Except under extra-ordinary circumstances, all members of a project
team will receive the same grade on the project; team participation will
be reflected in a separate component of the final course grade.
This project description gives the initial format and functional specification
for the project. We will
further develop some expectations and requirements together through class discussion.
We may even fine-tune some of the details of the game given here
through a class discussion and negotiation process. This sort of successive refinement
of requirements is common in the real world. Try to design and develop your prototype
in a way that allows for easy modification.
The game will simulate a fifteen week semester. During each week, the player will
make choices about how to spend their time. Each choices have potential advantages
and disadvantages in the effects on the outcomes.
Most choices commit a certain amount of time to that activity.
There are a total of 168 hours available in each week, so time spent on one choice is
not available for another choice.
Grades potential starts each week with a value of 90% and is increased or decreased by
the effects of choices. Happiness potential starts each week with a value of 50% and is
increased or decreased by the effects of choices.
The wealth outcome starts at a value of $0 at the beginning of the game.
During each week, information about
choices, events, and potentially random factors are used to compute new values of
each outcome. Grades and happiness potential cannot go below zero or above 100.
At the end of the game, the grades and happiness outcomes for each week should be averaged
and the result should be reported out. The weekly wealth outcomes will be summed to create
the final semester wealth outcome.
The grades potential should be converted into a GPA (by rescaling 90 to a 4.0 GPA and 40 to a
0.0 GPA). Final happiness potential values should generate a response of your team's choice.
Students have a great potential to influence the outcome of their semester, through
the choices they make.
These choices have been shown to be important through
research, but the specific numerical impact is not usually known. For the purpose
of this game, the specific impact of the different choices on resulting success is
given below. These impact relationships are inspired by the discussion we had in class
on Sept 20.
Two choices made at the beginning of the semester and remain the same through
the whole semester: number of credits of classes and number of
hours worked at a job. Eight more choices are made each week: hours spent attending
class, percentage of class spent actively participating (and not surfing, texting, sleeping,
etc.), hours spent studying and working on assignments, hrs spent participating in study groups,
hours spent on visits to academic resources (professor/TA office hours, help center, LRC, etc),
hours spent on taking care of yourself (sleeping, eating, exercizing, etc), hours spent on
solitary leisure activities, and hours spent on nonacademic activities with other people
(time with family, church, clubs, etc.).
|Choice Name|| Expected range || Impact
number of credits of classes || 0-21 || no direct impact
number of hours worked at outside job|| 0-168 || for each hour worked, increase
wealth by $5 (after taxes and expenses)
hours spent attending class || 0-#credits || if hrs < #credits, decrease grade potential
by (100*(credits-hours)/2*credits) for each hr of class missed; increase happiness by 1% for each hr of class missed
percentage of class spent actively engaged || 0-100 || if percentage < 100, reduce effective value for
hours attending class by percentage missed before using it in grades and happiness
calculations described above
hours spent studying and working on assignments || 0-168 || if hrs < 3*credits, decrease
grades potential by (100*(3*credits - hrs)/(3*credits)); if hrs > 4*credits, decrease happiness
hours spent participating in study groups || 0-5 || for each hr (up to a max of five), increase grades
potential by 2%
hours spent on visits to academic resources || 0-3 || for each hr (up to a max of three), increase grades
potential by 5%
hours spent taking care of self || 0-168 || if < hrs 70, reduce grades and happiness potential
both by (100*(70-hrs)/(4*70))
hours spent on solitary leisure activities || 0-168 || for each hr, increase happiness potential by 2%
hours spent on activities with other people || 0-168 || for each hr, increase happiness potential by 3%
The Interactions and Displays
For each week, you should solicit input from the user about the allocation of time and attention
and calculate the outcomes for the week. Display these outcomes in a visual form, showing
the history of outcomes over the course of the semester. Design a display for the representation
of semester final outcomes.
The project will be structured as a sequence of phases. Completion of one
phase is not required for initiation of the next. In many cases, it will
benefit you to be working on multiple phases at the same time. For instance,
you might be working on the implementation of an initial prototype concurrently
with conducting preliminary evaluation.
Describe your plans to meet these requirements in a proposal of approximately
Your proposal should describe:
your basic architecture. What are the components of the system and who will lead
the team to develop each?
your approach to the problem. Include as much information about specific data
representations, user interface design, and code design as you can.
your anticipated look and feel. Include a mockup of your user interface, showing
how players will enter choices and how outcomes will be displayed.
planned extensions if time permits. Mark these clearly as extensions and prioritize them.
By prototype demo, your team should be a complete prototype with
all of the functionality that you have proposed. You will give a 10 minute demo of your
prototype to the class.
Your demo should be accompanied by a 1-2 page written description of your system and any
you plan to fix and enhancements you plan to make.
Your evaluation will assess the performance of your game according to a rubric
that we will develop together in class.
Further directions for prototype evaluation will be distributed later.
The poster deliverables will be both a draft of the poster with individually-written
sections (each section written a by single, named team member) due on Nov 9 and a final revised
poster due Nov 29. Further directions for poster construction will be distributed later.
Prepare and present a poster session presentation of your project.
Dress appropriately for a job interview or technical conference. Be prepared to answer questions.
Attend the poster presentation of at least one other group. Be prepared to ask questions.
Each phase of the project has a due date. In this way, as in others, this
project mimics work in the real world. Deadlines are hard. Project phases will not be
accepted late except under extraordinary circumstances.
|Phase || Due Date
|Design ||Oct. 4
|Prototype Demo ||Nov. 15
|Prototype Evaluation ||Nov. 27
|Poster ||Nov. 29
|Presentation ||Dec. 11
Contributions to Grade
Each phase of the project will make a contribution to your
grade. If a phase is missed, that portion of the grade will be a zero.
Your team should consider this a compelling reason to start your project early
and work steadily throughout the semester, rather than making a grand
push at the end of the semester.
|Phase || Percent of Final Grade
|Prototype Demo ||10
|Prototype Evaluation ||5
|Total for Project ||30