EECS 494 – Game Design and Implementation – Project 2 – Individual Prototype

What is this assignment?

This basically couldn't be more self-directed. Come up with a fun gameplay idea, mechanic, or style and create a game prototype for us. If your idea would work best for a long game, make it more of a vertical slice.

We don't want to impose a ton of rules on you. We want to see what you come up with. The standard restrictions apply, however:

  1. No networked games.
  2. No minigames or multiple game modes.
  3. No side scrolling shooters, zombie games, strategy games, tower defense games, or roleplaying games.

Hopefully that doesn't feel too restrictive. If you're really uncertain about your idea, you are welcome to run your logline by us.

Get your burndown chart here: Project 2 Burndown Chart Template


The grade breakdown for this project is:

Component Percent Description Due
Research and Analysis 20%

We expect you to do a bit of research in order to discover similar games with related mechanics, to explain the differences in the mechanics of these games to us, and to explain the ramifications of these differences. We want to know how the player experience changes as a result of their design choices, what the advantages of one design decision over another might be, and perhaps how you might have chosen to alter the design of the game you're implementing as a result of your survey. In what ways is your concept new and original? Which earlier games might you draw inspiration from, and which aspects of these games are you seeking to improve or build upon? You are required to investigate at least 2 other games and to write something at least on the order of 2 pages.

Don't pick multiple games from the same developers or the same franchise.

Note that this is not a book review assignment. Simple Wikipedia-esque description should be minimal. Get to the meat of analyzing and contrasting their design decisions.

Also note that your game choices for comparison must be reasonably similar for your comparisons to be useful to you. Two games simply having power-ups isn't enough, but two games having similar movement styles but handling the camera slightly differently would be right on the money. Focus on the subtler differences with respect to the mechanics you're interested in, rather than large but irrelevant feature changes.

Here's an example research and analysis doc for a reimplementation of Level 1-1 of Super Mario Bros..

February 8
Gold Spike 20%

Are you showing progress? Does it look like you are on the right track? Does it look like you've already tried several things by this point? Did you answer the toughest question about your project?


  1. Share your burndown chart with us and be sure to keep it updated, following the burndown chart instructions.
  2. Commit an up-to-date copy of your burndown chart in the Documents/ subdirectory of your repo. Go to File -> Download as -> Microsoft Excel (.xlsx).
  3. Commit your research and analysis .pdf in the Documents/ subdirectory of your repo.
  4. Following the course submission instructions, submit a .7z file generated with one of the eecs-494-unity-canvas scripts to Canvas.
February 8
Justification Document and Burndown Chart 20%

The justification document is a short (roughly 1 page) write-up of your project that should discuss the following elements:

  • Basic Info: Please list the title of your game
  • Creative Process: What was your initial concept for this game, and how did you decide on that concept?
  • Development and Playtesting: We want to see evidence that you have been using the iterative development process discussed in lecture (Brainstorm, Prototype, Test, Analyze, Repeat). Specifically, we want to hear about the changes and design decisions that were made as your final product developed from your original idea.
    1. This should include a description of any playtesting that you did, both on your own and with friends, family, etc.
    2. Describe some of the feedback you got on your initial designs or how players reacted to the game.
    3. How did this feedback influence your design?
    4. How did your final product differ from the game you had in mind at the end of the brainstorming phase?
    5. Did everyone contribute more or less equally to the project?
February 15
Final Build 40%

Does your second presented iteration show that you responded to feedback from the Gold Spike presentation? Did you refine your ideas and come up with something better? Did you find something interesting? The game you make doesn't have to be fun, but it should be interesting, and I want you to show that you explored new territory in your design.


  1. Commit an up-to-date copy of your burndown chart in the Documents/ subdirectory of your repo. Go to File -> Download as -> Microsoft Excel (.xlsx).
  2. Commit your justification document .pdf in the Documents/ subdirectory of your repo.
  3. Following the course submission instructions, submit a .7z file generated with one of the eecs-494-unity-canvas scripts to Canvas.
February 15

What if Our Final Game Isn't "Good"?

This happens. In fact, in industry it actually happens a lot more than you'd think. In grading this, we're much more interested in whether you really tried to make something new and interesting than whether you made something "good". A lot of what we're looking at is how much you tested and refined. If you just started with one idea and made that without refining it at all, that's not really what we're looking for. We're looking to see what you did to try to make it interesting, and that's why the justification document and the burndown chart are such a large percentage of the project grade. Even if you're not particularly proud of your final prototype, you can still absolutely be proud of the process you went through and the ideas you generated.

We're really looking forward to seeing what everyone has on Monday.

  –EECS 494 Staff