A Survey of Final Project Courses in Game Programs: Considerations for Teaching Capstone

Zagal José P. Sharp John
2011 DiGRA '11 - Proceedings of the 2011 DiGRA International Conference: Think Design Play

Game design and development programs often include a final project or capstone course as a means of assessing the cumulative theory, processes and techniques learned by students through the program or department’s curriculum. While these courses are prevalent in programs around the world, there has yet to be a study of how, why, and to what end these courses are designed and run. We review the literature on capstone courses, discuss the findings of a long-form survey administered in early 2011, and propose a set of framing questions for the design and implementation of capstone courses. Survey findings include common goals of capstone courses, make-up of faculty teaching these courses, the support obtained and desired for the courses, the technologies used to create capstone projects, the methods of project management used in the courses and the expectations of faculty teaching the courses.