What to do on your summer vacation: Develop video games

Ever gotten the idea that you could come up with a better Duke Nukem than the original game designers? If so, then a new short course this summer at M.I.T. might interest you. Called Game Development for Software Engineers, it is a five-day course (August 5-9) on the MIT campus. The class is noteworthy in that it marks the first occasion of M.I.T. has ever made the resources of its prize-winning MIT Game Lab available to students coming from outside the Lab itself.

MIT says its class welcomes registrants from any industry or professional background with a software engineering component, though the course itself is not programming-heavy. Over the week, participants will conceive and develop prototype games in small teams, with access to modern game development tools and talks and guidance from the mentors of the MIT Game Lab.

MIT also says participants will develop a small digital game under tight time and scope constraints, identifying high-priority features through user testing and rigorous cutting of features not essential for gameplay. Participants will also test their work-in-progress with other participants, the instructors of the class, and members from the MIT community to practice and understand the applicability of different test protocols at different stages of the project.

Translation: They will find out whether their game sucks by trying it out on other people.

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