Welcome to Indie-Dev

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1. Introduction

Indie-Dev is an ad hoc group of students at George Mason University that formed a development team to build a video game submission for the IGF competition. Our unaffiliated team is made up of budding game developers, programmers, artists, and musicians from various undergraduate departments at GMU focused on developing their technical and professional skills.  On this site you will find the group's background, philosophy of self-directed learning, and its video game competition submissions.

2. Background

Learning to be a game developer requires in-depth knowledge of game building processes and technologies.  For some students hands-on projects are better for learning than classroom projects. Indie-Dev was created by Ben London and some classmates in fall of 2016 for the purpose of augmenting GMU game design classes to provide an intensive, mentored game development training experience.  The student development team is unaffiliated, and is designed to form in an ad hoc manner to build a student submission for the IGF.

3. Mission

The mission of the Indie-Dev club is to help aspiring video game developers acquire technical and professional skills, outside the classroom, through a project-based training model.

4. Goals

The goals of the group are to advance students' skills in the following areas:

  • Collaborative team software development.
  • Video game technical design.
  • Video game programming using Unity and C#
  • Software project management processes, especially Agile.
  • Professional skills.
  • Gaming industry and advance technology trends.

5. 2016-2017 Team Members for 2018 IGF Submission

Group members that built the 2018 IGF submission participated in the ten-month project cycle starting in Oct. 2016.  This was the first year of the group and first development cycle.  Group members that worked on and completed the 2018 submission consisted of:

  • Ben London - Team Founder, project manager, game play designer, animation, and Unity developer.  Third-year computer game development student at George Mason University.
  • Ashley Sowell - Team artist.  Third-year art program major at George Mason University.
  • Vincent Lin- Team Unity an C# game developer and programmer.  Fourth-year computer game development student at George Mason University
  • GMU Advisor - Prof. Piccione
  • Coach/Sponsor - Rob London, PMP - Penurial, LLC - www.penurial.com

6. Comments on the 2018 IGF Submission

  • The goal of the 2018 submission was attaining technical game development skills and going through the process from beginning to end, which class time does not allow for.
  • The competition selected for 2018 submission was the IGF.  Magic Diner was the game designed, developed, and submitted by the group. It's intended audience is 6-8 year olds. The project was started in mid-October 2016, and the group made its submission on October 1, 2017.
  • This first cycle was difficult, with the development group needing to be downsized-it was like the blind leading the blind. The current game should is a prototype that will be tested with a kids' focus group, refined over the next twelve-months, and then put to market.
  • A retrospect review of the project was written by Ben London to aid future novice developers if they are inclined towards start-up team insanity.
  • Last, Ashley did some fun original art work, Vincent did some excellent programming, and Ben, in addition to starting his Unity certification, got his Certified Scrum Master Certification as part of learning how to run a development team.
  • Overall, the learning objectives of the group were met, and the first cycle was successful.