Exercise 1.1: Beginning to think about your project

In the following series of questions, you begin trying to work out what level of project you might do.

  1. What are two computer programs you really like? Say what it is that you like about them. These can be any kind of program at all.

  2. What is a 'dream' program you would like to write if you were the world's best programmer and had all the time in the world? Write out some of the great features you'd like for this program to have. If you have ideas for several different dream programs put them all down.

  3. What are some areas of programming you think you'd need to learn about to write some really great programs? Try to be as specific as you can.

  4. What is an easy program you're fairly sure you might be able to do, assuming that you got a little help along the way? If you have several ideas put them all down.

  5. What are some features you could add to an easy program to make it more like a great dream program? If you have several ideas put them all down.

Exercise 1.2: First specification sketch for your game

Spend a half hour running the Pop program. Assume that you're going to build a project by extending this code. Now write up an idea for a game project you think you might like to do. This document will be what we call a specification sketch. It should have four parts: (a) explain the concept of the game, (b) draw a picture of how you think your game screen might look, (c) say how the user controls might work, and (d) describe how the play of the game will run. Don't forget to draw a picture, no matter how rough it looks; pictures are all-important in the early stages of conceptualizing a game.

    Part I: Software Engineering and Computer Games
    Part II: Software Engineering and Computer Games Reference