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4 Sessions / 6 hours of work per session
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Video Transcripts
Gaming, Digital Game Design, Perlenspiel, Design Practice

Not available for purchase in India

Starts Oct 23, 2018

Introduction: Elements of Microgame Design

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Go at your own pace
4 Sessions / 6 hours of work per session
Included w/ premium membership ($20/month)
Skill Level
Video Transcripts
Gaming, Digital Game Design, Perlenspiel, Design Practice

Not available for purchase in India

Course Description

Software engineering and asset production are the means of digital game development, but the end is an intentional experience. Digital game design is the process of creating, implementing and iteratively refining that experience.

This hands-on course will demonstrate the practice of digital game design and development using Perlenspiel, a cloud-based, abstract microgame engine programmed in JavaScript. Lectures and code demos will familiarize you with Perlenspiel’s event-driven architecture and key aspects of its application programming interface (API).


This course is in adaptive mode and starts Oct 23, 2018. Learn more about adaptive courses here.

Session 1: Perlenspiel Overview: Just Enough Rope
The origin and philosophy of the Perlenspiel microgame engine are explained, together with the basic steps required to set up and run a project.
8 lessons
1. Prologue
2. Theory and Practice: Lehr und Kunst
3. Game Curriculum: Plenty of Keyboards, But No Piano
4. Digital Games Are Made of Code
5. History of Perlenspiel: A Scheme for a Gameclavier
6. Deliberate Simplicity: Nowhere to Hide (Premium Exclusive)
7. Unboxing the Engine (Premium Exclusive)
8. Intro to Commenting: A Blank Slate (Premium Exclusive)
Session 2: Start Your Engine
The ten event-handling functions used to detect and respond to player input are explained and demonstrated.
7 lessons
1. Hello, World!
2. Event Handlers: Touch the Grid. You Know You Want To.
3. Event Handlers Continued: In and Out and Roundabout (Premium Exclusive)
4. Key Functions: Grab the Keys and Get Behind the Wheel
5. Perlenspiel API: Choose the Best Tools
6. Syntax Errors: How Not to Waste Time (Premium Exclusive)
7. Setting Up a Project (Premium Exclusive)
Session 3: Spaces and Colors
The basic API commands used to configure Perlenspiel’s grid and status line are introduced, together with demonstrations of color expression and control.
7 lessons
1. Sizing Up the Grid
2. Total Reset (and How to Avoid It)
3. Launch into Colorspace
4. A Number for Every Color
5. Component Colors: Three Numbers for Every Color (Premium Exclusive)
6. Rainbow Objects and Arrays
7. Status Line: Riding the Unicode (Premium Exclusive)
Session 4: Animating the Grid: Getting a Bead On
Beads are the fundamental interactive elements of Perlenspiel. This session explains the visual attributes of beads, together with the basic API commands for controlling their appearance. Perlenspiel’s audio library is also introduced and demonstrated.
7 lessons
1. Playing with Beads
2. Bead Positioning: Careful with That X, Eugene!
3. Borders: Those Pesky Gray Lines
4. Individualized Control: Borderline Insanity
5. Glyphs: Beads Full of Character (Premium Exclusive)
6. Sound Effects: Disturb the Sound of Silence
7. Debugger: How to Throw a Hissy Fit (Premium Exclusive)
Learning Outcomes

Below you will find an overview of the Learning Outcomes you will achieve as you complete this course.

Instructors And Guests
What You Need to Take This Course

Prior Knowledge: This program is at a beginner level. However, prior familiarity with digital games and the basic principles and tools of software engineering are recommended.

Materials: No special materials required.

Equipment: Computer with broadband Internet access and a updated web browser, preferably Chrome or Firefox. Installation privileges may be required if a student wishes to employ an integrated development environment (IDE) for project work.

Software: (Optional but strongly recommended) An interactive development environment (IDE) for HTML/JavaScript such as WebStorm (JetBrains), Brackets (Adobe) or Atom (GitHub).

Additional Information

Please note: Taking part in a Kadenze course as a Premium Member does not affirm that the learner has been enrolled or accepted for enrollment by Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

If a student signs up for the Digital Game Design: Getting Started with Perlenspiel program, it is recommended that these courses are taken sequentially.

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