Hello, everybody. Today I got my results and I've passed my MA with a first. Haha, so there you go. If I can do it, approaching from a completely different direction with a BA in English Lit/Japanese and design experience coming from freelance work as a comic artist, I'm sure you peeps with a BA in Games Design will have no problems! I had a good 3 semesters, and I hope to keep in contact, not least through the continuation of this blog.
You may have noticed that in the foyer of the building my dissertation is playable. It's a bit long (completion time for an experienced gamer is generally a couple of hours), so to experience it properly, you may want to download the full thing.
It's made as a module for the Bioware RPG 'Neverwinter Nights', which is so old now that you can buy the full game with all the add-ons for about £10. It's an RPG based on D&D rules with a fantastic, easy to use toolkit (and a great community to support it). Using the simple scripting and great dialogue tree function, it was easy to formulate the kind of game I wanted to make. The dissertation is a game about narrative and storytelling in Games. It has a fairly light tone, rather than being too dry and academic. It even has monsters to fight! (don't worry, you have unlimited respawns and can rest anywhere. I would recommend playing a fighter or other class that can wield a longsword though.)
To play it, you'll need NWN with the two add-ons (Shadows of Undrentide and Hordes of the Underdark, the 'Diamond' edition is widely available and contains all three, it's also really cheap) and updated to the latest patch. The module itself can be DL'ed here:
It's only 1.6Meg because NWN is awesome like that. This Dissertation got a 75, so if you're stuck for ideas and thinking 'can I do something fun for my dissertation and still get a good mark?' the answer is 'Yes. Go for it!' It did take longer than a written one would have, but it was a lot more satisfying and interesting.