Category Archives: Teaching

Book recommendations

This is my personal recommendation for a reading list. And also a list of books I use for the lecture.

*** Jane McGonigal – Reality is Broken
One of my favourite books. Jane McGonigal gives some inspirations and ideas of how to use games in different contexts. Reads like a novel and avoids theoretical aspects.
*** Jesse Schell – The Art of Game Design
This is the book I am using a lot for my lecture. Very good summary of the most important design aspects from different points of view (technical aspects, player psychology, all different design things).
*** Scott Rogers – Level Up (2nd Edition)
Also a very good design on game design. I’ve especially enjoyed the bonus chapters with inspirational lists for environments, game mechanics, and different templates as inspirational resource for your games.
** Jeremy Gibson – Introduction to Game Design, Prototyping, and Development
This book gives also a very nice introduction on game design techniques, but in a more practical manner. The main part of this book is a unity and C# tutorial.
** Raph Koster – A Theory of Fun
I simple love the style of this book. It has comics and sketches 😉
* Flow – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Wonderful book (THE book) about the flow experience with neat examples from all different fields.
* Katie Salen & Eric Zimmerman – Rules of Play
Very interesting book on game design with a lot of practical examples.

Note: Amazon credit me a small referal amount, should you purchase a book after following these links.

Barcamp Graz – GameDev Session

Session docu of my gamedev session at 
Game Development to unite designers, artists, programmers, audio engineers, industrials, students, humanists, …………….
Indie Game Meetups (Vorbeikommen!!) 
– 1x per Month 
Game Jams (48 hours of awesomeness ) (3-5 July at TU Graz) (Every Januar ) (May, organized by EYA)
My TU Graz Course on Game Design and Development + List of cool Videos & Readings 
Unity Development: 
    – I
    – Cool tutorial:  
    – MS Game developed with Unity: 
    – Unity Tutorials: 
Learn to code (You can learn everything 😉 ): 
Other Links:
    – Monument Valley Development Costs: 
    – Great Video: How to be a game designer: 


Project Outcomes – Game Design and Development Course at TUGraz

Following an overview of the students’ project outcomes of my first course  “Game Design and Development” at Graz University of Technology. Amazing projects! Check them out and enjoy playing them  :)

Rage of Frostie

When a sad snowman wants his carrot back he is willing to take some serious risks. Come and help frostie with his adventure by guiding through a variety of challenging levels. To do so you must throw your head, melt down, jump over all kind of danger and hide behind your self created ice blocks. So are you ready to explore this and much more ?

Technology: Design: Gimp Game Engine: Unity

Credits: Artur Knaus Caterina Nahler David Kastl Domenik “Ghosti” Melcher Rudi Wagner Music (Tom Peter) Thanks Linda Bär Armin Astrid


screenshot1 screenshot2 screenshot3 screenshot4 screenshot5


Charly, the butcher penguin

The game is a 2D hack and slay game using the Unity engine to bring the player into the bloody life of a penguin named Charly who has to travel from the Arctic to the Antarctic, crossing several other continents where he encounters waves of enemies he has to fight.
One day Charly woke up in the arctic. Nobody knows why. Maybe he was kidnapped by cola drinking polarbears. He has to return to his family in Antarctica. On his journey he has to travel through several countries. It doesn’t take long time until he finds out, that the world is full of evil. So he takes an axe and slaughters his way back home.


Technology: Unity 4.6, Gimp

Credits: Melbinger, Pranter, Schlager. Gegnergrafiken: Nikolaus Zoltan


africa arctic europe northamerica


Project Chronos.

Project Chronos is a new and revolutionary 3D Puzzle Plattformer Game. You play one of many Robots in an Underground Science Lab. You don’t know much about who you are or what is your purpose. The only thing you know for sure, you have to escape this creepy Lab. But the Lab is full of Dangerous Traps. For surviving this horror trip, you have 3 suits for you’re use. The suits are in different colors and have different abilities. You can change the color in a suit changer. You have to solve riddles and overcome gorges, and use your abilities to survive. The levels are getting more difficult, from level to level. We have also implemented 4 tutorial levels to get you going with the controls. The game will be available for PC&MAC and later on HTML5. Have fun with our game.


Technology: Unreal Engine 4 Blender Quixel Suite Substance Designer + Painter No C++ only Blueprints

Credits: Andreas Lang Mathias Punkenhofer Kevin Gruber


The Revenge Of The Dot

The Revenge Of The Dot is a fast-paced, multi-player arcade game with puzzle elements. One player controls the snake (w/a/s/d) and tries to catch and eat the dot, which is controlled by the other player (up/down/left/right). The goal of the dot-player is to defeat the snake via solving mathematical equations by collecting the correct mathematical symbols and/or by tricking the snake to run into the world’s boundary. The difficulty levels (easy – hard) vary in speed of the game and the used arithmetic operations.


Technology: – Netbeans IDE, Phaser JS (open source HTML5 game framework) – GIMP, Bristol & Audacity (graphics & sounds)

Credits: Lukas Krisper


screenshot_1 screenshot_2 screenshot_3



PapercraftX is a classical Shoot’em’up (“Shmup”) with vertical scrolling direction and fast paced gameplay! You control your paperplane/paperspaceship/paperwhatever and shoot bullets at enemies to destroy them, while evading enemy attacks. We utilized fully 3D graphics in a 2D gameplay, which proved to work quite well for this type of arcade-style game. The goal of the game is to get as many points as possible before dying. At this point the gameplay is purely highscore-focused and there’s no “winning the game”, the motivation to play again comes from the urge to either beat your own highscore or to beat the highscore of other players. For the visual design we decided on an origami look, everything you see should look like it has been crafted out of paper, even the bullets. For the origami figures 3D models were created and paper textures applied to them. This enabled us to utilize simple forms but still maintain a polished look of the final assets. The simple forms proved of great value to not distract from the fast action gameplay mechanics while still looking good. To separate the gameplay area visually from the background scenery, not only textured clouds and fog were used, but also the saturation of the textures was altered. The player can choose between three different ships, which differentiate from each other in terms of movement speed, weapon power, firerate and health. These are only starting values though and by collecting upgrades one ship can surpass the others in a certain skill although it has the lowest value in that particular skill by default. Each ship has a primary and secondary weapon, which are used by either left/right mouse button click or, when using a keyboard, the Ctrl/Alt-keys. After the ship is selected the main game can begin. Pretty much immediately after the game is started the first wave of enemies appears and the gameplay begins. To stand a chance against the waves of enemies the player has to collect upgrades, which are spawned from killed enemies. Without collecting as many of these upgrades as possible it’s impossible to survive in the later parts of the game, when the enemies not only get stronger, but also faster and their numbers increase. There are different kinds of extras to collect: Upgrades, which increase one of the four basic stats (movement speed, firepower, firerate, health). Then there are powerups, which can give you an additional clusterbomb (these are very limited and to be used with caution) or add an additional shot. This additional shot is fired simultaneously with your regular shots, in either an straight forward (“normal”) or a fan-shaped fashion (“spread”). These powerups add single shots if you collect another one of the same kind, but they also replace your current powerup if you collect one of the other kind, effectively acting as downgrades if the player doesn’t pay attention to what he’s collecting. Last but not least there are modifiers, which can add a fire (enemies burn after being hit and take damage for 4 seconds) or a water (slows enemies down, because wet paper is apparently slower 😉 ) ability to your shots. We intend on continuing with development, adding new enemies, implementing touch controls for mobile, adding epic bosses and generally adding better graphics since all of the final assets were created during the last three days of the project. Overall project duration was two weeks, we relied heavily on an iteration based workflow utilizing placeholder graphics for the programmers to work with.


Technology: Unity 4.6, Github, Blender

Credits: Phil Gosch Ilija Simic Stephan Keller



titlescreen_opaque screen_ship_combined_2 Bild 6 upgrades ship select 2


The Little Lobbyist (Global Game Jam Game)

PThis game was created during Global Game Jam Graz 2015. There were only 48 hours to finish it and we had to think of a game suitable to the slogan “What do we do now”. PLOT: You and your friends plan to go out this evening. You have an idea where you want to go and need to convince your friends to choose your favorite location. After meeting up and drinking some drinks the group decides where to go. You ask them: What do we do now? HOW TO PLAY: By engaging in dialogue, and mentioning certain topics to certain people, you try to influence the majority-decision of the group … But beware, each member of the group has her or his preferences – and influences other members of the group, as modeled by the underlying hidden social graph.


Technology: Phaser

Credits: Art Manfred Rohrer Raphaela Klein Programming Stefan Reichenauer Christian Paier Matthias Frey Ilija Simic Music Mathias Lux Management Marco Fruhwirth



Game Design and Development Course at TUGraz

706.402 Game Design and Development

Week 0




Week 1




Week 2




Week 3




Week 4

Week 4: Graphics and Art in Game Development

Project Schedule

Send slides

03/03/2015 to

Final Student Presentations

10/03/2015 17:00 HSi12

Call for Spring Course on 3D Modeling and Reconstruction with Blender & Unity in Göttingen

2–6 March 2015, Uni­ver­sity of Göttingen, Ger­many


Or­gan­ised by the Göttin­gen Cen­tre for Dig­i­tal Hu­man­i­ties (GCDH)

3D vi­su­al­i­sa­tion tech­nolo­gies en­able and ad­vance the preser­va­tion of and re­search on all kinds of cul­tural her­itage. Mod­el­ing, vi­su­al­is­ing and an­i­mat­ing cul­tur­ally im­por­tant ob­jects or sites via 3D tech­nolo­gies allow re­searchers a more de­tailed and high-res­o­lu­tion view on their re­search ma­te­r­ial.

Our spring school will bring to­gether 20 in­ter­na­tional stu­dents who are in­ter­ested in learn­ing how to model 3D ob­jects, how to man­age 3D data, and how to cre­ate vir­tual worlds in 3D. You will be ac­quainted with the mod­el­ing of 3D ob­jects using Blender, the 3D re­con­struc­tion with Vi­su­alSFM and Mesh­Lab, and the cre­ation of 3D vir­tual worlds using Unity 3D. In the morn­ing ses­sions you will be taught the­ory and es­sen­tial knowl­edge about pho­togram­me­try, mesh­ing, etc. In the af­ter­noon, you will deepen and broaden this knowl­edge in in­struc­tor-led labs where you will apply the meth­ods you have been ac­quainted with.

The work­shops will be led by Jo­hanna Pirker and Phil Gosch who al­ready ran the 3D strand of the DARIAH Sum­mer School 2014.


The reg­is­tra­tion fee for ac­cepted ap­pli­cants is 100 €. We pro­vide free ac­com­mo­da­tion (sin­gle rooms) in near-by ho­tels, in­clud­ing break­fast, as well as lunch in the re­fec­tory. We will not cover travel costs. Par­tic­i­pants are re­spon­si­ble for se­cur­ing and pay­ing for visas if nec­es­sary.


We are invit­ing up to 20 in­ter­na­tional par­tic­i­pants (MA and PhD stu­dents). Please send a cov­er­ing let­ter in­di­cat­ing your mo­ti­va­tion to par­tic­i­pate in the Spring School (1 page max.) and a short Cur­ricu­lum Vitae (1 page max.) prefer­ably as one PDF file to Ele Kraft (gkraft@​gcdh.​de). The dead­line for ap­pli­ca­tions is Sun­day, 25 Jan­u­ary 2015. You will be no­ti­fied on your ap­pli­ca­tion sta­tus until Fri­day, 30 Jan­u­ary 2015.


Sci­en­tific and School or­gan­i­sa­tion: Prof. Dr. Martin Langner | Dr. Frank Fischer | Andrea Schneider | Ele Kraft