Game Development for Tabletops


In this course we will develop games for tabletops. Each group of 2-4 students will be responsible for adapting an arcade game classic to multi-touch tabletops. You will learn game design skills as well as skills in designing and developing Natural User Interface systems. The challenge will be to transport the feel of the game classic to the inherently multi-user environment of a tabletop.

The projects will be implemented in Python using libavg, so prior experience in libavg (such as participation in Ubiquitous Media 2011 lecture) is recommended. We will have several tabletop devices available for development.

If you have any questions or like to pre-register write an email to:

uzadow (at) libavg. de | florian.daiber (at) dfki. de


TableTop Gaming Seminar - Winter term 2011/12

Don‘t panic!

(D. Adams)

Game Concept:

We expect each group of students to send us a proposal for a game five weeks before the seminar begins. This should take the form of a short concept document; one page is more than enough. Describe the game you would like to implement. Sketches or diagrams help. What classic game is your game based on? What is the goal of the game? How do players interact? How many players are there and how do they stand around the table? What kinds of players do you hope to attract? How long does each game take? Is there a background story? What will the screen look like (layout, mood)? And last but not least: Why is it suitable for tabletops?

Short Presentations:

To get everyone up to speed, we’ll start the seminar with a five-minute presentation by each student. Topics will cover the technologies used as well as tabletop interface and game design issues. Please send us the slides for the presentations a week before the seminar starts.


Fr, Nov.4, 2011, 13:30:       Pre-seminar meeting

Mo, Jan. 9, 2012:                Deadline for the game concept

Mo, Feb. 6:                         Deadline for the 5-min presentation slides

Mo, Feb. 13-17, 2012, 9:00-17:00:    Seminar

Fr, Feb 17, 14:00:                Beta presentations

Fr, Mar 30, 2012:                Final presentations of the finished games


Isbister, K. and Schaffer, N. (2008), Game Usability, Morgan Kaufmann.

Rollins, A. and Adams, E. (2003), Game Design, New Riders Games.

Salen, K., and Zimmerman, E. (2004), Rules of Play, MIT Press.

Salen, K., and Zimmerman, E. (2006), The Game Design Reader, MIT Press.

Schell, J. (2008), The Art of Game Design, Morgan Kaufmanm.

Wigdor, D., and Wixon, D. (2011), Brave NUI World, Morgan Kaufmann.