Vertically Integrated Project

Interactive Chapbooks

The covers of four chapbooks: The Tug, Years of Dust, Topicalities, and Le Mot Juste.


The primary goal is to develop and share small, meaningful games as a mechanism to create shared understanding and connection.

Each semester, students will work in cross-functional teams to design and develop small games inspired by/in collaboration with poets, artists, family members, etc. -- people whose work and stories hold meaning that the students want to share.

Similar to poetry chapbooks, each semester’s games will be published as a web-based collection to be shared with the broader RIT and Rochester community.

Issues Involved or Addressed

This ongoing project is designed to allow students to explore:

  • The connections between community, art, design, and technology.
  • The way the design, development, and sharing of games can be used to enhance these connections.
  • The project management and technical infrastructure needed to support revolving cross-functional teams.

Methods and Technologies

The project will leverage methods and technologies in a variety of areas including (but not limited to):

  • Agile game production (Scrum, GitHub source control and projects, Google Docs)
  • Web design and development ( customization as well as new site development)
  • Design, development, and asset production for web-deployed games

Academic Majors / Major Area of Interest

At a minimum, the following roles and skills will be needed each semester:

  • Production, web infrastructure, and game sub-team leads
  • Game design
  • Gameplay and web development
  • Art and sound design and asset production

Relevant majors and minors from which students may be interested include, but are not limited to:

  • All computing fields (e.g. game design and development, new media interactive development, web and mobile computing, software engineering)
  • Game arts
  • Film and animation
  • Digital literatures and comparative media
  • Media arts and technology
  • Sound and music design

Irrespective of major, all students should have a strong interest in designing/developing meaningful interactive experiences. Students should also have some background in team collaboration and the technologies relevant to their intended role on the project.

Accepted students will be enrolled in one of the following courses for 1-3 credit hours, depending on their experience level and role on the project.

  • GCIS-210: Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) for Computing
    • Some background in one of the areas needed for the project, but limited prior team project experience.
  • GCIS-410: Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) for Computing II
    • Clear background in one of the areas needed for the project as well as at least 2 semesters’ worth of team project experience.
    • Should be prepared to lead small sub-project efforts and mentor GCIS-210 students.
  • GCIS-610: Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) for Computing - Graduate
    • Significant background in one of the areas needed for the project as well as at least 2 semesters' worth of team project experience on Agile self-directed teams.
    • Should be prepared to lead efforts within their domain, mentor other students, and proactively work to improve the processes and infrastructure for future students.

Assume that 1 credit hour will require ~3-4 hours per week. The goal of the variable credits is so that students can potentially stretch their work on a project over many semesters. Slowly becoming mentors and leads. “Part-time” students are just as welcome and valuable as those taking on 3 credits worth of work.

For NMID and GDD undergraduates, GCIS-210 will count as a free elective; GCIS-410 and GCIS-610 as advanced electives. For MS GDD students, GCIS-610 can be used as an advanced elective. Students in all other majors should consult with their advisor and/or program coordinator about how this project can apply toward their graduation requirements.

Team Meeting Time and Place

Times/locations of meetings to be held while classes are in session will be determined at the start of each semester based on everyone’s schedules.

  • Full project team meetings: At least once per week.
  • Sub-team meetings: At least 2-3 times per week.

Related Projects

This is a new project in the conceptualization and early prototyping phases. As part of their background research activities, students will leverage a variety of past work including, but not limited to:

The Interactive Chapbooks project as a whole was inspired by the City of Rochester’s vibrant and dedicated arts community. The book covers featured in the banner image are:

  • The Tug, Gail Hosking
  • years of dust, Paulette Swartzfager
  • Topicalities, John Roche (cover art by Sherry Tulloch)
  • Le Mot Just, Just Poets’ 2016 anthology