As we speak, I'm about half-way through the design phase of my capstone project here at RIT.
The capstone process for the Masters of Game Design and Development program I'm pursuing is divided into two phases: 1 quarter design and 1 quarter development. The goal of this process to create a fun game in groups within that 25 or so week period. We're currently ending Week 5 of the 11 week design quarter. Spring quarter (starting in March) is when we will be developing this game, to be finished near the end of May.
The end goal of our capstone is the production 'Shmup You', a competitive asymmetric shmup for the Xbox 360.