Course Syllabus

STUDENT EXPECTATIONS
This course covers a lot of content in a short amount of time: 10 WEEKS! Every 2-weeks a new module will appear - expect to spend at least 3-5 hours on each module. Announcements will be posted regularly to remind students of upcoming deadlines and course updates. Click Course Overview to read course details.

MODULES
There are a total of 4 MODULES, each including the following:

  • Readings & Levels: These are readings from textbook, online lessons, videos, and other additional resources
  • Game Mechanics Research: This includes INDIVIDUAL and GROUP game play activities from the playlists in the Game Play Library to check out at home
  • Side Quests: These are short assignments to practice specific game design skills
  • Forums: These are open discussions to facilitate conversations related to game play, side quests and game concepts
  • Skill Checks: These are short quizzes to check your knowledge

The games in the Game Play Library are free but some require registration for free accounts.  Furthermore, while many MacOS and online/browser games are on the list, most games are for Windows.  Modules vary: some are more content-heavy (lots of reading), others have multiple side quests (design exercises and research plays).

MAIN QUEST
In addition to the readings, activities, and discussions, students can complete 1 game design project, referred to as the 'Main Quest'. The project is a synthesis of the concepts in this class. Projects are peer reviewed for grades. Further details HERE.

GRADES
There are no grades given in this course.

SCHEDULE
The course schedule is as follows:

  COURSE CONTENT
WEEK 1

Introduce Yourself

MODULE 1: Level 1 - Overview / What is a Game?

MODULE 1: Level 2 - Game Design / Iteration & Rapid Prototyping

WEEK 2

MODULE 1: Level 3 - Formal Elements of Games

MODULE 1: Side Quest

MODULE 1: Skill Check (Quiz)

WEEK 3

MODULE 2: Level 4 - Mechanics and Dynamics

MODULE 2: Level 5 - The Early Stages of the Design Process

MODULE 2: Side Quest (Part 1) -- Game Changer & Hard Port
MAIN QUEST: Step 1 - Generate Ideas

WEEK 4

MODULE 2: Level 6 - Decision-Making and Flow Theory

MODULE 2: Level 7 - Kinds of Fun, Kinds of Players
MODULE 2: Side Quest (Part 2) - Military Intelligence & Good Grief

MODULE 2: Skill Check (quiz)

MAIN QUEST: Step 1 - Generate Ideas (cont.)

WEEK 5

MODULE 3: Level 8 - Level 8 Games and Art

MAIN QUEST: Step 2 - Design Playable Prototype

WEEK 6

MODULE 3: Level 9 - Stories and Games

MODULE 3: Level 10 - Nonlinear Storytelling

MODULE 3: Side Quest - Tale Of Two Stones

MODULE 3: Skill Check (Quiz)
MAIN QUEST: Step 2 - Design Playable Prototype (cont.)

WEEK 7

MODULE 4: Level 11 - Testing

MODULE 4: Level 12 - Game Criticism & Analysis
MODULE 4: Side Quest - (Pick 1 out of 4)
MAIN QUEST: Step 3 - Playtesting

WEEK 8

MODULE 4: Skill Check (Quiz)
MAIN QUEST: Step 3 - Playtesting (cont.)

MAIN QUEST: Step 4 - Analyze Your Design

WEEK 9 MAIN QUEST: Step 4 - Analyze Your Design (cont.)
SUBMIT FINAL MAIN QUEST
WEEK 10 SUBMIT PEER REVIEW OF MAIN QUEST


Please contact course Instructor or TAs for any questions concerning grades or course completion status.

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Course Summary:

Date Details