Game analysis and design
hlascs (@) uwec.edu
A game is a series of interesting choices. —Will Wright
Section: 501, Tuesdays 4-6:50pm
Games have been a part of human culture for over 5000 years and have been used as a tool for recreation as well as for teaching and learning. As such, games are worthy of scholarly analysis. Unfortunately, little scholarly work has been done with this medium. This course is an attempt to view games through a scholarly lens by analyzing the experience of a game.
Questions that will guide our analysis include:
- What is fun?
- Is fun a necessary component of a game?
- What makes one game fun and another not?
This course helps students meet the following Liberal Education Learning Outcomes:
- S3. Create original work, perform original work, or interpret the work of others.
- IL1. Apply knowledge, skills or responsibilities gained in one academic or experiential context to other contexts.
More course information is posted on D2L.
- Exposure to different types of games, specifically "Eurogames" that focus on mechanics
- Design a survey instrument to collect data regarding player experiences
- Collect survey data during playtests
- Design a game through iterative prototyping and playtesting
- Weekly readings & writing assignments
- Explain rules for two games
- Two practice game design projects
- Design a game (teams of 1-3)
- Two design documents for potential games (group)
- Three playtest sessions
- Three playtest reflections (individual)
- Final game design diary (individual and group)
- Schell, J. (2014). The art of game design: A book of lenses.
- Koster, R. (2013). A theory of fun for game design.
Note: Try reading the cartoons first, then go back to read the text
- Boardgamegeek - forum for boardgame enthusiasts (glossary)
- UWEC Gamer's Guild
- [+] Prototyping
- BGG Do it yourself
- Print and Play wiki - useful resources at BoardGameGeek
- Prototyping tools - more resources from BoardGameGeek
- Game icons - free graphics
- Game design resource list - even more resources on BoardGameGeek
- CardGamePrototyper - convert CSV tile to playing cards
- How to make a retail-worthy quarter-fold game board (Terry)
- grid paper
- [+] Game designers
- Matt Leacock - Favorite board game design resources
- Richard Bartle - Hearts, clubs, diamonds, spades: Players who suit muds
- Daniel Cook - Building a princess saving app [slides], What activities can be turned into games?
- Greg Costikan - I have no words & I must design, Tabletop: Analog game design
- Chris Crawford -Dragon speech
- Richard Garfield - Luck vs Skill
- John Harris - 20 real world games
- Raph Koster - Best game design articles,
- Lewis Pulsipher - Why we play games
- Jesse Schell - Visions of the gamepocalypse
- Ian Schreiber - Game design concepts, Game balance concepts
- Mike Selinker - Kobold guide to board game design
- [+] Other