Game analysis and design

Calendar

This is a tentative schedule that may be changed based on the needs of the students, the needs of the instructor, or any apocalyptic events that may occur during the semester.

Sept. 6

Due today …

  1. Watch A case for boardgames (Extra Credits)
  2. Complete the Gamer survey
  3. Readings (choose four)
  4. Writing assignment
  5. Try Game definitions (hit refresh a few times)

Class: Introduction & Mechanics

  • groups: 1-5, five per group
  • what is a game?
  • syllabus game
  • playing notes: win gracefully, lose gracefully
  • aesthetics vs. mechanics: Botswana, Diamant, Incan Gold, Loco!, Thor
  • identify mechanics
  • lenses of game analysis

Sept. 13

Due today …

  1. Readings (required)
  2. Readings (choose three)
  3. Writing assignment
  4. Use readings to create at least three possible questions about fun and/or making games better

Class: Surveying "fun"

  • develop Fun Survey
    • cannot use "fun"?
    • groups identify "good" questions
    • groups given previous survey to add/subtract questions
    • groups compare questions and consolidate
  • how to teach a game: Carcassonne
  • pilot test
  • special mention: flOw

Sept. 20

Due today …

  1. Readings (choose four)
  2. Writing assignment
  3. Rules explainers, see assignments below
  4. Try: Sisyphus and/or Pandemic 2

Class: Theme

Sept. 27

Due today …

  1. Readings
  2. Writing assignment
  3. Rules explainers, see assignments below
  4. optional: Parable of Polygons

Projects

Class: Interaction & cooperation

Oct. 4

Due today …

  1. Readings (choose two)
  2. Writing assignment

Projects

Class: Uncertainty

Oct. 11

Due today …

  1. Readings (choose three)
  2. Optional: Bring craft supplies like paper, markers, etc.

Projects

Class: Prototyping (Game Jam)

  • prototyping with paper (with Hans Kishel)
  • Game Jam
  • digital prototyping (with Hans Kishel)
  • submit Game Jam rules before end of class

Oct. 18

Due today …

  1. Readings (choose four)
  2. Writing assignment

Projects

Class: Playtesting

  • playtest without interference; make changes and self-test; repeat
  • submit Game Jam rules v2 before end of class
  • time for Game Design groups to meet
  • Fun survey

Oct. 25

Due today …

  1. Readings (required)
    • Art of Game Design, Ch 11. Game mechanics must be in balance (Schell)
  2. Readings (choose three)
  3. Writing assignment
  4. Rules explainers, see assignments below

Projects

Class: Game balancing

  • balancing: turn order advantage, double or halve, down time, auctions, feedback, numbers
  • miscellaneous mechanics
  • Discuss mechanics (delayed till next week)
  • Time for design groups to meet
  • Fun survey

 

Nov. 1

Due today …

  1. Readings (optional)
  2. Rules explainers, see assignments below

Projects

Class: Dynamics & meta-gaming

  • the game outside the game
  • prisoner's dilemma (if time)
  • miscellaneous mechanics
  • Discuss mechanics & strategies
  • Fun survey

Nov. 8

Due today …

  1. Rules explainers, see assignments below

Projects

Class: Other mechanics & longer games

Nov. 15

Due today …

  1. Readings

Projects

  • Game Design: Prototype 1 (due)
  • Game Design: Reflection 1 (due two days for feedback)

Class: First Playtest

  • game designer teaches game
  • reminders: criticism, how to observe
  • Fun survey

Nov. 22

Due today …

  1. Readings

Projects

  • Game Design: Prototype 2 (due)
  • Game Design: Reflection 2 (due two days for feedback)

Class: A/B Playtest

  • developer (if available) teaches for A/B testing
  • Fun survey

Nov. 29

Due today …

  1. Readings

Projects

  • Game Design: Prototype 3 (due)
  • Game Design: Reflection 3 (due two days for feedback)

Class: Blind Playtest

Dec. 6

Dec. 13

Due today …

  1. Readings

Projects

  • Game Design: "Final" Prototype (due)

Faculty night

  • design team chooses explainer, explainer has option to also play
  • Session 1: 4:10-5:10
  • Session 2: 5:15-6:15
  • Fun survey optional

Game designer's diary

Final class

Weekday, December date at time (HHH 318)