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. 14

Due today …

  1. Watch A case for boardgames [video] (Extra Credits)
  2. Complete the Gamer survey
  3. Readings (choose three)
  4. Writing assignment (see Canvas)
  5. Read rules for Rolling Village
  6. Bring two player boards for Rolling Village to play in class (may require free BoardgameGeek login to download files)
  7. Read rules for Patchwork Doodle
  8. Bring a player board for Patchwork Doodle to play in class (may require free BoardgameGeek login to download files)
  9. (optional) Bring colored markers or similar to class.

Class: Game design and Mechanics

Sept. 21

Due today …

  1. Readings (one required, choose two others)
  2. Writing assignment (see Canvas)
  3. Complete Board Game Motivation Survey, explore your results, and note your primary motivation for class discussion
  4. Create at least three possible questions about fun and/or making games better, possible examples:
  5. Solo playtest game on PNPArcade's Prototype Zone and complete form on the game page. Choose solo game only!
  6. Create a free Board Game Arena login then email this to the instructor to be added to the group for our class
  7. (optional) Prepare (print, cut) Carcassonne Demo to play in class

Class: Surveying "fun"

Sept. 28

Due today …

  1. Writing assignment (see Canvas)
  2. Play Unlock! Demo "Tutorial" (via Space Cowboys or Asmodee). Note: color is often important. Complete Fun survey.
  3. Prepare (print, cut, color) Sprawlopolis pnp to play in class. Note: game cards are intended to be double-sided, but can still be played if single-sided.
  4. Prepare (print) Railroad Ink player board to play in class or use digital version
  5. (optional) Hogwart's Digital Escape Room

Class: Puzzles and games

Oct. 5

Due today …

  1. Writing assignment (see Canvas)
  2. Solo playtest game of choice from SU&SD solo games, part II. Complete Fun survey.
  3. Prepare (print) Qwixx to play in class
  4. Prepare (print) Welcome To… score sheet to play in class or use digital version: iOS (free), Google Play (free)
  5. Prepare (print) Cartographers score sheet and edicts to play in class. Bringing colored markers/pens might be helpful.
  6. Start thinking about game ideas for your own Roll-and-write game.

Class: Theme

Assign Roll-and-write project (due Sunday by noon!!!)

Oct. 12

Due today …

  1. Read 10 playtesting principles (Jome)
  2. NO writing assignment
  3. Prepare (print?, cut?, color?) Roll-and-write prototypes from group members
  4. Class will be using Zoom and will NOT meet in person

Zoom: Playtest Roll-and-write projects

Assign Roll-and-write playtest journal

Oct. 19

Due today …

  1. Readings (choose three)
  2. writing assignment (see Canvas)
  3. Roll-and-write playtest journal
  4. Watch Tom Lehmann on opportunity cost
  5. Prepare (print, cut) Murderer's Row
  6. (optional) Read rules for Tokaido (BGA)
  7. (optional) Read rules for Sushi Go (BGA-premium)

Class: Playtesting recap and Opportunity cost

Oct. 26

Due today …

  1. Readings (choose three)
  2. Writing assignment (see Canvas)
  3. Rules explainers, see assignments below
  4. Prepare (print, cut) Bandido - COVID 19 pnp or use BGA.
  5. (optional but highly recommended) Solo playtest Pandemic Hot Zone - North America (pnp). Complete Fun survey.
  6. (optional) Read rules for Just One
  7. (optional) Read rules for Hanabi
  8. (optional) Read rules for Forbidden Island (BGA-premium)

Class: Interaction & cooperation

Assign Design Documents (due two weeks)

Nov. 2

Due today …

  1. Readings (choose three)
  2. Writing assignment (see Canvas)
  3. (optional) Read rules for Incan Gold (BGA-premium)
  4. (optional) Read rules for For Sale (BGA-premium)
  5. (optional) Read rules for Stone Age (BGA)

Class: Choices & strategy

  • today's slides
  • game analysis
    • Incan Gold
    • For Sale
    • Stone Age
  • discuss strategies
  • Fun survey (admin)

Reminder Design Documents (due one week)

Nov. 9

Due today …

  1. Design Documents
  2. Readings (one required, choose two others)
  3. Writing assignment (see Canvas)
  4. (optional) Read rules for Colt Express (BGA)
  5. (optional) Read rules for Takenoko (BGA)

Class: Game balancing

  • today's slides
  • new groups
  • balancing: turn order advantage, double or halve, down time, auctions, feedback, numbers
  • game analysis
    • Colt Express
    • Takenoko
  • discuss mechanics
  • Fun survey (admin)

Assign Game Design Projects

Nov. 16

Due today …

  1. Writing assignment (see Canvas)
  2. Read BoardGameGeek descriptions for Carcassonne expansions listed below
  3. (optional) Trolley problem or Universal paperclips or Parable of Polygons

Class: Learning, & ethics

Nov. 23

Due today …

  1. Prototype 1
  2. Tips:
  3. NO writing assignment

Zoom: First Playtest

Discuss Designer's Diary

Nov. 30

Due today …

  1. Prototype 2
  2. Tips:
  3. NO writing assignment

Zoom: A/B Playtest

Dec. 7

Due today …

  1. Prototype 3
  2. Tips:
  3. NO writing assignment

Zoom: Blind Playtest

  • today's slides
  • graphic designer (if available) leads blind playtest
  • Fun survey (admin)
  • discuss faculty night

Final class