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2SPILL101 Game Design

Learning outcomes

By completing the course, the student will have achieved the following learning outcomes: 

Knowledge 

The student 

  • has basic theoretical and practical knowledge and understanding of game design 
  • has knowledge of the tasks and work methods of a game designer in different game projects
  • has knowledge of simple analytical tools and techniques for games
  • has knowledge of basic shared characteristics and the differences between different types of games
  • is familiar with the historical development of the game industry
  • has knowledge about how to find sources of inspiration and use them in their own work
  • has knowledge about how to develop a coherent design that culminates in a computer game
  • has knowledge of how to apply System Thinking in game design
  • has knowledge of how project management is used in computer game production 

Skills 

The student 

  • is able to analyse simple games with regard to the relationship between mechanics and the experience 
  • is able to use various techniques to balance existing and new game designs  
  • is able to specify and operationalise a game design with a view to creating a specific game experience 
  • is able to develop an interactive project from idea to final implementation via an iterative process 
  • is able to discuss and explain core concepts such as game, game design, game mechanics and balancing
  • is able to identify mechanics and game patterns in different types of games 
  • is able to create new game design ideas and document them well
  • is able to work in an interdisciplinary team
  • is able to write an analytical academic text
  • has an understanding of different project management methods and processes
  • is able to comply with the minimum requirements for development of a viable computer game
  • is able to meet the milestones for first playable, alpha, beta and gold master
  • is familiar with the history of computer games 

General competence 

The student 

  • is able to explain and justify choice of design with reference to the syllabus  
  • has a theoretical and cognitive foundation for further analytical and creative work with interactive productions 
  • has theoretical and practical experience through analysis and testing of games, and design and re-design of new and existing games 
  • is able to carry out an iterative game design process from beginning to end, with focus on prototyping, testing and documentation
  • is able to develop various game design documents
  • is able to find, evaluate and refer to sources of inspiration from games and the film industry
  • is able to reference sources properly in their own work
  • is able to plan a computer game project in an interdisciplinary working group
  • is able to give considered reasons for decisions made during the development process
  • is able to use basic System Analysis in game design

Course content

Central topics:  

  • game design
  • dramaturgical structures in computer games
  • level design  
  • synergy effects between gameplay and story development  
  • analysis of computer games 
  • development of game design documents and finding sources of inspiration  
  • game testing
  • project management 
  • historical development of computer games  
  • interdisciplinary product development
  • System Thinking in game design

Teaching and working methods

The course is organised as a combination of lectures, practical exercises, self-study and supervision. 

Coursework requirements

  • 2-4 individual assignments 
  • attendance at lectures in accordance with the teaching plan  
  • attendance at laboratory teaching in accordance with the teaching plan 

Passed coursework requirements are only valid for 12 months. Students who apply for retake of exams/folder assignments after 12 months will have to pass the coursework requirements again next time the course is taught. 

Examination

  • group assignment with 2-4 students in each group, counts for 50% of the final grade 
  • 2 individual assignments, counts for 50% of the final grade 

To pass the course, both examinations must receive a passing grade. 

In the case of group examinations, all group members share responsibility for the full content of the assignment/product/performance. 

Alphabetical grades are used, on a scale from A to F, with E as the lowest passing grade.