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SPD1000A Game Design

Learning outcomes

Once the student has passed the course, he/she 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 on different game projects
  • has knowledge of simple analytical tools and techniques for games
  • has knowledge of basic shared characteristics and the differences between various types of games
  • is acquainted with the history of the gaming industry
  • has knowledge of how to find sources of inspiration and use them in his/her own work
  • has knowledge of how to develop a cohesive design that culminates in a computer game
  • has knowledge of using System Thinking in game design
  • has knowledge of using project management in computer game production

Skills

The student

  • is able to analyze simple games with regard to the relationship between mechanics and the experience
  • is able to use different techniques to balance existing and new game designs
  • is able to specify and operationalize 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 basis 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 a focus on prototyping, testing and documentation
  • is able to develop different game design documents
  • is able to find, evaluate and refer to sources of inspiration from games and the film industry
  • is able to use source references in his/her 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 organized 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, 2–4 students, counts for 50% of the final grade
  • 2 individual assignments, counts for 50% of the final grade

To pass the course, both examinations must be passed.

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.