Semester(s) Offered: Fall
Credits: 4
Course Call Number: GAMES-GT 150
Taught By: Naomi Clark / Eric Zimmerman

Game Design I is a one-semester course that explores the fundamentals of game design. The focus of the class is the actual creation of several non-digital games. Over the course of the semester, we will explore games through many different frames: as formal systems of rules, as the human experience of play, and as culture that derives its meaning from larger contexts. The course focuses on the elementals common to all games that are fundamental for a game designer working in any format, from physical and social games, to board and card games to computer and video games. Although the focus of the course is on the creation of non-digital games, digital games will also be discussed, including the design and documentation of digital games.

Upon completion of this course, the student will:
1) Explore the basic methodologies and conceptual skills of game design, including systems thinking, the iterative design process, playtesting, design collaboration, and critical design analysis.
2) Gain the experience of actually creating several playable games using an iterative design process.
3) Foster an understanding of what games are, on and off the computer, and how they function to create meaningful experiences for players.
4) Explore fundamental concepts relating to games and design, such as rules and play, emergent complexity, long and short-term goals, etc. This includes understanding games as formal systems, human experience, and cultural contexts.
5) Become familiar with foundational texts in the field of game design, and understand game design as a field that encompasses all kinds of games.
6) Link the principles of the course to computer and video games on a variety of platforms, as well as to forms of media and culture outside of games.