Semester(s) Offered: Spring
Credits: 3
Course Call Number: CS-GY 9223

This course is about experimental, minimal game design. Minimalism in this context pertains to every aspect of the game, and these can be broadly characterized as the game system, control, visuals, audio, and resulting theme. We will explore these aspects through the creation of a few very focused digital and non-digital prototypes using paper and tokens, as well as variety of engines and frameworks such as Unity, flixel, SDL, OpenFrameworks, and others. This will allow us to obtain a better understanding of what makes games appealing, and how game mechanics, systems, and a variety of player experiences can be designed and iteratively improved by means of rapid prototyping and play-testing. The course is a combination of the technology, design, and and philosophy underlying modern-day game creation in the small, as well as the real-world implementation and design challenges faced by practicing game designers. Students will learn design guidelines and principles by which minimal games can be conceived, prototyped, and fully developed within a one-semester course, and will create a minimal game from start to finish. The course is a lot of (team)work, but it’s also a lot of fun. Programming skills are helpful, but not a hard requirement. Artistic skills, or a willingness to learn them are a plus.