Semester(s) Offered: Spring
Credits: 2
Course Call Number: GAMES-UT 404, GAMES-GT 404
Prerequisite(s): Games 101
Taught By: Jesse Fuchs

Modern Tabletop Games are undergoing a renaissance, with designers building upon each other’s innovations at an astonishing rate. The cornucopia of concepts in modern board-gaming can be daunting to a newcomer, yet any digital game designer is well advised to familiarize themselves with this parallel world, both to expand their “bag of tricks” and their notion of what a game can be.

This class aims to familiarize students with a wide variety of “gateway games”: relatively straightforward exemplars that will give the student a solid foothold when further exploring the genre in our extensive library of boardgames. While doing so, we will be discussing related readings in Characteristics of Games, in order to give the design strategies being engaged a broader context.

Upon the completion of this course, the student will:
1) Be familiar with a wide variety of modern “gateway games”: relatively straightforward exemplars of currently influential game genres.
2) Understand how to use online resources to research and learn a new board game on their own, and thus access our extensive board game library.
3) Use the ideas of existing games to help inspire your own ideas for both tabletop and digital games, and learn how to pitch rough versions of those ideas effectively.
4) Explore fundamental characteristics of game design, such as the number of players, amount of interaction, game length, types of randomness, and gain an understanding of how designer’s decisions on these matters impact the player experience.
5) Gain an internal understanding of what kind of games you enjoy, what kind of games you don’t, and why you have those preferences.