XD5004 - Games Design

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What will I learn on this module?

Game design is a challenging endeavour that requires both rigour and flair. In this module you are required to design a new and original game. You are also required to develop some prototype. The prototype can be either a computer based demonstration (e.g. a game level), or a board game.
The principles behind designing specifically for games and the concept of ‘playability’ will be covered. How to use industry standard authoring software such as Adobe Flash to an intermediate level is also part of this module. Furthermore, a variety of presentations will be given to cover topics such as game theory, game rules, design document, video game analysis, game prototyping.

How will I learn on this module?

The module aims to give you skills in conceptualise, design, and prototype an original board game. You will also have the opportunity to develop and programme part of the game or a complimentary game on computer, creating a playable computer game of your own. You will be involved at an early stage in the rapid prototyping of a board game and in understanding the key aspects of game design. In particular ensuring that your game is actually playable and a positive experience to be played. You will then be given time and opportunities to re-visit your design through iterations until you deliver a high-quality board game that will be played by some of your classmates. In parallel, you will develop your own computer game prototype, and depending on your own choice, this computer game prototype will either complement your board game or be a translation of some of its features.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Developing your ability to think practically about Games Design and to be comfortable with a design brief about an original game are central to this module. In this regard, it will enable you to make informed decisions about conceptualising your game, designing it in terms of game rules, game mechanics, playability, theme and board design, You will build a playable prototype and conduct a demonstration. You are encouraged to develop in parallel a computer game that complement your board design and demonstrate your skills at computer game development/programming.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
Game Design as a discipline
Develop an understanding of the discipline, and grow some expertise KU1
Game Design as a practice
Show evidence of creative thinking and judgement through iterative exploration and communication of multiple design ideas in the context of game design KU3, KU4

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
Creative thinking, judgment and flair for games IP2
Design, develop, demonstrate cycle of a Game (both board game and computer game) IP2, IP3

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
Communicate, discuss and defend Game Design solutions to professional and creative standards PV2, PV3

How will I be assessed?

The module will be assessed through the following components:

The breakdown of the mark will be as follow:
Video presentation 15%
Video game prototype 25%
Board game 60%

There will be an interim presentation to demonstrate the current state of your game and assess its playability. The date will be arranged during the course of the module. The interim presentation will be held around the 8th week and the final presentation in the last week of the semester. During both presentations, groups will play each others games. Location and venue of the presentations to be confirmed during module sessions.

All work to be handed in to the lecturer at the end of the final presentation.

Pre-requisite(s)

none

Co-requisite(s)

none

Module abstract

This module aims to introduce you to game specific design issues, and enhance your understanding of basic game concepts. You will learn how to critically analyse users’ needs and define user experience through systematic design principles. You will also learn basic principles and techniques that applies to game design. Such as, but not limited to, gameplay, game rules, game mechanics and game flowchart. After which you will apply yourself to the design of a new game.
The principles behind designing specifically for games and the concept of ‘playability’ will be covered. How to use industry standard authoring software such as Adobe Flash, Proto IO or Unity to an intermediate level is also part of this module.

Course info

UCAS Code W280

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Northumbria School of Design

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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