CMS.301 | Spring 2016 | Undergraduate

Introduction to Game Design Methods


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session



Course Overview

This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of the process of designing games and playful experiences. Students are familiarized with methods, concepts, techniques, and literature used in the design of games. The strategy is process-oriented, focusing on aspects such as: Rapid prototyping, play testing, and design iteration using a player-centered approach. After completing the course the student should:

  • Be familiar with the emergence of the academic study of design methods and game design.
  • Be familiar with central concepts within the field.
  • Be able to select and apply appropriate methods and techniques during different stages of the development cycle.
  • Be able to structure and conduct a game design project from conceptualization to playable prototype.
  • Be proficient in contributing to the collaborative learning and development processes.
  • Understand how design can be applied to the academic process of generating new knowledge.

Learning Activities

Students work in small project groups where they will engage with a series of confined assignments. There is an emphasis on presenting and discussing results with the student group and instructors. The weekly cycle begins with the introduction of an aspect of game design methodology and a related assignment. Students work in groups on the assignments outside of class. The cycle ends with the students presenting their work for feedback from the student group and instructors, here referred to as crit sessions.

Requirements and Grading

The crit sessions play an important role in student assessment. Fulfillment of the learning objectives will be evaluated throughout the course and aggregated in a summative assessment.

Performance in individual assignments 20%
Active participation in crit sessions and in-class activities 40%
Individual performance in group projects 40%
  • Students who miss more than three crit sessions will fail the active participation component of the class
  • Students who do not submit written assignments on time will fail the assignment

Readings and Other Study Materials

Required readings and other study materials will be distributed through the course website. Project specific study materials such as readings, games and other media may be needed, and it is the responsibility of the students to acquire these materials.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2016
Learning Resource Types
Design Assignments with Examples
Written Assignments with Examples
Instructor Insights