Lecture Notes

The student notes below contain a subjective presentation of the course material, and should not be taken as direct representation of the lecturers or their material. This page also includes lecture slides from selected sessions and guest speakers. All material is courtesy of the authors and used with their permission.


[PT] = Philip Tan
[CFV] = Clara Fernandez-Vara
[JJ] = Jesper Juul
[DR] = Doris Rusch


Lecture: class and syllabus introduction

What games and sports do the students/instructors play? Introduction to first reading, syllabus, writing expectations [PT]

  (PDF) (Courtesy of Harvey Smith. Used with permission.)
2 Lecture: design [JJ]   (PDF)
3 Workshop: introduction to playtesting [DR]    
4 Lecture: types of fun and game history [JJ] (PDF) (PDF)
5 Lecture: game design patterns and twenty formal game questions [DR, CFV] (PDF) (PDF)
6 Guest workshop, Scot Osterweil: playtesting exercise – poker variants (PDF)  
7 Guest lecture, Barry Kudrowitz: toys    
8 Workshop: fortunetelling, games of chance and dice (Roulette, Bingo, Tarot) [CFV] (PDF)  
9 Lecture: competition and chance [PT] (PDF)  
10 Lecture: the player [CFV] (PDF)  
11 Workshop: Doris' 1000 blank cards [DR] (PDF)  
12 Lecture: card and guessing games [PT] (PDF)  
13 Lecture: information [PT] (PDF) (PDF)
14 Workshop: initial presentation poker deck game, playtest to get feedback, and suggest changes [all] (PDF)  
15 Workshop: racing games (Parcheesi, Life, Goose, Mille Bournes) [CFV] (PDF)  
16 Lecture: racing games [CFV] (PDF)  
17 Guest lecture, Dennis Loo: gambling and probability    
18 Lecture: space games [CFV]    
19 Guest lecture, Denis Dyack    
20 Workshop: Go, Chess, Xiangqi, Hasami Shogi, Draughts [PT]    
21 Lecture: possibility space [PT] (PDF)  
22 Lecture: feedback and emergence [JJ] (PDF) (PDF)
23 Workshop: board game playtest    
24 Lecture: bending and breaking [JJ] (PDF) (PDF)
25 Guest lecture, Marc LeBlanc   (PDF) (Courtesy of Marc LeBlanc. Used with permission.)
26 Workshop: LAN party (conflict, competition, and cooperation) [PT]    
27 Lecture: digital games [JJ] (PDF) (PDF)
28 Lecture: abstraction and simulation [all] (PDF)  
29 Lecture: social play [JJ]   (PDF)
30 Workshop: narrative play (riddles, puzzles, and word games) [DR, CFV] (PDF) (PDF)
31 Guest lecture, Sam Ford: wrestling, meaning, and symbols (PDF) (PDF) (Courtesy of Sam Ford. Used with permission.)
32 Guest lecture, Joshua Green: That's Just Not Cricket! (PDF)  
33 Guest workshop, Stephen Balzac: live-action roleplaying game    
34 Guest lecture, Stephen Balzac: exploiting the constraints   (PDF) (Courtesy of Stephen Balzac. Used with permission.)
35 Guest lecture, Jason Haas: improv games (PDF)  
36 Workshop: playtest for the final project    
37 Guest lecture, Chris Weaver    
38 Lecture: course evaluations and postmortem [PT]