SHE Level 2
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M2I622930
Module Leader Karen Shanks
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Applied Computer Games
  • A (September start)

Summary of Content

This module introduces students to theory and practice appropriate to the design of playful experiences. Students will learn about the philosophy of play and games and will study important perspectives from influential game design thinkers. The module couples a broad theoretical overview of games design with practical exercises that focus on prototyping and iterating towards specific design goals. Students will explore basic concepts of game design such as systems thinking, iterative design processes, rules, play, games, emergent complexity, player centred design, playtesting and prototyping.


This Module will cover the following topics: What is Play? - Perspectives from Huizinga and Caillois - Brian Sutton Smith What are Games? - Definitions and exceptions. - The Magic Circle Games as Formal Systems - Elements of Play - Systems Rules and Mechanics - Types of Rules - Ambiguity of Rules - Game Mechanics - definitions - Chance and Probability vs Player Expectation - Types of game mechanic Prototyping using physical tools - Brainstorming - Using board games to prototype digital games - Rapid Iteration Types of Play Experience - Types of Players and Play Experiences - Player Centred Design - Taxonomies of Play - Games Design as a Second Order Design Problem - Mechanics, Dynamics, Aesthetics Games as Culture - Role of games in society - Cultural context of play - Art Games - Experimental Games

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:1. Design and implement basic game mechanics through iteractive prototyping.2. Demonstrate a competent working knowledge of the basic methodologies and conceptual skills of game design.3. Describe the fundamental differences between pleasurable play experiences.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The University 'Strategy for Learning' documentation has informed the learning and teaching strategy for this module. The module material will be introduced through lectures, while practical exercises, based on the lecture material, will be given to students for their laboratory sessions. Tutorials will be used to help explain and elaborate on both the lecture material and the laboratory exercises. Full use will be made of GCU Learn to provide Lecture-based and related study materials, along with sample solutions of Tutorial and Laboratory exercises, thus encouraging the development of independent learning and allowing self-reflective feedback on student performance. Staff-based feedback on student performance for submitted work will be provided in line with the University feedback policy, with summative feedback and grades on the coursework assessment utilising GCU Learn. The additional interactive discussion features of GCU Learn will be utilised, as appropriate to the module, to stimulate independent and flexible student learning outwith scheduled class time.

Indicative Reading

Fullerton, T. (2014) Game Design Workshop, Third Edition, CRC Press K & Zimmerman, E. (2003) Rules of Play, MIT Press Salen, K & Zimmerman, E. (2005) The Game Design Reader, MIT Press Schell, J (2014) The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, CRC Press

Transferrable Skills

By the end of this module students will have gained competence in the following key areas: -359? D2 Critical thinking and problem solving ? D3 Critical analysis ? D4 Communication skills, written, oral and listening ? D8 Self confidence, self discipline & self reliance (independent working) ? D10 Creativity, innovation & independent thinking ? D14 Entrepreneurial, independence and risk-taking ? D15 Ability to prioritise tasks and time management ? D16 Interpersonal skills, team working and leadership ? D17 Presentation skills ? D18 Commercial awareness

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Tutorials (FT) 12.00
Assessment (FT) 18.00
Independent Learning (FT) 122.00
Practicals (FT) 24.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (Exams Office) 2.00 50.00 35% Written Examination
Coursework 1 n/a 50.00 35% Practical Based Assignment