SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHI625662
Module Leader n/a
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Applied Computer Games
  • B (January start)
  • A (September start)

Summary of Content

This module is about experimental game design. The course combines the technology, design, and philosophy in support of game creation, as well as the real-world implementation and design challenges faced by practicing game designers. This class provides a framework to explore aspects of design through the creation of focused prototypes. Students will synthesise historical knowledge with cutting edge developments in order to identify how to focus and constrain their creativity in developing interactive forms.


This module will cover the following topics: * Experimenting with the formal elements of games and/or new hardware/interfaces * Adopting the playcentric approach including paper prototyping, rapid digital prototyping, iterative design and playtesting in order to experiment in a focused way * Risk taking and intuition in the creative process

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:1. Design around ill defined interaction paradigms.2. Explain how game mechanics, systems, and a variety of player experiences canbe designed and iteratively improved by means of rapid prototyping andplaytesting.3. Display an understanding of games and associated interactive media from awide and deep range of sources, and explain the ways that games serve avariety of purposes and functions in our lives and communities4. Demonstrate an ability to research, critically evaluate, and refine and synthesizeideas, in order to express imaginative thinking and personal understandingsthrough games and interactive media, and to reflect on and evaluate gamedesign processes and conventions.5. Present, demonstrate or playtest your projects for others, and to respond to andmake critical judgments about games and interactive media.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The university Strategy for Learning documentation has informed the learning and teaching strategy for this module. The module s 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. All lecture, laboratory and tutorial material will be made available on GCU Learn and links will be provided to appropriate external material such as podcasts, videos and literature. During all lab and tutorial sessions, students will receive formative feedback on their performance in undertaking the laboratory and tutorial exercises. Summative feedback and grades will also be provided for the coursework assignment undertaken as part of the module using GCU Learn. GCU Learn will also be used to provide the students with module specific forums and Wikis to stimulate student and lecturer interaction outwith the normal lecture, laboratory and tutorial sessions.

Indicative Reading

Books and articles: * Playing Smart - the future of games and AI: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/playing-smart * Works of Game - John Sharps' book abotu art games: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/works-game * Play Matters: Expressive games https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/play-matters * Gameworld Interfaces - about the boundaries between games and the real world https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/gameworld-interfaces * Practical Augmented Reality: A Guide to the Technologies, Applications and Human Factors for Ar and Vr (Usability) * Creativity Inc Online sources: * Ability, Disability and Dead Space Diane Carr http://gamestudies.org/1402/articles/carr * Why So Few Violent Games? - Gregory Avery-Weir http://ludusnovus.net/2011/08/15/why-so-few-violent-games/ * The Significance of Plot Without Conflict http://stilleatingoranges.tumblr.com/post/25153960313/the-significance-of-plotwithout- conflict * Ursula LeGuin: The Conflict and The Plot - Heather McDougal http://cabinet-of-wonders.blogspot.jp/2010/11/ursula-leguin-conflict-andplot. html?m=1 * Adriaan de Jongh Topics for Game Designers and Risk Takers https://vimeo.com/129224031 * MDA: A Formal Approach to Game Design and Game Research by Robin Hunicke, Marc LeBlanc, Robert Zubek http://www.cs.northwestern.edu/~hunicke/MDA.pdf * MDA by Frank Lantz http://gamedesignadvance.com/?p=2995 * The Hegemony of Play by Ludica http://ict.usc.edu/pubs/The%20Hegemony%20of%20Play.pdf * Towards Minimalist Game Design Andy Nealen, Adam Saltsman, Eddy Boxerman https://www.dropbox.com/s/zmzvkqh4je1s0nc/tmgd.pdf?dl=0

Transferrable Skills

By the end of this module students will have gained competence in the following key areas: Specialist knowledge and application Critical thinking and problem solving Critical analysis Communication skills, written, oral and listening Team working and interpersonal skills Self confidence, self discipline & self reliance (indpendent working) Creativity, innovation & independent thinking Appreciating and desiring the need for continuing professional development Entrepreneurial, independence and risk-taking Ability to prioritise tasks and time management Interpersonal skills, team working and leadership Presentation skills Commercial awareness

Module Structure

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

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 2 n/a 25.00 n/a Coursework 2 Physical / Paper Prototypealong with a reportIndividual report 1000 word count Group report 2000 word count
Coursework 3 n/a 50.00 n/a Coursework 3 Individual coursework 2000 word countInteractive DigitalPrototype
Coursework 1 n/a 25.00 n/a Coursework 1 Individual Report - 2000 word count