2D Game Design class

Game Design Project 1

Due Tuesday Sept 29th in class
Special note for this project only:
you may at your discretion, work in a group of two for this project. Groups of two will turn in a single report, but that report will be held to a higher standard than a single person's report.

This project requires writing. If you fear that you will not be able to write well enough, and particularly if you are a non-native speaker and need a bit of polishing after your thoughts are on paper, you are encouraged to use the BSC writing  studio


In class we've discussed Game elements, particularly the formal elements of games. This assignment is designed to help you consider the effects of the choices you will make in selecting these formal elements when you design your games.

Adjust the formeal elements of an existing game:

Choose a game with which you are familiar. Choose a formal element of that game (other than the rules) and adjust it in some way. Play the game, with this adjustment for a bit. Note (write down as necessary) what effect this tweak had on game play. Make sure that you play long enough for this formal element change to make a difference (for example if you changed something about an objective, you can't stop playing before the changed objective affects gameplay at least once)

then: Do this one more time with the same game with one more formal element.

Graduates: do the above with two different games from two different genres (make changes to the same two formal elements in the new game).

The writeup:

You need to write about your experiments and findings in a report.
First tell me about the game (games for grad students) that you selected. Write a paragraph about the game with a brief discussion of the general sort of game it is and how it is normally played. This can be about 4-6 sentances. If the game is too complex to be completely described in this paragraph give me a web link to read more if I'm not familiar with your game.

For each of your variations (one game with each of your two element changes for undergrads, the whole thing twice for grads) explain what element you changed, what change you made, what effect you expected the change to have, and finally what effects you observed the change to make. Did it make the game unplayable? more fun?

Finally, for undergrads, sum up which of the formal element changes seemed to have a bigger impact on gameplay and player experiences. Speculate on whether this might be true accross different games or just an artifact of your game.

For graduates, compare the formal element changes within the games, and then compare the differences you actually saw between games. Discuss your comarison, did you see a bigger change to game play by adjusting the same formal element in both games? or did you see differences between the two adjustments. Compare and contrast, give examples from play testing to back up your assertions.