2D Game Design class
Game Design Project 1
Due Wednesday Oct 12th in class (next programming
project will likely overlap)
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
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 formal 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
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. Return the first
element to its original state so you can see how each change affects the
These games can be electronic games if you can affect their formal
elements (e.g. most games with mods) or non-electronic games.
For those of you who don't have access to any games, I'll leave two games
which have been analyzed to have very simple choices (though one has much
deeper thought required) in the lab.
You need to write about your experiments and findings in a report.
First tell me about the game 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 sentences. 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) explain what
formal element you changed, what change you made, what effect you expected
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 across different games or just an artifact of your game.