2D Game Design class
Game Design Project 1
Due Wednesday March 2nd or Thursday march 3rd in class (which ever class you have)
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
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 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.
do the above with two different games from two different genres (make
changes to the same two formal elements in the new game).
These games can be electronic games if you can affect their formal
elements (e.g. Warcraft 3 with the map editor) or non-electronic games.
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