This short course a journey into the practice of game design. An exploration of games and playful content which leads you to learn how games are made and how to deliver powerful meaning through games and playful experiences. Let's make games together.
Through this course, you will develop the skills for designing and making your own games. The focus is on developing a design thinking practice that can be applied to any kind of game or playful content, be it board games, digital games, art installations, or any kind of interactive media.
During the course we will explore the practice of game design and the theory connected to it. The course is meant for you to start developing your personal style of design and to teach you how to critically analyse games and how small details can greatly influence the way a game is played and perceived.
We will explore the meaning of games and study how games create meaning through their mechanics. We will look at games as small worlds with their own language and explore how that language is created and maintained by the game designer.
The course will also go past the normal preconceptions about games (especially digital games) and provide a retrospective of creators who are working on more personal, deep games. We will analyse games that deal with the human condition and try to understand how to deconstruct our feelings to build our own.
No coding experience is required: the game we will create are platform independent. You will be able to work with all sorts of games and the course will provide you with some free tools that are accessible for people that are just starting.
At the end of the course, you will have produced some small games but more importantly, you will have established your personal vision of game design which then you will be able to apply to any kind of interactive content.
We are committed to providing reasonable teaching adjustments for students with disabilities that may impact on their learning experience. If you require adjustments, please complete the relevant section on the booking form and also contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can respond to your requests as soon as possible.
Please note our short courses sell-out quickly, so early booking is advisable.
If you have any questions about this course please contact shortcourses (@gold.ac.uk).
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Federico Fasce has a background in game design and media studies. He has been working in the games industry and other related fields for more than 20 years. His interests lie in the meaning of games and play as languages, and in how and why people play games and get meaning from them, particularly from an anthropological point of view.
When designing games, Federico focuses on emotions and on how game mechanics can be used in order to facilitate a given feeling or deliver a certain message. He is currently self-producing small games that explore relationships and love.
He has a wide experience in applying games to other fields and has been working as a consultant and game designer with several international clients like Heineken and Ferrari. He has designed and developed three research games for King's College and he designed several game-like museum experiences.
He has also worked as a creative technologist for The Guardian, taking part on an experimental project about journalism in Virtual Reality. At the Guardian, he helped to design and produce several award-winning VR experiences.
Federico has been a mentor for several game design students, both informally and inside the LCC mentoring program. He strongly believes in shared knowledge and in the importance of building a community, and always tries to empower mentees and students. He has also taught game design in several institutions in Italy, has organised game design and fast prototyping workshops.
He has cofounded Game Happens, a cultural association in Italy exploring the borders of the game industry. The association organizes an annual event in Genova where people talk about game design and development.
Week 1: Play vs. Game, Caillois and foundational game studies
In this lesson, we will explore what is a game, how it's structured and we start making a small non-digital game to warm up.
Week 2: MDA Model Mechanics and dynamics: feedback loops
Here we go in deep into how a game works.
Week 3: Paper prototyping and first concepts
Here we learn how to create our first game concept.
Week 4: Systems, emergence, visceral/behavioural/reflective design
Week 5: Design Tools, Game loop, Challenge and decision making
Week 6: Narrative aspects of games
Week 7: Space design and the importance of the game space
Some consideration on how to better understand and create a game space that is exciting and nice to explore.
Week 8: The Game design document
How to write a good design document and how to use it for our game.
Week 9: Playtesting
How to conduct a playtesting session and the importance of testing a game.
Week 10: Wrap up and showcase of interesting games
During the course you will:
• Make a game using a simple game making tool
• Understanding how a game designer thinks and works
• Use games as a way to deliver deep messages
• Structure a game environment in an entertaining and effective way