IAT312, Foundations of Game Design

Undergraduate course, School of Interactive Arts & Technology, 2016

I was the teaching assistant for this course in 2010 when my Master’s advisor taught it. After that she moved away, and no regular faculty member has routinely taught it, while I’ve had the opportunity to teach it five times. Given its close match to my teaching and research interests, I’ve enjoyed iterating on its assignments and course activities to improve its alignment to learner outcomes and satisfaction. One major innovation was incorporating board games due to their more transparent use of game mechanics, along providing a nice opportunity for students to use their existing prototyping and fabricating skills.

Since I found that students hadn’t played a lot of board games, I used departmental course development funds to purchase board games (Dominion and Lords of Waterdeep) in order to provide students with opportunities to play and discuss some genre classics. I produced a series of design exercises that lead students to iterate on and then develop their own board game. This allowed them to have a more hands-on experience with game design, before they progressed to using Unity to develop a digital game.

This course outline can be found here.