Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Game Design Statement

Deadline: By Friday December 17 12 PM Noon, your final Game Design Statement must be:
1) At least 500 words
2) spell-checked, proofread, complete sentences, etc.
3) posted to your blog AND
4) emailed to me at
If I don’t have it by the noon deadline, you will NOT receive credit for this assignment.

I’ve found in the past that the best way to approach a personal statement or position paper of any kind is to conduct an initial “interview”. An interview helps you skip the writers’ block stage and get right to the juicy details about you, your work, and what you care about.

Below is an interview for you, the game designer. Answering the specific interview questions during our workshop will help you get lots of ideas and examples down on paper. Later, you can pick your best answers and expand on them, re-order them, and otherwise combine them to create an interesting, detailed and very personal design statement.

Interview questions
You can start anywhere on the list, and feel free to skip around. If you get stumped on a question, you can ignore it, but try to stretch yourself and answer as many as possible.

1) What is your game called? Did it have any other working titles? How did you settle on the final name?
2) What action verbs describe your game play?
3) What adjectives describe your game play?
4) What is the genre of your game? Why did you choose that particular genre?
5) What is the platform for your game? Why did you choose that particular platform?
6) What is the scale of your game (# of players, length of a game)? Why did you decide on this scale?
7) Did you want your game to be site-specific, or playable anywhere, or somewhere in between? Why?
8) Where exactly can your game be played? Why do you think people should play games in that kind of space? Does your game change that space in any way?
9) What is different about your game from most other games?
10) Who will be able to play your game in the future? How, and where? In other words, how will your game live on outside of the class?

1) What is the core mechanic of your game? What is the theme? Which did you come up with first? How did one influence the other?
2) What kind of player experience did you hope to create with your game? Did your goals change during the design process?
3) Pick a sentence from any of our readings that means something to you as a game designer. Quote it. Explain the quotation. Relate it to your game project. This question is mandatory.
4) What is the most ingenious rule you devised for your game?
5) What specific design choice are you most happy with, and why?
6) Which design element was the hardest to figure out, and why?
7) What did you learn about your game during playtesting? (prototype, beta, or both) What did you change as a result?
8) Did you make any other mistakes or miscalculations in the design process? How did you fix them?
9) Are you happy with how your game has turned out?
10) What would you try differently in a future game design?

1) Why did you want to make a game, as opposed to some other kind of art project?
2) What kind of game does the world need more of?
3) What do you consider to be the qualities of a well-designed game?
4) What games have influenced your approach to game design? What, specifically, about those games influenced you?
5) What game theorists or theories have influenced your approach to game design? (ex: Greg Kostikyan, lusory attitude, magic circle, meaningful play, etc.) Explain the theory, or the main point of the theorist. Why did this theory (or theorist) appeal to you? **This question is mandatory. Show me you learned something from our readings!**
6) What is it like working in the medium of “game design” as opposed to other artistic mediums you have worked in previously?

1) What advice would you give to other game designers?
2) Is there anything else the world should know about you, as a game designer?
3) Is there anything else the world should know about your game?Interview questions

Monday, December 06, 2004

Final beta testing schedule

Below is our updated beta testing schedule for Monday. Please check to see what games you will be testing. Please arrive on time and prepared to play! Also, beta testers: please have your game set up BEFORE our class meeting if major installation or equipment layout is required.

Katie’s A Public Game: Report from players: 4:20 – 4:45 (Cihan and Grey)

Lauren's untitled roleplaying game: 4:45 - 5:30 (12 players: Lauren observes, while EVERYONE else plays)

Kwansoo's untitled Twister mod: 5:30 - 6:00 (Kwansoo observes, while EVERYONE else plays in rotation or forms an audience)

Jay’s game: 6:00 – 6:30 (Jay observes, while EVERYONE plays)

Calvin and Leo's Lonely City: FIELD TRIP! 6:30 – 7:00 Demo and design document tour @ the designers’ apartment