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We have entered a period defined by play. Games are all around us and will increasingly play an important role in our lives. Games connect with what makes us human, celebrating experimentation and persistence.


​Games motivate through challenges and then reward us for our accomplishments. When we fail, we are driven to try again, converting failures into strategies. The well-designed game naturally encourages the player forward.
Learn the fundamental ideas of game design, then create an original game for others to play.  


Use the following resources to explore the process of game design. Think about how to design for meaningful play and tune the rules of a game to make it fun?



The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Jesse Schell, Morgan Kaufmann
Challenges for Game Designers, Brenda Brathewaite and Ian Schreiber
Fundamentals of Game Design, Ernest Adams and Andrew Rollings
Rules of Play, Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman
The Grasshopper: Games, Life and Utopia, Bernard Suits
Game Design Workshop, Tracy Fullerton, Christopher Swain and Steven Hoffman



Mindshift: Guide to Digital Games

Video Games and the Future of the Textbook by Jordan Shapiro

How Video Games Can Teach Your Brain to Fight Depression by Jane McGonigal



Institute of Play


Eric Zimmerman blog

Games and Learning Society

Play Data Consortium



Play: Eric Zimmerman

Games and Education: James Paul Gee

Games Make Us Stronger: Jane McGonigal

Katie Salen on the Power of Game-Based Learning


What will your game be about? Consider how the games you've played use the principles of game design you've learned. Take inspiration from great games you know and have played.


When designing your game, use the iterative process.
1. Design a prototype
Create a quick physical prototype with the board and bits as needed. Using your knowledge of core mechanics, adapt your prototype to model the choices and conflict your players will confront.
2. Playtest  

Play your game, evaluate what occurred, fix the game prototype, pieces, or rules, replaying, reevaluating what occurred, many many times, so that the game plays consistently according to your intentions and as the rules dictate. 
Playtest your game alone and in small groups. Share ideas, and communicate the about the game effectively--how to play, problems, possible solutions. Repeat the process several times. A good game design takes a lot of iterations to create a finished project. Embrace the process, not just the final product.  
3. Analyze your prototype  

Draft rules as you play your game and test their effective, but formal rule writing will follow as another important development step.  


When your game design is just as you want it, draft a set of rules and formalize  them in writing.

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