Perspectives on Games
The course presents the students with several perspectives on game analysis and design. The unique aspect of the course is the combination of theoretical and practical approaches. Every unit familiarizes the students with the newest development in game studies and follows it with a presentation by a practitioner. This shows the students the interplay between the academic and industry perspectives. The students must also use the topics raised during the lectures as inspiration for their game creation or their original analyses of game elements.
The aim of the course is to prepare the students to participate in the global narrative surrounding the creation of games - both from theoretical and practical perspectives.
We present the students with cutting-edge technologies and theoretical approaches that shape modern game development and research. Students learn about a variety of perspectives on game design that are tied to the newest technologies. The key distinguishing factor of the course is how it blends the theoretical and practical perspectives as every topic is delivered by two experts - a theoretician and a practitioner. This duality of theory and practice is later mirrored in the deliverables and the exam as the students need to learn to blend both perspectives in their practice.
The current iteration of the course covers the following list of subjects:
- Hypercasual games (Paolo Burelli)
- Retrogaming (teacher Paweł Grabarczyk)
- Blockchain games (teacher Miguel Sicart)
- Machine learning for game testing and prototyping (Paolo Burelli)
- Virtual Reality (teacher Hans-Joachim Backe)
- Types of Microtransactions (teacher Leon Xiu)
- E-sports (teacher Rune Nielsen)
- Emerging game genres (teacher Paweł Grabarczyk)
Intended learning outcomes
After the course, the student should be able to:
- The student can identify key perspectives in game research.
- The student can describe contemporary directions of game development.
- The student can analyze and evaluate games using theoretical approaches from contemporary game studies.
- The student can apply concepts and accounts found in contemporary game studies to game design practices.
- Using theoretical and critical approaches presented during the course, the student can to reflect on their own design process.
The course is divided into two main parts. The first 10 weeks consist of lectures and exercises. The last 4 weeks are devoted to a group project that the students work on (with the possible assistance of TAs). Lectures are always delivered by two presenters - an academic and a practitioner who both show studens two sides of a given gaming technology or trend. The two-sided lecture is also expected to inspire the students during exercises. The exercises are loosely modeled on game jams. During the exercises the students try to focus on a particular aspect or element of games and create a small prototype or proof of concept of a game idea.
Students should deliver three prototypes or implemented ideas created (or started) during the exercises. Those who are more interested in a theoretical approach can present a detailed description of the idea and its intended effects on the players.
The student will receive the grade NA (not approved) at the ordinary exam, if the mandatory activities are not approved and the student will use an exam attempt.
The course literature is published in the course page in LearnIT.
Student Activity BudgetEstimated distribution of learning activities for the typical student
- Lectures: 30%
- Exercises: 20%
- Assignments: 20%
- Project work, supervision included: 30%
Ordinary examExam type:
C: Submission of written work, External (7-point scale)
C1G: Submission of written work for groups
The exam consists of a prototype that the students work on during the last 4 weeks of the course (compiled code) and a paper that contains a reflection on the result of the project and the design process from the perspectives of the theories presented during the course (10 pages).