Game Design (2010)
By Philip Tan, Jason Begy
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These lectures discuss the history, tools, and current landscape of game design and analysis. A variety of genres are covered, including cards, games of chance, board games, role-playing, sports, and puzzles. See Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab
||Lecture 2: Iterative Design||This lecture begins by exploring what a game is (and isn't) and defining the terms "mechanic" and "dynamic". Designers identify the core mechanic and dynamic of a game to help guide iterative playtesting and optimization.||6/29/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Lecture 3: Where do game ideas come from?||The assigned readings introduced two frameworks for designing games: formal abstract design and MDA (Mechanics-Dynamics-Aesthetics). Students play a primitive board game and apply these analytic tools, then modify the rules and repeat the exercise.||6/29/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Lecture 4: Prototyping||Before games come to market, they undergo several tests: Are there technical glitches? Can players easily get started? Is the gameplay what the designers intended? Sara Verrilli discusses how and why to conduct focus testing.||6/29/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Lecture 5: Assignment 1 Brainstorming and Team Formation||Abe Stein talks about how to brainstorm constructively, despite social pressure and interpersonal dynamics. Students practice generating ideas individually and in groups, ending with concepts for the first team project, a card game for 2-4 players.||6/29/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Lecture 6: The Social Function of Games||Today's reading, by theorist Roger Caillois, examines the various interactions between players and spectators of games. Students then brainstorm ideas for their first team project: designing a card game for 2-4 players.||6/29/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Lecture 8: Strategy, Skill, and Chance, Part 1||Games contain various skill requirements, chance elements, and information availability, which guide strategy development. Changing the balance between these factors can create very different player experiences.||6/29/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Lecture 9: Strategy, Skill, and Chance, Part 2||This lecture reviews the concepts of information flow and uncertainty, analyzing well-known games in these terms. Examples include Scrabble, Go Fish, Mario Kart, Monopoly, chess, poker, War, and Settlers of Catan. Next, students consider feedback loops.||6/29/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Lecture 12: Knowing Your Players||Today's reading analyzes user motivation along two axes: interest in the world vs. fellow players, gaining knowledge vs. proficiency. Students discuss the utility of this taxonomy, how games encourage these interactions, and come up with their own frames.||6/29/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Lecture 18: Puzzles||Puzzles are a popular type of game, characterized by a strict ruleset and (ideally) a single solution. They may appear on their own or embedded into a larger narrative, sometimes representing a similar real-life mechanism (e.g. unlocking a door).||6/29/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Lecture 19: Abstraction and Simulation||To build a good simulation, identify relevant features in the source and assumptions in the resulting model. Students explore the meaning of games' choices about what to include, simplify, and abstract, and generate ideas for their next assignment.||6/29/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Lecture 20: What is Intellectual Property?||After feedback on the first assignment, the class covers the basics of intellectual property in the gaming industry. Successful adaptations often incorporate popular elements and distinctive aesthetics from the original media.||6/29/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Lecture 21: Games as Teaching Tools||A panel of game developers from the Education Arcade and Learning Games Network talk about their research, effectively connecting learning and games, engaging a target audience, defining and evaluating success, and common design pitfalls.||6/29/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Lecture 23: Creating Sequels||Sequels can improve on the original: fixing problems, adding new features, targeting an established fanbase, etc. This connection can also constrain the sequel concept and discourage new users. Sara Verrilli describes her experiences with the Thief games.||6/29/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Lecture 25: Fiction and Stories in Games||Many games incorporate story elements, to drive the plot, set the scene, create engaging characters, etc. Some even use player actions to build an open-ended adventure. Clara Fernandez-Vara talks about how and why to use stories in games.||6/29/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Lecture 27: Games as Art||Games have emerged in recent decades as a rich artistic medium, combining elements from audiovisual, interactive, and performance art traditions. Abe Stein talks about aesthetics and meaning in games, and their relation to various modern art movements.||6/29/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Lecture 30: Clients for Assignment 3 Visit||The 3rd team assignment is to design a simulation for psychiatry residents interacting with agitated patients. Dr. Cezar Cimpeanu and Dr. James Cartreine present an overview of the problem and discuss their research on effective conflict resolution.||6/29/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Lecture 31: Assignment 3 Brainstorming and Team Formation||Following last lecture's presentation of the final project assignment, a conflict mediation training simulation for psychiatric student doctors, students brainstorm their ideas for game concepts, mechanics, and abstraction models.||6/29/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Lecture 32: Live Action Games||"Live action" describes a wide range of activities, from sports, to real-time roleplaying, to playground/party games. Careful choices about mechanics, abstraction, and communication help create an engaging experience without physical or emotional harm.||6/29/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
||Lecture 33: Ethics in Games||Mia Consalvo asks students for examples illustrating how game designers construct ethical systems, how users act within those systems, and the role of community norms. How do players connect behavioral standards inside and outside the game world?||6/29/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
Good content 50% of the time
The sound quality is quite poor and only about 50% of the class time is lecture. The other 50% is class discussion. About half of the class discussion time is insightful, the rest is not what I would have expected from MIT students (the one with the deep British accent has the most though-out inputs). For the lectures, the best are when guest lecturers speak. Don't bother with the client visit in lecture 30 at all, unless you're very interested in mental health wards.
Good Content, Poor Delevery
Very poor audio. Might be able to get passed it but the audio is the only content in this series. Need some video, links, readings, pictures, and other support media.
Would have loved this
No video, very poor audio, no links to resources, and it sounds like this is for the lab sessions.
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- Category: Technology
- Language: English
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