Identify common game genres, describe rule creation and elements of player challenge and differentiate 2D and 3D game environments.


  1. Document the primary rules of a reasonably simple game that you like. Include a sketch of the user interface; a list of all the buttons and menu items; and a list of the other modes that may be available. Describe the challenges and actions that make the game interesting to you.
  2. Play: After Sunset 2.
    Discuss the goals and objectives of this game.What genre(s) would you classify this game and why? Describe the game mechanics. How intuitive (i.e. easy) is it to navigate the game? Explain the constitutive rules and the intuitive rules. What is the player motivation? How does the challenge compare to the risks and rewards? Explain why you think this is or is not a balanced game.
  3. Certain genres are found more frequently built using one kind of environment (i.e. 2D top-down or 3D ground-up) than another. Write a short paper explaining which game environment each genre typically works best on and why. Try to answer the following question: how do the environment’s features (e.g. graphic style, mechanics, player controls) and the way that it is used facilitate or hinder the gameplay in each genre?
  4. Play three games and answer the following:
    1. What is the genre? Is there a specific sub-genre? Could the game belong to more than one genre? Be sure to provide information that helps validate your choice.
    2. Who is the audience?
    3. What are the goals and objectives?
    4. What is the overall narrative? (Explain in two or three sentences)
    5. How would you describe the overall game? (i.e., look, playability, and entertainment)
  5. Think of concept for your team game and answer the following questions (individually):
    1. What is the general flavor of the game? You can make references to other games, movies, books, or any other media if your game contains similar characters, actions, or ideas.
    2. What is the player’s role? Is the player pretending to be someone or something, and if so, what? Is there more than one? How does the player’s role help to define the gameplay?
    3. Does the game have an avatar or other key character? Describe him/her/it.
    4. What is the nature of the gameplay, in general terms? What kinds of challenges will the player face? What kinds of actions will the player take to overcome them?
    5. Does the game fall into an existing genre? If so, which one?
    6. Why would someone want to play this game? Who is the game’s target audience?
    7. What is the game’s setting? Where does it take place?
    8. Will the game be broken into levels? What might be the victory condition for a typical level?
    9. Does the game have a narrative or story as it goes along? Summarize the plot in a sentence or two.

Turn In:

  1. Complete part one in a new blog post. It will be due by Wednesday, December 07.
  2. Once you have finished part two. Post your answers and thoughts about “After Sunset 2″ on your blog. Due by Wednesday, December 07.
  3. When finished with your short paper over game environment for part three, submit it to the correct folder in the ExamDrop. It is due by Friday, December 09.
  4. After you have played the three games that you chose, create a new post on your blog answering the given questions. This is due by Monday, December 12.
  5. Take the game that your team pitched for development and answer the proposed questions on your blog. This is due by Wednesday, December 14.


Differentiate between a game review and a critical analysis of a game. Gather, generate, and evaluate relevant information through effective research.

Game Developers Journal Entry

Within your Game Developer’s Journal, use mind-mapping techniques to illustrate your top two or three ideas (from the five ideas generated during Unit 1). At this point, you should focus on
producing a high level mind-map,illustrating only a few levels deep. You will continue to refine your decision and add detail to your map as the learning progresses.

Contemporary Game Assignment

  1. Select one of the games found at: https://unity3d.com/showcase/gallery/games.Play on your own, if the mechanics allow it. If the game only supports multiplayer modes, play with one or more of your peers. Play as a designer, paying attention to the mechanics, dynamics, and aesthetics as described in the Mechanics-Dynamics-Aesthetics (MDA) framework. If you are unfamiliar with the MDA framework, search for it online and familiarize yourself with it prior to performing this step.
  2. Reflect on your play experience.
    • What were the game’s apparent design goals? Did it succeed at those goals? Why or why not?
    • What were the mechanics? What was the play experience? What is the relationship between the two? Did you find any strategies that were exploitable? Did the game seem well-balanced?
    • What kinds of interesting decisions (and uninteresting ones) were you making throughout the game? What do you feel was the competitive differential of the game?
  3. Write your analysis of the game within a new Game Modification Task Sheet. Include the following information:
    • Name of the game and its publisher (this will help get you in the habit of giving credit where due. It will also ensure everyone references the same game).
    • Describe the core mechanics of the game. You do not have to reproduce the rules, but you should describe the basic play of the game and the main decisions players are making. Assume your audience has never played the game before!
    • Include the Mechanics-Dynamics-Aesthetics (MDA) of the game, showing how they emerge from the mechanics (if you are not sure, provide a guess).
    • State the game’s design goals. Indicate what the designer was trying to do! Then, indicate whether you feel the game met those goals, explaining why or why not.
    • Note anything else you can about the game (such as a particular issue with game balance or a unique use of game components).
    • Lastly, if you were the designer, what would you change about the game (if anything)? Make specific recommendations for your suggested changes. For example, do not just say “I would make the game more interactive between players” or “I would fix the problem that I identified earlier” — say how you would fix things. What rules would change and what would they change to? Would you change any game objects or values?
    • Remember, your audience is made up of other game designers. Write your analysis so that other designers can learn from the mistakes and successes of the game you chose. Your goal is to educate and inform them about the game you selected. Another goal is to discover new lessons about what makes games work or not work. These goals are more important than a review score!

Turn In:
Complete the Game Developer’s Journal Entry with the correct date on your blog and be prepared to discuss your ideas with your team.

The Contemporary Game Assignment is due by Thursday, December 01. All of it will be submitted to your blog. Be ready to pitch your top game concept in class on Thursday. You will have up to 3 minutes for your pitch and another 3-5 minutes for questions and answers from the class.

Finally, Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Explain your response.
“Not only do we tend to think about the world according to what we want to see and what we need to see, we tend to think in terms of what we expect to see.”