PA215 Game Design I

Faculty of Informatics
Autumn 2024
Extent and Intensity
2/0/0. 2 credit(s) (plus extra credits for completion). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
Taught in person.
Mgr. et Mgr. Zdeněk Záhora (lecturer)
Mgr. Jiří Chmelík, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
Mgr. Jiří Chmelík, Ph.D.
Department of Visual Computing – Faculty of Informatics
Supplier department: Department of Visual Computing – Faculty of Informatics
The course is designed for beginners, although the rich knowledge of (digital) games is considered to be an advantage. The course is taught in English.
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
The capacity limit for the course is 40 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 0/40, only registered: 32/40, only registered with preference (fields directly associated with the programme): 3/40
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
there are 9 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
The aim of the Game Design I. course is to (a) develop the ability to critically analyse digital and board game rules and structure and (b) to teach students practical methods of rapid paper prototyping of gaming systems. These two building blocks support the main objective of the course which is (c) to improve students skill in designing games.
Learning outcomes
Student will be able to:
- design simple games
- create paper game prototypes
- analyze and change rules of (digital) games
- understand game design processes in game development environments
- determine the type of target player and perceive the differences between the different experiences that games can stimulate
- design and perform tests to verify game qualities for the target audience
- to describe the creative possibilities of (non) digital games as a unique medium, i.e. as both a technology and a creative instrument.

Course outcome:
- 1x text: analysis of a specific (digital) game and/or game mechanic | solo work
- 1x design: board/digital game design | solo work
- 1x game: board/digital game prototype | teamwork
  • -- WORKSHOPs - Board Game Design (once every 3 weeks during the course)
  • -- DISCUSSION - With A Professional Game Designer (one of the weeks during the course - operationally)
  • -- (Digital) Games, Game Design, Game Design Myths
  • -- Role of a Game Designer, Typology of Players
  • -- Creative Process, Fundamentals of Game Design
  • -- Ludemes, Game elements
  • -- Rules, Goals
  • -- Game vs. Play vs Gameplay | vs Toy vs Puzzle
  • -- Gameplay Deconstruction, Game Analysis
  • -- Playtesting, Focustesting
  • -- Game Balancing, Difficulty
  • -- Narrative Game Design
    required literature
  • ZUBEK, Robert. Elements of Game Design. The MIT Press, 2020. ISBN 978-0262043915.
  • KOSTER, Raph. A theory of fun for game design. Sebastopol: O'Reilly Media, 2014, xviii, 279. ISBN 9781449363215. info
  • FULLERTON, Tracy. Game design workshop : a playcentric approach to creating innovative games. Edited by Eric Zimmerman. 3rd edition. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis, 2014, xxvii, 507. ISBN 9781482217162. info
  • SCHELL, Jesse. The art of game design : a book of lenses. 1st ed. Burlington: Morgan Kaufmann, 2008, xxx, 489. ISBN 9780123694966. info
    recommended literature
  • SCHREIER, Jason. Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made. Harper Paperbacks, 2017. ISBN 0062651234.
  • ADAMS, Eernest. Fundamentals of Game Design. New Riders, 2013. ISBN 0321929675.
  • TEKINBAŞ, Katie Salen and Eric ZIMMERMAN. Rules of play : game design fundamentals. London: MIT, 2004, xv, 672. ISBN 0262240459. info
  • CRAWFORD, Chris. The art of computer game design : [reflections of a master game designer]. Berkeley: Osborne McGraw-Hill, 1984, xiv, 113. ISBN 0881341177. info
Teaching methods
lectures, workshops, reading, team game design and prototyping
Assessment methods
group discussion of the team project, submission of texts (analysis, own design), intermediate tasks
Language of instruction
Follow-Up Courses
Further Comments
The course is taught annually.
The course is taught: every week.
Listed among pre-requisites of other courses
The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2018, Autumn 2019, Autumn 2020, Autumn 2021, Autumn 2022, Autumn 2023.
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