In this second edition of us teaching Game Studies at Taylor University, we have decided to focus even more on the iterative design process as part of the final project. The final group project is the development of a tabletop game from conceptualization, through iterations to final game. Grade will be based on the design process, interaction with the group, and feedback from playtesters. Our goal is for our students to experience a compressed version of the iterative design process in a single semester. We realize that is highly accelerated but still helps our students see how it is done.

Eric Lang, a successful game designer and developer, recently tweeted a great statement on the process that our systems students can relate to with its old school programming language.

10 Prototype quickly.
20 Fail quickly.
30 Indulge distraction.
40 Reflect
50 Goto 10

We are following a similar process with our students, having them move quickly through their iterations. So, in our course this year, we are having weekly iterations of their games with specific elements being emphasized each week. I am planning to take pictures along the way to record how the process works in this course, showing the progress of the students.

Game Proposal
Game Iteration 1 – Outline
Game Iteration 2 – Paper Prototype 1
Game Iteration 3 – Paper Prototype 2
Game Iteration 4 – Component Prototype 1
Game Iteration 5 – Component Prototype 2
Game Iteration 6 – Rules With Help 1
Game Iteration 7 – Rules With Help 2
Game Iteration 8 – Rules No Help 1
Game Iteration 9 – Rules No Help 2
Game Presentations

Our hope with utilizing this model and devoting class time to evaluation and playtesting is that our students gain a deeper understanding of the iterative design process while having a little fun along the way as well. If you have done game design or taught game studies, how do you approach the iterative design process?

Game Studies Course: Iterative Design

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