Before taking CS247G, I was really close-minded with what games I played and very much had the mindset of “I like these games, so I will play these games or games somewhat related to them,” and I actually had a roommate (my freshman, sophomore, and fall and winter roommate of this year) who has constantly been trying to get me to play different games from my norm with little to no success. I also had very little ideas about what game design actually looked like; I thought that I maybe one day would want to go into design but had very little ideas about what that actually looked like on a more professional basis. During the course of this class, I was very luckily forced to learn the process of game design, taking into account sooooooo many questions about users, but maybe more importantly what I/my team wanted a game to look like. I think that a very big learning experience for me for this quarter was when The Banishment of Zuko made its transition to Twine from Unity that was a transition based solely on what we the developers wanted the game to look like (focusing more on story than the visuals or the interactivity) and very little on what the players actually enjoyed more at the time of that playtest, and it resulted in what I think is a respectable little interactive fanfiction! I learned here that designing games is f***king hard, but to me, it was also incredibly satisfying to see a simple idea turn into an actual, playable game. Also, I was forced to play a lot of games outside of the genres that I normally play, and I loved them all. It made me realize how “larger” games/companies can really monopolize the gaming market, but smaller games/devs have a lot more freedom to create something uniquely theirs. Also, this was the first time I got to recommend games to my roommate (even going so far as gifting him Year Walk on Steam because I liked it so much when I played it), and seeing him enjoy my recommendations was really exciting to me, and it has become something we can bond more over, so thank y’all for that. Looking forward, I hope to take my newfound appreciation for design to analyze games that I enjoy and continue playing new games to find the parts of those that I love too. I think that this quarter has definitely solidified that I could see myself in the game design industry in the future, and I can’t thank y’all enough for that. As far as designing games goes, I plan on starting a ~longer~ game this summer, and I hope to use everything that I have learned in this class into that. If I could do it again, I would only change my own commitment to the class and pour just so much more time into the processes that I have grown to really enjoy (although they were a little annoying at first).
Thank you to Christina, Kally, and Vincent! Y’all really made this quarter incredible for me!