Final Class Reflection

Before this class, I thought of game design with some vague conception that it’s a combination of aesthetic choices and details that when combined with pacing made for an artistic experience. A good game under this perspective could be analyzed like good art. But this class has really gotten me to see the design process behind play and to understand that to analyze, understand, and make games we need to be conscious of how a user is really the actor of our art, rather than just being audience to it.

For example, one lesson I’ll always take with me is the idea that “a game is a series of interesting decisions.” I learned while building our bluffing game that interesting player choice comes with authentic player freedom. The biggest takeaway to really ground my understanding of game design is that fun is learning. It really clicked for me that a good tutorial is one where you don’t even realize you’re learning. And that a fun game experience is one that uses loops and arcs to effectively use learning to make the player feel smart on their own.

I also appreciated the diversity of game types we got to play and analyze as we made Project 2. Taking a day to zoom in on a single form like walking simulators, puzzles, or Terror in Subnautica even though they weren’t directly relevant to our project were still some of my favorite learning moments. It gave me a more holistic opportunity to consider what good game design looks like in context and how different games can excel at different things and different types of fun.

I don’t know how much I want to continue with coding in industry, but I hope to keep making games for fun independently. My future games will definitely keep the learning architecture at the center of my attention to drive that artistic experience rather than the other way around. We also scoped away from other ideas in Project 2 that I felt could be other great ways to make a game that revolves around art. We considered puzzlers or bullet hells with art-inspired mechanics, and I think that would be a natural and resonating way to bring art to life as well.

About the author


  1. yes! Wonderful! Keep making games! Thank you for bringing your energy and insights to the class. If you think of it, send me new games you make….

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.