Rachel Naidich Final Reflection Essay

Before the class, I thought I had a decent amount of experience with games. While I wouldn’t have considered myself to be a “gamer,” I had played a lot of video games as a child, which was what had inspired me to puruse a future in computer science. I mainly played Nintendo games like Super Mario Bros and The Legend of Zelda. I also played a lot of chess growing up.

While taking the class, however, I realized just how limited my experience with games has been. I really enjoyed the Thursday game nights because it gave me an opportunity to explore a bunch of board games. In particular, I realized just how many borad games I had never played because of how much time I had spent obsessing over chess specifically, and because the only other games I played were video games. I loved how discovering how much variety there was in the different board games. Some, like Pandemic, were collaborative games. Otheres, like Splendor, were system games. It was cool to gain an understanding of the different types of games that can be created and to have that in my toolbox for the future.

I also really liked the assignment we had where we had to play an interactive fiction game. Again, I felt like I previously had a limited experience with games because I only played a select genre of video games. I decided to try playing “Life is Strange,” and I discovered a whole new way of playing games that involved exploring various relationships, emotinally bonding with the characters, and becoming deeply invested in the storyline. I loved how I felt involved in the story and therefore closer to the main character because of how my decisions impacted various outcomes. It demonstrated that games can be a really powerful, interactive way of telling stories that can get player deeply invested in a story in ways that other mediums like books and movies cannot.

Through completing the projects, I think that the number one thing that I learned was that if you are still a little embarassed about the state of your game, then that is a good time to test it with others. Every single time I play tested a game with friends, I never felt fully prepared and felt like it could still have been made a bit better before deciding to test. However, afterwards, I never regretted having tested it early and usually wished I had started testing even earlier. For P2 in particular, I was embarassed about the story that I had made because writing is not my strong suite, and I wasn’t sure if I felt super comfortable. I had my roommate and her boyfriend test it first, and I was worried that they would tease me. They ended up telling me that the game was really great and had some great feedback that I was able to incorporate before testing it again with someone else. (And they only lightly teased me.) I really appreciated that I had ripped off the bandaid and was able to get over my fear of people testing my work.


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  1. What if you were a good writer? And not a great writer… yet?

    It was a pleasure to have you in the class and I’m excited to see what games you make next. Believe in yourself, or if you can’t, fake it and do new things anyhow!

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