Although before this class I already had a great appreciation for game design, I still have that level of respect for the craft now after taking this class. I had known how grueling of a process game design could be and admired the level of detail that developers and game companies put into their games. However, this class has taught me that although game design is all encompassing and difficult, it is ultimately rewarding and extremely engaging. I particularly loved that game design, and especially my P2 game, covered so much ground ranging from sound, story, tangible components, and so on and allowed me to utilize different parts of my brain. In my future endeavors, I hope to attempt some sort of work that is as comprehensive as game design and to be able to draw from a variety of different areas to produce a cohesive body of work.
I was skeptical initially about how much work could be done in just a few weeks but I was shocked (in a good way) about the output of my teammates and the other students in the class. I was impressed by the creativity and skill of my peers during my playtests but also of my own teammates and myself. It felt like I was able to work with people in a relatively low stakes environment but it was one where we were all invested in the final output. On the note of playtests, I learned that giving and receiving feedback is a skill and is one that makes you better at analyzing your own work. I found myself enjoying moderating and taking notes during my team’s playtests and seeing the ways in which people interact with a certain mechanic or gameflow. This process opened my eyes to how wide the design space is for games and to all of the considerations relating to inclusion.
I also learned to not get too attached to a specific idea and to keep iterating on an idea to see how far it could go. I struggled with feeling I needed to flesh out a refined idea from the start instead of starting with a simple and core idea and fleshing it out later. However, I did find that iterating towards simplicity was the most effective approach and that overcomplicating a mechanic for the sake of it never was enjoyable for the player and myself.
Although I do not think I will work in the game industry, there is a lot I can take away from this class. The design principles that I cultivated will especially be helpful in whichever field I work in and the idea of designing for *people* is an especially important skill to practice. In the future, I would have tried experimenting with digital mediums since I only worked on analog games in this course (although I still had fun). I think that digital technology has enabled so many possibilities when it comes to game design and I’m especially excited about the possibility of VR in creating more immersive games, stories, and experiences in general. Overall, I’m glad I took this class and it certainly was the right pick for my quarter.