Final Class Reflection

I came into this class with very little knowledge about game design. I have always loved games. Growing up, I would spend hours at a time playing the Sims, Mario Cart, and even Minecraft (although I never admitted this to anyone).  Board games and card games also marked my childhood, from games I would play with my family when I was younger like Monopoly or Catan to very strategic games I would play with my cousins every summer in Uruguay like “Truco”, “Cachos”, or Backgammon, I would say I enjoyed almost every type of game out there. However, I never thought of the possibility of designing a game myself. This class has opened up that possibility. I am so happy with what I learned and how I could apply it in the future!

Throughout this class, I thought it was very interesting to start questioning what aspects of these games that I enjoy playing so much make them fun. Instead of simply having fun playing a game, I can now analyze the elements that make this game captivating and the type of fun that I am having by playing it. This concept of 8 types of fun really stuck with me because of the great variety that exists in the reasons why a game can make a player want to keep playing and the different ways the same type of fun can be created. I applied these concepts in my critical plays, trying to understand what the game designers were aiming for when creating the game and what elements allowed them to be successful or fall short in achieving their goals. I had already played many of the games we played for the critical plays, but playing them with this new analysis toolkit made the experience completely different, as if I was discovering a new game by laying it critically. I soon started to notice the intention behind elements that I had never paid attention to but that had subconsciously contributed to my gameplay experience.

In this class, I also faced important challenges, that helped me grow and learn from these experiences. My main challenge was working in a group for project 2 and navigating some cultural differences that I had not yet encountered in previous classes. After having a great teamwork experience for project 1, I was ready to get started on project 2 with a larger team of people that I didn’t know before the class and didn’t pick myself. However, due to several health issues and a personal experience that took me to a dark place, I was unable to put in the amount of work I would have wanted to and that my teammates were expecting. Instead of having a conversation with me, my teammates decided they could no longer work with me. This was very hard for me as I grew up in a setting where you always lend a hand to a classmate who is struggling, even if you don’t know the reasons behind this struggle. I learnt that I have to be very intentional in my communication with my peers so that there is no misunderstandings, and that in a country as individualist as the US, people behave differently when someone doesn’t pull their weight, so you cannot rely on people to have your back.  This was a great learning experience for me as it will help me in future team project experiences I may encounter both in school and in a professional setting. 

Now that I am still working to create my own game for a final project, I am trying to be very conscious of the types of fun I aim to create and the different elements that I can use in order to achieve this. I am also trying to keep in mind the lessons surrounding tutorials and how the player learns to interact with the game to make sure I can onboard my players with few words and by “doing” instead of reading instructions. I want to make sure that the instructions I do include blend into the story in a way that they become part of the game and don’t create unnecessary noise. I hope I can create a game that people can enjoy playing and hopefully continue to create many more games in the future.


Thank you for a great quarter! 

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