Final Class Reflection

Before this class, I had no experience with game design and development. I never considered myself a game enthusiast but I enjoy playing games and wanted to learn more about game design. Thus, I did not have much expectation coming into the class. After ten weeks, I can certainly say that I have learned a great deal about not only game development but also teamwork and problem-solving through this class.

The biggest misconception this class has cleared up for me is that a good game doesn’t have to feature fancy props or elaborate rules to be enjoyable for its intended audience. This class exposed me to many different types of games including some that I never played before. While I definitely still have a preference for competitive and challenge types of games. This class helped me learn to appreciate other types of games that are more narrative or sensation-based. My favorite part about the class was playtesting other teams’ games. It was mind-opening seeing how creative and diverse the other games are. In addition, I was able to take note of the positive and negative aspects of those experiences and incorporate them into my games. 

Another aspect of the class that I appreciated was the people! People in the class came from various backgrounds and had varying levels of game development experience, yet I never felt out of place. The class offered me a lot of opportunities to study different game genres through critical plays, and readings. Overall, the class gave me a great overview of all kinds of games whether analog or digital.

The most beneficial component of the class was the ongoing iteration while learning about new game aspects. Learning was made simple because the game mechanics and game design concepts we learned in class were directly applicable to our projects. I am definitely better at recognizing game mechanisms now than I was at the start of the class. Now, when I play a new game, I am intuitively applying class concepts.

Sketchnoting and mindmapping were two other useful abilities I picked up in class. They are incredibly valuable skills that may be applied outside of game design and development. As a visual learner, I adore this method of taking notes. However, in the past, I only took bullet-point notes, and this made me realize that spending time on my sketchnotes helped me remember the main elements of the readings and videos. I’ve learned to be more selective about what I include in my sketchnotes and mindmaps, and as a result, I’ve become more critical with my notes.

My main issue, I believe, was adhering to the design approach that was presented in class. When it comes to project-based work, I am not one who follows rules or builds things in a linear manner. My teammates really helped me with overcoming this challenge and it has been a blessing working with them.

Another challenge I experience was with my sketchnotes. As mentioned before I am used to taking notes with bullet points. Thus, I am in habit of including lots of text in my sketchnotes. However, after Khuyen pointed out I should try out other formats I stepped out of my comfort zone and experimented with other formats of sketchnotes. I am very satisfied with how much I have learned throughout this process.  

earlier sketchnotes with lots of text

later sketchnote with better structure

Through this class, I think not only did I grow as a game designer I also became a better collaborator, and storyteller. While I don’t see myself being a game designer in the future, I believe the tools I gained in this class will come in helpful. From notetaking to game analysis, I believe this class prepared me to think critically and be a better team player. After listening to the accessibility lecture and recognizing how my second project did not take accessibility into account, I was reminded to keep accessibility in mind in the future.

I want to thank the teaching team because despite having two homeworks every week and projects at the same time, I felt supported and comfortable reaching out for help. In addition, I love Christina’s learning-first environment in her classes is fantastic; it makes experimenting and failing much more comfortable. This was the first class I have taken where I look forward to going to class 🙂

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