I’ve always loved playing games as a child but never really got the chance to play many when growing up. Coming from a very strict and low socioeconomic family, my parents thought games were super bad for the brain and didn’t spend money on them as they considered them as not a necessity. But when I was in third grade, my cousin secretly gave me his old Nintendo advance and my first ever console game, Pokemon Gold–but in mandarin. I didn’t read (Mandarin) that much back then so the whole game I was just doing whatever and tried my best to piece the things together. I was quite shocked to remember my level 81 Gloom when fighting the elite four for the first time and making it as far as I can in the game without much comprehension. But my dad found my console and took it away and I was left gameless (digital) once again. Although I did play many other games I create from scratch since that was one of the only forms of entertainment, I kept my love for Pokemon after that and bought myself my first DS in middle school (in secrecy of course). That was the gateway into many other games like the Mario Franchise, more Pokemon, Animal Crossing, and more. There were so many games out there to explore! But even then, I didn’t get to explore much since as a kid, I don’t the money to splurge on games I want but had to save up for when I get the chance to. I continued to play card games, computer games for a bit, a few board games, and mobile games like Clash of Clans and Clash Royale for a bit (but I wasn’t too big of a mobile game fan).
Before taking this class, I knew there were so many games I have yet to play. Throughout the pandemic I got into Genshin Impact, Among Us, a dating sim called Mystic Messenger, and a more. I had very limited ideas on how games are built and the criteria that they need to follow in order to make something successful. What was playtesting? What were formal elements? I never thought that much about games but rather if I’m having fun or not. But now, I know all I learned works together behind the scenes to make a game enjoyable to its players. I learned that different games evoke different kinds of fun and that is used to tailor toward target audiences (which explains why I gravitate toward narrative-based games quite often). I also learned SOO many new games! They were so much fun to play and I learned that the world of game is so expansive that at every nook and cranny, there was something to discover, something to play, something to learn, and hopefully something to love.
I used my affiliation toward narrative in my work in our first game, Three Night Alibi, which was a murder mystery, a narrative-based game where players can come up with their own story plots as to why they aren’t the murderer. As it was the first game I’ve ever had to make, I experienced many challenges like how to craft something that makes sense to the audience and not only is it the designer’s head (cause that’s a big problem from the readings we had to do). Nonetheless, I learned so much and grew in not only in game designing but also in playtesting, teamwork, creating fun out of anything and everything and so much more. Next time, I think I would want to be in the narrative department of game creation. I also have a passion for storytelling and I think that would be a huge focus for me to perfect a world’s lore, history, and the people that live there. I really, really loved this class and wanted to take it since the end of frosh year and I truly learned so much. I’ve taken CS 148 and CS 348C for the graphics side of game designing and this was the next class I wanted to take. Thank you Khuyen for the wonderful quarter and thank you Christina for making this class the best it can be 🙂