Final Class Reflection (Wilmer Zuna)

CS247G Quarter Reflection


Over the course of the 2021-2022 Spring Quarter in CS247G, I’ve undergone growth in my knowledge in game design and game development that I never thought imaginable. Now that the quarter is coming to an end, I realize just how much work I have completed in this course and how I hope many of these concepts will stay with me into my professional career.

Before this class, I thought about gaming as an activity that I, a person (user), would do during my free time after completing my responsibilities to relax and enjoy a good session. Games such as The Sims, Mario, Call of Duty, and many others, in my eyes at the time, were just content I would consume when I felt like having fun. Now, I see these works and the thought processes that occurred “under the hood” in order for these games to create the desired player experience. In this course, we even got to learn about the context and theory behind the design of many games, which helped me realize that video game design and development goes beyond just making money. Video games fulfill multiple roles in society. The ones that are dearest to me are re-creating meaningful experiences for players, conveying concerns about the political/environmental state of the world and to introduce diversity in the field from the common themes as introduced in class.

Throughout the creation and development of our Project 1 “Better Life”, my team and I had the opportunity to focus on many of the values that we shared: experiences, relationships and having a good time. Throughout the concept stage of the project, I was exposed to many varieties of board games, many of which I now play and enjoy greatly while also learning about different perspectives or the diversity of design in this platform. Overall, in the first project, I am glad to have experienced the deeper meaning behind the design and creation of social games.

In the latter half of the course work, in Project 2 “SoRRRt”, my team and I took this deeper meaning and honed in on the environmental influences that video games can have on players. In summary, our team created a videogame to educate players, college students, on how to sort through their trash. Taking the videogame from the conception and into the various rapid iterations, user testing and eventual final prototypes provided me a great glimpse into the actual process that big companies or start-ups make use of to develop their video games. These concepts – such as concept maps, testing and iteration, principles of design, prototyping and many more – stuck with me. So much so, that I am excited to explore video game design and development this summer, with the hopes of publishing my upcoming game(s) on the internet for players to enjoy. I’ve implemented these concepts into my work by undergoing various stages of ideation, testing and prototyping on both of the projects that I worked on this quarter with my teammates.

As much as I’ve enjoyed the course, I did experience challenges as well. These challenges mainly surrounded in directly applying the concepts learned in lecture into my critical plays. I am happy to say that I feel as though I’ve improved a lot on this aspect now that the quarter is ending. However, I also would like to point out that I can continue to improve further.

Despite the challenges presented, I am also just as proud in how I grew from these challenges. Coming into the quarter with a simplistic and unfounded view of videogames and videogame development, I am very proud of the knowledge and experience that I’ve been able to develop. It doesn’t feel real to say that I’ve published a game. However, this is the case and, as surprising as it sounds to me, I am nevertheless proud of such accomplishment.

As mentioned before, I definitely have plans to continue working on video games, either in future courses (CS377G) or on my own (like this summer). However, I am very proud and impacted by the concepts and lessons taught this quarter in this course. Ever since my freshman year, I’ve had plans to create a video game that revolves around the culture that I identify with. This feeling of eagerness is now intensified with my current knowledge and skills. My next steps are to put my newly developed skills to use and into my video game idea, eventually developing a product that can be launched onto app stores and multiple platforms.

Thank you, Professor Christina Wodtke and Teaching Staff (shoutout to Jean Betterton), for your attention and guidance this quarter. This course is my favorite course in my undergraduate career thus far!

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