I am one of few graduate students and one of the few who worked in the gaming industry prior to the class. My time working on corporate strategy and development at Activision Blizzard has taught me a lot about business side of games (is this taboo to say?). I am also a huge fan of match-3 and merge games and started a gaming blog last year. While I have been working with games and gaming companies for a couple of years, this class was the first time making a game and learning about games from a game design lens. I was so excited to get my hands wet and learn the nuts and bolts of game design. I also hoped for this class to prepare me for my gaming product management role post graduation.
Throughout this quarter, I learned many important game design frameworks, such as the MDA of gaming, onboarding, game architecture and balancing skill and luck. I loved the critical play assignments as they forced me to use the concepts learned in class/reading. Reading others’ critical play assignments also enlightened me because they provided other perspectives on the same games. I also really enjoyed the game suggestions because I played games outside of my normal genres. I would love to get a list of suggested games from you (Christina) so I can continue to build my portfolio of play. This class has given me the tools to think of games more critically. As I play new games outside of class, such as CookieRun Kingdom, Secret Hitler, I am better able to detect the mechanics and features I like and don’t like. I am also able to provide better feedback to other designers when playing and testing their games.
My favorite project was making a social board game. It felt very accessible to me as someone who’s not great a coding. It also mimics the fundamentals of other more complex game design processes. Ideation, mockup, MVP, testing and iteration. All done on paper! Through this process, I learned the importance of playtesting and iterating. We had so many great ideas (so we thought) fell flat when we play tested. We fell into the typical designer mindset and expected everyone to read our minds. We improved and simplified the game by incorporating player feedback and focusing on the best (most fun) features of the game. I am proud of what we built and want to continue making social games after I graduate. In fact, I found another board game enthusiasts (outside of school) that I want to work with to improve our game. The second project taught how complex chamge
Video games have been important in my personal and professional life for a long time. This class just gave me another set of tools to grow in the industry. I really loved the last class because it speaks to the exact reason I am in the gaming industry. To change the status quo and improve diversity and representation. I am the only woman on my product management team. I am also typically the only woman in all meetings. Staying and advancing in the gaming industry is not easy (lots of sexism and no role models). However, my goal is to work really hard and eventually found my own gaming company so I can inspire girls and women to pursue the gaming industry.