I don’t think I can make people cry, so I am just going to be plain, as I always am.
I have played a lot of games in my life, not as many as professionals, but a lot. I played a lot of RPGs (so long ago that I don’t remember what they are), visual novels like Ace Attorney and Danganronpa, and mystery games like the Cube and the Room. Gaming has been part of my life since I was a child.
I didn’t want to take this class in the first place because I was worried that this class may make games work instead of play and destroy the fund from games for me. Hobbies seem to lose their fun when they become work. So I was reluctant to take the course but had to take it because of a time conflict with another 247 class offered this quarter.
Fortunately, I still enjoy playing games, if not more, after taking this course. Before the class, I cared about game design because I was a psychology major and I was interested in UX research. I would usually comment on how user-friendly a game is, but that’s it. This course provided me we a much more abundant vocabulary to evaluate a game. Formal elements, mechanics, types of fun, etc., all help me describe a game in a more structured way. I enjoyed describing a game I like in a critical play and find it even more amazing after a closer look.
I love the final game we built, Ghostly Stars. We made use of an embedding narrative architecture to construct a story about the protagonist that the player gradually finds out in play. I am very proud of the idea that crucial information was given as hints to the player instead of telling them directly.
What was challenging for me in this class was social anxiety. We played games with people sitting at the same table in class for the first half quarter. I found it so hard to talk to strangers and play games with them. The situation gradually improved as the quarter went on.
If I would do this class again, I guess I would draw everything on paper. I drew everything on my iPad for convenience, but now I kind of regret that. Drawing by hand feels differently and I am more creative when drawing with pencil and paper.