My time in enrolled in CS247G was a very fun one. I appreciated the level of goofiness that the class welcomed and encouraged. That is not to say that it wasn’t a very valuable learning experience. In fact it was quite the opposite. I adopted a more comprehensive understanding of the world of game design, unlocked an inner creativity that I was unaware of, and learned some valuable personal and professional skills.
Before this class I did not think too much about the effort that goes into designing a game. I did not realize that it’s just as much a science as it is art. In particular I was really pleased to learn about the different kinds of fun that different games provide. I am now able to better articulate why I like certain types of games. For example, a recurring theme in all my writing is my love of a game called “the Fancy Pants Adventures”, a ridiculous platformer that leverages fantasy and abnegation as the types of fun that appeal to the player. Furthermore, I gained an understanding of the underlying formal elements that make these kinds of fun possible. Being able to point to the rules, boundaries, outcomes, and objectives and the ways in which they work together to produce the landscape of the game felt very empowering.
Additionally I unlocked an inner creativity that I was unaware of. The two projects that we were required to make led to me to do some very artistic things. In the first game, my group created an analog drinking game. In this game we had to think about how to make things fun, fair and engaging. We came up with a collection of interesting questions, added rules that encouraged discussion, and designed eye catching art that made the game stand out. In the second game, I got to take this a step further by extending my ideas into the digital space. We created an escape room in a box that required the player to use clues to uncover information about an upcoming party. One of my responsibilities was to help create a React Native app that was a spoof of the popular on campus app, Buzz. Doing so allowed me to tap into some inner humor. I created a bunch of posts that had funny pictures and memes, which was a very fun time.
Lastly, I developed valuable personal and professional skills that I am grateful for. In terms of personal skills, I was very pleasantly surprised to realize the emphasis that was placed on taking care of ourselves. I was grateful for the one class we had in which a woman spoke to us about managing anxiety and being kind to ourselves. It was helpful gaining practical tools for managing the stressors of life. Additionally, I developed professional skills that helped me better manage relationships. There was drama in my second project group that I was caught in the middle of. Navigating it was tough since there was a lot of tension that resulted from it. I did my best to mediate the situation by talking to everyone involved. Although it was stressful it was ultimately beneficial for me since it gave me practice with navigating awkward team situations.