Final reflection + Thank you note!

First of all, I am so sorry about the terribly later reflection, but I did really want to say thank you to Christina and the teaching team about this wonderful class.

There were so many things that I liked about this class. As someone that really loves games, when I tried to develop my own game over last summer, I started off with the mechanics. I thought getting things moving on Unity is the first step to game design. I think after taking CS247G, that perspective completely changed. Learning about the MDA framework, I really realised that it is about the experience that you get, more so than the complexity of the mechanics and the adrenaline rush. The adrenaline rush could be a part of it (sensation), but it is not the main reason that games are fun and there are many other ways. For example, Monument Valley is incredibly simple, but it is beautiful. I just couldn’t but fall in love with it immediately and couldn’t stop talking about it for two weeks!

It was also great to play so many great games. Edith Finch, Gone Home, Stanley Parable, Monument Valley. I was introduced to so many great games as a result of this class. I wasn’t able to play them all, but I now have a very good list of games to check out. These games sometimes changed my entire perspective. Edith Finch really changed the way that I view games. I previously believed that walking simulators can not be really fun. Yet, playing Edith Finch, I was marvelling every stage and the scene where Edith finds out the secret behind Lewis’s death is one of the most powerful moments I have ever experienced in any media art. It was so poignant, and I realised that I am more attracted to the narrative side of games.

One thing that I really appreciated about this class was the fact that it was so thoughtful. I loved how thoughtful everything and everyone was. First, discussing how to play like a ‘feminist’ and discussing LGBTQ-themed games was really empowering. I am planning to play Celeste sometimes soon after the end of this term. Second, I thought it was intellectually interesting and also very apt that we learned about the addiction design in games, examining the slot machine. If you go to industry, probably the first thing that you’re told to care about would be how to make it fun and revenue-generating, but I think in order for the community to keep moving in the right direction, it is important that we as game designers learn about this, from the very best.

I enjoyed the experience of making games for this class. I personally thought CS377G was too many games. I was able to be a bit more intentional and thoughtful about these games as a result of having more time for the team projects. It was a great pleasure to work with both games and I really liked the result for both projects. Cloudy Paws went in a completely different direction than what I had imagined, (although with my narrative and sound design) and I want to create my mechanics as my personal project.

Amy, Gil, Krishnan, Shana, and Ale, you were so wonderful in your own ways, and I really appreciate your professionalism and being fun and passionate leading the classes. I also really enjoyed the incredibly well thought-out lectures by you guys. The best TAs ever.

Finally, Christina, the lectures were, as always, so engaging, I really enjoyed the careful selection of topics. I had two amazing quarters all thanks to you, and I wish all the best for the Stanford Game Centre! I will really really miss Nina when I go back.

Overall, my time with CS247G was truly monumental, and I think I learned so much while also having an incredible amount of fun. I’m graduating, might look for jobs in games in the future, and this class has been a really really great cornerstone for it. Thank you so so much!

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