Final Class Reflection

Before this class, I thought about play and game design as creative concepts with random processes behind. I believed that the games that were successful were successful because they were creative (and maybe lucky) enough to really struck a chord with the audience. However, through this class, I realized that both play and game design are experimental procedures and though creativity does play a half the role in the success of a product, the remaining half depends on how well the procedural steps are executed, such as how well and thoughtfully the playtests are implemented. This really stuck with me because it made me realize that game design is not this inaccessible field that belongs to only the most creative graphic designers- there are other roles, such as PM, SWE and even creative writing that one can take to be involved in game design and as long as we follow a similar work flow to that of our class, it is possible to make a decent product. I tried to implement these learnings into my work in this class by paying extra attention to how to implement informative playtests, how to ask the right questions to testers, and how to incorporate the feedback I received from play testers and our teaching staff. This applied not only to our two projects, but also the critical plays and sketchnotes we submitted throughout the quarter.

During the class, I especially experienced the challenge re-learning how to “play”. Coming from a very competitive high school, I initially thought that my days of playing were long gone. Play didn’t seem productive, and those around me took pride in not “playing” games/video games, leading me to develop an inherent prejudice against play as something childish, immature, and unnecessary. This class thought me to play again and find joy and intellectual satisfaction/appreciation in the “play,” which is a growth something that will stick with me for years to come. In addition to this mindset shift, I believe that I especially grew as a team player and builder. My teams in this class are the biggest ones I’ve been a part of for any class to this day. Being able to manage the logistics, communication and interpersonal relationships in such a fast-paced environment as our class has taught me to listen more, take initiative, and always remember to be bedazzled by my peers’ creativity and talent. Next time, I will spend more time asking my teammates questions, and push to allocate more time on brainstorming sessions because we have too many great ideas to settle for just a “good” idea.  Next time, I will also aim to be less prejudiced, especially regarding my own talents and possibilities, putting a bigger emphasis on the fact that we can improve by learning about the design process, our audience and even the psychology behind the games.

I saw this graph online and I think it really shows the procedural/experimental nature of game design- which I guess is my biggest takeaway from this class.

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