Final Reflection – Caleb LIu

Before taking 247G, my understanding of game design was fairly surface-level. I saw games pretty much as just entertainment/fun, appreciating them for their engaging nature but not fully comprehending the intricate design choices and intentions behind them. My approach to game design was similarly simplistic, focused on the end product rather than the process and thought that goes into creating it.

Throughout the course, I engaged in various activities and learning experiences that reshaped my perspective. One of the most significant was sketchnoting. I’ve drawn my whole life (mostly cartoons), and I found a new way to integrate this passion into my academic work. Sketchnoting became a powerful tool for me to visually capture and understand complex concepts, which I tried doing in other classes and found success. I also learned about the importance of playtesting and having clear goals in mind when conducting these tests. This class emphasized that playtesting is not just about finding bugs but about understanding player experiences and refining the game to better meet its objectives.

When working in groups, I found that creating tangible representations of my ideas was far more effective than merely explaining them. This became especially clear when working with my P2 team. Although we meshed well, we had our disagreements. Through these experiences, I learned that building prototypes or sketches helped convey my ideas more clearly and showed my commitment to them. It also made it easier for me to understand my teammates’ visions, fostering better collaboration. One of the challenges I faced was navigating differing opinions within the team. However, this taught me valuable lessons in communication and compromise. I grew by learning to listen actively, respect differing viewpoints, and find common ground. Creating tangible work (like snippets of games/paper prototypes) not only helped in presenting my ideas but also in appreciating the perspectives of others.

Analyzing and playing games in class was another highlight. This exercise taught me to look beyond the surface and understand the intentional choices behind game mechanics and narratives. I now approach games with a more critical eye, appreciating the thoughtfulness and creativity involved in their design.

Looking ahead, I am excited to continue applying what I’ve learned in 247G. I will keep refining my sketchnoting skills, use playtesting more strategically, and always strive to create tangible representations of my ideas. This class has fundamentally changed how I view games and game design, and I am eager to keep growing and creating with this new mindset. My dream has always been to score movies, but I’d add video games to that as well. Understanding what it’s like to design a full game has given me invaluable insights into the creative process and the elements that make a game engaging and memorable. This perspective will definitely enhance my ability to create music that not only complements but also elevates the gaming experience. By appreciating the intricacies of game design, I can compose soundtracks that are more attuned to the narratives and emotions intended by game developers. Thanks for such an amazing class :)))

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