home search Contact
Lmarsden is a non-profit information site

Week 02: Game Development and Psychology

Class Task and Information

  • Lesson 01:
      • What constitutes a game?
      • The Formal Elements of Game Design

    • Introduction Task:
      • Students are to present their ideas for a new Running Dinosaur game
      • Please note, Mr Marsden may take samples for future reference.

    • Learning Task 01:
      • What is a game?

        • In your Game Developers Journal write down the following 2 definitions of a game.

      • Tracy Fullerton

      • Bernard Suits - "The voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles".

    • Task 01: Definition
      • Using the above 2 definitions and your experience of playing games, write your new definition and highlight this with a highlighter.

    • Task 02: Mind-map of a game
      • Review the game Pacman and develop a mind map: (link to Game)
      • Start with the word "Game - Pacmane" in a bubble in the middle of your page.
      • Add the following topics from the centre point:
        • Players
        • Objectives
        • Rules
        • Conflict
        • Outcomes
        • Resources
        • Boundaries
        • Procedure

      • Players
        • Interaction (PvP, 1vGame, Multi v Game, Cooperative play...)

      • Objectives
        • Exploration, Construction, Capture ... What are the aims for success?

      • Rules
        • Restricting Actions, what you can do or not do .. What are other rules in a game?

      • Conflict
        • Obstacles, opponents, dilemmas - What causes tension in the game?

      • Outcomes
        • Player interaction patterns and success criteria

      • Resources
        • Health, time, lives, equipment, power-ups etc

      • Boundaries
        • The border to the real world (payday - you just cant rob a bank)

      • Procedure
        • Progression of action, starting action, special actions ...

      • Create an account with Creately (click on the Icon below)
      • Select the Mind Map template

  • Lesson 02:
      • Game review criteria - Determined and Self-Determined

      • Identify Determined and develop Self-Determined criteria

    • Task 01: WATCH: Playing like a game designer pt1 & 2

    • Through this lesson we will look at establishing criteria for reviewing a game.

    • Focus question 01: Determined Criteria
      • Game Visuals: A game needs to have finished visuals. Poor graphics can be compensated with outstanding game mechanics, however, crappy visuals give the game an unprofessional look and decrease believability.

      • Game Sound/Music: Sometimes, the audio of a game can be so engaging and catchy that you get hooked to it. The importance of Game Sound/Music Design is often undermined. It can make all the difference between just another game and a unique game.

      • Core Loop: This refers to the set of actions that are repeated in a game over and over again (in a loop) that actually make a game addictive. Often games have multiple core loops that make them complex but enhance the involvement. For example, in monopoly, the core loop would be — use money to buy property — use property to get more money. A unique combination of core loops can get a player involved into multiple simultaneous tasks easily.

      • Friendly user interface: It's important for the player to understand the game fast and navigate through the application swiftly without much time waste or hassle. If each screen has too many options haphazardly spaced out, or requires a player to remember too much information without common intuitive UI, then the player will most likely be demotivated from playing the game.

      • Suspense: If the game keeps offering new game mechanics and surprises for the player to relish, then it's shelf life increases. Which means a game will be played for a longer duration before the player moves on to the next game. But this doesn't necessarily mean that a repetitive set of game mechanics can cause a game to flop. Eg: Counterstrike.

      • Character Design and story (AAA games/ RPG): The interactive storytelling element of a game is detrimental to its success. Sometimes, players fall in love with s character. Sometimes the story keeps the players hooked until all of the plot is revealed.

      • Competition: Games like FIFA and Clash Royale are all about proving yourself to be better than others. If a game provides space for proving one's competitiveness, then it's going to run a lot.

      • Real World Simulation: How close is the game world to the real world. This makes the game very likable. WWE, NBA, Need For Speed, all try to replicate real players or cars in a simulation.

    • Task 02: Create a list of self-determined criteria to evaluate games.
      • Think, if you had 2 new releases to chose from and you can only afford one game, what criteria would you use to make the decision?
      • From your own gaming experience, what are the key factors that you think set games apart from each other.
      • Using bullet points, make a list of criteria that you would use to rate / evaluate a game.

    • Task 03:
      • You are going to provide feedback to your buddy that is next to you (or a random generator will be used).
      • It’s called .
        • T= Tell them something you like about their responses
        • A= Ask them a question about their idea about their answers
        • G= Give them 1 idea about how they could add more detail to their solutions

      • Make any adjustments to your list and place in SWT (Share With Teacher)
      • Print and place a copy in your Game Developers Journal

    • Task 03: Game Developers Journal Entry
      • Go to the site: and play Tower Defence

    • Alternate Site: FRVT

      • Note you can use another game, if this is blocked, for educational purposes (Note on playing games in class and at school)

      1. Play the game long enough to understand the directions and the overall objective(s) of the game.
      2. Use bullet points to rate the game using Determined and Self-Determined Criteria
      3. Place your review in your Game Developers Journal and a image in SWT (Share With Teacher) complete for homework.

Readings / Homework
  • Complete all set work


Focus Point