Experimental Game Design is a studio arts course focusing
on the creation of innovative workable game prototypes using a variety of
multimedia approaches, methodologies and materials. Games are analyzed as
cultural artifacts reflecting behavior, social formation, and the
representation of gender, ethnicity and identity. Factors in game design
including flow, game theory, and game play gestalt are taken into
consideration. The aesthetics of game design including character development,
level design, game play experience, and delivery
systems are covered. Alternate gaming paradigms such as first person actor
type games, social dynamics simulation, complex scenario planning,
non-violent problem solving, pervasive/convergence reality, abstract play,
and emerging forms are encouraged.
Primary to this course is the formation of
interdisciplinary collaborative teams consisting of talents from visual and
sound artists, programmers, cognitive scientists, designers, engineers, IT
professionals and others. Elements of successful collaboration are covered
and camaraderie of invention is encouraged.
The final project is a purposeful work which shows depth and quality of
ideation, innovation and interaction. The game prototype must be functional
and must be accompanied by a completed, well articulated game design document
Title of the Game, Artist Statement/Philosophy/The WHY Factor (why create
this game? why would someone want to play it?), Predecessors or previous
games/ distinctive factors in this genre, Target Audience, Introduction &
Story, Immediate and long term projected socio/cultural project impact,
Delivery System & Requirements, Interface, User Interaction, The World
Layout, Level Design, Visualization (characters, flow charts), Music/ Sound
Design, Rules and Game play (Setup, Scoring (if applicable)), Program
Structure, Technical Specs (such as Physics, Rendering Systems, Lighting
Models), Implementation, Production Timeframe, Research, and References.
Students entering the course should have a basic general awareness of
contemporary socio-cultural issues, have some exposure to interactive digital
simulation, and possess the ability for personal expression using any one or
combinations of the following: media applications, drawing, music
composition, programming, design, or narration. Students entering this course
have had varied backgrounds coming from Arts, LL&C,
Computer Science, Cognitive Science, Engineering and IT.
Technical Skills Covered: game design fundamentals, character development,
level design, elements of interactivity, multimedia game play experience, and
1. Explore new approaches to the concept of “game” &
“play” and start to define alternate paradigms within this
emerging expressive form.
2. Examine the work of several artists, theoreticians, and institutions who
engage in game creation.
3. Develop art making strategies which merge concept, process and form --
encouraging approaches that are at once inquisitive, analytical, creative,
experimental and articulate.