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Game Studies #6: Student Assessment

Game Studies #6: Student Assessment

Game Studies #6: Student Assessment

As we continue to develop the Game Studies course and prepare for  the spring semester, we are working on the student assessment portion of the course. Through discussions with the CSE leadership, we have determined the course will have these elements.

  • Quizzes on Reading: Weekly quizzes over the assigned reading.
  • Game Analysis: Students will be expected to play assigned games and critically analyze the game play including intended audience, theme, mechanics, design elements and a systems block diagram. The goal of this analysis is to develop a deeper understanding of what constitutes a game and what makes a game playable, re-playable, marketable, and successful.
  • Mid-Term Exam: Comprehensive exam over the first half of the semester including reading assignments, lectures, and guest speakers.
  • Final Exam: Comprehensive exam over the entire semester (with emphasis on the second half) including reading assignments, lectures, and guest speakers.
  • Final Project – Game Prototype: The final group project is the development of a game (digital, mobile, hybrid or tabletop) from conceptualization through playtesting. When students are working on a the final project, they must write at least one forum post a week detailing the work their group members have done on the game over some part of the previous week. It could just be an account of what changed in their game that week or a collection of feedback from a playtest. Every member of the team must write a different post. Posts should explain or demonstrate how the team is applying the iterative design process in the development of their game. Discussion between teams and members is encouraged. All original IP for the game design will belong to the members of the team. Game Prototypes can be submitted at student’s request for review by Publishers.

With those elements in mind, we are writing up Grading Rubrics and will finalize the point value for each element in the coming weeks.  Here are examples of the Grading Rubrics we are developing.

Game Analysis

You will be expected to play assigned games and critically analyze the game including intended audience, theme, mechanics, design elements and block diagram. The goal of this analysis is to develop an understanding of systems design and what makes a game playable, re-playable, marketable, and successful. A Game Analysis should be one to two pages, single spaced that gives a detailed analysis of the game, compares it to similar games, and gives your opinion of its merits and issues. Students will be graded on the depth of analysis of the game’s audience, theme, mechanic, and design elements as well as the use of good spelling and grammar. You will not be graded on if you “win” the game or not. Please state your name, date, fellow players’ names and the game title at the top of report.

Grading Rubric:

  • What is the theme of the game?
  • What mechanics are utilized?
  • What other games are similar and why?
  • Systems Block Diagram
  • Analysis of the game
  • What is your personal opinion of this game?

Final Group Project: Game Prototype

The final group project is the development of a game (digital, mobile, hybrid or tabletop) from conceptualization to playtesting. Before you begin work on the final project, you will need to determine your group (4 students) and submit a Final Project Game Proposal that is approved by the instructor. The Proposal is your agreed upon final project and the detailed project timeline help you determine the steps needed to complete the project. Final submission will include the Game Prototype, Iterative Process Posts on the Forums, Three Playtest Evaluations, Group Member Evaluations, and a Class Presentation of your Game and its Analysis. Grades will not be determined by the quality or “fun” of your games. Grade is based on the design process, interaction with group, and feedback from playtesters.

Grading Rubric:

  • Final Project Game Proposal
    • Audience Overview
    • Theme Overview
    • Game Mechanics Overview
    • Game Design Overview
    • Detailed Project Timeline including Group Member Responsibilities
  • Final Project Game Submission
    • Documentation of Iterative Design Process on Forums
    • Block Diagram
    • Game Instructions
    • Game Prototype (Documented Code, Possible Physical Components)
    • Class Presentation
    • Average of Points from Playtesters
    • Average of Points from Group Members

Does a course like this interest you? What suggestions would you have for Dr. Denning and me as we develop this course?

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5 thoughts on “Game Studies #6: Student Assessment

  1. Sandy

    You might want to talk to Mark about problems with group member/students not doing their share of the work for Projects. From what he said, it sounded like Full Sail University didn’t have much set up to “encourage” lazy students… And yes, I do know you need to learn how to handle group dynamics, etc., but it shouldn’t cost the working student his/her earned grade.

    1. T.R. Knight Post author

      Mark and I have had long discussions about his group project experiences. Dr. Denning and I are discussing that as well and how we will balance that within the group projects of the course. It is something that can be challenging but worth the effort.

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