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Game Studies Course #11: Game Analysis

Game Studies Course #11: Game Analysis

Game Studies Course #11: Game Analysis

As discussed in the Student Assessment post, one of the core assignments of the Game Studies course will be weekly Game Analysis. Students 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. This past week, we finalized our list of games we will be analyzing during this first offering of the course. Narrowing down to ten games for analysis was very difficult with so many amazing and unique games available today. The final games for this first time teaching the course were narrowed down to this list based on their availability, game elements we desired the students to experience and analyze, the compare and contrast opportunities of the games, an overview of games from tabletop to hybrid to digital to mobile, and the interest of the students and faculty.

  • Tic-Tac-Toe, Dots & Boxes, War – Simple games often played by children. But are they really games?
  • Checkers and Chess – Classic games of strategy. Utilize same board but different pieces, different mechanics and very different player experiences.
  • Yahtzee & King of Tokyo – Dice games that use the same classic mechanic but are very different games. Depicts how theme can alter perception of a game.
  • Kings of Israel – Co-operative Game with a Biblical Theme that was a successful Kickstarter.
  • Catan/Catan Junior – Evergreen Euro game and its child-friendly successor. How can a game be altered for a younger audience?
  • Star Realms – Deck building game that is successful as a tabletop game and a digital/mobile game.
  • XCOM: The Board Game – Miniatures focused hybrid tabletop game that requires a digital app. Themed from a successful digital game.
  • Team Fortress 2 – Highly successful free-to-play team based FPS with micro transactions and utilizes STEAM.
  • Angry Birds – Highly successful mobile game that has spawned follow up games, copycat games, toy lines, and an upcoming movie.
  • Indie Computer Game – Will be determined in a discussion with the students.

We realize this list is not comprehensive of all game types and mechanics, but we expect it to give students a breadth of experiences and views of games along with the course lectures, guest speakers, and projects. We will evaluate the course as we teach it this year. Any games you feel we should really consider for the next time we offer this course?

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