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Session Name:

How I Teach Game Design: The User-Customizable Game


Readings, discussion, projects, exercises... when we are teaching game design, it's easy to squeeze a lot of things into a class, but the real trick is making all of the elements integrate together into a coherent whole that provides a meaningful experience for our students.

To explain how this can work, this session will take a close look at a single 4-week unit within a larger game design class. The unit is the "user-customizable game" (think CCGs but beyond just trading cards) which is part of both our undergrad and graduate curriculum at the NYU Game Center. It's a unit that engages with ideas of player expression and creativity, procedural representation of game content, community formation around games, visual communication, and balancing complex systems.

The session will unpack the in-class activities, readings, core topics, and project assignments of the entire month-long unit. This section of the class includes no less than four complete in-class game exercises that take the form of games to be modified by students. None of these exercises have yet been shared outside of NYU and at the session all four of these tabletop games that teach game design will be detailed.
Please come with your questions and comments about how you teach game design in the classroom so that we can all share our methods and ideas to improve the ways that we teach and learn.

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  • GDC 2016
  • Eric Zimmerman
  • Independent
  • free content
  • GDC Education Summit
  • Game Career / Education