Reflection on My Journey of Game Study

I finally reach the capstone of my game study class. It’s been a great journey for me to learn a lot about games. When talking about the word game in general, I imagine play, but through this class, I learn different perspectives of game, be it read, write, design, develop, playtest, survey, and more. In this blog post, I will reflect on what I have enjoyed studying in this class.

I have a lot of memorable experiences. I started in this class as a student from the player’s perspective, who only knows about playing games. I have played different types of game, but I had no prior knowledge about designing them, so it was a bit overwhelming at the beginning. I remember I started the first game design with the concept “race to the finish” with Martin Nguyen. I felt nervous because I was afraid I would do something wrong, but it was getting better as we playtested more. We started small, but it was some kind of achievement for me to be able to create that game.

The next memorable assignment is writing a game session report, to write down exactly what the players do during gameplay, which I have never thought of before. To me, it was tedious to write about the game this way, but session report is such an interesting idea to learn. You can read my first session report here about the card game Cheat (a.k.a. Bullshit). I’m also amazed by the card game emulator website which allows me not only to play card games online but also to create a game of my own. This is a perfect tool for this class during this pandemic.

An example of the card game emulator

One of the most fascinating assignments is making a card game prototype. I have played so many types of card games, such as Exploding Kittens, Uno, Here to Slay, etc., so I was very excited to make my first card game. My game based on the mechanics of Uno as a matching game, but I tweaked my game so that it becomes more original. I even thought about implementing a theme, but because of the time limit, the theme idea still remains conceptual.

Playtesting my first Card Game

Finally, the best project in this class is my video game prototype. I have continued to develop the game from the second to the final project. The game is called Wizard, and I was responsible for the art side, character development, story development, and animations. I’m a graphic designer with an illustration background, so I can draw, but this is the first time I implement visual assets for a game, so I was both scared and excited. In the final project, I was able to expand my team and to implement all the ideas as planned. My team did a really great job of developing this game to its full potential. Seeing my art in action in a game is one of the most memorable experiences I have in this class.

Startup screen of my video game project Wizard

Besides those enjoyable experiences, I could also read a lot about the studies of games through the assigned textbook by Jeremy Gibson Bond. The book provides me a lot of insight about approaching the game design from start to finish as well as the tools to analyze games, such as the remarkable MDA method. Before this class, I have no ideas that such extensive information about game studies does exist. On top of that, I really appreciate all the knowledge I gained from this class.

I'm a graphic design student at SJSU. My blogpost will focus on the game projects that I made in my class ART 108. Hope you enjoy my articles!