Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Welcome to Good Game Design

Hi guys,

Let me introduce myself. My name's Anthony Fennell, I'm a research assistant working with Cathie on Game Design and I love that this basically means getting paid to play games. As my first blog post I thought I'd start by chatting about our motivation at the Game Design Project and maybe give you a quick introduction to Good Game Design, the secret tool to make good games.

So, about me. I'll be here blogging about a range of topics relating to game design. I'll be talking about the design process that takes place for some of the current big-name games and looking at what makes a good game.

I'll also be your face-to-face contact at MacICT, covering most if not all of the Game Design presentations at schools. I've studied Game Design at school and uni, and I've been making games for six or seven years in a bunch of different coding languages . I'm a strong believer in the benefits of gaming and game design as a learning tool, a community-builder and a great outlet for skilled competition.

Kids nowadays are playing games in much greater numbers, across more platforms and in new ways. With iPhones, consoles and especially facebook, games have exploded out into mainstream society. It's become a lot more cool to be a gamer. Of course, us old-school gamers already knew that. Games are fun, competitive and challenging. They're a great outlet for stress and a great way to waste some time if you're bored.

But games are much, much more than time-wasters. At MacICT, we're trying to harness the popularity of gaming and introduce it into the classroom in a way that emphasises fun, problem solving and collaborative thinking. Designing a game can be more fun than playing one. You're in charge of building the world, writing the rules, challenging your players. It's a rich, creative, rewarding task if it's done well and a downright pain if not.

Designing a game is like writing a book or painting a picture. There's no one right way to make a game, just as there's not one type of game you can make. It can be a very personal, subjective process but you can still make the right game in the wrong way. Good Game Design provides a clear foundation for game design that ensures your game (whatever that game may be) will always be fun and challenging. Over the next couple of weeks I'll be introducing you to the elements of Good Game Design that will make sure your game is fun, challenging and working all the time - no matter what game you make.

Stay tuned!


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