Games for Social Change

IDM 111
Union College
Spring 2010

Homework to prepare for class on Tuesday of week 8

(To be done as a group.)

Step 1

Flesh out the design of your game.

Step 2

Think critically about your game design, and make changes as necessary

Review chapters 10 (mechanics), 11 (balance), and 15 (story): Evaluate your game design using the Lens of of Goals (p. 149), the Lens of Challenge (p.180), the Lens of Meaningful Choices (p. 181), the Lens of Story (p. 280). Post your responses on the blog.

Step 3

Write the first draft of your game design document. Bring 5 copies to class (two to hand in to us; three for peer reviewing.)

What information your game design document should contain:

  1. vision/goal

    • What do you want to achieve with this game? (e.g. teach about an issue, raise awareness, inspire activism, ...)
    • What do you want players to experience while playing your game? What should they feel? What should they think? What should they realize?
  2. background information; historical, political, social facts

    Present the facts about your social issue that your game is based on.

    • What is the aspect of the issue that your game addresses?
    • What is the problem/conflict?
    • Why is it difficult to solve?
    • Give enough detail for the reader to understand the situation. Show that you know what you are talking about. Support all your claims by references.
  3. high level description of the game

    Describe what the game looks like from a player's point of view.

    • What is the setting of the game?
    • What is the story being told?
    • What is the goal of the player?
    • What does the player do to reach this goal?
    • What obstacles does the player have to overcome to reach the goal?
    • What is the general aesthetic of the game?
  4. implementation level description of the game

    Give a very detailed description of the implementation of your game. This section should contain enough detail so that somebody else could take it and could implement the game.

    • rooms: What do they look like? How does the player enter/leave each room? What's happening in each room?
    • objects: What do they look like? How do they behave? How do they react to each other? How does the player interact with them?
  5. rationale for design decisions

    Explain how your implementation (the mechanics, story, aesthetics) work together to achieve your vision/goal.