INB280 – Fundamentals of Game Design
Lecture 1 – Week 1
(Topic: Games, Play, Pitch)
INB280 is a design-specific unit. The tools used, such as Kodu, which is used
for the final assessment for INB280, does not assume any technical
knowledge, such as programming skills.
The unit will introduce students to many ideas, concepts and standards that
are upheld in further units in the course. Game design theory, design
documents and play-testing are focuses of the unit.
Each assignment bridges into another. A game is conceptualized, a design
document is created and then a prototype for the game concept, or a
mechanic of that game concept is created in Kodu.
The game concept needs to fit the constraints of Kodu. Kodu is not a terribly
advanced game design tool, so this needs to be considered when
conceptualizing the game. Examples of these constraints can be found online
in videos, by experimenting with the tool itself, in the assignment sheets
(primarily the first assignment’s) and throughout the unit’s lecture notes.
The use of Kodu also helps train students to work within constraints as in the
video-game industry, there are always constraints, such as time, budget and
It is important to note that Kodu’s jumping mechanic does not work well, and
students are discouraged from relying on jumping mechanics in their games,
or using them at all.
An additional recommendation that is completely optional for students is to
keep a personal journal. Keeping a journal around will allow you to capture
ideas as they come to mind as well as sketch ideas out. This practice is
common among design professionals and may be useful in future.
It is very important for game designers to design for the player and not
themselves. Additionally, it is