Game Design 101

October 4 - 11, 2021

I am so glad I stumbled across this game design curriculum. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was hooked immediately. It truly is a "Game Design 101" course. The best part is that it's totally free! It's given me a fundamental understanding of what a game is and a vocabulary to work with. I'm also getting the feeling that "I know what I don't know," which is huge!  

There is a downside though: It's designed to be taught in a classroom. I had to "simulate" ideas other people might have come up with. Definitely not ideal. I'm quickly learning that game design is a very collaborative field. That's a hurdle I'll have to get over soon. I just started on the final project, I'm excited! It's going to be something zombie related since I've always loved survival horror. I'm thinking I can use this project as my first portfolio piece somehow.

Something I love about this journey is that it's breaking my brain (in a good way). Thinking like a software engineer and thinking like a game designer are two very different things. Here's a simple example: As a software engineer I need to worry about efficiency and edge cases. As a game designer I need to worry about flow and evoking a feeling in the player. Those don't exactly go hand in hand, but I'm excited to see how CS sensibilities can transfer into GD.

Some smaller notes

- Card game design is super fascinating to me. I've been listening to (read: devouring) Mark Rosewater's "Drive to Work" podcast. It's a treasure trove of game design knowledge from one of the most prolific Magic: The Gathering designers. If someone can design a game that stays popular for 20+ years, they must be doing something right. 

- No responses to any of the emails I sent out so far. That's fine though, someone will respond eventually.

- I've been looking for books to get, the problem is I can't tell a good book from a mediocre one yet. I guess I'll finish the course first.

That's all for now! 🍩