Game Design – China

From the 29-06-2018 to the 15-07-2018 I was in Shanghai China with Mikkel Lodahl where I worked as a Teaching Assistant at ShanghaiTech University in a Game Design course.

One of the main things I did as a Teaching Assistant, was to answer all the technical questions. I was also responsible for some of the teaching in the first week.

The first week was mainly an introduction to game design theory and tools. Some of the things we talked about were: History and value of games, basic concepts of video games, design documents, linear and interactive narrative, and design, collaborative design thinking, game loops, MDA model, and a lot of game design terminology.

The second week the students worked together in assigned groups of 3-4 where they had to make a game in Twine or Game Maker Studio 2 that expressed either a personal or cultural viewpoint or experience. They, of course, had to use the tools we introduced them to in the first week. Each day, each group had a forced 30-60 minutes counseling time where we would provide feedback on the project and ensure that the process was moving forward. Besides that, they could always just come by and ask questions.

Final games made by the students

Game 1: Rhythm
The game is about you navigating through different stages of your life. You move by clicking in rhythm with the beat of the music. Each click is supposed to simulate a life decision.

Game 2: Delivery
This game is about how dangerous and difficult the food delivery service is in Shanghai. A lot of people get injured every year because the people who deliver the food have to drive fast which gets them into accidents in the traffic.

Game 3: Retrieve
This game is about how parents push their children away from what makes them happy because they want them to get a good education and job. Some parents also work a lot which means they don’t spend a lot of time with their children. You play as a guy who wants to go back to a simpler time where he could spend his time drawing and being happy.

Game 4: Year
This game is about the Chinese New Year celebrations (also called Spring Festival). You have to defend a small town from the monster called Year. The year wants to destroy the houses, but you can scare it away by making loud noises, placing red banners, or distracting the year with food.

Game 5: X’s Life
This game is about social circles. As you move through life, you sometimes have to leave a social circle and join a new one. Changing social circles is no easy task. Some circles may not welcome you because of other circles you are part of or have been part of in the past.