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Module UXS-1801:
Game Design 1

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures, Linguistics and Media

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Eben Muse

Overall aims and purpose

On this module, you will spend your time watching video games, talking about video games, and making video games. You will make use of a range of professional game creation tools to create a range of short projects to meet a series of game design challenges. These challenges will provide the opportunity to work with popular game mechanics and narrative designs, reflecting common game industry practices. All challenges will allow scope for individual creative expression.

Course content

Each week new techniques and principles are introduced during weekly seminar sessions, illustrated both by instructional explanations of the theory and through critical review of real-world examples. A regular series of animation challenges are provided which allow students to experiment with these techniques and principles and to develop their knowledge of the wide range of potential narrative and gameplay strategies. Students present work from the game challenges in an online portfolio that includes the game and a short reflective piece. Feedback from these occurs regularly throughout the semester, and the student chooses one piece to develop further.

Assessment Criteria


Good (C- to B+)

  • Strong knowledge of key areas/principles
  • Understanding of theoretical underpinnings
  • Evidence of background study
  • Limited original interpretation
  • Well known links between topics are described
  • Problems addressed by existing methods/approaches
  • Good presentation with accurate communication


Excellent (A- to A**)

  • Comprehensive knowledge
  • Detailed understanding
  • Extensive background study
  • Original interpretation
  • New links between topics are developed
  • New approach to a problem
  • Excellent presentation with very accurate communication


Threshold (D- to D+)

  • Knowledge of key areas/principles only
  • Weaknesses in understanding of main areas
  • Limited evidence of background study
  • No original interpretation
  • Only major links between topics are described
  • Limited problem solving
  • Many weaknesses in presentation and accuracy

Learning outcomes

  1. Design games using a range of software tools

  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the range of game design genres and narratives

  3. Understanding of the ludological and narrative nature of video game

  4. Ability to produce video game prototypes using a range of game techniques.

  5. Make creative use of game design principles

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
DEMONSTRATION/PRACTICE Reflective portfolio 60

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Practical classes and workshops

Game development workshops


Lecture / discussion introducing practical application of game design and project management principles

Individual Project

Work independently to design and produced games for assessment.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • An understanding of creative and critical processes, and of the wide range of skills inherent in creative writing. (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.1).
  • An awareness of writing and publishing contexts, opportunities and audiences in the wider world (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.1).
  • Artistic engagement and ability to articulate complex ideas in oral and written forms. (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Ability to connect creative and critical ideas between and among forms, techniques and types of creative and critical praxis. (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Reflective practitioner skills, including awareness of the practice of others in collaborative learning (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Ability to formulate and solve problems, anticipate and accommodate change, and work within contexts of ambiguity, uncertainty and unfamiliarity (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Ability to engage in processes of drafting and redrafting texts to achieve clarity of expression and an appropriate style. (English Benchmark Statement 3.3; NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Information technology (IT) skills broadly understood and the ability to access, work with and evaluate electronic resources (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).


Resource implications for students

Students may need to purchase in expensive stationary or game assets (tokens, dice, etc)

Talis Reading list

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules


Pre-requisite of:

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: