KV5042 - Games design

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will learn about the design of computer/video games, the needs of and the issues facing the games industry and their impact upon games design. You will analyse a games problem and create a design for their solution using industry standard methods. In particular you will learn about:
• Principles of good, and user-centric game design.
• The elements of game design.
• How games are made in the industry and the makeup of the industry Professional, legal, social and ethical issues faced by the industry in general, and how they affect the game designer.

How will I learn on this module?

Every week on this module there will be one 1-hour lecture and one 2-hour seminar. Lecture material will cover many of the topics outlined above, and the seminar sessions will typically involve embedding the subject matter and practicing particular skills through discussions, team exercises and individual exercises. Students will be expected to increase their skills further through self-directed study and practice.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Students will be supported in their learning primarily through the seminar sessions with practical application of theoretical material and shared learning through discussion. Feedback will be given verbally during seminar sessions and students will also be able to contact staff outside class times if desired. Also, appropriate technology will be used to facilitate extra-curricular discussions (e.g. bulletin boards, social media) of important issues for the games industry. Students will also be encouraged to participate in games industry events and development communities.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
ML01 - analyse and compare common elements of game design: games ideas, gameplay mechanics, game worlds, aesthetic design, questing systems, and games puzzles. (KU1 ,2, 3 and 4)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
ML02 - apply skills related to secondary research at an appropriate level. (IPSA1)
ML03 - effectively communicate information, ideas, arguments, problems and solutions in written forms. (IPSA2)

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
ML04 – select and justify a strategy for a gameplay feature by analysing options, appraising and comparing relative qualities, implications, and trade-offs.
ML05- show creativity and imagination in games design

How will I be assessed?

Through the seminar sessions, tutors will be monitoring students progress and will be able to provide verbal formative feedback at all stages. There may also be written formative feedback via email.

Assessment 1: Written assignment 1 - Game analysis: In this assignment you will be asked to write a 2500 words “paper”. This is a bit like an essay, but we expect you to write it to academic standards, similar to papers that are written for academic journals. (feature comparison and choice – given a scenario, and asked for a recommendation for a gameplay feature, compare common tropes and select a contender). 20%

Assessment 2: Written assignment – Game Design Document – In this document you will create a partial Game Design Document that describes the game you have decided on. It will contain a mandatory introductory section giving a brief overview of the game, and of the game world, and then will include three to six further sections, each detailing a particular aspect of the game. 80%

Assessment feedback will be given in writing electronically.





Module abstract

This module will cover a variety of subjects in the areas of games design and games production. There will also be some learning surrounding particular professional skills in this module. Every week on this module there will be one 1-hour lecture and one 2-hour seminar. There will be two written assignments, a game feature analysis and a Game Design Document. A game feature analysis is 20% and Game design document is 80% of the module.

Course info

UCAS Code G416

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Computer and Information Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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