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Game Design

Game Design Merit Badge
Game Design Requirements
1. Do the following:
(a) Analyze four games you have played, each from a different medium.
Identify the medium, player format, objectives, rules, resources, and theme
(if relevant). Discuss with your counselor the play experience, what you enjoy
in each game, and what you dislike. Make a chart to compare and contrast
the games.
(b) Describe four types of play value and provide an example of a game
built around each concept. Discuss with your counselor other reasons people
play games.
2. Discuss with your counselor five of the following 17 game design terms.
For each term that you pick, describe how it relates to a specific game.
Thematic game elements: story, setting, characters
Gameplay elements: play sequence, level design, interface design
Game analysis: difficulty, balance, depth, pace, replay value,
age appropriateness
Related terms: single-player vs. multiplayer, cooperative vs. competitive, turnbased
vs. real-time, strategy vs. reflex vs. chance, abstract vs. thematic
3. Define the term intellectual property. Describe the types of intellectual
property associated with the game design industry. Describe how intellectual
property is protected and why protection is necessary. Define and give an
example of a licensed property.
4. Do the following:
(a) Pick a game where the players can change the rules or objectives (examples:
basketball, hearts, chess, kickball). Briefly summarize the standard rules
and objectives and play through the game normally.
(b) Propose changes to several rules or objectives. Predict how each change
will affect gameplay.
(c) Play the game with one rule or objective change, observing how the
players’ actions and emotional experiences are affected by the rule change.
Repeat this process with two other changes.
(d) Explain to your counselor how the changes affected the actions and
experience of the players. Discuss the accuracy of your predictions.
5. Design a new game. Any game medium or combination of mediums is
acceptable. Record your work in a game design notebook.
(a) Write a vision statement for your game. Identify the medium, player
format, objectives, and theme of the game. If suitable, describe the setting,
story, and characters.
(b) Describe the play value.
(c) Make a preliminary list of the rules of the game. Define the resources.
(d) Draw the game elements.
You must have your merit badge counselor’s approval of your
concept before you begin creating the prototype.
6. Do the following:
(a) Prototype your game from requirement 5. If applicable, demonstrate to
your counselor that you have addressed player safety through the rules
and equipment. Record your work in your game design notebook.
(b) Test your prototype with as many other people as you need to meet the
player format. Compare the play experience to your descriptions from requirement
5b. Correct unclear rules, holes in the rules, dead ends, and obvious rule
exploits. Change at least one rule, mechanic, or objective from your first
version of the game, and describe why you are making the change. Play the
game again. Record in your game design notebook whether or not your
change had the expected effect.
(c) Repeat 6b at least two more times and record the results in your game
design notebook.
7. Blind test your game. Do the following:
(a) Write an instruction sheet that includes all of the information needed to
play the game. Clearly describe how to set up the game, play the game, and
end the game. List the game objectives.
(b) Share your prototype from requirement 6 with a group of players that has
not played it or witnessed a previous playtest. Provide them with your instruction
sheet(s) and any physical components. Watch them play the game, but
do not provide them with instruction. Record their feedback in your game
design notebook.
(c) Share your game design notebook with your counselor. Discuss the
player reactions to your project and what you learned about the game design
process. Based on your testing, determine what you like most about your
game and suggest one or more changes.
8. Do ONE of the following:
(a) With your parent’s permission and your counselor’s approval, visit with a
professional in the game development industry and ask him or her about his
or her job and how it fits into the overall development process. Alternately,
meet with a professional in game development education and discuss the
skills he or she emphasizes in the classroom.
(b) List three career opportunities in game development. Pick one and
find out about the education, training, and experience required for the profession.
Discuss this with your counselor. Explain why this profession might
interest you.
On-line resources:
CONSTRUCT 2 This is a free download program which allows you to build Apps and electronic games.
THE GAME CRAFTER:  Want to print out your creation? This website provides templates to make print and play games 
BOARDGAMEGEEK: The ultimate resource for everything games; reviews, listings, ratings, board games, rpg's, apps all included here.  (Mr DiMarco game list: Click here)

Game Prototyping:
Creating a paper prototype for your game:

Paper prototype of a game app


Top 10 Games by Global Downloads (since 2010)

  1. Candy Crush Saga
  2. Fruit Ninja
  3. Angry Birds
  4. Subway Surfers
  5. Despicable Me
  6. Clash of Clans
  7. Temple Run
  8. Angry Birds Rio
  9. Temple Run 2
  10. Words With Friends

 "When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning."

- Reiner Knizia

Subpages (1): Merit Badges
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