Lesson 3: Balance

At the end of this lesson students will be able to:
Gamestar Episodes related to this lesson:          
Identify the balance of fun and challenge in games.
First Quest - Episodes 5      

What's on for today:

For a game to be fun, it must also be challen- ging. In this lesson, students will balance the elements of a game in Gamestar Mechanic.

Materials needed:

• Projector and laptop or smartboard.


Total Time: 1 hour

Warm Up
(10 minutes)

1. A game is balanced when it is easy to play, but difficult to win.

2. Direct students in Gamestar Mechanic to the Introudction to Episode 5.

Have students read the comics about balancing.

What happens when a game is not balanced?

What does balance mean in a game? (The balance of all five elements of game design, and the balance between fun and challenge).

* Examples of an unbalanced games in Gamestar have too many enemies, or not enough time to complete the game. The game may take too long to complete, and it may feel boring. The avatar may move too fast or too slow in its particular game space.

Play and Build (45 minutes)

1. Have students play through Episode 5. The last mission in Episode is a build mission. Here students have the opportunity to make a game for the first time. Encourage students to think about the concept of a balanced game as they create their first game.

2. Encourage students to play each other’s games once they are created and give feedback.
Is the game challenging? Is it fun? Are the five elements of game design balanced in this game?

Circle Up (5 minutes)

1. Ask students to think about their favorite games (digital or non-digital) and what kind of challenges they have. How are the games both fun and challenging?

2. Ask students to share the challenges in his or her favorite game and explain how the game is balanced.

How did it go?

Were the students able to identify the concept of balance in game design?

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