6.3 The Design of Rules

Big Ideas for this lesson 
Guiding Questions          
Recommended Games     
Rules can lead to unexpected outcomes.

Game descriptions can guide the design of a game.
What are some ways in which rules can guide the design of a game? Sample screenshots included

What's on for today:

Game labels can be used as jumping off points for new game design ideas. In this collaborative design activity students create imaginative game labels as the basis for the design of a game by their partner.

What you need:

-One copy of “Blank game label worksheet” per student.
-Multiple copies of “Playtester feedback work- sheet” per student

What's attached:

-Blank game label worksheet
-Playtester feedback worksheet


Total: 1 hour

Design - 30 minutes
Playtest and Iterate - 20 minutes
Circle Up - 10 minutes

30 minutes

1. Give each student a worksheet of a blank game label and ask him or her to fill it out, being as imaginative as possible about the game it describes.

2. Once the labels are complete, have the students pair off and exchange game labels. The label becomes the starting point for a Gamestar Mechanic game they are now challenged to build.

3. Have students iterate and playtest their designs with other students, referring back to the rules outlined on the game label each time.

Playtest and Iterate
20 minutes

1. Once students feel their games are complete, the partners should discuss the outcome. Was it the kind of game the creator of the game label had in mind? Have the designer suggest some changes to the game label that might make it an even better fit for the game created.

2. Encourage teams to iterate until both designer and label writer are happy with the game.

Circle Up
10 minutes

Begin a discussion based on the following questions:

    What was it like to interpret rules and design a game based on them?

    Did the game turn out to be what you imagined while writing your game label?

    What types of things were negotiated with your partner in reaching the final design?

How did it go?

Did students use their imagination in the creation of their game labels?

Did their descriptions give their partners ideas about the kind of game to create?

Were they able to design a game based on a label written by their partner?

Were they able to discuss how this method of designing differed from one where the game label is written last, rather than first?

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Jan 4, 2011, 8:10 AM