9.1 What is a Goal?

Big Ideas for this lesson 
Guiding Questions          
Recommended Games     
Goals define the objective of play.

Goals define how a game is won or lost.
How do goals define the experience of play?

What kinds of information does a player need in order to understand how close they are to meeting the game goal?
Quest - Addison Joins the League:

    Security Systems Goals,        Episode 3 Mission 1

    Walk and Chew Gum,            Episode 5 Mission 1

What's on for today:

A game without a goal is no game at all, or at least not one by traditional definitions. Considering the kinds of goals appropriate to a particular game or player is the focus of this lesson. In it, students will practice identifying types of win and loss conditions, as well as explore how to set player goals as a basic element of a game.


Total: 1 hour

Play - 10 minutes
Brainstorm - 10 minutes
Design - 30 minutes
Discuss - 10 minutes


10 minutes

1. Create or select games from Game Alley that don’t have a goal and have all the students play the games, alone or in pairs.

10 minutes

1. Have the students brainstorm kinds of goals they could add to the game, and ask them to choose goals that would be good for:

    1. Beginner players
    2. Advanced players
    3. Players who don’t like to play under pressure
    4. Players who love stress and competition

30 minutes

1. Challenge the students to create a game with two to three levels, each with a different kind of goal.

2. Ask them to consider how the types of goals they create can be different but related.

3. Leave enough time for students to do some playtesting and make revisions to their games based on feedback.

10 minutes

Initiate a discussion based on the following:

    How did you decide the kind of goal you wanted to create for your player?

    What were some ways you made meeting the goal easier or more difficult?

    How do the addition of goals to a game make it more or less fun?

How did it go?

Did students identify types of possible win conditions? Were they able to create a game that contained different types of game goals?

Were they able to design games with different goals for different kinds of players?

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