General information

Subject type: Mandatory

Coordinator: Ana Beatriz Pérez Zapata

Trimester: First term

Credits: 4

Teaching staff: 

Juan José Pons López

Teaching languages

  • Catalan
  • Spanish

The subject is taught in Catalan/Spanish, but both class contributions and assignments can be done in Catalan, Spanish or English.

The materials can be provided in Catalan as well as in Spanish or English.


Specific skills
  • V2. Design the mechanics, rules, structure and narrative of video games following the criteria of gameplay and balance to provide the best possible gaming experience.

  • V3. Identify the type of player and design the game experience according to its psychological characteristics.

  • V4. Design a game and its monetization, taking into account the different parameters and variables that govern the business model of the product.

  • V5. Write the specifications of a game and communicate them effectively to the team of artists and developers and other members involved in the creation and development of the game.

  • V8. Visually represent concepts and / or data for the ideation and creation of video games.


The subject Game Design I is the student's entry way into the role of digital game designer. The contents are aimed at broadening the student's creative horizon to be able to start documenting correctly and professionally the ideas that will later become a game. To acquire knowledge, the subject is assessed with individual and group work and a written exam.


Topic 1. Video game genres

1.1. Genres: concepts and central elements

1.2. Proposed taxonomies

1.3. Genres and types of players

Topic 2. Design and documentation of video games

1.1. The video game design process

1.2. The Game Concept and the Game Proposal

1.3. The Game Design Document

1.4. Other relevant design documents

1.5. Oral presentation of documentation

Topic 3. Game mechanics according to genres (I): Platforms

3.1. Historical evolution of the genre from the perspective of design

3.2. Central mechanics of the genre

3.3. Case study

Topic 4. Game mechanics according to genres (II): Role

4.1. Historical evolution of the genre from the perspective of design

4.2. Central mechanics of the genre

4.3. Case study

Topic 5. Game mechanics according to genres (III): Strategy and Simulation

5.1. Historical evolution of the genre from the perspective of design

5.2. Central mechanics of the genre

5.3. Case study

Evaluation system

Each student's grade will be calculated based on the following percentages:

  • A1: Platform game proposal + Pitch 15%
  • A2: RPG game proposal + Pitch 15%
  • A3: Game design document 40%
  • A4: Exam 30%

Final grade = A1 0,15 + A2 0,15 + A3 0,4 + A4 0,3


  • You must obtain a grade above 5 in the final exam (A4) to pass the subject.
  • An activity not delivered or delivered late and without justification (court summons or medical matter) counts as a 0.
  • In the case of detecting plagiarism, copying or fraud in any evaluable activity or test, this will automatically obtain a final grade of 0. Additionally, in cases of copying or fraud, both the person who copies and the person who allows copying are responsible for their conduct, and the consequences of the conduct affect all students involved in the irregular action. Regardless of the suspension caused by plagiarism, copying or fraud, the professor will notify the Department Management of the situation so that the applicable measures can be taken in terms of disciplinary regime and the initiation of the relevant disciplinary file.
  • Misspellings, writing errors and formal and technical problems specific to the subject will be penalized with 0,10 points, up to a maximum of 2 points, in all assessable activities and tests.


  • You must obtain a grade higher than 5 in the resit exam to pass the course.
  • The recovery will use the same system as the ordinary call, with A3 being the grade for the recovery exam. In this case, the practices cannot be recovered and it is also necessary to obtain a grade above 5 in the recovery exam to pass the subject.



Ernest Adams & Joris Dormans (2012), Game Mechanics, Advanced game design.
Berkeley: New Riders Games.

Jesse Schell (2011), The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses. Amsterdam:
Elsevier / Morgan Kaufmann.

Katie Salen (2003), Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals. Massachusetts: The MIT Press.

Anna Anthropy & Naome Clark (2014), A Game Design vocabulary. Boston:

Caillois, R. (2001). Men play and games. University of Illinois Press.

Planells, AJ (2015). Video games and fictional worlds: From "Super Mario" to "Portal". Editions Cátedra

Scott Rogers, Level Up!: The Guide to Great Video Game Design, Wiley; 2 edition (April 28, 2014).

Tracy Fullerton, Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games, Third Edition, AK Peters / CRC Press; 3rd edition (March 5, 2014). 


Brenda Brathwaite and Ian Schreiber, Challenges for Game Designers, Cengage Learning; 1 edition (August 21, 2008)