General information

Subject type: Mandatory

Coordinator: Adso Fernández Baena

Trimester: First term

Credits: 4

Teaching staff: 

Carlos Gonzalez Tardon


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 way for the student to enter the role of game designer. The contents are aimed at broadening the student's creative horizon in order to begin to properly and professionally document the ideas that will later become a game. To gain knowledge the subject is assessed with individual and group work and a written exam.


This subject has methodological and digital resources to make possible its continuity in non-contact mode in the case of being necessary for reasons related to the Covid-19. In this way, the achievement of the same knowledge and skills that are specified in this teaching plan will be ensured.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student will be able to:

  • E1.6 Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a video game in a reasoned and exemplary way.
  • E2.1 Design game mechanics and rules that as a whole are called gameplay.
  • E3.1 Describe the type of player for whom the game is designed.
  • E5.1 Write and maintain the set of documents that is fully known as "Game design document GDD".

Working methodology

The subject uses the following work methodologies:

Master class, Case study, Question-based learning and Small group laboratory


TOPIC 1: Improving as a designer

  • The figure of the video game designer
  • Types of player

SUBJECT 2: Design documentation

  • Game Concept
  • Game Proposal
  • Game Design Document

TOPIC 3: 2D Game Mechanics

  • Platforms
  • Puzzle
  • Combat

Learning activities

With the aim of collecting evidence of the achievement of the expected learning outcomes, the following activities of an evaluative nature will be carried out (related to all the common competences):


A 1: Exercise at home: Research (Evidence of learning outcome E1.6 and E3.1)

Carry out a research process analyzing the strengths and weaknesses and delivering a report analyzing the results.


A.2: Laboratory practices: Exhibition  (Evidence of learning outcome E2.1, E3.1 and E5.1)

In teams, students will make several presentations in front of their classmates and teacher in which they describe a project designed between them all following the standard format of the industry.

They will have to adapt to the conditions imposed by the teacher, making this activity an even greater challenge of adaptability by the teams.


A.3: Classroom exercise and individual work Question-based learning (Evidence of learning outcome All)

Throughout the classes there will be various evaluation activities in the form of questions to encourage participation and attendance.


A.4: Final Exam (Evidence of learning outcome All)

Final exam of the course, all the knowledge learned in class and put into practice are integrated.

General criteria of the activities:

- The teacher will present a statement for each activity and the evaluation criteria.

- The teacher will inform of the dates and format of the delivery of the activity.

Evaluation system

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

  • A1: 10%
  • A2: 25%
  • A3: 40%
  • A4: 25%

Final grade = A1 0,1 + A2 0,25 + A3 0,4 + A4 0,25


An activity not delivered or delivered late is a 0. The notes of the activities will take into account the correct follow-up of the requirements, the spelling and the clarity when transmitting the information.

In case of plagiarism, the subject will be suspended without the possibility of recovery.


The retrieval will be carried out by means of a written or oral exam which will include all the contents indicated in the basic bibliography within the period established by the Head of Studies. This exam will count for 100% of the grade



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

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.

Wesley Addison (2006), Level Design for Games: Creating Compelling
Experience. Berkeley: New Riders Games.

Katie Salen (2005), The Game Design Reader. A Rules of Play Anthology.
Massachusetts: The MIT Press.

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

Scott Rogers, Level Up !: The Guide to Great Video Game Design, Wiley; 2nd 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)