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The University of Southampton

ARTD1092 Games Design Practice

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• to introduce you to a range of study skills to enable you to develop your thinking and practice relevant to Games Design and Art • to introduce you to concepts, techniques and methods appropriate for a basic understanding of games creation. • To introduce you to conceptual frameworks for games design. • to provide you with a basic experience of skills so as to enable you to make choices regarding the direction of your own practice

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • An introductory range of core skills specific to Games Design practice
  • Some of the basic concepts and methodologies particular to making Games
  • How an awareness of a contextual theme can influence your work in relation to Games Design practice
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Apply creative thinking to utilise different working methods within Games Design and Art
  • Make decisions regarding the use of basic techniques and processes in the practice of producing a prototype Game Design
  • Develop conceptual frameworks for games design
  • Make practical, informed choices regarding the direction of your work
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Make choices about the appropriate skills needed to manifest your ideas
  • Manage and complete an assignment to a deadline
  • Communicate your ideas about Game play at a basic level


This module provides you with an opportunity to develop a games design at a basic level to enhance your understanding of practices, techniques, methodologies and skills. You will have the opportunity to design a Game and experience a range of different skills required through workshop inductions, as well as experiment with a range of skill sets across the field of Games Design and Art. The project and content of this module is provided as a focused context to the development of your practical skills and conceptual awareness of Games Design & Art. Through theme-informed introductions to content and critical thinking pertinent to your Game’s Practice, you will explore your ideas and develop an understanding of how different components make up a Game. An important feature of this module is the way in which your involvement with the practices, techniques and content of the subjects of Game Practice can begin to direct and focus your thinking towards an individual understanding of specialist practice in different areas such as graphics and art. You will be encouraged to make links between your experiences of the different workshop inductions and be supported by specialists who will introduce you to some of the background and current thinking particular to Game Practice. In Games Practice you will attend workshops that will introduce you to Game asset construction, sprite design, sprite sheets, animation, Game narrative, story telling, level design, character design, visual narratives, art & programming; and address your project informed by insights drawn from innovative examples of current Game design. These examples are illustrative and not exhaustive. They may vary each academic year.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: • lectures • project briefings • tutorials • group critiques • workshops inductions Learning activities include: • lectures • seminars • project briefings • group critiques • tutorials • peer group learning • self assessment Relationship between the teaching, learning and assessment methods and the planned learning outcomes In this module learning and teaching activities focus on helping you to develop study skills through which you can explore a set project specific to Games Practice. You will experience a variety of workshop inductions that are designed to both give you an introduction to the specialist areas of Games Design and Art and offer you tools through which to experiment and explore your project. Lectures and project briefings will introduce you to the project theme and contextualise your thinking. Seminars and group critiques will allow you to reflect on and discuss the theme, how it bears on your practical work and that of others. You will have tutorials with specialist staff who will help you review your progress and, along with your Personal Tutor. Feedback on your general progress and development will be given through group discussion in the group critiques and tutorials. Informal feedback in a studio setting will provide opportunities for peer group learning and self-evaluation.

Follow-up work52
Wider reading or practice52
Practical classes and workshops100
Preparation for scheduled sessions52
Supervised time in studio/workshop30
Completion of assessment task52
Total study time450

Resources & Reading list

Dutta, P (1999). Strategies and Games: Theory and Practice. 

Dylan Holmes (2012). A Mind Forever Voyaging: A History of Storytelling in Video Games. 


Adams, E. (2010). Fundamentals of Game Design. 

Sherrod, A (2008). Games Graphic Programming. 


Elwes, R (2010). Maths 1001: Absolutely everything that matters in mathematics. 


Solarski, C (2006). Drawing Basics and Video Game Art. 

Dille, F. and Platten, J.Z. (2007). The Ultimate Guide to Video Game writing and Design. 

Bateman, C (2007). Game Writing: Narrative Skills for Videogames (Charles River Media Game Development). 

Perea, A. (2012). Epistemic Game Theory: Reasoning and Choice. 





MethodPercentage contribution
Portfolio 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Portfolio 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Portfolio 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the core/ recommended text as appropriate

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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