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The University of Southampton

ARTD2113 Games Design

Module Overview

Building on your level 4 research, design and game making skills, this module will introduce a range of specialist game design skills in a series of workshops and activities that bring together your understanding of core skills you will employ to support Games Design Documentation. You will document your learning, process and the activities you undertake online, in a systematic and reflective manner. You will learn to collate your research and concepts into an industry recognised practice, the creation of a digital Games Design Document (GDD). The process documentation and reflective outputs alongside your GDD will be presented in an online format suitable to best communicate your learning and the GDD, for example as an illustrated blog with associated materials. The online documentation and GDD alongside any physical work will be your submission for assessment. Your portfolio should consist of the GDD, process documentation and all studio work developed over the course of the semester, to include evidence of workshop and tutorial activities, all sketchbooks, research, annotation and preparatory material alongside outcomes as directed.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • a range of practical methods and concepts specific to Game Design Documentation and support the contextualization of your ideas and influence the development of your work;
  • ways of resolving work which evidences sustained engagement and critical awareness of your ideas;
  • how to apply knowledge gained from a range of sources toward the development of a personal Game Design Document.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • document your ideas in a clear and concise way;
  • begin to evaluate some of the concepts and methods within Game Design contemporary practice;
  • confidently use a range of appropriate design and technical skills to realise your Game Design Document;
  • refine key processes related to different stages of and produce a game design document.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • articulate the decisions you make to create your work;
  • refer to an appropriate critical context and deploy core techniques to further your work;
  • create compelling and informative online process documentation;
  • develop and manage a project driven by your decisions.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • test out your choices and skills through user feedback;
  • use industry game design documentation standards.


This module marks the next steps in acquiring and developing practical skills applicable to industry practices. You will create a detailed and clear game design document within industry standards. Researching suitable materials and, within an agreed working method, you will realise your ideas. Within the module you will produce process documentation and reflective outputs online, for example within an illustrated blog. During the module you will experience workshops which will include advanced character design, advanced narrative design alongside advanced 2d & 3d asset and code creation. These examples are illustrative and may vary each academic year. The module will consist of a project that will span the semester to create a portfolio as an individual.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: • talks; • project briefings; • tutorials; • group critiques; • workshops inductions; • supporting material distributed via virtual learning environments (VLE) such as Blackboard, Panopto and Bob National. Learning activities include: • review and revision of material provided in lectures and VLE’s; • process documentation; • workshops; • using, comparing and evaluating specialist resources for Games Design & Art; • team work; • discussion; • presentations; • group critiques; • various Tutorial Activities; • peer group learning; • Academic Skills Hub; • self assessment.

Wider reading or practice40
Completion of assessment task115
Practical classes and workshops50
Preparation for scheduled sessions55
Follow-up work80
Supervised time in studio/workshop32
Total study time450

Resources & Reading list


Academic Skills Hub.

Panopto Recordings (via Blackboard).

Glossary of Terms.

Guardian Games.

Gamasutra. (via Blackboard).

Rogers, S. (2014). Level UP: The Guide to Great Video Game Design. 

Schell, J. (2008). The Art of Games Design: A Book of Lenses. 



Portfolio Development


MethodPercentage contribution
Digital project 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Digital project 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Digital project 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:

Art Equipment and Materials: Drawing paper; painting materials; sketchbooks

Costs associated with the module may include key texts, studio related materials, sketchbooks, printing, photocopies, USB stick/s, and external hard-drive. The cost of material and media may vary depending on the nature of your chosen response to your studio project. The quality and choice of materials and media in producing your final work will be directed by you, however some basic materials may be made available to you for free in certain modules i.e. paper, calico.

Design equipment and materials

Required Sketchbooks / notebooks Implements for drawing / writing Credit for printing and copying Tape Scissors and or scalpel Any material that you may wish to use for experimentation and production of your work Memory stick Online Blog Optional Software subscriptions (such as Adobe CC) Hard Drive Laptop Camera Provided Office 365 subscription General studio materials (paper, pens) Materials and media for certain workshops


Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the mandatory/additional 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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