The University of Southampton

ARTD6159 Games Design Practice

Module Overview

This module is designed to introduce you to a range of different aspects related to the design process of Game Design. The module will cover a range of skills, including: critical thinking, conceptualization, design elements, design documentation, planning and prototyping of interactive games. This module will also cover principles and theories related to games design thinking and the applications of games in different contexts, considering contemporary issues, decision-making and new technologies

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aims of this module are to: • Provide you with an introduction to games Design and execution • Enable you to understand and reflect on more contemporary ideas in games design • Understand the different genres of games and incorporate these ideas into your own designs • Understand the ethical dimensions when designing and undertaking games research. • Understand the basics of game development.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • Theories, concepts and methodologies for designing games
  • How Games Design impacts society and decision making in the creative sector
  • The relevance and importance of the contemporary ideas and practices of your discipline
  • Ethical issues surrounding games design
  • Learning resources and study skills to support your research
  • How to experiment with your ideas through utilising different games design software
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Reflect critically on your own knowledge and understanding of your subject area
  • Question and articulate concepts of contemporary theory relevant to your subject
  • Critically advance your ideas
  • Analyse your work and derive ways of advancing your ideas
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Deal with complex issues relevant to your discipline with structure and creativity
  • Demonstrate ability to work effectively individually and in a team role, solving problems in innovative and creative ways.
  • Apply methods of search and retrieval of electronic and text based information
  • Demonstrate your ideas through a variety of oral, written and presentation formats
  • Self-manage the development of learning and study skills
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Plan and design a game for different purposes
  • Explore, discuss and refine Game Design concepts within different genres, taking into account ethical, cultural and technical knowledge
  • Think critically while designing a game


This module provides you with an opportunity to explore the fundamental concepts and contemporary techniques for Games Design. You will have the opportunity to design a game and practice the range of different skills required through workshop inductions, as well as experiment with a range of skill sets across the field of Games Design. The project aspects of this module are provided as a focused context to the development of your practical skills and conceptual awareness of games related to particular industry sectors. Through theme-informed introductions to content and critical thinking pertinent to your Game Design concept, you will explore your ideas and develop an understanding of how different components make up a game for particular contexts. 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 and practicalities particular to Games Design. Topics which may be covered include: - Evidenced based research in Games Design - Development Game Design Methodologies (e.g. participatory design, user experience research, Game Design frameworks) - Novel interfaces and technologies (e.g. virtual reality, Internet of things) - Game development through particular packages - Game Design across cultures - Gender and Games - Educational and Training Games - Advergaming - Behavioural mapping in non-player characters - Games for behaviour change (e.g. health, sustainability, etc) and serious games - Gamification - Coding for games - Utilising Virtual Reality and augmented reality in games design

Special Features

The special features for this module comprise of the development of a better understanding new and contemporary issues surrounding Games Design Practice, together with the student gaining confidence in understanding how different types of game genres are created and executed.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

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 Design. You will experience a variety of workshop inductions that are designed to both give you an understanding to the specialist areas of Games Design and offer you tools through which to experiment and explore games and game designs. Lectures and project briefings will introduce you to the syllabus topics and contextualise your thinking. Visiting lecturers will also help to introduce you to a variety of current themes that are being discussed in both academia and the games industry. Seminars and group critiques will allow you to reflect on and discuss the topics, how they bear 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 and provide you with an environment to build your portfolio.

Independent Study350
Total study time400

Resources & Reading list

Ahearn, L (2011). 3D Game Texture: Create professional Game Art using Photshop. 

Cozzi, P and Ring K (2011). 3D Engine Design for Virtual Globes. 

Luna F. D. (2012). Introduction to 3D Game Programming with Directx 11.. 

Marolf, G (2007). Advergaming and In-Game Advertising: An Approach to the Next Generation of Advertising Verlag. 

Thompson, J and Berbank-Green, B (2007). The Computer Game Design Course: Principles, Practices and Techniques for the Aspiring Game Designe. 

Afshar, R., Jones, C., Banerjee, D (2004). Advergaming Developer's Guide: Using Macromedia Flash MX 2004 and Director MX. 

Fullerton, T (2008).  Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games. Technology. 

Salen, K., & Zimmerman, E. (2004). Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals (Vol. 37). 

rogers, S (2010).  Level Up! The Guide to Great Video Game Design. 

Deterding, S (2015). The Ambiguity of Games: Histories and Discourses of a Gameful World. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Portfolio  (1500 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Portfolio with supporting report  (1500 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Portfolio with supporting report  ( words) 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:

Study Trips

Reasonable travel costs for study trips (these may not be covered by the University).


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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