Game Design

Game Creation

Teacher Resources and Lessons Here
game star mechanic.png

During this unit you will learn how games work, you will learn the logical process of creating games.

Lesson 1

This Lesson you will be playing Gamestar Mechanic, a game that will teach you how to design games.
The first step to becoming a game designer is playing games! and click "Register"
Once Logged in Work your way through the QUEST Levels 1 to 5, this will show you the types of games you can create when using GameStar Mechanic
Before Next Lesson...
You need to Complete at least quests 1, 2 & 3.

If the computers are not working / on paper write 5 things that make a great game,
3 things that make a terrible game. Then start to design your own 2D platformer game.
(similar to Super Mario Bros/ sonic the hedgehog)

Lesson 2 log in
Recap: What are the five elements of Game design that are mentioned...?

game design.png
25 mins: Continue on your episodes, up to episode 5 in Gamestar mechanic.
25 mins: Play the Change the Element game. Then begin a discussion with your teacher and class on
finding examples within the Change the Element game for each of the five elements.

End (5 minutes)
1. How was the experience of changing an element in a game? How was the game different than before the element was changed?
2.“If one element changes, do the others change too? How?”
Games are dynamic systems and that all elements work together to form the system / a system that changes based on the relationship of components

Complete all lesson tasks.

Lesson 3 and 4
Prepare to be a game designer.
You are to create a game. it has to have the following concepts.

Have 3 levels of increasing difficulty
You need to have rules that are displayed.
A game’s core mechanic is the action of play: the activity players do over and over again in the game,
like jumping, collecting, or shooting.

The qualities of the game space make certain core mechanics more effective than others.
  • Tetris (possible answers: stacking, rotating
  • Scrabble (possible answers: creating words,
  • spelling, linking letters)
  • Musical Chairs (possible answers: walking, sitting
  • Halo (possible answers: running, shooting)
  • Wii Tennis (possible answers: hitting balls, volleying)
  • Dance Dance Revolution (possible answers: beat matching, dancing)
  • Guitar hero (possible answers: matching chords, beat matching, playing guitar)
  • Zelda (series) (possible answers: questing, finding treasure, exploring)

Playtesters play an important role in the game design process, and that giving good feedback
is the key to helping others design amazing games.

* Did you know: Playtesting happens many times during the game design process.
After a game is playtested, the designer can improve it based on the playtester’s feedback.
Then, they playtest again, and continue the cycle until the game is fun and balanced.

1. What was the concept of the game? Was it clear? Why?
2. What were the core mechanics of the game? Did they fit well with the concept? Why?
3. How did the game space make you feel?
4. Are the five elements of game design balanced in this game? How?
5. What was challenging about the game?
6. What was fun about the game?
7. How could this game be improved?

On your blog, have someone comment on the following, they can copy and paste this into the
comment section and complete it to give you feedback.

Circle a number in each category to give the game designer

CHALLENGE: What was the level of challenge in the game?
1 2 3 4 5
Too Easy Too Hard

ASTHETICS: Does the visual and audio design support
the game concept?
1 2 3 4 5
Does not support Fully supports!

CONCEPT: What do you think of the game concept?
1 2 3 4 5
Weak Fantastic

RULES: How clear were the game label and instructions?
1 2 3 4 5
Not Clear Totally Clear

Q: What could be improved about the game?
Q: What was fun about the game?

Programming in Scratch

Before you start this unit, you should have Scratch installed on your laptop (it's free):
Install Scratch

The assessment for this unit can be found below

  • Learn about computer programming using visual programming applications, linked to a series of assessment lessons.
  • Encourage independent learning and skill acquisition.
  • Write a number of programs using basic logic and programming constructs.
  • Test a few landmark games, write reviews, develop assessment criteria for developing your own game.
  • Plan, design, and create a game to be played, tested, and assessed by your peers.

Part 1 - Introduction to computer programming

Scratch is a programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art -- and share your creations on the web.
You can download Scratch for free
Over the coming weeks, you will develop your problem solving and design skills and examine specific programming concepts (see link below).

An excellent starting point for learning Scratch, is to work through and re-create the range of games listed on Easton Home's website. For each game, you should download the zipped graphics files and watch the video. You will be assessed on some of the programming concepts covered in these tutorials.

Graphics for all games

To pause, restart the videos, right click - play

Lesson 1 Basic

Lesson 2 Moving Eyes

Lesson 3 Racing cars (part 1)

Lesson 4 Racing cars (part 2)

Lesson 5 Helicopter

Lesson 6 Tank

Lesson 7 Pong (watch all videos)

Useful resources for learning Scratch

Creating a scrolling screen for your game

Creating velocity, gravity and platforms

You can modify / make use of the code from the Flappy Bat game below

Part 2 - Game Reviews

You should undertake some research of existing games / landmark games. You need to write a review of each game tested using your own assessment criteria and reach an overall verdict. If you use any websites for your research, ensure that you cite your sources. Images/ screen shots may also be appropriate.

Example Game Reviews
Have a look at the links below to read some recent game reviews.

Task: write 2 game reviews on your blog. Use a new blog post "Scratch" and title the post "Game review" (remember to add the label ICT).
Each review should focus on:
  • User interface
  • Overall design
  • Suitability for intended audience
  • Ease of use
  • Graphics
How to write the review? Use the format below:

Name of game:
  • Overall rating (out of 10)
  • The good
  • The bad
  • Overall thoughts / possible improvements

Part 3 - Plan, Design & Create your own game

On the same blog post (see above) add details of your game

  • Name of the game
  • Intended audience
  • Sprites to be used
  • Rules
  • Any other features (lives, levels, music etc)

The final stage in this part, will be to upload your game onto the Scratch projects site.

Part 4 - Peer assessment for your own game

Use the Scratch Mark Sheet to help your peer assess your game.
Your peer will give you some feedback which should be used to further develop / improve your game.

Finished your game? Upload onto the Scratch Site and embed into your blog

Part 5 - Writing an evaluation

You should read the feedback given from your peers. This will help you complete the evaluation.
On the same blog post as above, you should write an evaluation:

  • What worked well?
  • What didn't work?
  • Do you think the feedback you received from your peers was reasonable?
  • What would you change or do differently next time?