Facilitating Undergraduate Experimental Game Design: A Pilot Study with Celestial Harmony

Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 840)


Encouraging undergraduate students and other novices to engage with game design experimentation requires the creation of a space where they can research without fear of failure. Creating a safe space requires addressing the class format for both production and grades. We conducted a pilot study with a group in a capstone game design course, seeking to create this safe space for experimentation by framing our roles not as expert instructors but partners in learning, where we offered guidance and mentorship to the groups while retaining student autonomy in much of the game design decisions. In this paper, we identify three key strategies for making students feel more comfortable in an experimental space that is also integrated into a required course. These three strategies are: modifying the grading schema, encouraging rapid prototyping, and providing frequent feedback. Though this guide is focused on experimental game design, many of the lessons we describe could be applied to courses in other fields where experimentation or loosely-defined works are the objective.


Experimental game design Project-based learning Partners in learning 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA

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