Course Title: Games Design and Analysis

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Games Design and Analysis

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013

Course Coordinator: Christian McCrea

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 99254815

Course Coordinator

Course Coordinator Location: 14.11.04

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

This course is available to students of Bachelor of Design (Games) with the following prerequisites: Media Cultures 1 (COMM2301), Media Cultures 2 (COMM2302), Narrative & Communication (COMM2244) and Critical Games Studies.

Course Description

This core course builds upon concepts examined in Media Cultures, Narrative & Communication and Critical Games Studies. It will provide an advanced critical examination of the development and design of interactive media and their context within contemporary game design, art and entertainment culture. Advanced concepts of interaction design, mechanics, user experience and narrative will be explored with reference to both traditional and new media. Emphasis will be placed on the development of advanced critical analysis skills specifically in relation to interaction design and the place of interactive media and games within broader society.
The course builds on the prerequisite courses by examining the design, mechanics, narratives and characters of interactive media as a distinct medium that includes contemporary video games, and their relation to prior forms of art and entertainment. Appropriate case studies will be analysed to extract and critique the interaction design elements within them.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development


Refine your critical and analytical capacity to evaluate content and structure in digital games.
Acquire technical and conceptual knowledge of game design techniques, character development and user interaction within digital media.

Research effectively by initiating, defining and evaluate suitable methodologies and process.
Consider ethics in practice and content while applying professional skills and knowledge.
Critically analyse and provide feedback on your own and other people’s outputs in relation to industry and academic standards.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to:

Demonstrate a high level of critical and analytical abilities.
Understand the relationship and influences between interactive media, video games and technology, and between interactive media and contemporary culture.
Analyse the conventions of interactive media and be able to communicate this to other diverse practitioners.
Acquire knowledge of and critically evaluate major aesthetic, cultural and theoretical developments in interactive media.
Critically analyse, to a high level, the different ways in which interactive media reflect and contribute to moments in the history of media and cultural transformation.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will study the use and construction of interactive media and their cultural significance within the context of video games and broader art and entertainment culture. The focus of studies will be the use and construction of mechanics, visual aesthetic, narrative and user experience in interactive media.  Presentations and screenings illustrating key concepts in interactive media design will be followed by group discussion and writing and design activities. You will be expected to prepare for and contribute to class sessions via formal presentations and participation in discussion. To develop a high level of selection and analytical skills, you will be expected to critique interactive media design examples, including your own.

Overview of Learning Resources

Notes will be available for each lecture that summarise the key aspects of the class. Online resources will also be provided to reinforce and extend these notes. You will also engage in self directed learning activities outside of class. Such activities involve further reading, research, reflection, planning, preparation, practice and the development of your assignments. The lecturer will provide guidance in these self directed learning acitivities.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on your ability to effectively construct and communicate critical analyses of contemporary and historical interactive media designs, including video games, and their position within contemporary culture. Assignments consist of in-class presentations of critical analyses, critical discussion, and creative projects.