Your reading for this course will vary weekly.  The reading assignments listed in the syllabus are a basic guide to what I expect we will review for class. However, I’d like to direct the reading toward student interest. Please expect some changes as the semester progresses.  The reading list and links listed here are the basic reading for each week.  They are your course packet. 

Please remember that you will also be required to play a game or two each week.  Allow plenty of time for installation, and minimize your workload by sharing the burden of game setups among others in the class. As long as everyone plays, I’m happier if you meet up spend an hour playing games as part of a “study group.” 

This page may be refreshed as the course continues.


Due (complete reading by the start of the following week- e.g. Week 1 reading is shuld be completed by the start of Week 2)


Assignment and Topic Reading (started this week-completed next)

Aug. 24th
Week 1:

  • Huizingha - Homo Ludens
  • (Introduction:  pages 1 -25)
  • Zimmerman - What is a Game (Chapter 1)?

Homo Ludens: In class handout or Google Books (some pages missing)

The Art of Game Design, Eric Zimmerman - Complete book download

Sept. 31st
Week 2:

  • Zimmerman - Why Do People Play Games (Chapter 2)?

The Art of Game Design, Eric Zimmerman

Watch history of video games

Sept. 7th
Week 3:

  • Salen and Zimmerman: Meaningful Play – (Chapter 3)
    Zimmerman- The Game Design Sequence (Chapter 5)

The Art of Game Design, Eric Zimmerman

Meaningful Play: In class handout from Rules of Play or Google Books

Sept. 14th
Week 4:

  • Due: Mini Design Doc 1 & Two Minute (Max) Presentation
    Rollings and Adams: Gameplay (Chapter 7)
 Rollings and Adams on Gameplay: in class handout or Chapter 7 download.

Sept. 21st
Week 5:

  • Due: Review of Mini Design 1
No Reading - No Blog Post

Sept. 28th
Week 6: 

  • Rollings and Adams: Commercial Game Design Process (Chapter 2)
Rollings and Adams, Fundementals of Game Design: in class handout or Chapter 2 download 

Oct. 5th
Week 7:

  • Freeman - Excerpts from Creating Emotion in Games
  • Due: Mini Design Doc 2 and 1 Minute Presentation
Selected chapter provided in e-reserve from Creating Emotions in Games on Google

Oct. 12th
Week 8:

  • Due: Review of Game Design Doc 2

No reading – work on your paper prototype

No Reading - No Blog Post

Oct. 19th
Week 9:

  • Due: Individual paper prototype / non-digital design – we will play in class.
No Reading - No Blog Post

Oct 26th
Week 10:

  • Reading: Game Audience and the Chasm

Work Day - No class 10/29

In class handout: Educational Fantasy

Work Day - No Class 10/29

Nov 2nd
Week 11:

  • Due: Design Doc 3 and 1 Minute presentation (due day 2 - Wednesday)

No Class 11/2

No Reading - No Blog Post

No Class 11/2

Nov 9th
Week 12:

  • All: How to Prototype a Game in 7 Days
  • Dev track: Overview of Game Building Tools
    Art track: The Game Development Pipeline

How to Prototype a Game in Under 7 days on Gamasutra

Game Dev Prototype Technology Choices:



Nov 16th
Week 13:


  • Reading: Letter from EA Spouse

Reading: Letter from EA Spouse

Nov 23rd
Week 14:

Thanksgiving Break

Game Development

No Reading - No Blog Post

Nov 30th
Week 15:


Game Development

No Reading - No Blog Post


Dec 7th
Week 16:

Due 5 Minute (max) Game Demo
Salen & Zimmerman: The Future of Games (Chapter 22)
Classes end

 5 Minute Game Demo In class

Dec 14th
Week 17:

Final game due at exam period– feel free to hand them in earlier

 Final Games Due