Basics of Game Theory and Design
Course code
IFI7179.DT
old course code
IFI7179
Course title in Estonian
Mänguteooria ja -disaini alused
Course title in English
Basics of Game Theory and Design
ECTS credits
4.0
approximate amount of contact lessons
23
Teaching semester
autumn
Assessment form
Examination
lecturer of 2018/2019  Spring semester
lecturer not assigned
lecturer of 2019/2020  Autumn semester
lecturer not assigned
Course aims
The course aims to provide an overview of, and an introduction to, the fields of educational game design and game studies. The students will examine the concepts of play, digital games and game-based learning, familiarize themselves with the major areas of game studies, and gain an overview of game design techniques and game creation process.
Brief description of the course
The course begins with an introduction to games and play in general, followed by a more specific discussion of digital games and various theoretical perspectives regarding them. Then the concepts of gamification and digital learning games are introduced and educational paradigms that can be employed in such games are examined. The second half of the course builds on previously discussed concepts to provide an overview of game design process and techniques.
The course includes a number of group activities. Independent work consists of individual assignments and a final project where students present their own game ideas.
Independent work
Course assignments:
There are a total of six course assignments (see course description below). The assignments are evaluated on a scale from 0 (not submitted/assignment requirements not met) to 2 (assignment requirements are fully met).
Group activities:
There are two group quizzes and one group brainstorming exercise (see course description). For group quizzes, students form four teams whose performance in the quiz is rated from 2 (the most correct answers) to 0,5 (the fewest correct answers), with a step of 0,5. After the brainstorming session, all the ideas are evaluated by students; the team whose ideas receive the highest total votes gets 2 points, the team with the second best result gets 1,5 points, and so on.
Final project:
For the final project, students develop a short specification of a serious digital game. Students then rate each other’s projects based on four criteria: educational/serious value, engagement, feasibility, novelty; a mean total score is calculated and normalized to 8 points. The instructor likewise rates each of the projects by the same criteria, with a maximum total score of 4. The two totals are added together, making up for a maximum of 12 points.
Learning outcomes in the course
Students will:
• have a grasp of the key concepts in game design, game-based learning, and game studies;
• be able to analyze existing digital and analogue games from a range of perspectives;
• have a basic understanding of the process of game design.
Assessment methods
The final grade is comprised of two elements: assignments and class participation (60%) and final project (40%).

To pass the course, students are required to have attended at least 70% of the classes and to have submitted at least four assignments and the final project. One point will be detracted for assignments submitted after the deadline.

The final grade is based on the number of points accumulated by the student throughout the course by submitting assignments, participating in group activities, and completing the final project.
The grades are determined as follows:
A - 25 to 30 points;
B - 20 to 24 points;
C - 15 to 19 points;
D - 10 to 14 points;
E - 6 to 9 points.
Teacher
Mikhail Fiadotau
Study literature
Frans Mayra (2008) An Introduction to Game Studies.
Jesse Schell (2008) The Art of Game Design: a Book of Lenses.
Marc Prensky (2007) Digital Game-Based Learning.
Additional information
To pass the course, students are required to have attended at least 70% of the classes and to have submitted at least four assignments and the final project. One point will be detracted for assignments submitted after the deadline.
Replacement literature
Johan Huizinga (1955) Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture.
Ernest Adams (2009) Fundamentals of Game Design.
Brenda Brathwaite and Ian Schrieber (2008) Challenges for Game Designers: Non-Digital Exercises for Video Game Designers.