module specification

CU4011 - Game Design and Development (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Game Design and Development
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 300
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   Reflective report, delivered online
Coursework 30%   Paper prototype
Coursework 50%   Casual game prototype
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Tuesday Morning

Module summary

This module provides an introduction to the topic of computer games from a variety of perspectives.   It is designed to help students understand and appreciate many of the different technical and psychological approaches games designers and developers use in their work.   

It will also facilitate the development of the skills needed when developing gaming applications using contemporary scripting languages.

Students will also start to develop a rolling CV and web-based portfolio.

- provide an understanding of the history of computer game design and an appreciation of complexity of the topic, including the technology required for developing complex interactive systems 
- develop creative and lateral thinking in response to a range of stimuli with particular reference to game design
- develop communication and study skills
- implement scripting and programming capabilities in the area of casual games
- equip students for employment in the games industry, web and digital media industries.


genres and themes, player demographics LO1, LO3
general principles of computer game design LO1, LO2
creative thinking and problem solving skills LO2, LO5
introduction to popular and professional tools for creating games LO4, LO5
designing simple games and applications LO2, LO4, LO5
     authoring for the web and standalone applications LO4
     development of CV and personal web space LO3, LO4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students will develop theoretical understanding and practical skills based on weekly lectures, tutorials and supervised workshops. The workshops, in particular, are provided to enable group discussions and give opportunities for teamwork experience and practical support.

Appropriate blended learning approaches and technologies, such as the University’s VLE and online tools, will be used to facilitate and support student learning to:
• deliver content;
• encourage active learning;
• provide formative and summative assessments, and prompt feedback;
• enhance student engagement and learning experience.

Students will be expected and encouraged to produce reflective commentaries on the learning activities and tasks that they carry out to complete their work.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

LO1 – appreciate the history, philosophy and ethics of game design and development
LO2 – draw on a range of techniques for problem-solving, including working in teams to discuss ideas. 
LO3 – create a framework for portfolio development
LO4 - program in a relevant scripting language to a basic level
LO5 - plan and develop simple games in a variety of formats

Assessment strategy

Coursework includes a reflective report and a small website [LO4] [LO3] [LO7], a creative exposition, executed as a playable paper prototype with associated documentation [LO1] [LO2] and a subsequent digital prototype, presented online [LO2] [LO5] [LO6] [LO7].  

Students will develop game concepts, generate storyboards, prepare graphics and assemble the whole using a code-centric approach to construction. Students must demonstrate a solid understanding of game design, asset development + production pipeline and understand how to use a scripting language at a basic level.


Where possible, the most current version of reading materials is used during the delivery of this module.  Comprehensive reading lists are provided to students via the VLE.  Reading Lists will be updated annually.

Core Text:
Schell, Jesse (2008) The Art of Game Design - A Book of Lenses:  Elsevier.

Other Texts:
Rogers (2019) Level Up - the guide to great video game design:  Wiley.
Koster (2005) A Theory of Fun: Paraglyph Press.
Braithwaite and Schreiber  (2001) Challenges for Game Designers:  Charles River Media.
Crawford, Chris (1982) The Art of Computer Game Design -
Poole, Steven (2004) Trigger Happy - 

The Dot Eaters -
Gamasutra -

Playful Thinking series (MIT Press)