Physical Game To Tabletop Game Conversion
DUE WEEK2: Tuesday 4/05 – Rules + physical interface prototype

Pick a note out of the hat*, the note will contain the name of a popular sport that involves physical skill. Your assignment is to design a tabletop game based on the sport you drew. Produce a game prototype following the parameters listed below. When designing your rules refer to the guidelines in ROP chapters 11, 12. We will be playing your games in class. Your games will be evaluated on how successfully you meet the parameters listed below. Remember to always provide meaningful choices for your players! (easier said then done sometimes… )
* We will pick sports on Tuesday – you may trade your random game with another student if you both agree to trade.


  1. Design a two player tabletop game.
  2. Design your own game board and game bits Using cardstock and/or cardboard (and any other material in addition if you wish).  This is an exercise where you develop your  game design skills alongside your visual design skills. (you only need to make ONE copy of the game). You may print or draw directly on your gameboard. You can use store bought dice, but every other element of your game should be created and designed by you.
  3. Game duration should last no more than 10 minutes! (use a TIMER and an EVALUATION METHOD to determine who wins after 10 minutes if a result isn’t achieved !)
  4. Incorporate player physical skill (ie: dexterity/ aim/ hand eye coordination/endurance/strength etc)  and mental skill(strategy/tactics/memory etc) as core skills needed to succeed – it is up to you to determine how these skills are balanced. (This can be quite challenging!)
  5. Add “color” or a “skin” to your game by picking a narrative skin to apply to the mechanics of the sport you chose – for instance – “zombie baseball” or “underwater penguin soccer” or “political party golf”…
  6. OPTIONAL: Incorporate randomness in your game (we can provide you with dice).


In class (week 2 and week 3):
Printed Rules and instructions + any game bits (and board if needed)

Posted to the site (week 3)  (due before 9:00am on due date):

PDF document should include :

  1. Game Description
  2. Clear game Rules
  3. Any diagrams  that help understand the rules
  4. At least one good photograph of your prototype
  5. At least one good (!)  photograph of your finished game

Some examples:


DUE WEEK1: Thursday 3/31

Salen & Zimmerman, “Rules of Play”, Chapter 7

Greg Costikyan, “I Have No Words & I Must Design”

Please address the following questions ,write a few good paragraphs per question. Feel free to raise any other questions or express other opinions that the reading may inspire.
Post your notes to the class website by class time Thursday (under the category Reading Notes 1)
1. After reading Salen & Zimmerman’s taxonomy of game definitions. explain which definition(s) for game appeals to you most?
2. How would you define a game in your own words?
3. What is your opinion of Costikyan’s definition of games, is it too broad , too narrow,which aspects of his definition do agree with and which do you disagree with? Are puzzles games? Is second life a game? What do you make of his ideas about narrative in games? And his notions of color and competition? What about his idea that games should be considered “art”?


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