UCLA Design | Media Arts    MW 2-4:45pm    Broad Art Center room 4250
Professor: Steven Schkolne    TA: Chris Reilly

Course Description:

This course is part one of a two-course game making sequence (Gaming 1, Gaming 2). In this first course, Game Design Lab, we will develop four playable non-digital games, each project will explore various aspects of game design: rule design, game balance, multi-player strategy, complexity, randomness, polemics, narrative, physical interaction, and the aesthetic/pragmatic aspects of physical game design.

The course will cover game design concepts through reading and written assignments, class presentations, discussions, play testing sessions, and game design and production projects. This class moves very quickly with a playable game produced, played and analyzed nearly every other week.


All reading notes, feedback forms and assignment PDFs must be uploaded to the class website before the beginning of class time on the day they are due unless a midnight deadline is indicated (as 24:00). Late projects and assignments will be penalized by one letter grade per day they are late.

More than two absences without the professor's prior permission will lower the student's final grade by one unit (e.g. an A will become a B). With each additional unexcused absence, the grade will drop an additional unit.

If you are not present when the professor calls roll at the beginning of the class, but show up within the first hour, you receive a late. Two lates count as an absence. If you do not show up within the first hour, you will be counted absent.

If an emergency occurs that prevents you from submitting an assignment or attending class, a written note from a doctor/medical clinic, therapist/counselor, law enforcement agency, or UCLA faculty/staff member is required to be exempted from this penalty.



Upload assignments to the class server using Cyberduck (Mac) or WinSCP (Windows). Use your DMA support login (not your UCLA login) to connect from home or school.

Make one folder named for yourself in the main class folder (/classes/Winter12/157A/drop/); upload your assignments to this folder, being sure to include the name of the assignment as well as your last name and first initial. Example: Reading-1_CReilly.pdf.

Required Materials:

Class assignments will require the use of a wide range of mixed media such as paper, cardboard, foam core, magnets, wood, plastic, fabric, and any other materials you may want to incorporate into your projects.

Required Book:

Juul, Jesper, "Half-Real: Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds", MIT Press, 2005 (ISBN: 0262101106)

Recommended further reading on game design: