At Ex’pression College for Digital Arts, the first Game Art and Design class students take is History of Games. The course uses a hybrid survey and project structure, covering the timeline and development of traditional, modern and video games through presentations, discussion and readings. Using the history as a starting point, games are examined for their mechanics, developing students formal knowledge of how games work. Students use this information towards completion of the class project – developing a playable board game.
From the beginning of the class to midterm, students learn about traditional and modern games – from the simple race games found in Egyptian tombs, to the 20th Century role playing game of Dungeons and Dragons. They also create a paper prototype of their projects, using lab time to play test their rules and mechanics. After midterm, the focus of the class turns to video games and the growth of the video game industry. Students create formal presentations on a game company of their choosing. The game prototypes are finalized and fabricated as fully playable kits, with styled assets including the board art, player pieces, custom cards, and rule booklets.
The final for History of Games is a Game Tournament, and students are encouraged to invite friends and family to join them.
This class runs every other term on an 8 week schedule.
I am currently both Course Director and Course Instructor for History of Games. All images are student projects created for History of Games.