Game Design 3: System Design

15 credits

Syllabus, Bachelor's level, 5SD066

A revised version of the syllabus is available.
Education cycle
First cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Game Design G1F
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Department Board, 28 March 2018
Responsible department
Department of Game Design

Entry requirements

Game Design 2: Game Development, 7.5 credits

Learning outcomes

Upon completing the course, students will be able to:

  • display a practical and theoretical understanding of how to structure game systems to achieve specific expressions to to convey specific ideas,
  • display a practical and theoretical understanding of how environments and player actions in games can be designed to convey narrative,
  • describe and evaluate connections between game mechanics and play experiences in complex game systems,
  • display an ability to discuss business oriented metric frameworks and their effect on the game design requirements as well as an ability to analyse their design using such frameworks,
  • communicate and visualise complex game designs,
  • create a multiplayer board game conveying a specific aesthetic, as defined by the Mechanics, Dynamics and Aesthetics framework,
  • design and perform tests to measure the correlation between player perception, dynamics, and player experience, as well as be able to discuss the impact of this correlation in specific contexts,


The course trains the use of several abstract tools with which students analyse, evaluate and create complex game systems. Applying the Mechanics, Dynamics and Aesthetics framework to frameworks for structuring game systems, students visualize, structure and communicate complex game systems. The purpose is to gain an understanding of how complicated chains of mechanics affect intuitiveness and ease of use of a game system, as well as the experience of the player.

Using level design tools, students design levels with the expressive goal to convey specific narratives through the environment, exercising their ability to use game systems and non-verbal communication to control the player experience.

Students test, analyse and describe a number of complex board- and digital game systems. The final project tasks students with the design, testing and critical analysis of a board game, where they apply the skills taught in the course, in order to create and visualize the game systems’ intuitiveness, ease of use and ability to convey the desired aesthetic. Students write a reflective report on the analysis and creation of the board game they produce.

Narrative, 3 credits

Group Assignment, 6 credits

Written Report, 6 credits


Teaching is comprised of lectures, seminars, workshops and project work.


Assessment is of written reports, seminars and workshops.

The course grades are Pass, Pass with distinction or Fail. The student has one attempt to obtain a grade Pass with Distinction.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University's disability coordinator.

Uppsala University does not accept cheating or plagiarism. Suspected incidents of cheating or plagiarism are reported to the Vice-Chancellor, which may issue a formal warning to the student or suspend the student from studies for a certain period.

NOTE: Only completed courses can count toward a degree.