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, 26 May 2021
Responsible department
Department of Game Design

General provisions

The course is part of the Bachelor's programmes Game Design and Graphics, 180 Credits, Game Design and Programming, 180 Credits, Game Design and Project Leadership, 180 Credits and Game Design, 180 Credits,

Entry requirements

30 credits, including 15 credits in game design and 15 credits in either game design, computer science, expression in convergent media or industrial engineering and management.

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 and convey specific expressions as well as ideas,
  • display a practical and theoretical understanding of how player affordance and game system design affects narrative,
  • describe, visualize and evaluate the relationship between game mechanics and play experiences in complex game systems,
  • design and develop multiplayer games in order to achieve a specific experiential and pedagogical goal,
  • 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.


Game System Analysis 3.0 credits

The course module trains the use of several abstract tools which students analyse, evaluate and create complex game systems. Applying theory and tools for structuring, presenting and evaluating game systems, students analyse and evaluate games and game systems, in order to understand them. 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.

Game Development & Testing 6.0 credits

In groups, students apply the theory of game systems in the design and development of a multiplayer board game in groups, using an iterative method to test, evaluate and prototype the design during development. Students visualize and present select game systems from their production.

Playtest and Report Writing 6.0 credits

In groups, students design, develop, and test a game with a pedagogic objective, while performing and documenting a study based on their development and testing, with the aim to gain an understanding of factors influencing the game's ability to convey its subject matter efficiently. The study forms the basis for a written report, where students document their study.


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. To obtain the grade Pass with Distinction, the student has to achieve Pass with Distinction on the written report during the first assessment period.

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.