Summer school teacher interview: Try the different forms that games can take in the Game Design summer course
Aalto University Summer School is excited to introduce a new low-threshold Game Design course this summer. The course is designed to build both theoretical backgrounds and let students experiment with their own creative ideas. Now, the course teacher shares valuable insights about the course content, learning outcomes, and unique features that make it a must-take for anyone interested in games, even without any design background.
Before diving into the course and its working methods, let’s get to know the course teacher, Edward Morrell, from the School of Arts, Design and Architecture.
What kind of topics does your own research cover?
My research is focused on all sorts of experimental and theoretical game design, exploring the many speculative possibilities of the medium through a process of decentering and deconstructing the videogame object. I have been utilising a form of 'Research through Game Design' in my work, wherein the game design is used as a method to answer research questions, recording the process through design diaries, source control logs and autoethnographic texts.
How did you end up working with Game Design?
I've been making games for over a decade now. However, I had not considered it as a career until I took a Master's degree in Game Studies, which led to my current position as a doctoral candidate at Aalto. I've found that making games within an academic context has provided me with the ideal venue to combine my interest in research with the art and craft of making games.
Give an example of an innovative approach to games that you have bumped into or created yourself.
The work I published at the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) conference last year has been described as innovative by some! I presented a concept called 'Player Decentered Design' as a way to design games that are less focused on the expectations of players, instead empowering the designer to create more challenging and experimental work. Although, I probably wouldn't advise following this approach when first learning how to make games!
What kind of activities can students expect to be involved in during the course?
The students will learn all about game design in the lectures, before getting their hands dirty with different game design software in the workshops. The aim is to incorporate a variety of different programs to demonstrate some of the unique forms that games can take, prompting the students to start thinking of game design in new and different ways. While it can be challenging to design around the constraints of such programs, it often leads to very interesting and rewarding outcomes.
What are you most looking forward to when it comes to the course?
I'm looking forward to meeting all of the students and seeing all of the games they produce!
To conclude, the Game Design course offered by Aalto University Summer School is a valuable opportunity for students to develop the skills and knowledge that are of value in numerous roles in the future through a process of prototyping and iterating on ideas into successful designs. If you want to experience how game design and development can be utilised to unlock your creativity, we invite you to apply for the Game Design course at Aalto University Summer School. The application period for this course ends on May 31st, 2023.