Creativity and imagination for the win. It was “game on” for students in David Becker’s upper school Game Design course this semester when tasked with creating a board or card game based on their favorite video game.
“The primary objective of the project was to familiarize students with two approaches to game design used by professionals: the Formal Elements of Games and the Mechanics Dynamics Aesthetics (MDA) Game Analysis Framework,” Becker explained. “They completed detailed proposals, collaborated with each other to develop their ideas, and utilized a wide range of materials in the art studio to create their games.”
Ashley Ambrosio ’24 was inspired by the action, role-playing video game Genshin Impact — it set the wheels in motion for her board game creation, Venture. “There are certain aspects about my game that I was satisfied with, like the emotions the players go through while playing,” Ambrosio said. “It's starting to come out more like how I envisioned it.”
With an eye on strategy, Will Black ’25 fashioned a board game called Armor Piercing based on a video game he plays called War Thunder. “The main aspect I took from it was the player confrontations,” Black explained. “It’s very much like chess where you have to think about every move prior to making it because you could win or lose the game each time you take that piece and move it.”
“Each play-test I have observed has been interesting and rewarding,” Becker said. “It takes a lot of courage for the students to put their games out there and have their peers test them.”
Felipe Queiroz ’25 is pleased with the results of his Minecraft-inspired board game called Minecraft Race to the End. “It took three to four weeks of planning and designing. When you can finally sit back, play your game, see how your work panned out, and play all your friends’ games, it was fun,” he said. “Even for the games that didn’t work out, it was just fun to see the adjustments you can make.”
Even Head of Upper School Peter Newcomb came to play and expressed excitement about the collaboration: “Watching the students engage with the work, offer constructive feedback, and help each other grow in their capacity as a designer was inspiring.”