IAT 312 Spring 2022


IAT 312 exam­ines the dis­ci­pline of game design. Games are stud­ied across three ana­lyt­i­cal frame­works: games as rules (formal system), games as play (expe­ri­en­tial system), games as cul­ture (social system). Course work includes ana­lyt­i­cal and prac­ti­cal exer­cises in game design.

Instructor: Chelsea Mills; TA: Ayaskant Panigrahi


This course will include a weekly live lec­ture (110 min­utes) and a workshop-tutorial (110 min­utes) com­po­nent. Course deliv­ery for Spring 2022 will begin via remote instruc­tion, with the poten­tial to move to inper­son or hybrid instruc­tion after Jan 24, 2022. The course will use a “flipped” class­room approach. Students are expected to par­tic­i­pate in inter­ac­tive activ­i­ties and dis­cus­sions during online lec­tures and work­shops. Textbook read­ings, weekly assign­ments, and team project work will be com­pleted asynchronously.

Required Software & Texts

Tabletop Simulator

As this is an online class in Spring 2021 stu­dents won’t need to pur­chase phys­i­cal pro­to­typ­ing mate­ri­als for design­ing your own games. Instead we will use an online board game sim­u­la­tor, Tabletop Simulator Course assign­ments will be taught and demon­strated with this soft­ware, and other soft­ware will not be sup­ported by the course. You can use this soft­ware for rapid pro­to­typ­ing and design­ing your games in your teams, and it also works really well for online and dis­trib­uted playtest­ing (and of course gaming just for fun), and shar­ing your final games online. Thus we strongly rec­om­mend that you pur­chase, down­load, and install your own copy of it before class starts, see link above or down­load directly from Steam. it runs on both Windows and MacOS and cur­rently costs CDN$ 21.99. The soft­ware has a lot of excel­lent online resources and tuto­ri­als avail­able at https://www.tabletopsimulator.com/about. Note that to min­i­mize extra costs for this class, we are remov­ing the need to pur­chase phys­i­cal pro­to­typ­ing and game design mate­ri­als, and we chose a text­book where SFU’s library pro­vides free online access.

Textbook: Game Design Workshop

Fullerton, T. (2019). Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games, Fourth Edition (4th Edition.). Boca Raton, FL: A K Peters/CRC Press. ISBN: 9781315104300
This is our main text­book, so make sure you have access and get your own copy by the first week of the semes­ter, as we’ll read through most of the book. You might be able to access it through the SFU library or directly here.