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This semester, I decided to try something new on the final exam. I decided to ask the students to tell me everything they had learned in the semester. Furthermore, since I wasn’t interested in what they could memorize the night before their final, I instead popped the question on them without time to study. I was curious to see how much of the coursework they had actually internalized and learned. As I later read over their responses, I was quite pleased and decided to post some of the better answers here:

  • Walking is not gameplay.
  • Mario level 1-1 is probably the best level ever.
  • You’ll never know if any game you work on is fun, but you should be able to take out all the “un-fun”.
  • Economy is very important in games and it does not always refer to money.
  • Brainstorm with a lot of people. Even if your ideas are stupid, they may just seem stupid to you.
  • Engage the player and give them something to do or look at every few seconds.
  • The whole game should be a tutorial, always teaching them something new.
  • There’s a lot more math in this major than I had anticipated.
  • I’m not as bad at math as I thought.
  • Introduction, Practice, Mastery.
  • “Stuff” is important.
  • Fun is subjective.
  • Seeing the locked door before finding the key is a good way to show someone how to open it.
  • Enemies exist to lose.
  • Always have “stuff”. Things are not nice and tidy.
  • You are the player’s wingman; show them something cool.
  • Designing a game is about removing the “suck” from everything.
  • It is the leader’s fault when something goes wrong in a project.
  • Hard work and a lot of effort does not necessarily mean effectiveness, completion, or correct execution. I will not stop working hard, but be more aware of the effectiveness of my work.

I thought those were some decent answers. A semester well summed up in my eyes.