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Hands-On: Reflective Game Development in Action


Admission requirements

Not applicable.
Students following this course should be interested in the practical challenges of developing games, as well as be motivated to reflect on the development process and the games that are created as a result. External/exchange students are welcome!
A personal laptop is highly recommended for this course.


Note: this course is titled Hands-On: Reflective Game Development in Action from 2019-2020 onwards.

Games are cultural artefacts that are both shaped by society as well as an expression of its values and norms. Games entertain us, connect us, and educate us when we play them. But just as literature does not simply come into existence, games are developed by authors who design the experience a player will go through.

In this course you will dedicate a whole semester to the creative and reflective endeavour of developing game prototypes; draft-like manifestations of games, created to find out how players will interact with a game. Under the guidance of the course lecturer(s) you will work in groups to create both a non-digital and a digital (or digitally mediated) game prototype. Finally, because being “hands-on” is more than simply creating a game, you will produce a theoretically sound reflection on the aims and accomplishments of your work.

During the whole semester, under the guidance of the teachers, groups of students will dedicate themselves to a creative and reflective assignment that builds on the earlier courses. The result will be a non-digital game prototype and a digital game prototype. They will also produce a theoretically sound reflection on their aims and accomplishments, and the (digital) results of their shared work.

Course objectives

After this course, students have obtained concrete insights in the ways in which games generate meaning and effect, and of the ways in which they intervene in the larger cultural context.

  • Create game prototypes that provide an intentional, pre-defined experience to players.

  • Understand what mechanisms can be leveraged to convey meaning and emotions.

  • Work collaboratively within a team of diverse motivations and backgrounds.

  • Learn about digital, physical, and conceptual “tools” that support the development process.

  • Reflect on the role of authors in shaping game artefacts.


The timetable is available on the website.

Mode of instruction

Tutorials/workshops, discussions, self study, and group work.

Course Load

Course Load: 280 Hours
Lectures: 32 Hours
Course Preparation: 248 Hours

Assessment method

  • Non-digital prototype (30%)

  • D, digitally-mediated game prototype (30%)

  • R, reflection paper (40%.)


A resit is offered for all assignments.

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used to provide students with additional information/reading material.

Reading list

The reading list will be announced on Blackboard


Enrolment through uSis for classes, exams and final papers is mandatory.

Contact information

For questions about the content of the course, you can contact the teacher:
Course lecturer: Mr. Joris Dormans (
Co-lecturer: Mr. Marcello Gómez-Maureira

Ms. Isabel Hoving

Student administration: Van Wijkplaats
Coordinator of studies: ms. Ellen Poolman


For more information please check the website of the study program Film and Literature Studies.