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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.


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.

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 timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

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

Assessment method


  • Non-digital prototype

  • D, digitally-mediated game prototype

  • R, reflection paper


  • Non-digital prototype 30%

  • D, digitally-mediated game prototype 30%

  • reflection paper 40%


A resit is offered for all assignments.

Inspection and feedback

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.

Reading list

The reading list will be announced on Brightspace


Enrolment through My Studymap (Login | Universiteit Leiden) is mandatory.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Arsenaal


External/exchange students are welcome!
A personal laptop is highly recommended for this course.

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