Gameplay and Narrative Design | Abertay University

Gameplay and Narrative Design


The module will introduce students to the knowledge, processes and techniques necessary to formulate and explore effective, innovative game ideas with consideration for the structure of both gameplay and narrative design.


The aim of this module is to provide the student with the ability to engage with the development of innovative game concepts, through establishing an informed awareness of design process and evaluation.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Describe and practice the techniques and processes required to effectively form, develop, and design games.

2.  Demonstrate a considered design process and awareness of the key conceptual, audience, and cultural models that can impact on game design.

3.  Create game design documentation and artefacts that reflect the processes utilised across the mainstream games industry and emergent development communities.

Indicative Content

1 Game Genre Mechanics

Deconstructing core components of popular game genres.

2 Constructs of Gameplay

What is gameplay and how is this broken down and communicated within the game design.

3 Design Documents and Artefacts

Physical prototypes, visual documentation, technical design, capturing requirements.

4 Game Design Process

Conceptualisation, iteration, phases of workflow, alternative approaches.

5 Narrative Theory for Game Design

Themes, narrative structures, characters, storyboarding, animatics, scripts.

6 Experimental Approaches

Exploring emergent practices and methods for innovative game design.

7 Visualisation and Digital Techniques

Utilising digital techniques to produce gameplay and narrative previsualisation, developing rudimentary digital prototypes.

8 Audience and Cultural Engagement

Discussing the role of audience and exploring cultural aspects of game design.

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Students will receive a series of lectures supported by seminar sessions. Lectures cover the core knowledge and theory of experimental game design and traditional models of design process, encompassing both the design of play and of narrative for games. The seminar sessions will focus on physical prototyping, idea generation, design evaluation and in-class activities and exercises that will feed into the game concept portfolio and blog.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 12
Tutorial/Seminar 12
Supervised Practical Activity 0
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 86
Independent 90

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2018/19 , and may be subject to change for future years.