Module details for Game Mechanics and System Design


In this module students will develop the applied technical and creative skills necessary to design and script prototypes that demonstrate the functionality of game mechanics and systems. Students will promote rapid prototyping as a useful evaluation tool and an essential part of the development process.


The aim of this module is to provide the student with the skills to analyse, develop and critique functional prototypes based on gameplay design.

Learning Outcomes

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

1.  Demonstrate a basic understanding of the techniques required to design and develop gameplay prototypes

2.  Consider how gameplay prototypes are underpinned by the design of systems and mechanics

3.  Iteratively design and develop gameplay prototypes demonstrating an appreciation of required functionality and user experience

4.  Evaluate the design and implementation of a gameplay prototype

Indicative Content

1 Evolution of Gameplay Mechanics

Examine how the implementation of gameplay mechanics has changed over time.

2 Game Systems

Examine game systems and consider how the relationships between mechanics and variables are crafted to create a balanced gameplay experience.

3 Gameplay Analysis

Analyse existing implementations of game mechanics and systems.

4 Gameplay Mechanics Functional Analysis

Analyse and deconstruct game mechanics design into their component parts required for functional implementation.

5 Gameplay Implementation

Explore the range of tools and techniques available to implement gameplay in prototype games.

6 Iterative Development

Understand the development process of rapid game prototyping.

7 Evaluation Methods

Identify how gameplay implementation can be evaluated in terms of desired functionality and user experience.

8 Aesthetics

Consider the effect of aesthetics on gameplay implementation and how aesthetics can be used to enhance the user experience.

9 Game Balancing

Explore and implement techniques to balance individual elements of a gameplay prototype and examine the effect this has on the overall user experience.

10 Emergent Gameplay

Explore the techniques that can be applied to create emergent gameplay within prototype games.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Teaching and Learning Method Hours
Lecture 12
Tutorial/Seminar 0
Practical Activity 24
Assessment 84
Independent 80
Total 200

Guidance notes

SCQF Level - The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework provides an indication of the complexity of award qualifications and associated learning and operates on an ascending numeric scale from Levels 1-12 with SCQF Level 10 equating to a Scottish undergraduate Honours degree.

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 2021/22 , and may be subject to change for future years.