I am a Game Designer – a Meta Reflection

Over the course of this year, I was tasked with researching and designing a game. It was a long and arduous process, and I came out of it with three lessons. 1. That Inspiration can come from unlikely places, 2. That making a game is a lot of work, and 3. games take time.

Inspiration can come from unlikely places
When I first started out this project, I was a little frustrated. I just didn’t know what I wanted this game to be about. The prompt asked me what is something important that I want other people to understand. The first thing that immediately popped into my mind was Christianity. but what exactly about Christianity, I did not know. First, I thought it could be about apologetics, but I found that to be too broad of a subject. But then, I started to draw upon experiences from my life and other things that were important to me. When I was younger, I lived in Taiwan, In High School, I read books about Christianity in China, and in College, I have started to take Chinese. All these things came together in my final theme of my board game, the persecution of Christians in China. From this, I learned that inspiration comes from unlikely places.

Making a game takes a lot of work
Even my smaller quest games that I made earlier in the year took a fair bit of work just to make. first, I had to make the Rules, then I had to design the board, and finally, I had to make sure everything was in place, like the pieces. The second one was my favorite game to make, since I had the rules all set in place, I just had to cut out all the pieces, and there were a lot of pieces. The work that I had to put into my final project was enormous, and it took a long time, and at some times, i felt rushed. that is how i learned that this is a lot of work. speaking of time…

Making a game takes time
during the final portion of my final project, At Risk: China, i felt very stressed for time. I should have spaced all the developing and the board making out more. i should have had a schedule planned for the entirety of this assignment. that is the biggest lesson of all this, in my opinion, is that you need to be prepared, and have a schedule. Having schedule will hellp you get work done and reduce stress. this will be very helpful in the future.

Game Design Log Phase 1

I have been tasked with creating a game to be presented to a shark tank this December. Part of the project is having a blog about it, so that is what I am going to do. There are 4 phases in this project, with a series of prompts I will be answering in these blogs. Let’s start with Phase 1.
Phase 1 has a series of prompts that will help me narrow down my focus on what I want my game to be about.

What do you want to learn more about?/ What are you passionate about? – A thought just occurred to me. Right now. As I am typing this. I was thinking about Christianity in China today. While the Chinese government is officially atheist, they have a branch of the government that deals with Christianity called the three self church. The only legal way to teach Christianity in China is to be a part of this Organization. All the teachings must be approved by the three self church, but many Christians do not want their beliefs to be regulated by the government. To teach Christianity the way they want to teach it, they have formed things called house churches, which is basically just attending church services in their own house. The Chinese government has made these illegal, since they fear some sort of “uprising”. But China has always had a thing against “Foreign Influence”. The government views Christianity as a western religion that could be used by the west to take over, so they try to regulate it as much as possible. Because of this, some lessons and scripture from the Bible cannot be taught, and a lot of public expression of faith is punished.A lot of Christians are not too keen on all of this, so they set a sort of underground Church network. I love China, as I once lived in Taiwan. since i am also taking Chinese this year, this will be a great way for me to immerse myself in Chinese culture.

What do I want people to understand? – I want people to understand what it is like being a Christian in China, how we might take our Freedom of Religion for granted, and the struggle that Chinese Christians have to go through just to hear the good news.

Who might I seek out and interview (local/Digital) experts and other resources and deeper understanding? I do not know right now of anyone I can interview, but there are lots of books on the subject of Christianity in China, for example Jesus in Beijing, which chronicles the history of Christianity in China, or The Heavenly Man, the story of Brother Yun, the story of a Chinese Christian preacher who had been jailed several times for his faith. There are also several Youtube videos and websites about house churches in China.

there are also some questions about how fun and playfulness emerge as i research my topic. I will have to do some research first before i can answer those questions. so this will be a two-parter.

But before I go, I just want to say something. I started out this project being really mad. I didn’t really hit upon that idea that could be translated into a game, so I was a little annoyed. I was thinking “why does my game have to be about something? lots of games aren’t really about anything.” But I just needed to find out what interested me and what I was passionate about, and I think I found it. So, I am sorry about all the complaining I did. I feel a lot better about this project.