The course that I created this book for is CMDI1105, Creating Games, which is part of Plymouth State University’s General Education program. It fulfills the requirement that every student at PSU take at least one course in which they explore creative thinking. Here is the description of the Creative Thought Direction (CTDI) in the General Education program.
People need to be creative in order to thrive in our complex and changing world. People need to understand the creative processes that lead to the generation of ideas and to engage in new interpretations of existing ideas. Creative Thought courses encourage students to recognize beauty in its many manifestations and to become aware of formal elements of creative expression.
These courses also encourage students to view themselves as creative beings, to appreciate creativity in others, and to regard creativity as an essential component in all areas of human endeavor. In these courses, students develop and value perseverance and a tolerance for ambiguity. Students are challenged to appreciate aesthetic forms, to use their imaginations, and to develop the skills and attitudes that allow creativity to flourish: independence and non-conformity, the ability to organize and reorganize information, and the confidence to think in new ways. Creative Thought courses emphasize the skills of critical thinking, reading, writing, listening and speaking, and working with information technology.
CMDI1105 provides students with the opportunity to understand creative thinking and creative processes by engaging them in the creation of board games and card games. We learn about the formal elements of games and recognize how each element functions within the game system. We learn about the game design process which is a cyclical creative process in which we brainstorm ideas, choose an idea (or more than one if we are going to combine them), develop a prototype, playtest the prototype, reflect on the feedback from the playtesting, and then brainstorm ideas about how to respond to the feedback, starting the whole process over again. Through this creative process, we will encounter challenges that must be overcome in creative ways. And ultimately, I hope we are able to create games that we think are fun and that we are proud of.