Application of Pattern Language for Game Design in Pedagogy and Design Practice

Christopher Aaron Barney
2021 Information  
Existing implementations of game design patterns have largely been confined to theoretical or research settings. Weaknesses in these implementations have prevented game design patterns from being properly evaluated as an educational and practical development tool. This paper examines these weaknesses, describes a method of developing and applying patterns that overcome the weaknesses, and evaluates use of the method for game design education and practice. Weaknesses in existing pattern
more » ... ations are: the omission of design problems, presumption of functional completeness at the level of pattern languages, narrow topical focus, and lack of a concise, repeatable method for pattern production. Several features of the proposed method were specifically built to address these weaknesses, namely the pattern template, the process for connecting patterns into a language and assessing the language's scope, a rubric for assessing pattern confidence and interconnectivity confidence, and pattern-building exercises. This method was applied in a classroom setting. Results as assessed by the evaluation of student work suggest that creating patterns/pattern languages is an effective pedagogical approach. Designs produced using designer-created patterns closely align with existing design theory and are clearly understood by students. The above results may indicate that the path to gaining wider acceptance of pattern theory as a design framework within game design is not to produce a universal pattern language, but to facilitate the creation of case-specific languages by students and professional designers that use a shared ontology, and thus can be combined easily to solve the diverse sets of problems faced by these groups.
doi:10.3390/info12100393 fatcat:lwpxjht5njhg5bmsm6g4dd6jay