Unity Unit 2 – Critical Thinking in Game Design

Unity Unit 2

Review Unit 2


Activities in this unit of instruction are designed to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. Learners will be introduced to various strategies and techniques for idea generation, problem solving, and critical analysis.


In this unit, learners will explore the following topics:

  • Critical Thinking (e.g. definition, comparison to creative thinking, well-developed arguments)
  • Idea Generation Techniques (i.e. What is brainstorming? How is it useful? What are the rules?)
  • Critical Thinking for Game Analysis (e.g. purpose in game design, function in game development)
  • Problem Solving Basics (e.g. priorities, methodologies, planning)


2.C.1.A: Exploring the Unity Editor

  • Create blog post titled, Game Objects
    • Embed the video at the top of your blog post
    • Take notes about key ideas to know about game design related to Game Objects video tutorial (49 minutes)
      • Place time stamps in your notes
      • Have at least 10 time stamps
    • Place links to the:
      • Manual reference on the Unity Documentation Site
      • Scripting reference on the Unity Documentation Site
      • Write a brief description about what you learned at each link

Student Examples


2.C.2.A: Game Developers Journal

Assignment Details

  • Use mind-mapping techniques to illustrate your top two or three ideas (from the five ideas generated during Unit 1)
  • At this point, you should focus on producing a high level mind-map, illustrating only a few levels deep
  • You will continue to refine your decision and add detail to your map as the learning progresse
  • Download and install FreeMind mind mapping software (Free)
  • Work on mind maps
  • Create blog post titled, Capstone Project – Top 2-3 Ideas
    • Include a screenshot of each mind mapped idea embedded from Flickr
      • In your mindmap include at least 4 elements like:
        • Storyline
        • Chararcters
        • Scenes
        • Objects
        • Levels
        • Action
      • Have at least 3 levels deep of development of each of the statements above
        • Each element in your mind map is a decision
        • Remember: creative people make decisions
    • Include a brief description of each capstone project idea


Mind Map Project Idea Development

Students Examples

2.C.2.B: Contemporary Game Assignment

  1. Form a team of four people
    • Select a game to play
    • Write your names on the front white board and the game you are playing
  2. Prepare your Trusted System or Game Modification Task Sheet to take notes
    • Have a section for each area of MDA
      • Mechanics
      • Dynamics
      • Aesthetics
  3. Select one of the games found at: Friv.com or Google Experiments – Games
    • Play on your own, if the mechanics allow it.
    • Play on your own, if the mechanics allow it.
      • If the game only supports multi- player modes, play with one or more of your peers.
    • Play as a designer, paying attention to the mechanics, dynamics, and aesthetics as described in the Mechanics-Dynamics-Aesthetics (MDA) framework.
  4. Reflect on your play experience.
    • What were the game’s apparent design goals?
      • Did it succeed at those goals?
      • Why or why not?
    • What were the mechanics?
      • What was the play experience?
      • What is the relationship between the two?
      • Did you find any strategies that were exploitable?
      • Did the game seem well-balanced?
    • What kinds of interesting decisions (and uninteresting ones) were you making throughout the game?
      • What do you feel was the competitive differential of the game?
  5. Write your analysis of the game within a new Game Modification Task Sheet.
    • Include the following information:
      • Name of the game and its publisher (this will help get you in the habit of giving credit where due. It will also ensure everyone references the same game).
      • Describe the core mechanics of the game. You do not have to reproduce the rules, but you should describe the basic play of the game and the main decisions players are making. Assume your audience has never played the game before!
      • Include the Mechanics-Dynamics-Aesthetics (MDA) of the game, showing how they emerge from the mechanics (if you are not sure, provide a guess).
      • State the game’s design goals. Indicate what the designer was trying to do! Then, indicate whether you feel the game met those goals, explaining why or why not.
      • Note anything else you can about the game (such as a particular issue with game balance or a unique use of game components).
      • Lastly, if you were the designer, what would you change about the game (if anything)?
        • Make specific recommendations for your suggested changes.
        • For example, do not just say “I would make the game more interactive between players” or “I would fix the problem that I identified earlier” — say how you would fix things.
        • What rules would change and what would they change to?
        • Would you change any game objects or values?
      • Remember, your audience is made up of other game designers.
        • Write your analysis so that other designers can learn from the mistakes and successes of the game you chose.
        • Your goal is to educate and inform them about the game you selected.
        • Another goal is to discover new lessons about what makes games work or not work. These goals are more important than a review score!
  6. Discuss in Class
    • 3rd Period Games
      • Dino Hunt
        • Dylan, Casey, Mark, Dylan
      • The Arrow Of Time
        • Jerod, Michael, Roman
      • Fireboy & Watergirl
        • Jared, John, Sophia, Sutton
      • Raft Wars
        • Ethan, Ari, Kenneth, Bowen, Arman
      • Onslaught
        • Leo, PerGames
    • 5th Period Games
      • Dinosaur Game
        • Jack, Zach, Sam
      • Super Mario 63
        • Alex, Luke, Kris
      • Oregon Trail
        • Caden, Danico, Bryson, William
      • Agar.io
        • Billy, Gavin, Eli, Jared
      • Slither.io
        • Ben, Max, Alec, Jacob
  • Create a blog post titled, 2.C.2.B: Contemporary Game Assignment

Student Examples

2.C.2.C: Critical Thinking Assignment

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Explain your response.

“Not only do we tend to think about the world according to what we want to see and what we need to see, we tend to think in terms of what we expect to see.”

Student Examples

Unit Resources