Teaching Serious Game App Design Through Client-based Projects


This paper explores mobile game development courses conducted during the 2012/2013 academic year at George Mason University. In the courses, students had to design mobile games for clients. Each design group of five students was responsible for developing a game that would address the clients’ goals. Throughout each course students developed mobile game prototypes and, eventually, an alpha build of the proposed mobile game on a phone or tablet. This paper explores the effectiveness of studio courses in embodying the game design process over individual tool-based courses. It examines the effectiveness of an immersive client-based design project at demonstrating development issues to students. Lastly, it explores how such courses can fit into a Game Design curriculum while still addressing specific Serious Game issues. Through the exploration proposed, educators can consider whether the challenges, surprises, and management issues inherent in client-based projects are worth wider adoption.