Here you will find MacICT’s papers, articles, publications and curated resources on a wide variety of ICT themes.
Game Design

Game design provides a context for inquiry and discovery, leading students to become active problem solvers and to engage in their own learning. Discover how to leverage the strong motivation students have to play digital games by engaging them as designers of digital games.

“Games are an activity. Games have rules. Games have conflict. Games have goals. Games have decision making. Games have systems. Games are a form of art.”

Ian Schreiber

Game Design Concepts

Getting Started with Game Design

To understand a game, we can begin by looking at the parts of a game and with this knowledge, you can begin to design your own unique game. The following is an excerpt from the Institute of Play’s Design Pack: Games and Learning


What does the player or team have to do to win?
To win the player must …


What obstacles might you put in the player’s way to make reaching the goal fun and interesting?

Core Mechanics

What core actions or moves does the player do to power the play of the game?
jumping, running, solving clues, searching …


What parts make up the materials of play?


What relationships define what a player can and cannot do in a game?


Where does the game take place and how does the space affect the game?

E.g. A 3D world created by Kodu Game Lab, a basketball court

Game Design Process

Once we understand what parts make up a game, we are ready to follow a design process leading to the creation of our game.


Once you know the context (this may be related to curriculum or the current learning in the classroom) for your game, immerse yourself in the subject matter – make sure you understand and can define the context for your game.


Brainstorm game ideas. Make sure you have identified the audience for your game. Test out your ideas with class mates, then discard ideas you don’t want and re-frame others until you come up with the final idea for your game.


Design and develop one or more protoypes for your game. During this stage, you may want to use MacICT’s Core Loop template to assist you with designing your game.

Core Loop template

  • Don’t forget to come up with a cool name for your game – be creative!
  • Craft a compelling, engaging backstory for your game. Use some of the narrative structures such as suspense, foreshadowing and conflict.
  • There are a range of game genres, what kind of game is yours? You may choose to draw on one or more game genres to create your game.
  • How can you make your game intuitive to play?
  • Have you created choices/decision for your players to make?

Throughout the design process, it is a good idea to find a friend or classmate to playtest your game. You may wish to use MacICT’s designer scoreboard to provide constructive feedback to the designer.

Game Designer Scoreboard

When playtesting, it is also good to apply a ‘fun test‘ Ask your play tester to answer the following questions:

  1. What is fun about this game?
  2. Does the game get boring – at what point?
  3. How can this game be more fun?
  4. How could we make it more intuitive?

Now that you have collected feedback on your game, refine you game and make it even more fun to play!

Learning Links to the NSW K - 10 Syllabuses for the Australian Curriculum

MacICT has developed a comprehensive document detailing how game design links to learning outcomes in the the syllabuses. You can download the document below.

Kodu Tutorials

MacICT have created a series of detailed tutorials to help students work with Microsoft Kodu Game Lab. Kodu is a free, visual programming software that allows students to create games in a 3D environment. Available for deployment on NSW DoE et4L networks.

Blog Posts

Read some of MacICT’s posts on game design

MacICT Game Design Student Masterclass

  “Game design is a creative discipline which also requires an extremely analytical mind at a high level; this would seem to explain why most game designers I know are a tiny bit unhinged (in a good way)! . . . There are three ways to learn game design;...

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MacICT workshops related to Game Design and Coding

Game Development with Unity

Ever wanted to learn how to use a professional game engine?
Unity is a powerful, easy to learn game engine that is very flexible and well supported. Unity supports almost every platform and has a huge number of games made with it. Unity has a free version with loads of functionality allowing anyone to use it. Learning Unity is a great first step into learning how to use big game engines.

Keywords: Creative & Critical Thinking, Programming, 3D Design, Creativity, Mathematics, STEAM

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Good Game Design

From playing to building – transforming students from consumers to designers and creators of digital content.
Game design provides a context for inquiry and discovery, leading students to become active problem solvers and to engage in their own learning. Discover how to leverage the strong motivation students have to play digital games by engaging them as designers of digital games.

Keywords: STEAM, Coding, Programming, Creative & Critical Thinking, Design, Digital Literacy, Creativity, Literacy, Cross-Curricular

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Introduction to Coding with Scratch

Using Scratch visual programming with your students.
Scratch is a free visual programming language developed to help simplify the process of creating and programming animations, games, music, interactive stories and more. During this workshop, participants will be introduced to the Scratch programming language and develop skills and confidence to introduce Scratch programming into learning.

Keywords: Primary, STEM, STEAM, Coding, Programming, Creative & Critical Thinking, Computational Thinking, Design, Digital Literacy, Cross-Curricular

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PLEASE NOTE: MacICT was closed in 2016. This website remains as a record of the research conducted and courses run during its operation.