Game Design for Coursework

This concept was inspired by Jane McGonigal’s book, Superbetter where she explains how certain daunting routines can be converted into a game so that we enjoy the process more and get things done faster. She explains about how she battled through her recovery after a concussion with a gameful mindset. Being gameful means bringing the same psychological strengths we naturally display when we play games—such as optimism, creativity, courage, and determination—to real-world goals.

Why use this system?

In this project, the principles of Game Design have been applied to daily coursework for students so that they enjoy the process and turn mundane activities to exciting ones that can help them achieve their goals faster, with a happier mindset.

Rules of the game

Board game template

The goal of the game is to complete the project or tasks that you assign yourself. The game helps you organize your day to day tasks and keeps you motivated. There are two indicators on the side that show the state of the player i.e, how motivated you are and how much you have progressed in this journey. These are denoted by motivation points (purple) and progress points (yellow).

To begin the game, you need to fill in the following data:

  1. Goal – What do you want to accomplish? Example – complete a specific project, finish coursework for a class etc
  2. Quests – You should list down the tasks you need to complete in order to accomplish the goal. Be as specific as possible. This list is dynamic. You can add, delete and check off items. For every quest that is completed, you get 20 progress points.
  3. Enemies – List all the constraints you are going to encounter during this process. Example – lack of skills and resources. For each enemy you fight, award yourself 20 progress points. You can do a 1-1 correlation between quests and enemies and list down enemies that act as a constraint to a specific quest.
  4. Allies – List all the people who will support and motivate you in your journey. Example – professors, friends, family. Every time you talk/ seek help from your ally, add 10 points for motivation
  5. Powerups – It is important to feel good as you progress along your journey. Whenever you feel tired or lazy, get some powerups that will make you feel good. These are tiny rewards or activities that you really like to do. Example – watching an episode of your favorite sitcom, dancing etc. Award yourself 10 motivation points.
  6. Epic wins – Have you faced situations where you sit at a table for hours and do something amazing? Epic wins are all those moments of triumph that give a boost to your project and your confidence. Award yourself 30 points for motivation and 50 points for progress.

Note :

  1. Utilize the right column to update your score. Motivation works on a scale of 1 to 100 and you lose motivation when you become lazy and put off tasks.
  2. Feel free to choose an avatar for yourself by giving a cool name and abilities.
  3. You can modify any portion of the game to fit your project needs.
  4. Make sure to look at the board frequently as it is a visual reminder.

Example from a student who is trying to make a robotic hand:

Have fun gamifying your projects! We would love to hear about your experience. Please send your feedback to Raksha (