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Introduction: Elements of Microgame Design

Worcester Polytechnic Institute via Kadenze


Software engineering and asset production are the means of digital game development, but the end is an intentional experience. Digital game design is the process of creating, implementing and iteratively refining that experience.

This hands-on course will demonstrate the practice of digital game design and development using Perlenspiel, a cloud-based, abstract microgame engine programmed in JavaScript. Lectures and code demos will familiarize you with Perlenspiel’s event-driven architecture and key aspects of its application programming interface (API).


  • Animating the Grid: Getting a Bead On
    • Beads are the fundamental interactive elements of Perlenspiel. This session explains the visual attributes of beads, together with the basic API commands for controlling their appearance. Perlenspiel’s audio library is also introduced and demonstrated.
  • Perlenspiel Overview: Just Enough Rope
    • The origin and philosophy of the Perlenspiel microgame engine are explained, together with the basic steps required to set up and run a project.
  • Start Your Engine
    • The ten event-handling functions used to detect and respond to player input are explained and demonstrated.
  • Spaces and Colors
    • The basic API commands used to configure Perlenspiel’s grid and status line are introduced, together with demonstrations of color expression and control.

Taught by

Brian Moriarty


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