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California Institute of the Arts

Game Design Document: Define the Art & Concepts

California Institute of the Arts via Coursera


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The Capstone project is a place for you to develop your game idea into a fully-fleshed proposal. A game design document is your game bible, the go-to document that defines the genre of your game, its look and feel, and the evolution of gameplay. This four-part capstone project guides you to distill and improve the foundational aspects of your game so that you may express your ideas in a clear and productive way. Note: Only learners who have earned a certificate in the four previous courses in the Specialization are eligible to take the Capstone.


  • Week 1: Ideation
    • Welcome! In this first week we’ll lay out the structure of the course, and what milestones you will have to meet each week. At the end of this week is your first assignment: presenting your preliminary game idea to your peers.
  • Week 2: Prototyping and Playtesting
    • In Week 2 we’ll take a look at several different ways of making a prototype (some of which you’ve seen before) and play testing. Before the end of the week you'll be making and presenting a prototype of your game, using the tool of your choice.
  • Week 3: Prototyping and Playtesting continued
    • In Week 3 you'll continue refining your prototype.
  • Week 4: Visualization
    • In Week 4 you will start concretizing the look and feel of your game with visuals and other descriptive materials.
  • Week 5: Visualization continued
    • Week 5 is a continuation of the last: refine your visual materials and upload them for one last pass.
  • Week 6: Presentation
    • Your finished, polished game design document is submitted for final review. Check out the bonus material later this week as well. Good luck!
  • Week 7: Final Review
    • The final week. We will be wrapping things up this week and reviewing our final projects.

Taught by

Dariush Derakhshani and Fran Krause


4.7 rating at Coursera based on 253 ratings

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