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Principles of Game Design

Michigan State University via Coursera

This course may be unavailable.


You have a great idea for a game. Turning that idea into a reality isn't just about knowing the tools. In this course you will practice moving from game concept through design documentation, prototyping and testing. Numerous elements go into the overall process of game design. These range from topics such as idea generation, story, character, and game world development, game mechanics and level design, and user experience design. You will explore the process for designing meaningful experiences for your players. At the end of the course learners will have produced a game's high concept document, one page blueprint, a physical prototype, pitch and supporting design documentation to move from an idea in your head to a fleshed out design, ready for implementation.

Taught by

Brian Winn and Casey O'Donnell


4.0 rating, based on 7 Class Central reviews

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    The title of this course is misleading, it should be called "Writing a game design document". You won't be learning how to design games in this course, just how to write about game ideas. While this is something that SOME game designers do, by itself...
  • Zach completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    The course started off interesting, giving some good ideas for planning exercises and so on. As it went on, though, it seems to get more and more vague. There's lots of "You could do THIS, or THIS, or THIS", which ultimately doesn't really help much. The workload of the assignments seems to increase rapidly as the course goes on: the early ones are typically a page or less but later they are giving models that are in the tens of pages. Perhaps for someone deeply invested this is a useful framework, but as a hobbyist it seemed unnecessary.
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  • Karim Kherbouche

    Karim Kherbouche is taking this course right now, spending 5 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

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    Roman Gorislavski completed this course.

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