About this Course
4.7
1,342 ratings
402 reviews
Specialization
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 11 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 weeks, 2-3 hours/week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English, Russian, Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified)

Skills you will gain

Video Game DevelopmentGameplayVideo Game DesignGame Design
Specialization
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 11 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 weeks, 2-3 hours/week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English, Russian, Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified)

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
Hours to complete
2 hours to complete

Week 1: The Simplest Games

This week we start at the beginning: what are the principles of very simple games, like Hangman and tic-tac-toe? How do these games work? Why do people play them? What are the elements that define games and the gaming experience? And finally, what do games have in common with each other, and what sets them apart? In addition to covering the basics and ground rules for this course, we'll conclude this week with a very simple, low-tech assignment: create a game on a single sheet of paper....
Reading
6 videos (Total 17 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video6 videos
Elements of Gaming3m
The Game Design Document1m
Feedback3m
Making a Simple Game and Brainstorming3m
Week 1 Homework2m
Reading1 reading
About this Course10m
Week
2
Hours to complete
2 hours to complete

Week 2: Rules and Discovery

How does a player learn the mechanics of your game? How do they learn anything about your game? This week we will talk about the rules that define gameplay, and how those rules are communicated to your players. We also discuss the way rules are bent and broken by players. ...
Reading
6 videos (Total 19 min), 1 quiz
Video6 videos
Balance3m
What are rules?6m
Breaking the Rules2m
Learning the Rules3m
Week 2 Homework1m
Week
3
Hours to complete
3 hours to complete

Week 3: Tell a Story

How does narrative drive a player to start playing your game? Or to finish it? This week we'll look at some of the ways you can make your game more compelling with story, and discuss some of the ways story can drive gameplay forward, or enable a player to make their own way through it. ...
Reading
9 videos (Total 32 min), 1 quiz
Video9 videos
Story Purpose7m
Who's In Charge of Your Game Story?1m
Writer-Driven6m
Writer-Led1m
Player-Led1m
Roleplaying & Character Motivation5m
Explaining & Imagining4m
Week 3 Homework1m
Week
4
Hours to complete
3 hours to complete

Week 4: The Friend and the Enemy

What purpose does an enemy serve in a game? What effect does a second player have on two-player games? Can a game work without an adversary or a final goal? We'll address all of those questions in this last week of the class, and work towards finalizing your board game project with characters. ...
Reading
6 videos (Total 27 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video6 videos
Characters in Gaming5m
Types of Characters3m
Multiplayer Rules and Balance3m
Bonus Interview: Adam Spragg, Designer of Hidden in Plain Sight11m
Week 4 Homework1m
Reading1 reading
Course Credits10m
4.7
402 ReviewsChevron Right
Career direction

33%

started a new career after completing these courses
Career Benefit

36%

got a tangible career benefit from this course
Career promotion

10%

got a pay increase or promotion

Top Reviews

By OONov 7th 2015

I really enjoyed this course. It was a lot of fun designing and redesigning a game, as well as getting to play other people's games. I enjoyed the lectures and found the peer reviews very helpful.

By YXDec 6th 2015

This course inspire me a lot. It is not easy, but with tons of fun. I spent a long time to think out the idea and make it and improve it. I did progress in gaming making as a fresh man. Thank you!

Instructor

Avatar

Fran Krause

Faculty, Character Animation
School of Film/Video

About California Institute of the Arts

CalArts has earned an international reputation as the leading college of the visual and performing arts in the United States. Offering rigorous undergraduate and graduate degree programs through six schools—Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater—CalArts has championed creative excellence, critical reflection, and the development of new forms and expressions. ...

About the Game Design: Art and Concepts Specialization

Stemming from the principles of storytelling and design established in CalArts’ renowned Animation programs, this Specialization lays a primary foundation for experimentation and exploration of video game design, story, character development, and winning gameplay before programming begins. These four courses emphasize the self-reliance and personal expression of the gaming artist, and encourage you to take conceptual risks and develop new modes of expression and form through gaming. In the final Capstone Project, you’ll put your creative skills to work by generating an engaging game design document for a personal game project, outlining the conceptual, narrative and aesthetic elements of your game....
Game Design: Art and Concepts

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you enroll in the course, you get access to all of the courses in the Specialization, and you earn a certificate when you complete the work. Your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.