Game Design Concepts
Jan 7, 2013 to Mar 16, 2013
Cost per enrollment: Free
- Requires the purchase of a textbook or other course materials
- You will not be given a final grade in this course
Full course description
This course provides students with a theoretical and conceptual understanding of the field of game design, along with practical exposure to the process of creating a game. Topics covered include iteration, rapid prototyping, mechanics, dynamics, flow theory, the nature of fun, game balance, and user interface design. Primary focus is on non-digital games.
The course instructor recommends purchase of one or more textbooks or other course materials. Please see the details below.
- Challenges for Game Designers, by Brathwaite & Schreiber. [Required; estimated cost $16.50] This book covers a lot of basic information on both practical and theoretical game design. It will be referenced heavily throughout the course.
- Tabletop: Analog Game Design, edited by Costikyan [Required; free as PDF download] This is a collection of essays on tabletop game design and analysis.
- Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, by McCloud. [Recommended; estimated cost $12.50] While this book refers to comics, many of the lessons within it can be applied to game design and other forms of art. It also is written in a comic book format (which makes it fun to read).
- A Theory of Fun for Game Design, by Koster. [Recommended; estimated cost $15.50] This book shows the similarities between game design and education. It also incorporated good discussions regarding the concept of Flow.
Game Critic and Game Design Instructor
Sebastian is a "well played" game player, critic, and game design instructor. He is especially fascinated by the use of games as an experiential teaching aid and is constantly on the lookout for tabletop games, video games, and roleplaying games that teach life skills. He is a Contributing Editor for Play This Thing, an indie video game site, promoting the goodness of indie video games. On the tabletop side, he was a judge for a game design contest by Rio Grande, a prominent European board game publisher, as well as ran a board workshop at Indiecade, an indie game festival. Currently, he is serving as a judge for the Independent Game Festival design contest, the biggest indie video game festival and is wrapping up an experiment of using branching path books as a gamified creative writing course.
Programmer, Game Designer, Teacher
Ian Schreiber has been a game developer for twelve years, first as a programmer and then as a game designer. He has worked on seven shipped titles, including online trading-card games, console games, and even some serious games for corporate training. He is currently a freelancer based in Columbus, Ohio, and also teaches game development for several schools as an adjunct.