Introduction to Game Design

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Introduction to Game Design

Coursera (CC)
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Description

When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

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  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: Welcome! This course is an introduction to the primary concepts of gaming, and an exploration of how these basic concepts affect the way gamers interact with our games. In this course you will understand what defines a “game” and the mechanics and rules behind different types of games. Through four linked assignments you'll learn ways to create and describe a game concept, and specifically what makes a compelling game. This course focuses on the conceptual underpinnings of games, and all assignments can be completed with a pencil and paper – no previous programming knowledge is required.

Created by:  California Institute of the Arts
  • Taught by:  Fran Kr…

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When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: Welcome! This course is an introduction to the primary concepts of gaming, and an exploration of how these basic concepts affect the way gamers interact with our games. In this course you will understand what defines a “game” and the mechanics and rules behind different types of games. Through four linked assignments you'll learn ways to create and describe a game concept, and specifically what makes a compelling game. This course focuses on the conceptual underpinnings of games, and all assignments can be completed with a pencil and paper – no previous programming knowledge is required.

Created by:  California Institute of the Arts
  • Taught by:  Fran Krause, Faculty, Character Animation

    School of Film/Video
Basic Info Course 1 of 5 in the Game Design: Art and Concepts Specialization Level Beginner Commitment 4 weeks, 2-3 hours/week Language English, Subtitles: Chinese (Simplified) How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.7 stars Average User Rating 4.7See what learners said Coursework

Each course is like an interactive textbook, featuring pre-recorded videos, quizzes and projects.

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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.

Syllabus


WEEK 1


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.


6 videos, 1 reading expand


  1. Video: Welcome!
  2. Reading: About this Course
  3. Video: Elements of Gaming
  4. Video: The Game Design Document
  5. Video: Feedback
  6. Video: Making a Simple Game and Brainstorming
  7. Video: Week 1 Homework

Graded: Make a Simple Paper-Based Game

WEEK 2


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.


6 videos expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Rules
  2. Video: Balance
  3. Video: What are rules?
  4. Video: Breaking the Rules
  5. Video: Learning the Rules
  6. Video: Week 2 Homework

Graded: Refining the Rules on Your Paper-Based Game

WEEK 3


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.


9 videos expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Story
  2. Video: Story Purpose
  3. Video: Who's In Charge of Your Game Story?
  4. Video: Writer-Driven
  5. Video: Writer-Led
  6. Video: Player-Led
  7. Video: Roleplaying & Character Motivation
  8. Video: Explaining & Imagining
  9. Video: Week 3 Homework

Graded: Narrative Elements for Your Paper-based Game

WEEK 4


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.


6 videos, 1 reading expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Characters
  2. Video: Characters in Gaming
  3. Video: Types of Characters
  4. Video: Multiplayer Rules and Balance
  5. Video: Bonus Interview: Adam Spragg, Designer of Hidden in Plain Sight
  6. Video: Week 4 Homework
  7. Reading: Course Credits

Graded: Multi-Player Paper-Based Game!
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