World Design for Video Games

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World Design for Video Games

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

  • 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: Start creating your world. A game world is not just a backdrop for your game—be it minimal or detailed, contained or part of a much bigger universe, it provides the context for your player. Ultimately, a game world should feel alive and wholly unique to any player who will experience it. In this course, we will explore game worlds in existing games and study the art and influences that inform their themes and styles. We will also investigate key components of environment and level design as well as strategies designers use to define gameplay or advance it. We’ll also look at navigation and the elements that make your world as real (or unreal) as you want it to be. A w…

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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: Start creating your world. A game world is not just a backdrop for your game—be it minimal or detailed, contained or part of a much bigger universe, it provides the context for your player. Ultimately, a game world should feel alive and wholly unique to any player who will experience it. In this course, we will explore game worlds in existing games and study the art and influences that inform their themes and styles. We will also investigate key components of environment and level design as well as strategies designers use to define gameplay or advance it. We’ll also look at navigation and the elements that make your world as real (or unreal) as you want it to be. A weekly challenge will prompt you to explore styles and inspirations for possible game worlds, and you’ll learn effective ways to communicate your ideas from concepts to presentation-worthy proofs of concept.

Created by:  California Institute of the Arts
  • Taught by:  Théotime Vaillant, Instructor, Experimental Animation

    School of Film/Video
Basic Info Course 3 of 5 in the Game Design: Art and Concepts Specialization Language English How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.3 stars Average User Rating 4.3See 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


Introduction to World Design



During this first week, we'll start with a brief overview of game worlds and game design. We’ll also examine environments and larger world-based concepts to see how games incorporate a macro-level view of how they progress. At the end of the week, a short assignment prompts you to examine, analyze and comment on games that marked or interested you in terms of their environment design.


4 videos, 4 readings expand


  1. Video: Course introduction
  2. Reading: About this course
  3. Video: Properties and Rules
  4. Video: Story, the vertical spine
  5. Reading: Causes and Consequences
  6. Video: Making a game world
  7. Reading: Considering Game Worlds
  8. Reading: Example: Week 1 Assignment

Graded: What(ever) works

WEEK 2


Do Your Research



Where do you start when designing a world? Where should you begin to look for sparking that creative impulse? This week we will be exploring ideas and presentation techniques for a game’s environment and world design. I encourage you to draw inspiration from other art practices, artists, video games or even your everyday surroundings. The assignment at the end of the week challenges you to present a proposal for a possible world through concept artwork for peer evaluation.


7 videos, 2 readings expand


  1. Video: Don't create from the void
  2. Discussion Prompt: Finding Inspiration
  3. Video: Aesthetics & Gameplay
  4. Video: Clockworks
  5. Video: Questions
  6. Video: Back to the rulebook
  7. Video: Make it yours
  8. Video: Shuffle your ideas
  9. Reading: Strategies for shuffling your ideas
  10. Reading: Example: Week 2 Assignment

Graded: Brave New World

WEEK 3


The Way You Move



How do you move in a video game world? This week we’ll discuss fundamental components and concepts in world and level design. Naturally, these evolve as the gameplay progresses but there are specific strategies you can use to create the finer details in a game environment. At the end of the week, you are challenged to take the previous week’s visual research exercise and expand upon it, giving it shape and volume.


9 videos, 4 readings expand


  1. Video: Visualizing the game world
  2. Video: Level Design
  3. Video: Bordering the World
  4. Reading: The Bigger Picture
  5. Video: The Garden
  6. Video: Navigation and Time
  7. Reading: Two types of navigation
  8. Reading: Level design in local spaces
  9. Discussion Prompt: Tools of the Trade
  10. Video: Moveset
  11. Video: From point A to point B
  12. Video: Linear vs. Non-Linear
  13. Video: The Grey Box
  14. Reading: Example: Week 3 Assignment

Graded: Making Spaces

WEEK 4


A Whole World



Bring your game world to life. In this final week, we’ll be putting down what will eventually define the look, ambience and atmosphere of your world, learning specifically how to convey a mood for a unique and engaging game environment. Go back to your assignment from Week 2 to pull from your inspirations and models. Build on your volumetric model from Week 3 and add details. Define the light, the color palette and the overall visual context of your game space.


6 videos, 4 readings expand


  1. Video: What lives there?
  2. Video: Anchoring the world down
  3. Video: An Atmosphere
  4. Video: Lighting is key
  5. Reading: In the Shadows
  6. Video: Colors
  7. Reading: Color your world
  8. Video: Final Round
  9. Reading: Example: Week 4 Assignment
  10. Reading: Course Credits

Graded: Bring Everything Together & Stir It Up
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