Course Description

Introduction to the principles, practice and techniques of game design. The first part of the course will focus on game design theory and history. Students will critically examine strategy and puzzle games, game structure types, 2D and 3D games, storytelling in games, cut scenes, difficulty curves and multiplayer/single player games. The course will also explore the game design process from research and development, to character and environment concepts, design specifications and level and user interaction design. The role of games editors, game physics and digital modeling will also be studied. The course will also examine the design production process, production realities, prototyping and how to pitch ideas. Case studies of contemporary games will be an integral part of lectures and laboratory exercises. Working individually or in teams, students will research, write, design, storyboard and pitch games. Software applications such as Maya, Milkshape 3D or Blender may be used.

Learning Outcomes

For the successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • I. Game Design Theory: Define and describe the theory and history  of the game industry and the difference  between non-digital and digital games.  
  • Define and describe the differences  between shoot-‘em-ups, first-person  shooter, platform (hazardous game worlds),  strategy and puzzle games.
  • Define and describe game structure types (linear vs. non-linear games).
  • Define and describe: single player vs. multi player games; platform-specific design  issues; realism vs. abstraction.
  • Define and describe: 2D and 3D games;  first person vs. third person games; issues in  replicating reality in games.
  • Define and describe: storytelling in games; the role of cut scenes; motivation and  objectives; players’ roles; difficulty curves  and game design catchwords.
  • II. Game Design Process: Define and describe the game design process; sources;  roles; inspirations. Research and develop a game concept.  


The following syllabus presents the college approved course requirements, learning outcomes, suggested weekly course outline, etc. Your students should meet the defined learning outcomes and COMD Standards, but please adapt the weekly outline, project guidelines, and grading scheme, as needed.

Model Course

If available, a cloneable model course contains learning outcomes, suggested weekly topics and projects, video resources, quizzes, and more.

Course Coordination



Title: Professor Communication Design





Coordination Site

This course uses the following coordination site:

Course Resources

  • NA

Best Practices

Please review the Distance Education and Continuity Best Practices. These standards apply to all courses, whether web-enhanced, hybrid, or fully online, and may be used to inform peer evaluation of teaching.

BFA Resources

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