Semester(s) Offered: Fall / Spring / Summer / Winter
Credits: 4
Course Call Number: GAMES-UT 150, OART-UT 1605
Prerequisite(s): None
Taught By: Jeff Petriello / Toni Pizza / Lawra Suits Clark / Joshua DeBonis / Winnie Song / Naomi Clark / Mitu Khandaker / Jesse Fuchs / Charles Pratt / Eric Zimmerman

Intro to Game Design is a one-semester course that explores the fundamentals of game design via readings, lecture, discussion, in-class game exercises, and, most importantly, group projects. Just as art students might take “fundamentals” classes in figure drawing or color theory as part of their education to become visual artists, this class remains rooted squarely in the basics. It focuses on the elementals common to all games that are fundamental for a game designer working in any format, from sports to board games to video games. The focus of the class is on the creation of non-digital games; therefore, no programming knowledge is expected or required. However, discussion of digital games, including a pitch assignment, are threaded throughout the course.

Upon completion of this course, the student will:
1) Explore the basic methodologies and conceptual skills of game design, such as systems thinking, an iterative design process, playtesting, design collaboration, critical design analysis, etc.
2) Gain the experience of actually creating several playable games using an iterative design process.
3) Foster an understanding of what games are, on and off the computer, and how they function to create meaningful experiences for players.
4) Explore fundamental concepts relating to games and design, such as rules and play, emergent complexity, long and short-term goals, etc. This includes understanding games as formal systems, experienced human systems, and cultural systems.
5) Become familiar with the foundational texts in the field of game design, and understand game design as a field that encompasses all kinds of games.
6) Link the principles of the course to computer and video games on a variety of platforms.