Game Design Document: Define the Art & Concepts (Coursera)

Game Design Document: Define the Art & Concepts is a free online MOOC Course, Offered by the California Institute of the Arts via Coursera. This course is 5 of 5 in Game Design: Art and Concepts Specialization.

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Game Design Document: Define the Art & Concepts Coursera Online Course Overview

The Capstone project is a place for you to develop your game idea into a fully-fleshed proposal. A game design document is your game bible, the go-to document that defines the genre of your game, its look and feel, and the evolution of gameplay. This four-part capstone project guides you to distil and improve the foundational aspects of your game so that you may express your ideas in a clear and productive way.

Stemming from the principles of storytelling and design established in CalArts’ renowned Animation programs, this Specialization lays a primary foundation for experimentation and exploration of video game design, story, character development, and winning gameplay before programming begins.

These four courses emphasize the self-reliance and personal expression of the gaming artist and encourage you to take conceptual risks and develop new modes of expression and form through gaming. In the final Capstone Project, you’ll put your creative skills to work by generating an engaging game design document for a personal game project, outlining the conceptual, narrative and aesthetic elements of your game.

Course Syllabus

Week 1: Ideation

Welcome! In this first week we’ll lay out the structure of the course, and what milestones you will have to meet each week. At the end of this week is your first assignment: presenting your preliminary game idea to your peers.

Week 2: Prototyping and Playtesting

In Week 2 we’ll take a look at several different ways of making a prototype (some of which you’ve seen before) and playtesting. Before the end of the week, you’ll be making and presenting a prototype of your game, using the tool of your choice.

Week 3: Prototyping and Playtesting continued

In Week 3 you’ll continue refining your prototype.

Week 4: Visualization

In Week 4 you will start concretizing the look and feel of your game with visuals and other descriptive materials.

Week 5: Visualization continued

Week 5 is a continuation of the last: refine your visual materials and upload them for one last pass.

Week 6: Presentation

Your finished, polished game design document is submitted for final review. Check out the bonus material later this week as well. Good luck!

Week 7: Final Review

The final week. We will be wrapping things up this week and reviewing our final projects.

Course Instructor

  • Dariush Derakhshani
  • Théotime Vaillant

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1-4 Hours/Week

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Course Length

4 Weeks

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Course Subtitles

English, French, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish

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