Brief Introduction to Game Design
What you'll learn
- The general goal is to realistically understand the nature of professional game design
- Understand what game design is and isn't
- Know the best ways to learn how to design games
- Recognize that there's nothing magical about game design
- Understand why you won't get rich in game design
- Understand that being an expert game player has nothing to do with game design
- Basic familiarity with games
This is a brief introduction to game design by Dr. Lewis Pulsipher (see Wikipedia), designer of several published games (e.g. Britannia), retired teacher (computer networking, later game design and game production), and author of the 2012 book "Game Design: How to Create Video and Tabletop Games, Start to Finish" (McFarland).
A much longer and more comprehensive course ("Learning Game Design") is also available on Udemy.
(This course was free in 2013; it has not been free since then.)
Comment from LinkedIn:
"Fantastic course, Dr. Pulsipher. I'm in school for Game Dev (which, of course, does involve programming), and while my last instructor is a veteran in the field, the textbook didn't emphasize the required aptitude for Game Design. This one nails it without sugarcoating it." By Michael Thompson
A recent reviewer (Santiago Eximeno) gave the course 3 stars, so I asked him what I could do to improve it. He said:
"Your course is fabulous. I have given it 3 stars because it's a first step. I really enjoy contents but, as its name says, it's an introduction to game design and I think that a wannabe game designer must continue studying and working on it.
So I don't think that you must improve this course, it's just that for me is a first step and for that I have given it a 3 stars rate.
I'm sure that "Learning Game Design: as a job or a hobby" (I have starting it now) will be great . . ."
And it's certainly true that this course is only a start.
Who this course is for:
- Aspiring game designers, whether video or tabletop
Dr. Lewis Pulsipher (Wikipedia: "Lewis Pulsipher"; "Britannia (board game)"; "Archomental" ) is the designer of approaching a dozen commercially published boardgames. His game "Britannia" is described in an Armchair General review "as one of the great titles in the world of games." Britannia was also one of the 100 games highlighted in the book "Hobby Games: the 100 Best". He has over 17,000 classroom hours of teaching experience including teaching video game design and production, and over 20 years of part-time graduate teaching experience.
His book "Game Design: How to Create Video and Tabletop Games, Start to Finish" (McFarland) focuses on practical advice for beginning game designers, about how you actually create and complete game designs. He also contributed to the books "Tabletop: Analog Game Design," "Hobby Games: the 100 Best," "Family Games: the 100 Best." His game design blog has been active since 2004, and he is a contributor and "expert blogger" on Gamasutra, the #1 site for professional video game developers.
His latest published game is the 2021 reissue of Britannia along with a new game, "Duel Britannia" for two players. His Viking adventure game "Sea Kings" was published by Worthington in August 2015, along with Hastings 1066 and Stalingrad Besieged (2021) by the same publisher.
The video game "Lew Pulsipher's Doomstar" on Steam in September 2016.
Lew has a Ph.D. in military and diplomatic history from Duke University, from ancient days when degrees in media, computer networking, or game design did not exist--nor did IBM PCs. In 2012 he was a speaker at the East Coast Game Conference, PrezCon, Origins Game Fair, and World Boardgaming Championships. Long ago he was contributing editor for White Dwarf and Dragon magazines, and publisher of various game fanzines. In 2013 he was an Industry Insider Guest of Honor at GenCon.
Game design blog and teach game design blogs are on blogspot
YouTube channel "Game Design"
former contributing editor, White Dwarf, Dragon, Space Gamer, etc.
former publisher, Supernova, Blood and Iron, Sweep of History, etc.
"Always do right--this will gratify some and astonish the rest." --Mark Twain