Games are increasingly recognized as a tool that can serve many business purposes beyond entertainment. This course provides a general introduction to what goes into the design and development of both video and analog games, with a particular focus on the use of games outside of consumer entertainment. By completing this course, you can take the first steps into understanding game design and how it can be applied in your field.

One month, Dr. Moses Wolfenstein, instructor.


Unit 1

What Makes a Game?

- Practical Definition for Game

-The Anatomy of a Game

-Games and Play

-Different Types of Games


Unit 2

Essentials of Design

-Getting Beyond a Game Idea

-Game Verbs and Game Mechanics 


-Test Early, Test Often


Unit 3

Game Design: Solo and in Teams

-Defining Development Needs

-Roles in Game Design

-Finding Design and Development Partners


Unit 4

Serious Games & Gamification

-Games Beyond Entertainment

-Designing "Serious" Games


-Designing Gamification Systems

 Question MarkAbout online learning

Online learning is a fun, enjoyable and very productive way to learn. Millions of people are learning online each year. You will engage with the instructor and other participants. You will get to know your instructor and other participants. You may make friends. It’s easy. It’s fun.

GearsHow the Course Works

It is easy to participate in your online course. After you register, you will be given a web address to go to get into your online classroom. You will have a password and use your email address and password to gain access.

Once inside the online classroom, here’s what you can expect.

CalendarParticipate when you want

You can participate any time of day or evening. The online classroom is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
There are no live real-time requirements or meetings. You decide when you participate.
For the best learning, participants should log into the course on 2-3 different days of the week.

ChecklistWhat you will do

For each Unit, you will:

  • Read the print readings (about 20 pages a week)

  • Have the option of accessing the online readings

  • Listen to the audio presentation for the Unit and view the slides

  • Have the option of taking a self-quiz to see how much you have learned

  • Engage in written online discussion with your instructor and other participants

For best learning, you should make one or more comments at 2-3 different times each week.
The content (readings, audio lectures, slides) and self quizzes are accessible for the entire course, so you can work ahead, or go back and review again, at your convenience.

Next offering(s):

Intermediate Video Game Design
October 7 - November 1

Introduction to Game Design
September 3 - 28

Add Certificate To Cart
$395.0000 USD
$245 USD
Ave. hours 16, 1.6 CEUs/ILUs

About Your Instructor

Moses Wolfenstein is an experienced game designer and speaker at national game designconferences.  He is a Senior Interaction Developer at the University of Wisconsin-Extension. He has over a decade of design experience.  Moses holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and works with the Games, Learning, & Society research group.

Course Objectives

The objectives of the course are to enable learners to:

  • Classify games in terms of technical requirements and genre
  • Identify the mechanics and verbs used in different games
  • Understand the different roles required in the development of a video game
  • Differentiate between Games and Gamification
  • Discover resources for developing a deeper understanding of game design

Course Outcomes

At the end of this course, you will:

  • Possess a basic understanding of the different activities that are part of game design.
  • Know how to approach fleshing out a game idea in order to increase the chances to having a successful game design experience.
  • Have a basic understanding of how to work with game developers.
  • Know what gamification is and why people are talking about it.
Completion Requirements