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Video Game Design and Development

Video game design and development is challenging, but the rewards are worth it. With this unparalleled comprehensive training program, you’ll master skills that open doors to the growing video game industry. By the end of the program, you will have designed and created your own video game for the PC and will stand ready to join a team working on projects with larger scope or pursue independent development.

Using a comprehensive and analytical approach to game development, this program offers you the opportunity to learn how to effectively implement technical game ideas, assuming no prior training or experience. The curriculum is divided into four major areas of study: programming languages, mathematics skills, game asset creation, and modern real-time game engines. It will conclude with an independent study phase where you will design, document, and create your own game using all of the programming and game art skills you learned in the core classes. This program is entirely online and is completed at your own pace.

12 Months / 500 Course Hrs
Open Enrollment

Offered in Partnership with your Preferred School

George Mason University Why this school? It's been chosen based on your location or if you've visited this school's website.

Financial Assistance Available*

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Learning Method

Instructor-led Self-Paced: Study at your own schedule

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Video Game Design and Development

Learning Method

Instructor-led Self-Paced: Study at your own schedule

Contact Us

Video Game Design and Development Details + Objective

Course Code: GES605

You Will Learn
  • Learn how to design and create video games for PC
  • Understand the technical and aesthetic fundamentals for creating a successful game
  • Master the math, programming language, and game engine knowledge needed to design video games
  • Embark on an independent study module during which you’ll create your own game
How the course is taught
  • Self-paced, online course
  • 12 months to complete
  • Open enrollment, begin anytime
  • 500 course hours
How you will benefit
  • Create your own video game that can be used as a portfolio piece or shown to prospective employers
  • Jump-start your career as a video game designer, whether you want to work at an organization or pursue independent projects
  • Gain confidence in your design skills
  • Complete this course online at your own pace while still maintaining your current job or schooling efforts

Video Game Design and Development Reviews

Video Game Design and Development Outline
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C++ Programming for Game Developers I

Learn the fundamentals of creating a C++ program. You’ll understand console input and output, arithmetic operators, functions, and more.

C++ Programming for Game Developers II

Discover template classes and functions, how to handle errors, number systems, data representations, and bit operations.

Game Mathematics

Move on to learning game mathematics, including algebra, set theory, polynomials, trigonometry, and more.

General Game Modeling

Learn about interface and rendering modes. Find out everything you need to know about primitives, meshes, and mesh editing. 

Game Texturing

Understand pivots and manipulators, the 3D cursor, object joins, separation, and duplications. You’ll also learn about polygon structure and count, and how to model with bevel, extrude, and multi-resolution.

Unreal Engine Foundation

Create projects and understand the user interface. Learn about viewport navigation, as well as how to view modes and show flags. Discover how to place objects in a level, as well as how to manage content and lighting.

Program Details

I.    C++ Programming for Game Developers I
            A.    How to Create a C++ Program, Console Input and Output, Variable, and Arithmetic Operators
            B.    Logical Operators, Controlling Program Flow, Repetition, and Arrays
            C.    Functions
            D.    References and Pointers
            E.    Classes and Object-oriented Programming Design
            F.    Strings
            G.    Operator Overloading
            H.    File Input and Output
            I.    Inheritance and Polymorphism

II.    C++ Programming for Game Developers II
            A.    Template Classes and Template Functions
            B.    Error Handling
            C.    Number Systems, Data Representations, and Bit Operations
            D.    The Standard Template Library
            E.    Introduction to Windows Programming
            F.    Menus and Drawing with GDI
            G.    Dialog Boxes
            H.    Timing, Animation, and Sprites
            I.    Designing and Implementing a 2D Game

III.    Game Mathematics
            A.    Real Numbers
            B.    Algebra
            C.    Set Theory and Functions
            D.    Polynomials
            E.    Trigonometry
            F.    Vector Mathematics
            G.    Matrix Mathematics
            H.    Quaternion Algebra
            I.    Linear Transformations
            J.    Analytic Geometry

IV.    General Game Modeling and Texturing
            A.    Interface and Rendering Modes
            B.    Primitives, Meshes, and Mesh Editing
            C.    Pivots and Manipulators
            D.    The 3D Cursor
            E.    Object Join, Separate, Duplication
            F.    Polygon Structure and Count
            G.    Modeling with Bevel, Extrude, Multiresolution Modifiers
            H.    Spin Tool and Splines
            I.    Image Planes
            J.    Texture Maps and UV Unwrapping
            K.    Creating and Saving Scenes

V.    Unreal Engine Foundation
            A.    Creating Projects and Understanding the User Interface
            B.    Viewport Navigation
            C.    View Modes and Show Flags
            D.    Placing Objects in a Level
            E.    The Content Browser
            F.    Material Creation
            G.    Basic Scene Lighting
            H.    Introduction to Blueprints

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Video Game Design and Development Instructors
Frank Luna

Frank Luna has been programming interactive 3D computer graphics for over a decade, and he's been using DirectX since its fifth iteration. He has nearly fifteen years of C++ programming experience and has also programmed professionally in Java, C#, and MATLAB. He has worked as a contractor, with Hero Interactive, and on the open source Scorch 3D engine. Over the years, Frank published a number of best-selling textbooks on game and graphics programming, with his most recent being Introduction to 3D Game Programming with DirectX 11.0. He has been teaching both C++ and mathematics for games since 2004 at the Game Institute.

John DeGoes

John DeGoes began writing software and designing digital logic circuits during the early 1980s. He has been actively involved in the fields of computer science, mathematics, and game development for more than fifteen years. John graduated at the top of his class in undergraduate studies in applied mathematics at Montana State University-Billings. He has authored two successful games programming books, 3D Game Programming with C++ and 3D Game Programming with C++ Gold Edition, and he's co-authored a third book. John has also written and published articles for popular programming magazines and technical journals. He developed software for commercial programs such as "qED," "Pro Bass Fishing," "Mansion of Mystery," along with other assorted titles. Currently, John is on the road to acquiring his doctorate in applied mathematics, and he intends to research computational and mathematical methods for the study of complex dynamical systems.

Gary Simmons

Gary Simmons started games programming in 1981. He was always fascinated more by how games worked than actually playing them (although he will admit to playing too). In 1985 Gary became the host of "Video and Chips," a United Kingdom television program dedicated to exploring future computer technology. Over the years, Gary has dedicated most of his time to researching and developing cutting-edge game techniques. In May 2000, Gary founded, a teaching site dedicated to helping game programmers (hobbyists and professionals alike) learn cutting-edge game programming techniques. Over the years, Gary has published dozens of full-length game development papers and tutorials. He has been teaching programs since 2001 and also serves as a faculty director.

Adam Hoult

Adam Hoult got his start programming in the early 1980s on the ZX-80/81. After developing several demos for the Commodore 64, Adam got a job writing software for a local company, specializing in accounting and production software. He went on to develop 3D multimedia presentations demonstrating client production systems. This experience rekindled his earlier passion for games programming. Over the years, Adam has worked on many projects, but he's focused his efforts mainly on engine and tool design for games. He spent time running a successful tools production company as well as his own game programming Web site. Adam later teamed up with fellow faculty member Gary Simmons and developed the successful teaching Web site. The site gathered a loyal following as it provided information and tutorials for beginners and professionals alike on subjects that were often considered difficult to find on the Internet or in books. Adam is currently the lead technology developer at the Game Institute. He's working on some exciting upcoming 3D game projects in addition to teaching programs.

Brian Hall

Brian Hall is currently an engine and AI programmer at Midway Amusement Games, where he's working on advanced AI algorithms for an upcoming action-adventure console title. He has also designed and written parametetric airport generation software for SimAuthor Inc, as well as a real-time CLOD terrain system using real-world satellite imagery and elevation data. Previously Brian was a senior engineer at Accurate Automation Corporation, where he developed real-time learning systems for detecting pilot-induced oscillations in aircraft and intelligent path-finding for cruise-missile type applications.

David Bourg

David Bourg is a naval architect and marine engineer, David Bourg performs computer simulations and develops analysis tools that measure things such as hovercraft performance and the effect of waves on the motion of ships and boats. He teaches at the college level in the areas of ship design, construction, and analysis. On occasion, David also lectures at high schools on topics such as naval architecture and software development. In addition to his practical engineering background, David is professionally involved in computer game development and consulting through his company, Crescent Vision Interactive. Current projects include a massive multiplayer online role-playing game, several Java-based multiplayer games, and a couple of PC-to-Macintosh game ports. David is currently finishing his Ph.D. in engineering and applied sciences.

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Prerequisites / Requirements

To enroll in this program, you need to have a reasonable familiarity with computers and a background in high school-level mathematics is strongly recommended. No prior game or graphics programming experience are necessary. The Video Game Design and Development program is for you if you seek a professional career as a game developer. It's also well-suited for enthusiastic amateurs and gamers looking to explore this exciting field as a recreational endeavor. 

This program is compatible with the Windows XP and later operating systems and IE 7 and later browsers. Prior to enrolling in this program, please ensure that your computer meets the following hardware and software requirements: 

Hardware Requirements: 

  • Processor: Pentium III+/AMD Athlon (750MHz or greater)
  • System Memory: 256 MB+
  • Video: 3D Hardware Accelerator w/ 128MB+ on-board memory (DirectX 9.0+/OpenGL compliant)
  • Disk: 1 GB+ uncompressed
  • Sound: DirectSound compliant sound card

Software Requirements:

Video Game Design and Development Frequently Asked Questions
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Can I register for programs if I am an international student?

Yes, since ed2go programs are online, you never have to actually travel to the school. Most schools offer telephone or online registration.

How long does it take to complete a program?
This program is self-paced and open enrollment, so you can start and finish at your own pace. Upon registering, you're given twelve (12) months to complete this program.
What if I don't have enough time to complete my program within the time frame provided?

The time allotted to complete your program has been calculated based on the number of course hours. If after a concerted effort, you are still unable to complete your program on time, your Student Advisor will help you work out a suitable completion date. Please note that a fee may be charged for an extension.

Do I have to buy additional materials?


Can I get financial assistance?

ed2go courses are non-credit courses, so they do not qualify for federal aid. In some states, vocational rehab or workforce development boards will pay for qualified students to take our courses. Additionally, some students may qualify for financial assistance when they enroll, if they meet certain requirements.

What happens when I complete the program?
Upon successful completion of the program, you will be awarded a certificate of completion.
Am I guaranteed a job?

ed2go programs will provide you with the skills you need to obtain an entry-level position in most cases. We don’t provide direct job placement services, but our facilitators and career counselors will help you build your resume and are available to give advice on finding your first job. Facilitators will also be available to use as a professional reference upon completion of the program. Potential students should always do research on the job market in their area before registering.

Who will be my instructor?
Each student is paired with a facilitator for one-on-one interaction. The facilitator will be available (via e-mail) to answer any questions you may have and to provide feedback on your performance. All of our facilitators are successful working professionals in the fields in which they teach.
Can I use a Mac?

No, you must access this program with a PC or IBM-compatible computer.

How can I get more information about this program?

If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us via LIVE CHAT or by calling us at (855) 520-6806. If you are visiting us during non-business hours, please feel free to send us a question using the Contact Us form.

When can I start the program?

Our programs are all open enrollment. You can register and start the program as soon as you are ready.

Please note: Once the program curriculum is accessed online or through submission of a material shipment confirmation, refunds cannot be issued.

What platforms will we study?

Most modules in this program are designed for PC development on the Windows platform. However, the techniques that you learn in our program can often be non-platform specific. In cases that are platform-specific, source code can often be ported to other computer development platforms (such as Macintosh and Linux) with varying degrees of effort. Consoles, such as Xbox One and PS4 utilize closed-development libraries, and they’re not compatible with this program. However, most of the general game-engine development techniques you’ll learn are certainly compatible with all major consoles, regardless of the differences between APIs.


Where can I get the latest version of the software? Is it free?

All of the software used in this program is free. You can download the latest versions online using the links provided with the courses. 

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Got other questions? Get in touch with us via . During non-business hours, please feel free to send us a question using the "Contact Us" button. You can also reach us by phone (855) 520-6806.