Video Game Design and Development

Video game designers have next-level creativity and a passion for storytelling. Whether you are an enthusiastic gamer exploring this as a hobby or a design professional looking to expand your career opportunities, this game design course will help you discover new and unique ways to approach video game design and development. You will upgrade your ability to conceptualize, design, and develop your games so you can tackle more complex projects where every detail matters.

During your video game...

12 Months / 500 Course Hrs
Open Enrollment
Offered in partnership with your preferred school

George Mason University

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Learning method

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Course code: GES605

What you will learn

  • Develop a strong foundation in programming languages
  • Discover how to design and create video games for PC
  • Understand the technical and aesthetic fundamentals for creating a successful game
  • Become proficient in mathematical concepts common across different game projects
  • Embark on an independent study module during which you will create your own game
  • Gain skills for creating your own textured and lit real-time 3D scenes that can be experienced in modern game engines

How you will benefit

  • Obtain an in-depth understanding of the Unity Engine and its application in creating games and simulations in various genres
  • Gain confidence in your design skills and tackle larger and more advanced projects, both in and out of the gaming field
  • Build three complete games: a 3D arcade game, a first-person adventure, and a custom game of your own
  • Jump-start your career as a video game designer, whether you want to work at an organization or pursue independent projects

How the course is taught

  • Self-paced, online course
  • 12 Months to complete
  • Open enrollment, begin anytime
  • 500 course hours
  1. C# Programming Primer for Unity Game Development
    1. How to Create a C# Program in Visual Studio
    2. Console Input and Output
    3. Variables
    4. Arithmetic Operators
    5. Logical Operators
    6. Random Numbers
    7. Controlling Program Flow
    8. Repetition
    9. Arrays and Multidimensional Arrays
    10. Functions and Methods
    11. Classes and Object-Oriented Programming Design
    12. Strings
    13. Data Structures
  2. Mathematics for Game Development
    1. Real Numbers
    2. Algebra
    3. Set Theory and Functions
    4. Polynomials
    5. Trigonometry
    6. Vector Mathematics
    7. Matrix Mathematics
    8. Quaternion Algebra
    9. Linear Transformations
    10. Analytic Geometry
  3. General Game Modeling and Texturing
    1. Interface and Rendering Modes
    2. Primitives, Meshes, and Mesh Editing
    3. Pivots and Manipulators
    4. The 3D Cursor
    5. Object Join, Separate, Duplication
    6. Polygon Structure and Count
    7. Modeling with Bevel, Extrude, and Multiresolution Modifiers
    8. Spin Tool and Splines
    9. Image Planes
    10. Texture Maps and UV Unwrapping
    11. Creating and Saving Scenes
  4. Unity Game Engine Foundation
    1. Creating Projects
    2. Understanding Unity's User Interface
    3. Cameras and Viewport Navigation
    4. Scene Architecture
    5. Game Objects
    6. The Inspector
    7. The Asset Browser
    8. Real-Time Lighting and Lighting Models
    9. Pre-Computed Lighting and Lightmaps
    10. Material Creation and Usage
    11. Scripting
    12. Object Physics
    13. User Input Handling
    14. Post-Processing
    15. Particle Systems and Special Effects
    16. Audio
    17. User Interface Design and Development
    18. Menus and Closing Credits
    19. Game Development Project (3d Arcade Game)
  5. Advanced Unity Game Development I
    1. Navigation and Pathfinding
    2. Asset Preparation and Pipeline
    3. Humanoid Retargeting and Skeletal Animation
    4. Animation State Machines
    5. Mechanism with Environment Navigation
    6. NPC / Enemy AI Systems Development
    7. AI State Machines
    8. AI Player Targeting and Threat Detection
    9. FPS Movement and Camera Controller
    10. Screen Image Effects
    11. Ragdoll Physics and Reanimation
    12. Body Part Aware Damage Systems
    13. NPC Player and Environment Awareness
    14. Audio Mixer Scripting and Pooling and Collections
    15. Game Sound Systems
    16. Scriptable Objects
    17. Player Damage and Pain
    18. Stamina Systems
    19. User Interface Design and Development
    20. Game Development Project (First Person Apocalyptic Shooter)
  6. Advanced Unity Game Development II
    1. Interactive Items (Switches, Doors, Keypads, Drawers, etc.)
    2. Heads Up Displays
    3. Player Inventory Management System
    4. In-Game PDA with Imagery, Text and Audio
    5. In-Game Journals with Image Viewer
    6. Arms and Weapon System
    7. Inverse Kinematics for Head Movement
    8. Procedural IK Stair System
    9. Navigation Areas
    10. AI Door Management System
    11. Potential Visibility Set (PVS) System
    12. Night Vision Goggles and Flashlights
    13. Item Collection and Player Backpack
    14. Player Sickness/Infection System
    15. Object Outline Effects
    16. Factions (Friendly/Enemy) System
    17. NPC Animation and Avoidance Culling
    18. In-Game Map and Blueprints System
    19. Lockpicking System
    20. Missions and Objectives System
    21. Crafting System

Frank Luna

Frank Luna has programmed interactive 3D computer graphics for more than a decade. He has 15 years of C++ programming experience, having worked as a contractor, with Hero Interactive, and on the open source Scorch 3D engine. Since 2004, he has taught C++ and mathematics for games at the Game Institute. He has also written a number of best-selling textbooks on game and graphics programming, including "Introduction to 3D Game Programming with DirectX 11.0."

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. He has authored two games programming books, "3D Game Programming with C++" and "3D Game Programming with C++ Gold Edition" and several published articles on the subject. DeGoes holds a bachelor's degree in applied mathematics from Montana State University-Billings and is working on his doctorate in applied mathematics.

Gary Simmons

Gary Simmons started programming games in 1981. In May 2000, he founded, a teaching site dedicated to helping game programmers (hobbyists and professionals alike) learn cutting-edge game programming techniques. Simmons has published dozens of full-length game development papers and tutorials. He has been teaching since 2001 and also serves as a faculty director.

Adam Hoult

Adam Hoult is the lead technology developer at the Game Institute. He started programming in the early 1980s and has since developed a number of engine and tool design projects. Hoult spent time running a development tools production company and game programming site. Eventually, he teamed up with fellow instructor Gary Simmons to develop the successful teaching website.

Brian Hall

Brian Hall is an engineer and AI programmer at Midway Amusement Games. He currently works 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, Hall was a senior engineer at Accurate Automation Corporation, where he developed real-time learning systems for detecting pilot-induced oscillations in aircraft.


To enroll in this course, 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 is necessary.
The Video Game Design and Development course 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.


Hardware Requirements:

This course must be taken on a PC. A Mac or Chromebook OS is not compatible.

Prior to enrolling in this course, please ensure that your computer meets the following hardware and software requirements:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5 / AMD Ryzen 5
  • System Memory: 8 GB or higher
  • GPU: DirectX 11 or OpenGL 3.2 compatible graphics card (2 GB+ VRAM)
  • Disk: 25 GB+ free space
  • Sound: DirectX 11 compatible sound card

Software Requirements:

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.

According to PayScale, the average game designer's salary is $67,774.

According to CG Spectrum, game designers focus on the function of a game, creating systems, rules, and gameplay, and help with world-building (story and IP) to ensure it is playable, fun, and engaging. They also oversee both the foundation and execution of the game mechanics and overall user experience.

Game designers must be highly technical and adept at solving complex problems daily. The job description of a game designer can differ. Still, some specialized roles can include a level designer and/or a systems designer.

Level designers focus on creating and implementing levels, environments, stories, and quests. In contrast, systems designers focus on designing and then implementing the minute-to-minute gameplay systems that make the game fun, like controls, movement, and combat.

The responsibilities of a video game designer may differ depending on their workplace, but they generally focus on developing gameplay concepts and enhancing user experience during the pre-production stage of a video game. This can involve tasks such as defining game mechanics, designing levels and puzzles, and creating character art and animations.

Most modules in this course are designed for PC development on the Windows platform. However, the techniques that you learn in our course 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 macOS 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 course. 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.


This course is open enrollment, so you can register and start the course whenever you are ready. Access to your course can take 24-48 business hours.

Yes, ed2go courses are completely online. However, keep in mind that not all certifying bodies or industry-specific certifications are recognized internationally. Please review your country's regulations prior to enrolling in courses that prepare for certification.

After you register, you will receive 12 months to complete the course. The time allotted for completion has been calculated based on the number of course hours.

The time allotted for course completion has been calculated based on the number of course hours. However, if you are unable to complete the course, contact the student advising team to see what options you may have available to work out a suitable completion date. Please note that an extension fee may be charged.

The course instructor will be available by email to answer any questions and provide feedback on your performance. Occasionally, your course may be supported by a team of industry experts. You will also receive support from the student advising team.

Upon successfully passing the final exam, you will be awarded a certificate of completion from the school or organization that you registered through.

ed2go courses will help you gain the skills you need to obtain an entry-level position in most cases. However, you should always research the job market in your area before enrolling.

ed2go courses are non-credit, so they do not qualify for federal aid, FAFSA, and Pell Grant. In some states, vocational rehab or workforce development boards may provide funding to take our courses. Additionally, you may qualify for financial assistance if you meet certain requirements. Learn more about financial assistance.

If you have questions that are not answered on our website, representatives are available via LIVE chat. You can also call us at 1-877-221-5151 during regular business hours to have your questions promptly answered. If you are visiting us during non-business hours, please send us a question using the "Contact Us."