Game Design Thinking

Game Design Essentials: Tools, Theories and Techniques

Categories: Game Design
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About Course

This course offers a comprehensive framework to understand and practice game design.

At the end of this course, you will have the tools and thinking process to understand why some games are fun and keep players playing for a long time, while others fail.


  • Understand the role of the game designer and other roles in game development
  • How to keep improving as a game designer and what skills you need
  • What are game parts, mechanics and dynamics and understand the language of games
  • Harness the power of Design Thinking to better Empathize, Ideate and Prototype your games.
  • Use Psychology to understand your players and how they perceive your game
  • What is a GDD
  • What is a game pitch
  • How to communicate your game idea to your team
  • How math and probability work in board and video games
  • Create game models using Google Spreadsheets to test your game early
  • Use random, procedural generation and systems thinking to create systemic gameplay to design games that are interesting to play and watch.
  • Analyze real and game systems to create meaningful games by relating players to their surroundings and experiences


  • You will create a card game from a humble beginning all the way to a unique and engaging game.
  • Each activity is designed to practice what you have just learned.
  • The card game will be uniquely modified by you, so you can keep working on it even after the course ends.

What is NOT included in this course…

  • Programming languages
  • Art asset creation
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What Will You Learn?

  • Learn to design games understanding all their constitutive parts and how they connect with each other
  • Understand Systems Thinking to understand our world and existing games to transfer those experiences into your own games
  • Use psychology to understand your players and create more directed experiences
  • Use GDD and pitching to communicate with your team and different stakeholders
  • Learn to play games like a game designer (Analytical play)
  • Use the Design Thinking method to improve your design process
  • Create spreadsheet simulations to balance your games

Course Content

Setting Up for Success

  • Welcome
  • About the Instructor and Game Design Thinking
  • Companion Website
  • 0.1 & 0.2 Tiny Pixel Fights Instructions and Materials
  • Socials

Game Design Basics
Learn the basic tools that game designers use in their day-to-day.

The Game Design Thinking Process
What are your players really thinking? Psychology and Game Design are the more powerful allies!

Communicating Your Game
How can you communicate your game effectively? In this section we are going to learn about GDD, pitching and using presentations to make your team really engaged and experts in your design.

Math & Probablity
Math & Probability are usually neglected by designers, but knowing about both of these topics can be the difference between a good and a great design.

Introduction to Game Systems Design
Systems Thinking is one of the best ways to get your design to the next level. Learning to think in systems is paramount to understand systemic game design. Join us in this section to learn about systems thinking and how can you apply it to games.


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