Utrecht, Netherlands

Game Design and Development

when 17 August 2021 - 21 August 2021
language English
duration 1 week
credits 1.5 EC
fee EUR 500

Due to the covid-19 outbreak, this program has been cancelled for 2020.

The Game Design and Development summer school offers interactive hands-on game design workshops, theoretical game design analysis classes and programming sessions. Practical aspects of the design of games, like levels, characters, art, engines, etc. will be discussed and experienced. The design of new and existing games will be systematically analyzed. Programming sessions treat the basics of programming and common elements of game development, such as the game loop, animations, sounds and sprites, and collision handling.

In this summer school, you will learn to think critically about games. The course outlines a model of analytical game design, based on existing practice-based approaches in other media-related research contexts like film, music, architecture and performance. A series of case studies will demonstrate how game design can be theory-driven, what kinds of ‘results’ it can produce and which methodological aspects need to be considered to apply it systematically.

You will be introduced to concepts like game design, level design, character design and play design. You will learn about game art, modeling and game engines. You will learn about testing on playability, fun, and/or educational value at an early stage, so that you can steer the experience and appeal of games. We will also discuss the role of multidisciplinary teams since game development requires collaboration of a team of developers with different expertise from different disciplines.

You'll learn the basics of programming, as well as common elements of game development, such as the game loop, animations, sounds and sprites, and collision handling. In small groups you and your fellow students will design and develop a game during the week. You will mostly work on development during the workshop, while short lectures will be given to illustrate certain game development topics.

At the end of the summer school, each team will present their game to the other teams. During the week, we will also visit Dutch Game Garden, a game company incubator in Utrecht. It is important that participants in this course have an affinity for games and game design. Programming skills are not required but useful.

The summer school is offered by the Utrecht Center for Game Research in close collaboration with the HKU University of the Arts Utrecht.

Course leader

Sander Bakkes & Karen Groeneveld

Course aim

The aim of the course is to provide you with experience and an understanding of various aspects in the design and development of games. You will obtain hands-on experience in designing and programming of games.

Fee info

EUR 500: Course + course materials + lunch
EUR 200: Housing fee (optional)

Register for this course
on course website