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4 Sessions
Audit (Free)
Certificate (Incl. w/ Premium)
Program ($500 USD)
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Game Design
Skill Level
Gaming, Digital Game Design, Perlenspiel, Design Practice
Course Description

Software engineering and asset production are the means of digital game development, but the end is an intentional experience. Digital game design is the process of creating, implementing and iteratively refining that experience.

This hands-on course will introduce you to the theory (lehr) and practice (kunst) of digital game design. You will modify, design, build and test a number of toys and games using the Perlenspiel gameclavier, a cloud-based, abstract microgame engine programmed in JavaScript. Lectures and readings will familiarize you with key principles and vocabulary of general design, together with issues and methods specific to the development of digital games.


This course is in scheduled mode "." Learn more about scheduled courses here.

Session 1: And You May Find Yourself in a Beautiful House
Students are introduced to the basic vocabulary common to all design practice, together with the terms and concepts related to the design of digital games.
Session 2: And You May Find Yourself Behind the Wheel of a Large Automobile
Students are introduced to Perlenspiel, the abstract microgame engine that will be used to facilitate the exploration and practice of digital game design throughout this course series.
Session 3: Look Where My Hand Was
The properties of successful digital toys are analyzed and applied to the creation of an original toy design.
Session 4: And You May Ask Yourself, “How Do I Work This?”
Strategies for elegantly teaching players the rules and goals of a game are analyzed and applied to the creation of an original puzzle.
Whenever you complete a course as a premium member, you can earn a verified Certificate of Accomplishment .

This course is also part of the Program: Digital Game Design. Earn a verified Specialist Certificate for successfully completing a Program.

These certificates are proof that you completed an online course on our platform and can easily be shared with its unique link.

Credit Elligible Program
This course is one of 3 courses in the Digital Game Design Program and is offered for credits from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Earn a verified Specialist Certificate after successfully completing a Program. And whenever you complete a course as a Premium member, you earn a verified Certificate of Accomplishment . These certificates are proof that you completed an online course on our platform and can easily be shared with its unique link.

Instructors & Guests
What You Need to Take This Course

Prior Knowledge: This program is at a beginner level. However, prior familiarity with digital games and the basic principles and tools of software engineering are recommended.

Materials: Don Norman’s The Design of Everyday Things (Revised/expanded edition, Basic Books, 2013; ISBN 0465050654) and Susan Weinschenk’s 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People (New Riders, 2011; ISBN 0321767535).

Equipment: Computer with Internet access and installation privileges.

Software: An interactive development environment (IDE) for Javascript such as WebStorm (JetBrains), Brackets (Adobe) or Atom (GitHub), and a copy of The Witness (Thekla 2016, available on most major platforms).

Additional Information

Please note: Taking part in a Kadenze course as a Premium Member does not affirm that the learner has been enrolled or accepted for enrollment by Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

If a student signs up for the Digital Game Design program, it is recommended that these courses are taken sequentially.

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