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Game design basics 1

  • Class 30
  • Practice 30
  • Independent work 120
Total 180

Course title

Game design basics 1

Lecture type


Course code






Lecturers and associates

Course overview

The aim of this module is to teach students the basics of game design. Students will learn the basic concepts of game design, regardless of the medium they are using. Also, students will learn the role of a game designer, what a game is, and what are the basic elements of a game. They will learn which are functional elements and which are dramaturgical elements in games. The goal is also to teach students about the system of dynamics in games, which consists of interactivity through different mechanics and rules. Students will go through the stages of conceptualizing, prototyping, documenting, testing and balancing the game. They will also learn the basics of how to create a fun and accessible game.
This module provides students with basic knowledge about the structure, rules and mechanics of each game. A computer game developer needs to know the basic theory of game design in order to understand the context of what needs to be implemented and to understand how to enable parameterization and balancing of the game in cooperation with the game designer. This module provides the basic knowledge that will be very useful to computer game developers later when they want to come up with a concept to design their own computer game, and it will also help them to communicate with the game designer because they will know the terminology and the work process of the game design domain.


Students will learn:
• what is game design
• what is the role of a designer in a computer game development team
• the basic structure of the games
• what are the formal elements of which the game consists
• the basics of computer game design
• system of dynamics and interaction in games
• create a concept for a computer game based on an elaborated idea
• document the game development process
• how to create a structured project from a game idea and formulate it in a game design document (GDD)
• the structure of the computer game design document
• the role of the pre-production phase of computer game development
• approach games from the position of programmers and creators
• the basics of the fun and accessibility characteristics of games.


1. Fullerton, T. (2018) Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games. 4th edn. A K Peters/CRC Press.

Download student guide

Minimal learning outcomes

  • Create an idea design concept for a simple game.
  • Create a system of simple game rules and mechanics.
  • Determine the functional elements of game design and balance them.
  • Create your own small scale computer game design document for a simple computer game.

Preferred learning outcomes

  • Critically judge the created design of a simple game.
  • Valorize the rules and mechanics of the designed game and, if necessary, modify and upgrade them with new options.
  • Determine the playing strategies of the created game and balance them in such a way that there is no dominant playing strategy.
  • Create your own medium-scale computer game design document for a simple computer game.