Game Design Theory Level 1 – Fundamental Game Design Principles & Industry Structure

Your Game Development Instructor

Hello and welcome to the Game Development Guild. My name is Tylor Chacon and I have been designing and building games independently for over a decade. I am very happy that you have decided to join the guild and begin learning how to build your own video games! This curriculum includes a ton of great information, best practices and nifty tricks that I’ve organized in a way to save you time and money. You also get game resources like art and music that you can keep and use to make your own games at home. I want you to feel empowered to make games in a way you never thought possible. That’s how I felt when I started, and it’s my goal to share that with you.

This first lesson is designed to introduce you to the basic concepts of video game design. With this knowledge you will be prepared to move forward in our curriculum with the goal of becoming an Independent Game Developer and from there the sky is the limit. While this course itself is necessarily at a beginner-level difficulty it will give you great insight into the mind of a game developer. The material covered here is essential to moving on to the harder (more fun) stuff. With that said I hope you’re ready to dig in because we have a lot to cover! 


– Tylor Chacon AKA “Guild Leader”

Video Game Design Theory (8 hours total, 2 hours each)


Framework: Introduction & Storytelling, Game Design Fundamentals, Documentation, Three C’s & Software Overview, Enemy/Boss/Level Design, Mechanics/GUI & Misc, Summary Exam


1. Game Design Theory Level 1 – Introduction and Game Design Basics: Industry history, overview of game design concepts, roles and genres. Basics of Design and Story: Mexican Pizza theory, triangle of weirdness, designing for fun.


Title earned upon completion: “Student of Game Development”


Course Outline & Curriculum Format Explanation

Here is the outline for what you will learn in this course. The format for this course will be very similar to what you will experience with the other courses in the curriculum. We will start off by giving a course overview and then dig right in. At the end of the course students will have links to documents that relate to the concepts covered in class and other hints and tips you may need. Quizzes, examples and links to videos will also be available throughout the course pages to give students the best opportunity to fully understand the material. This course is the entire Level 1 of 4 in our Game Design Theory Curriculum. Level 1 is divided into 3 sections. Each section is roughly 5 pages long. Below is an overview of the sections in this course.


 Course Outline:

Section 1 – Introduction to Video Game Design History, The Video Game Industry and Creating Unique and Interesting Concepts

This section includes an overview of what games actually are, the roles people play in creating them and the skills that are required to fill those roles

Section 2 – Fundamental Concepts and Principles of Game Design

In this section students are introduced to the basic and most fundamental concepts involved in video game design that will be referenced throughout our courses.

Section 3 – Storytelling Techniques and Basics Principles of Designing Gameplay Elements

This section covers the role a story should play in your game, the most efficient order in which to design your game’s systems / aesthetics and the MDA framework.