Game Design Theory Level 3 – Customization and Creative Design Techniques

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”


      1. 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

Game Design Theory Level 3 – Customization and Creative Design Techniques: Elements & Principles of Visual Design, Game Theory (Balanced Design), Enemy / Level Design, Combat, adaptive/progressive difficulty, alley vs. island, pitfalls of design. Overview of software to practice building levels.


Title earned upon completion: “Video Game Level Designer”


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 2 of 4 in our Game Design Theory Curriculum. Level 2 is divided into 5 sections. Each section is roughly 5 pages long. Below is an overview of the sections in this course.

Course Overview:

Section 1 – Elements of Visual Design

This section includes an overview of basic visual elements like color, balance and focus that help create the overall artistic “style” of the game.

Section 2 – Game Theory Principles / Strategic Decision Making

Consider how people make decisions in general when deciding what options to make available to players.

Section 3 – Level Design

This section will go over level design techniques that will keep players engaged and focused on the variety of gameplay experiences around them.

Section 4 – Combat

This section gives students insight into techniques for balanced combat and suggests some basic non-violent options to give players a choice.

Section 5 – Enemies, Obstacles and Boss Fights

This section covers the things that actually populate the levels and antagonize the player. Levels require enemies, obstacles and boss fights to provide great gameplay experiences and make the level memorable.