Archive for March, 2009

What is Game Design Concepts?

March 31, 2009

Who are you?

My name is Ian Schreiber. I’ve been working in the video game industry since the turn of the millenium, first as a programmer and then as a game designer. I’ve taught college classes in game design since Fall 2006. For any other information, you can Google me.

What is this blog?

This blog is an experiment in game design and pedagogy. During Summer 2009, I will post a series of lectures, course notes, readings, and challenges to this blog on the subject of game design.

This blog is a course in game design (specifically, non-digital systems design).

  • Tuition: none. This class is open to all.
  • Prerequisites: none. It is my intention to make this course accessible to all levels of experience, while providing useful additional resources for those who are advanced.
  • Schedule: Monday 6/29/2009 through Sunday 9/6/2009. Posts will be made twice per week. You can read them at your own pace. The course lasts ten weeks.
  • Audience: anyone with an interest in game design. This includes students who are interested in game design; faculty who teach courses in game design and would like to compare course material; game developers with an interest in design or a desire to see an example of what students are being taught these days; or relatives of game designers who are curious about what these people do all day.

Two levels of participation

If you just want to peek at the content, all you have to do is bookmark this blog and read. You can even post comments.

If you want a more in-depth experience, register for the class by sending an email to and letting me know that you want in. Registration is free. The purpose for this is not to add you to some kind of spam list, but rather so I can give you access to the other (private) course resources as Summer approaches. In your email, please give your name, city, time zone, and whether you are signing up alone or in a group. Also let me know your level of experience: are you a student, teacher, game designer or other game developer, professional working outside the game industry, etc.

Why are you doing this?

I have many motivations for starting this project, some selfish and some altrusitic. Best to be up front about it:

  • Game design is my passion, and I love to share it with anyone and everyone.
  • I have taught some classes in a traditional classroom and others online, and I want to experiment with alternate methods of teaching.
  • By exposing my course content and viewing the comments and discussions, I can improve the course when I teach it for money.
  • It is a career move. If this course is successful, it gives me greater exposure in my field and promotes my name as a brand.

Is this really, totally, 100% free?

The blog is free, and registration is free. There are some minor costs:

  • There is a required textbook. It retails for under $25 US.
  • Part of the course will involve the creation of a fully realized non-digital project, so you may need to purchase materials. These usually range from $25 to $50, depending on the game.
  • It’s still cheaper than college tuition.

Where can I get more information?

You can send an email to asking for more information. Also, if you keep watching this site, I will post more information periodically (such as a syllabus) as Summer approaches.