What is Game Design Concepts?

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 gamedesignconcepts@yahoo.com 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 gamedesignconcepts@yahoo.com asking for more information. Also, if you keep watching this site, I will post more information periodically (such as a syllabus) as Summer approaches.

56 Responses to “What is Game Design Concepts?”

  1. Luis Sopelana Says:

    Thanks for this. Mail sent.

  2. Julia Itani Says:

    Congratulations! I think the idea is great and I’m definitely excited to see some action in here. I RSS’ed it in my reader.

  3. Clean3d Says:

    This sounds great! I’m definitely interested, and will try to fire off an email to you soon. Thank you so much for doing this.

  4. Satya Says:

    nice effort! joining in!

  5. vazor Says:

    Sounds really interesting. Will try to follow along. 🙂

  6. Bonifacio Segundo Says:

    Mail sent!


  7. James King Says:

    Looking forward to keeping up with the class, will send e-mail later today, you are awesome Ian, for not only trying to expand others’ education of game design, but also expanding your own understanding of games and the teaching of games.


  8. brainydexter Says:

    Mail away!!

    Thanks for the effort you are putting in!

  9. Daneel Filimonov Says:

    Awesome! I will be here every step of the way. Mail sent as well 🙂

  10. JW Says:

    This looks to be an awesome course! I’m excited to follow your blog and will send an email soon.

  11. Free Game Design Course « Applied Game Design Says:

    […] 10, 2009 by bbrathwaite Ian Schreiber is teaching a free online game design course this summer: Game Design Concepts. I have worked with Ian for years, and highly recommend everyone who reads this blog signs up for […]

  12. DuncanF Says:

    Sounds very interesting, and will hopefully be a good communal experience. Count me in.

  13. goldirocks Says:

    This looks like it’ll be awesome 🙂 Going to send an email.

  14. Mike Zummo Says:

    Very excited about this. What a great way to share knowledge and allow our game development community to continue to evolve together!

  15. David Lawson Says:

    I own a copy of Schreiber & Brathwaite’s Challenges for Game Designers, but I’ve only picked around in it. It seems like a great choice for a textbook. Registration sent!

  16. Justin Says:

    I will be following this and participating!

  17. Kroms Says:

    Sign me up!

  18. Free Game Design Course Online « IGDA Game Design SIG Says:

    […] Ian Schreiber is offering a free course in Game Design. This summer, he’ll be making regular posts to the course’s blog. For those looking for […]

  19. Nils N. Haukås Says:

    Alright, mail sent. Count me in. 🙂 Nicely written that bit about your motivations for doing this, it’s a win-win for all of us.

  20. Ruben M. Rangel Says:

    This looks like a worthwhile learning experience. I’ve signed up. Thanks for doing this!

  21. JMcglade Says:

    Sounds very interesting, i’ll definitly sign up. I’m starting a games design degree in september, this will hopefully give me some preparation for it. Thanks for doing this.

  22. Jenny Peers Says:

    Sounds good, can’t wait to get started 😀

  23. Mitridas Says:

    I’ve joined the class too!

  24. SeamusP Says:

    Sign me up 🙂 Really looking forward to this.

  25. Jason Tam Says:

    signed up :] now i need to buy to books =[ cant wait for the first lessons

  26. JAK (Ownaholic) Says:

    This couldn’t have come at a better time if it tried.
    I’m starting my Freshman year this fall in college, so this course would be so perfect for me to take over the summer, for free, nonetheless.

    Besides, the books are actually directly helpful to the career, and the material costs are just indirect costs that come with any sort of project.
    Signing up right now, I’m really looking forward to it.

  27. Thomas Marciniak Says:

    I look forward to the experiment.

  28. tamudo Says:

    mail sent!
    Waiting at the end of June 😀

  29. Luciano Says:

    Great! Thanks a lot!

  30. Girls and Gaming » Summer School Says:

    […] if you decide to register or follow along, let me know via the comments here. Click over to this post for more details on how to […]

  31. Bittman Says:

    Planning on signing up, but I won’t be here for the first few posts and other commitments may cause me to be delayed, but I’ll still sign up to follow-along and catch-up when I need to.

  32. Mike Kennedy Says:

    Great initiative, will be joining!
    Mike Kennedy

  33. Marcio Says:

    I’ve joined the class too!

  34. Marsha Johnson Says:

    Just joined and I am looking forward to starting the course.

    Best regards to all
    Marsha Johnson

  35. David Walters Says:

    Count me in, this sounds fantastic!

  36. vital Says:

    I’m in.

  37. Max Nikolaev Says:

    Count me in.

  38. Colin Moore Says:

    Looking forward to the class.

  39. Zeitalter3 Entwicklerblog » Blog Archiv » Kurs: Game Design Concepts Says:

    […] wie auch den Blog von Ian Schreiber, aber das Buch ist außerdem noch Material für einen Einführungskurs in Game Design von Ian Schwaber […]

  40. Durmuş Ali Says:

    Count me in, too.

  41. Kathleen Silloway Says:

    I’ve signed up and have the books! Looking forward to learning about this. The timing is perfect.

  42. diege Says:

    I am also looking forward to the class.

  43. diege Says:


  44. Cathy Says:

    Looking forward to the class..should be all signed up and books on the way.


  45. SteveEG Says:

    I signed up and ordered the books from Amazon!

    This should be alot of fun.

    Thankyou Ian for doing this, a really cool Idea.


  46. Lisa Says:

    All signed up and have the required book to start with. I’m really looking forward to this. ^_^

  47. steve graham Says:

    When I was reading this, I had the text frequently obscured by annoying “snap-shots” — here is a link that describes how to turn them off. Disabling them can apparently be done by either readers or blog creators. It worked fine for me, disabling them as a reader.



  48. Zeitalter3 Entwicklerblog » Blog Archiv » GDCU: First Post Says:

    […] DE: Ich habe beschlossen alle Artikel zu dem Game Designs Concepts-Kurs in Englisch zu verfassen, da der Kurs ebenfalls in Englisch stattfindet und dadurch mein Feedback […]

  49. Jason Hostutler Says:

    I am already anxious how this will turn out.

  50. pbeauregard Says:

    This will be interesting.

  51. Max Says:

    And where’s the 3 level?

  52. The Aspiring Game Developer’s Web Guide « How to create games Says:

    […] Game Design Concepts A 20 (!) chapter course in game design. For free. And in high quality. What are you waiting for? […]

  53. Gamedesign.cz » Rozhovor s Ianem Schreiberem Says:

    […] Ve skutečnosti jsem již tuto otázku zodpověděl zde. […]

  54. Gamedesign.cz » Ian Schreiber interview Says:

    […] I actually answer this here. […]

  55. Gamedesign.cz » Interview s Ianem Schreiberem Says:

    […] skutečnosti jsem již tuto otázku zodpověděl zde. Ve zkratce jsem měl čtyři […]

  56. Game Desing Concepts – O que é o “Game Design Concepts”? – Tradução | XuTi Game Development Says:

    […] de Bruno Salvatore Drago (http://www.xuti.net) Original em https://gamedesignconcepts.wordpress.com/2009/03/31/what-is-game-design-concepts/ (Acesso em […]

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