This course was originally offered in real-time from June 29 – September 6, 2009. If you are just finding this now, does that mean you missed out on everything? Not at all. The course content is still here and available for you. Going through the course just requires some minor modifications. Consider the following as your guide to the course if you are just starting out.
Follow the posts in order.
Start with the schedule and syllabus to get an idea of what this course has to offer (ignore the dates, of course). If it sounds intriguing, you’ll also want to order Challenges for Game Designers as it is a required text, and the recommended A Theory of Fun and Understanding Comics. The purpose of these books is explained in the syllabus.
Then, when you are ready, move forward to June’s Level 1 post. This is the official start of the course. From there, move forward to the next post, and the next, and so on all the way up to Level 20 when the course is finished.
This summer, we went at a fast pace: one blog post every Monday and every Thursday (so, two per week), which let the entire course fit into 10 weeks. If you have plenty of free time, you may be able to go at this pace on your own, but if you are in school (or have a full-time job) then I would suggest a slower rate.
To extend this to a 30-week course, go through the first half (Levels 1 through 10) at a rate of one post per week. Go through the second half of the course (Levels 11 through 20) at a rate of one post every two weeks. This will give you a lot more time to spend on your Design Project, and you will be grateful for it. Allow yourself “vacations” from the course at 10-week intervals, to give yourself a break and to let the material really sink in.
Naturally, since you are not going through this course at the same time as everyone else, you will not have access to the discussion forums or write access to the wiki, and posting on Twitter will not be as meaningful. Whenever the course asks you to use the forums, wiki or Twitter, simply put this in a document of your own and keep it for yourself. You do not need to post it anywhere.
If you have any questions or comments on the course content of this blog, please leave comments! I do get an email whenever someone leaves a comment, and I can still respond to posts here. As time goes on and more people leave comments, the course material just gets stronger and stronger.
This course works better if you take it with friends. If you have a group of friends or colleagues who are willing to go through this with you, instead of keeping your work to yourself, share it with your friends. Meet on a regular basis to discuss the course topics and share your projects.
When you’re done… There’s another course on the topic of game balance, if you’re interested in that! Go to http://gamebalanceconcepts.wordpress.com and continue.