Best Game Design Courses Online & Certification (February 2024)

  • Post last modified:10 September 2023
  • Reading time:31 mins read
  • Post category:Best Online Course

Game design is an exciting discipline that combines artistry, storytelling, and technology to create immersive and engaging gaming experiences. In this article, we have compiled a list of the Best game Design Courses available online that cater to beginners and experienced designers alike. Join us as we explore the key features and highlights of these courses, guiding you to choose the ideal path for becoming a proficient game designer. Whether you aspire to create your own games, work in the gaming industry, or simply gain a deeper understanding of game design principles, this article serves as your guide to finding the best game design course suited to your learning goals and creative aspirations. 

Why learn Game Design?

Game design enhances problem-solving abilities by requiring developers to think critically and design interactive systems that offer challenging and rewarding experiences for players. These problem-solving skills are transferable to various other development domains, enabling developers to approach projects with a fresh perspective.

By acquiring game design skills, developers can tap into this vibrant industry, whether by creating their own games, contributing to indie studios, or joining established game development companies. Overall, learning game design opens doors to rewarding career paths and expands the skill set of developers to create captivating and interactive experiences for users.

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Best Game Design Courses, Certification, Tutorials, Training, Classes Online

Game Design: Art and Concepts Specialization by Calarts [Coursera]

This Game Design Specialization on Coursera is a comprehensive learning program that offers a series of courses to provide learners with a solid foundation in game design principles and practices. This specialization focuses on teaching the key concepts, methodologies, and skills required to design engaging and immersive video games.

Course Instructor

The specialization is taught by experienced instructors who are experts in the field of game design. They bring their industry knowledge and practical insights to deliver engaging and informative lectures, guiding learners through the various aspects of game design.

What you will learn: 

  • Learn in-demand Game Design skills from industry experts
  • Develop a deep understanding of key concepts such as Prototyping, Game Mechanics and more
  • Earn a career certificate from the California Institute of the Arts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Comprehensive Curriculum
  • Practical Application
  • Industry Insights

Cons

  • Time Commitment

Key Highlights & Learning Objectives

  • Learn the fundamental principles of game design, including game mechanics, player psychology and level design.

  • Understand how to plan storytelling, game balancing, and user experience.

  • Gain exposure to industry-relevant game design tools and technologies

  • Create prototypes, develop game mechanics, and explore different aspects of game design.

Who is it for?

The Game Design Specialization on Coursera is suitable for individuals interested in pursuing a career in game design, as well as game enthusiasts who want to gain a deeper understanding of the principles and techniques behind creating engaging video games. This specialization caters to aspiring game designers, game developers, interactive media professionals, or anyone passionate about the art and science of game design.

Rating: 4.7/5
Students Enrolled: 59,186
Duration: 6 months, 2 hours/week

Coursera $200 Off
Valid Till: 31 Jan

Game Design and Development with Unity 2020 Specialization [Coursera]

Game Design and Development Specialization on Coursera is an extensive learning program that offers a series of courses designed to provide learners with a comprehensive understanding of both game design and game development. This specialization focuses on teaching the principles, methodologies, and practical skills required to design and develop captivating video games.

Course Instructor

The specialization is taught by Brian Winn who is an expert in the field of game design and game development. Brian is the Founder and Director of the Games for Entertainment and Learning (GEL) Lab at Michigan State University.

What you’ll learn

  • Learn how to design and develop 2D games.
  • Get an understanding of 3D game development
  • Understand core game design and development process.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Comprehensive Curriculum
  • Practical Application
  • Industry Insights

Cons

  • Time Commitment

Key Highlights & Learning Objectives

  • Learn about fundamental principles of game design, including game mechanics, player psychology and level design.

  •  storytelling, game balancing, and user experience. Learners gain a deep understanding of what makes a game engaging and enjoyable.

  • Understand various game development techniques, including programming languages, game engines, asset creation, game physics, and AI

Who is it for?

The Game Design and Development Specialization on Coursera is suitable for individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in the game industry or anyone passionate about creating their own video games. This specialization caters to aspiring game designers, game developers, interactive media professionals, or individuals who want to gain a comprehensive understanding of both game design and game development.

Rating: 4.7/5
Students Enrolled: 34,460
Duration: 5 months, 3 hours/week

Coursera $200 Off
Valid Till: 31 Jan

Professional Certificate in Game Design by MITxPro [Emeritus]

This Professional Game Design Course offered by MIT xPRO is an esteemed program designed to provide learners with a comprehensive understanding of game design principles, methodologies, and techniques. This professional certificate program equips learners with the knowledge and skills required to design captivating and innovative video games.

Course Instructor

The program is taught by renowned instructors who are industry experts and academic professionals in the field of game design. They bring a wealth of practical experience and academic rigor to the course, ensuring that learners receive top-quality instruction throughout their learning journey.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Top-tier Institution
  • Prestigious MIT Credential
  • Real-world Application

Cons

  • Advanced Level

Key Highlights & Learning Objectives

  • Understand the intricacies of game design by gaining in-depth knowledge of every stage

  • Learn how to communicate effectively with a game design team by clearly outlining your vision and correctly scoping projects

  • Demonstrate your skills to potential employers by creating a Game Diary, a portfolio that highlights your expertise

  • Learn from MIT expert instructors who actively practice game design and conduct research in MIT’s Game Lab

Who is it for?

The Professional Certificate in Game Design program is ideal for aspiring game designers, interactive media professionals, game developers, and individuals seeking a career in the game design industry. This program caters to those who wish to deepen their knowledge and skills in game design, as well as professionals looking to transition into the field.

Rating: 4.5/5
Duration: 6 months, online 15–20 hours per week

Will Wright Teaches Game Design and Theory [Masterclass]

The Will Wright Game Design course on MasterClass is a unique opportunity for learners to dive into the world of game design with one of the industry’s most influential and innovative minds. Led by renowned game designer Will Wright, this course provides a comprehensive exploration of game design principles, theories, and practical insights.

Course Instructor

The course is taught by Will Wright, a highly acclaimed game designer known for creating groundbreaking titles such as SimCity and The Sims. With his vast experience and expertise, Will Wright shares his deep knowledge of game design, guiding learners through the intricacies of game mechanics, player engagement, and immersive storytelling.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Insights from a Game Design Legend
  • High Production Quality
  • Lifetime Access

Cons

  • Advanced Level

Key Highlights & Learning Objectives

  • Explore several game mechanics related to system dynamics, player motivation, prototyping, and storytelling

  • Learn from personal experiences shared by Will Wright such as design philosophies, and practical insights from years of successful game development

  • Gain a glimpse into the creative process and learn valuable techniques for effective game design.

Who is it for?

The Will Wright Teaches Game Design and Theory course on MasterClass is suitable for individuals with a passion for game design, aspiring game designers, and professionals seeking to deepen their understanding of game design principles. This course caters to those who are interested in gaining insights from one of the industry’s most influential figures and want to enhance their game design skills.

Rating: 4.5/5
Duration: Self-paced

Game Design Fundamentals [Pluralsight]

The Game Design Fundamentals course on Pluralsight is a comprehensive learning program that introduces learners to the fundamental principles and techniques of game design. This course provides a solid foundation for individuals interested in understanding the core concepts and processes involved in creating engaging and immersive video games.

Course Instructor

The course is led by experienced instructors who possess expertise in game design and development. They bring their industry knowledge and practical experience to deliver engaging and informative lectures, guiding learners through the various aspects of game design.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Comprehensive Introduction
  • Industry-relevant Content
  • Interactive Learning Experience

Cons

  • Minimal Hands-on Development

Key Highlights & Learning Objectives

  • Learn the essential elements of game design, including game mechanics, player experience, storytelling, level design, and game balancing.

  • Gain insights into the design processes and methodologies used in the game industry such as concept ideation, prototyping, iteration, and playtesting.

  • Analyze and understand successful game design principles in action.

  • Learn how to effectively communicate and present your game design ideas.

Who is it for?

The Game Design Fundamentals course on Pluralsight is suitable for individuals who are new to game design or those looking to gain a solid foundation in the field. This course caters to aspiring game designers, game enthusiasts, developers transitioning into game design roles, or anyone interested in understanding the core principles of game design.

Rating: 4/5
Duration: 2 hours

Online Game Design courses [Domestika]

Game Design courses on Domestika provide a diverse selection of specialized learning opportunities for individuals interested in honing their game design skills. With a wide range of courses taught by industry professionals, Domestika offers a platform to explore various aspects of game design, from concept development to prototyping and beyond.

Course Instructor

The courses on Domestika are led by experienced instructors who have a deep understanding of the game design industry. These instructors bring their practical experience and expertise to deliver engaging and informative lessons, sharing their knowledge and techniques with learners.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Practical Skills Development
  • High-Quality Production
  • Multidisciplinary Approach

Cons

  • Limited Depth in Advanced Topics

Key Highlights & Learning Objectives

  • Get a variety of courses covering different areas of game design, including character design, level design, narrative development, game mechanics, and more.

  • Choose courses based on their specific interests and learning objectives.

  • Learn from practical applications by working on hands-on projects

Who is it for?

The Game Design courses on Domestika cater to a wide range of learners, including aspiring game designers, artists, developers, storytellers, and enthusiasts who wish to expand their knowledge and skills in game design. Whether individuals are beginners or already have some experience in the field, there are courses suitable for different skill levels and interests.

Rating: 4.5/5
Duration: Self-paced

FAQ

Is game design a hard course?

The difficulty level of a game design course can vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the concepts being taught, the level of programming or artistic skills required, and the individual’s prior experience and aptitude. Game design encompasses a wide range of disciplines, including programming, art, storytelling, and game mechanics, which may present challenges to some learners.

Is there a career in game design?

Yes, there are various career opportunities in the field of game design. The gaming industry is a thriving and constantly evolving industry, offering a range of roles for game designers. Game designers contribute to the creation of interactive experiences, gameplay mechanics, level design, storytelling, character development, and more.

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