5 Cool Totally Free Game Design and Development Courses

Finding free online educational courses for game design and development can be difficult to do, especially with the vast array of sites that appear within the results of a simple Google search. Difficulty lies in not knowing where or how to begin and in which sites are most useful when wanting to embark into this new industry.

It’s “game over” for your online search, for we have narrowed down the results by listing 5 cool and totally free online game design and development courses.

1. MIT OpenCourseWare
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers a number of free game development and computer science courses through the school’s OpenCourseWare project. All courses are downloadable and include lecture notes, problem sets and similar materials.

2. Course Hero
Course Hero offers a wide variety of free online game development courses, which include free video lectures that are a collection from the world’s best leaders. Courses range from Game Theory to Introduction to Computer Science I and members can search through the courses by university and/or educator. Course Hero also provides online study documents, flashcards and tutors for optimal learning.

3. YoYo Games
YoYo Games doesn’t offer a traditional game design and development course, but they do have a free downloadable game maker that lets you create your own video games. You’ll also find zip file tutorials that will teach you how to design your own first person shooter games, maze games, 3-dimensional games, platform games and scrolling shooter games.

4. Tufts University Experimental College
Materials from a recent Tufts University Experimental College game development course can be accessed for free online, via the course website. Lectures, assignments, examples and resources are easy to view and include all of the information you need to get hands-on experience in computer game development.

5. Alan Emrich’s Principles of Game Design
Alan Emrich has taught game design at the University of California at Irvine, The Art Institute of California and Stanford University. You can now view materials from his Principles of Game Design course online, including the syllabus, homework assignments and reading assignments. Rather than video games, this course focuses on the development and design of board games and card games.

23 thoughts on “5 Cool Totally Free Game Design and Development Courses”

  1. Peter Vogel says:

    Actually these links, well, at least the first two, are a bit frustrating. It would have been helpful to point to an actual example.

  2. Bob says:

    I can’t find the course work or description for Tufts University Experimental College. Could you clarify which semester it is?

  3. Anonymous says:

    This article has not been researched in the slightest. If you actually knew what the fuck you were talking about you would know that game theory has absolutely nothing to do with game design and is a mathematical theory pioneered by prof. Nash describing optimal states in open markets. Idiot!

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  5. Zareh says:

    I couldnt find even one game dev courses there,
    look at udasity they’ve got an amazing course over there:

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    i wish my head wasnt so narrow so i can see the screen

  12. Olivia says:

    I agree. OP- Game Theory has nothing to do about game development and programming. It’s more like economics than anything else. I checked out the udacity link, and it was to making a website AND cost money. I’d like to just dip my toes into the game development waters and don’t want to invest that kind of money right now. So here are some free sites that I got from the article (and one elsewhere) but fleshed out to the actual page.

    MIT: This looks like what I want. Not sure if it’s too advanced because I haven’t checked it out yet, but it’s worth a look.

    Coursera: I’ve read most games are written in C#, so this looks useful

    Tufts: This looks like a good course, but is incomplete.

    Alanerich: Website has difficult useability (at least on firefox) but it might have a lot of good information. In any case, it has links to a ton of articles to read, and free reading is always good.

  13. Alex-m7 says:

    Ok I’ll make it easy, most of what you need in one web:


    Programming and software engineering
    Games Studies
    Games Design
    Writing for games
    Educational Software & games
    managment & production
    Art Direction & visual Design
    Audio Design
    Culture & society

    I think it’s very complete, just in the first recomendation

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