How to Get Started in Game Development

There has never been a better time to start a career in the game development industry. Games can be found on computers, the Web, gaming consoles, and virtually every mobile tablet and phone. Industry forecasts indicate that gaming will be worth close to $100 billion dollars in the next two years. Talented, creative, and enthusiastic people are in great demand in this industry. Whether you want to start your own independent game project in your basement or work with a small creative team or for a large game development studio, this course will prepare you to start developing your own games.

You will start by learning the fundamentals of game development and get and overview of game genres, platforms, and audiences. Next, you will learn tools and techniques to help you make better design decisions and achieve greater efficiencies as you develop your own games. You will learn why many games fail and how to ensure your games are positioned from success. During the course, you will gain hands-on experience in many of the game development processes. By the end of the course, you will have the experience and confidence to start developing your own games.

Learning Type:
Instructor-Led Course

Hours: 24.00

Duration: 6 Weeks

Session Start Dates:
Jun 12
Jul 17
Aug 14
Sep 11

About the Instructor

Chad Walker is the conceptual designer and artist of several award-winning games, including “Age Of Empires, “Age of Kings,” and “Age of Conquerors.” He attended the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Arts Inc. and has worked as a computer game artist, comic book illustrator, and instructor. He teaches both traditional art courses and courses in 3D modeling for computer games. Walker co-wrote the popular gaming book “Game Modeling Using Low Polygon Techniques” with his twin brother Eric. They are the co-founders of Walker Boys Studio, which produced the highly acclaimed “Civil War: War Between the States.”

A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!

How does it work? Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.

Keep in mind that the interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.

The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.

Getting Started With Game Development

In this first lesson, you'll get an overview of the game-development industry. You'll find out where the industry is headed and where it came from. You'll also discover what it takes to be a game developer and the wide range of opportunities available—from large development studios to a corporate training office. By the end of this lesson, you'll have a sense of whether this exciting and challenging career is right for you!

Game Genres, Platforms, and Audiences

In this second lesson, you'll get an overview of game genres, platforms, and audiences. You'll find out information on how to leverage specific game-genre techniques to ensure your game is fun. You will also discover the differences between game platforms and how they have an impact on you and the games you develop. By the end of this lesson, you'll have an idea of what game genre you want to develop, what platform or platforms you want to develop for, and what audience segment you'll target.

Game Interface Design

Today you'll get an overview of game interface design. You'll learn the importance of interface design decisions to your game's success. You'll also find out information about the differences between interfaces based on game genre and gaming platform. By the end of this lesson, you'll have an idea of what interface components to include in your game and how to optimize user experiences.

Immersive and Fun Games

In this lesson, you'll get an overview of why people play games and what makes them fun. You'll discover key elements to include in games you develop, so they'll be fun to play. You'll also learn the concept of game immersion, what makes games immersive, and how to create immersive game worlds.

Production Planning

Today you'll learn about finding talented people and how to create a team to develop your game. You'll also discover the hardware and software requirements of game development. You will also learn about the budgetary requirements associated with developing your game as well as some insight into sources of funding.

Working With Development Tools

We'll explore game engines and how you can use them to develop your game in today's lesson. You'll also learn about several professional development environments and how they can be leveraged to your advantage. You'll also have the opportunity to experiment with a few mobile-application development environments.

Game-Development Processes: Part 1

How do you work with and lead game-development teams both in person and remotely? Today you'll learn how! You'll also discover the benefits and pitfalls of outsourcing portions of your game-development project and how to use consultants to your advantage. Last, you'll explore the game-development cycle and how to apply the cycle to your game-development project.

Game-Development Processes: Part 2

We'll continue our exploration of game-development processes in this lesson. First, we'll examine several practices and processes that will help you with your game-development project. Then you'll discover the importance of testing your game's functions and features. You'll also learn how to manage the testing process. Finally, you'll learn how to create your own game-release schema including alpha, beta, and public game releases.

Developing Games as Mobile Apps

In this lesson, we'll explore the mobile application market to help you decide which mobile platforms you want to develop your game for. You'll discover tools and techniques that you can use to develop games for mobile devices including tablets, smartphones, and other devices. You'll also learn how to distribute your mobile app to Apple's App Store, Google Play, Windows Phone Store, and BlackBerry's App World.


Today you'll examine how to prepare your game for postproduction and how to continue working on your game after it has been distributed. You'll discover how to make your game marketable, including the developing of pricing and marketing strategies. You'll learn how to get people to play and talk about your game as part of your postproduction efforts. Last, you'll learn how to upgrade and support your game.

Preparing for a Career in Game Development

In this lesson, you'll explore the game-development industry and decide where you want to fit in. You'll learn about several career fields and explore the knowledge and skills each one requires and where to get the proper education and experience. You'll also gain the necessary information to develop your own path toward a career in game development.

Putting It All Together

In our last lesson, you'll discover the opportunities and challenges in game development—and how to capitalize on the first and overcome the second! You'll learn how to develop a game project to include designing, developing, and publishing your game. You'll also learn how to move beyond the basics of game development.

  • Internet access
  • Email
  • One of the following browsers:
    • Mozilla Firefox
    • Microsoft Internet Explorer (9.0 or above)
    • Google Chrome
    • Safari
  • Adobe PDF  plug-in (a free download obtained at .)


Hardware Requirements: 

  • This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac.

Software Requirements: 

  • PC: Windows XP or later.
  • Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.


There are no prerequisites to take this course.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.

The instructor was great! The way he conveyed himself in text wasn't condescending and it felt as though he was simply holding a logical conversation with you. The course was thorough in information and presented well through the form of text and non-textual forms such as games, graphs, charts, and videos. I enjoyed my experience and would definitely recommend it to others interested in getting started in this field.

I have to say this course is probably the best or one of the best Ed2go courses I've taken, and they have all been good. Thanks so much for this overview of the different aspects of game development. This might sound like total flattery, and you should be flattered, but it is also genuine enthusiasm on my part.

Unlike in previous online courses I have taken, the website was straightforward and easy to navigate, the material was presented in an appropriate manner, and at no point did I find myself either lost or confused. I ended up liking this course much more than many of my on-campus courses.

I currently teach technology enrichment programs to children, and this game development course is great, as it provides additional background for the many aspects beyond just writing some code.

This was a great course! Now that I've completed it, I can get started on a career in game development. Sure, it will take more programming education, but I've got a perfect idea of where to start. If you play video games and would really like to work with them, this is the course for you!

This was a very informative class that left me with a feeling of understanding. The material was well organized, instructive, and comprehensive without feeling overwhelming. This class was clear in its approach and the material was presented in a way that I will continue to use this material as a reference.

The instructor was extremely knowledgeable and helpful. I would highly recommend this class to anyone who has a slight interest in game theory. Programming is not necessary to do this class. The class focuses on the idea of designing a game without actually needing to complete it/design it but sets you up with all the information you need to design and implement your game.

I took this class as a high school teacher as an introduction to a possible new class that I will be teaching. The instructor was extremely knowledgeable and helpful. I would highly recommend this class to anyone who has a slight interest in game theory. Programming is not necessary to do this class. The class focuses on the idea of designing a game without actually needing to complete it/ design it but sets you up with all the information you need to design and implement your game.

This was one of the best courses I've taken online. The lessons were well structured and written in an approachable way. The instructor's sense of humor and pedagogical principles were excellent. Each lesson seems just the right length, and I enjoyed the short games embedded in the lessons. The assignments were practical and useful and were well coordinated with the lesson contents. The instructor was always cordial and prompt in reviewing our assignments and responding to questions. I'm so glad that I took this course with this instructor. Thank you!

I just really wanted to thank you for putting this whole course together. The lessons were an excellent way to gain an insight into the game development world, and were formatted very well. I had been batting around the idea of going into game development and design, but really had no idea where to start or what I would be getting myself into...I really appreciate the time you gave to this course and its students.