F21GB Games Design Practice and Pre-production Experience

Dr Theo Georgiou

Course co-ordinator(s): Dr Stefano Padilla (Edinburgh), Dr Theo Georgiou (Edinburgh).


The main aims of this course are to develop active practice in games design and effective experience in the pre-production stages of games development. Students will also develop an awareness and critical understanding of fundamental design principles in games design; they will also be able to identify key game technologies and tools for game design; and finally, apply these principles in the playtesting process including resolving design problems and aligning the creative process to their own ideas.

Detailed Information

Pre-requisites: none.

Location: Edinburgh.

Semester: 1.


• Research and exploration of design fundamentals.
• Design principles for game fundamentals and mechanics.
• Ideation of game designs and mechanics.
• Investigation into prototype tools and methods.
• Collaboration using design tools and methods.
• Creation of non-digital game mechanic prototypes.
• Research into critical evaluation of designs prototypes.
• Studio playtesting of non-digital prototypes.
• Evaluation of non-digital design prototypes.
• Refine skills into prototype tools for design.
• Communication of design ideas and feedback gathering.
• Creation of design prototypes and evaluation using iterative processes.
• Research into tools, environments, good practices and applications in the pre-production game design phase.
• Course summary, reflection and review.

Learning Outcomes: Subject Mastery

• A detailed understanding and integrated knowledge of the design and pre-production stages in the game production process.
• Demonstrate applied knowledge in the creative design of games and critique of various design choices.
• Ability to understand, demonstrate and critically evaluate designs and recommendations.
• Demonstrate critical awareness and understanding of various playtesting methods to evaluate game design ideas.
• Extensive knowledge of different design methods and creative processes in the design of interactive games.
• Research and exploration of different design processes in creating game ideas.
• Design experimentation through prototyping of game design ideas focussing in exploration, research and design critique.
• A detailed understanding and research of design ideas that can facilitate the process of designing games.
• Critical enquiry of feedback from playtesting sessions and an understanding of the contribution to the design process and design ideas.

Learning Outcomes: Personal Abilities

• Rational conceptualisations, definition, and identification of creative ideas.
• Develop a range of methods, good practice and custom tools to enhance the creative process and subsequential design methods.
• Demonstrate collaboration in a studio environment as well as demonstrating individual professionalism.
• Skills to interface and demonstrate professionalism in user sessions exploring and gathering design feedback.
• Ability to express, communicate and evaluate the potential of creative ideas.
• Critical understanding and practical skills in common tools used in the creative processes.

SCQF Level: 11.

Credits: 30.