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Learning About Game Design

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Published on:

May 1, 2014


Learning About Game Design

The game development process, as with other digital arts industry specialties, starts with an intriguing idea – something that has the potential to become a game hit. The inspiration can come from your imagination (think zombies, extra-terrestrials or your own dreams). It can come from your own passions or interests (think soccer, the Roman Empire or music). It can even come from a moment in your life that leaves an impact.

A series of free workshops about digital arts specialties in May and June sponsored by the Media Design School of Digital Arts at NewSchool (a part of NewSchool of Architecture & Design) include sessions on Game Design, Maya Animation, Beginning Unity 3D Level Design and for Open Drawing Sessions. They provide an integrated introduction to study and career opportunities in digital arts fields.

During one recent session on Game Design, George Cochrane, Chief Creative Officer at Juggernaut Games, provided an introductory presentation on the game design process, which includes prototyping, determining rules and regulations, and logical reasoning to determine how sequential steps propel the game and players forward. The participants then developed their own ideas and then huddled around tables and used game boards as the impromptu stages for their story development process. A construction management student came up with a story sketch of having workers compete against each other to build structures by acquiring bricks obtained through accomplishments such as meeting deadlines and winning contracts. Another team grabbed a traditional game board from a pile of games that incorporated a square grid and “rooms” representing fire, water and earth. Within minutes they were developing a game narrative that involved competing against each other to pass through these different layers, each of which was guarded by a “boss.” Players would also have the chance to obtain tools and other powers, giving them even greater power to confront the boss and stay in the lead.

What you do with your idea, and how you develop a story and characters around that idea, serves as the foundation of the digital game development process. Upcoming sessions in Game Design are available on the following dates at the Wonderbread building in San Diego’s East Village: 121 14th St. San Diego.

May 13: 4 p.m.-7 p.m.
May 27: 4 p.m.-7 p.m.
June 10: 4 p.m.-7 p.m.

To see the full agenda for the other three free sessions, as well as a Game Jam session on Saturday, June 8, please visit our Eventbrite page and pre-register at:

About Us

The Media Design School of Digital Arts at NewSchool is a collaboration with the award-winning Media Design School in New Zealand that has resulted in new programs being offered by San Diego’s NewSchool of Architecture & Design in animation, game art and game development.