Field of study:
The future of games is brighter than ever. More accessible and powerful design software has provided creators from a wider range of backgrounds with the tools to express themselves for an expanding audience of game players around the world. As the games industry continues to grow ever more inclusive, the value of such new voices has never been higher.
This multidisciplinary course can be considered a crash course in the many ways game design can be utilised as a creative and rewarding medium. Artistic and technical aspects of game design will be presented to students as they develop their original game ideas. The practical and theoretical foundations of game design are explained across a series of lectures, supported via insights from industry and research, and a parallel set of prototyping workshops covering a wide range of game design tools.
The course is open to any student interested in the topic, and no previous experience in game design or programming is required. The course is focused on low-code/no-code tools and independent work. By taking this course, you will learn about the art of game design and how to harness its power to transform your own ideas into unique, playful prototypes.
Summer school teacher interview: Try the different forms that games can take in the Game Design summer course
Edward Morrell describes it as a crash course in the many ways game design can be utilised as a creative and rewarding medium.
The course includes three phases: the students should familiarise themselves with the required software before the two-week intensive course, after which there is additional time to prepare and polish the final assignments.
Before the course: Preparation (online)
- Preparing the required software and completing basic tutorials
- Additional exercises on game design ideation
7-18 August: Intensive Weeks (on-site at Aalto University campus)
- Daily lectures (Monday-Friday)
- Individual or group work in workshops (Monday-Friday)
- Commitment to full-time studies during the intensive weeks is required
After the course: Final Assignments (online)
- Finalising a game prototype to be hosted online
- Additional reflective assignments relating to the design process and course experience
- Discover the potential of games as an expressive medium
- Learn about the art and craft of game design from the traditional to the contemporary
- Explore a range of accessible game design and development software
- Develop the ability to translate ideas into prototypes quickly
- Utilise digital assets to complement individual or group projects
- Understand the variety of roles within the games industry and the paths that lead there
The course is designed around five lectures and five complimentary workshops. The students are expected to familiarise themselves with the required software tools on their personal laptops before the workshops. The tools chosen for the course will be cross-platform and browser-based with minimal system requirements (e.g. Twine, Bitsy, GDevelop).
The course aims to demonstrate the extent to which students can produce independent work when utilising, for instance, found digital assets and A.I. technologies.
There is also the possibility to work in international, multidisciplinary teams on prototype projects and other hands-on exercises such as paper prototyping.
This course values artistic experimentation over technical proficiency and will provide the students with much of the skills and theory necessary to continue their development as knowledgeable and original game makers.
Preparation Exercises = 9h
5 x 3-hour lecture = 15h
5 x 3-hour workshop = 15h
Finalising Assignment & Learning Diary = 15h
Total = 54 hours (2 ECTS)
The course is graded as pass/fail.
Please note that the undergraduate courses offered by Aalto University Summer School can not be included in Aalto degree studies.
You must have completed a high school or vocational degree or equivalent by the time the course starts. However, you do not have to be a degree student at a university to participate in our courses.
Additionally, all summer school course students must be 18 years or older, as it is the legal age in Finland.
This course does not require previous experience in the topic.
In your motivation letter, describe your motivation for taking this course. What interests you about Game Design? What sort of games do you play (if any)? Do you have any experience making games or other forms of digital media? What would you hope to learn in the course?
- One course: 500€ (incl. VAT 24%)
- Two courses: 1000€ (incl. VAT 24%)
- Three courses: 1375€ (incl. VAT 24%)
- Four courses: 1625€ (incl. VAT 24%)
There is no special partnership discount on undergraduate courses.
The tuition fee does not apply to Aalto University degree students. Undergraduate courses offered by Aalto University Summer School can not be included in Aalto degree studies.
Participants can pay a programme fee of 100€ / two weeks to participate in the Summer School social programme.
Please note that the course fees do not cover accommodation, daily meals, or transportation during the course.
In the case of cancellation:
- If Aalto University cancels the course or program: 100% refund of tuition fee and programme fee
- Cancelling up to 60 days before the beginning of the course: 85% refund of tuition fee and programme fee (Aalto University will deduct 15% of each course fee as a service and bank cost fee)
- Cancelling up to 30 days before the beginning of the course: 50% refund of tuition fee and programme fee
- Cancelling less than 30 days before the beginning of the course: no refund of tuition fee or programme fee