Theory and Practice of Game Design and Development


Recommended prerequisite for participation in the module

The module adds to knowledge obtained in 5th semester

Content, progress and pedagogy of the module


This course provides students with the foundational knowledge and practices in the design and development of games such as the social and economic context of gaming and game production, the game industry, formal and dramatic elements of games, system dynamics of games, iterative game design through playtesting, completeness and balance of games, and game technologies. It is a hands-on course in which the students are expected to create actual prototypes, evaluate and iteratively redesign them.

Learning objectives


Students who complete the module will obtain the following qualifications:

  • Discuss the structure and formal elements of games – in particular players, objectives, procedures, rules, resources, conflict, boundaries and outcome – and dramatic elements of games – in particular challenge, play, premise, character, story, world building, and the dramatic arc (understanding)
  • Review the context of games, game classifications and players (understanding)
  • Explain game technologies including controllers, game engines (and their components such as render engines, audio engines, physics engines, etc.), and game development tools (understanding)
  • Describe the game development pipeline from idea via iterative design and development to product launch (understanding)
  • Describe the game industry and game entrepreneurship including platforms for distribution, independent developers, development studios, and publishers (understanding)


Students who complete the module will obtain the following qualifications:

  • Analyse and summarize (application) system dynamics of existing games
  • Create, present, critique and revise original game ideas (evaluation)
  • Iteratively produce (application) and evaluate key game features through playtesting of physical and/or digital prototypes
  • Judge completeness and balance (evaluation) and evaluate player experience of games and/or gameprototypes with established metrics
  • Produce pitch materials including game demos and design documents (application)


Students who complete the module will obtain the following qualifications:

  • Plan, organize and implement a game (pre)production (application)

Type of instruction

Refer to the overview of instruction types listed in § 17. The types of instruction for this course are decided in accordance with the current Joint Programme Regulations and directions are decided and given by the Study Board for Media Technology.


Prerequisite for enrollment for the exam

  • Handing in of written assignments or the like
  • Completion of certain – or all – study activities


Name of examTheory and Practice of Game Design and Development
Type of exam
Written or oral exam
Note that if admittance to the exam or parts of the assessment is to be based on written work or exercises, a deadline is stipulated for when the work must be handed in.
Permitted aids
With certain aids:
See semester description
Assessment7-point grading scale
Type of gradingInternal examination
Criteria of assessmentThe criteria of assessment are stated in the Examination Policies and Procedures

Facts about the module

Danish titleTeori og praksis af spildesign og -udvikling
Module codeMSNMEDB6175
Module typeCourse
Duration1 semester
Language of instructionEnglish
Location of the lectureCampus Aalborg, Campus Copenhagen
Responsible for the module


Study BoardStudy Board of Media Technology
DepartmentDepartment of Architecture, Design and Media Technology
FacultyThe Technical Faculty of IT and Design