online course game development

Are you looking to escape this drab existence and launch yourself into the colorful world of game development? Are you ready to break free from the humdrum of your daily grind, but don’t know any other viable options? You’re not alone. I’ll show you how to learn game development online in just a few easy steps by teaching you a condensed version of each of the most important facets of game development.

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Whether you’re a total beginner interested in game design, or a current programmer looking to switch career paths, there are several online courses for game development that span a variety of skill levels and specializations. 

Most courses arm students with the conceptual and technical knowledge needed to advance, plus projects for their portfolios and the option to earn a certificate of completion.

Below, you’ll find a few of the best and most affordable options whether you want to dabble in a new hobby or up-skill to stand out in the job market. Courses range in specificity, length, and emphasis to best suit individual needs. 

Top 5 game development courses:

Read on for all 12 of the best game development courses:

Create Video Games with Phaser.js

CodecademyFREE FROM CODECADEMY

Time commitment: 6 weeks

Certificate: Yes

Perfect for beginners, this course teaches students how to build games completely from scratch by learning to code in JavaScript and use the Phaser.js library to add visual effects and put the whole game together.

Students end the course with three completed games.

C# Programming – Unity Game Development Certification

Christina Morillo/PexelsFREE FROM COURSERA

Time commitment: Approximately 7 months

Certificate: Yes 

This specialization (which includes four courses and a final project) is great for beginners. It assumes no programming experience, and students learn to program in C# and then use those new skills to create Unity games.

Each of the courses includes exercises to instruct students on concepts in C# and Unity — from 10-20 exercises per course to several larger C# console applications and Unity prototypes, as well as two complete games. In the final capstone course, students implement their own game idea using Unity and C#.

Unity Certified 3D Artist Specialization

UnityFREE FROM COURSERA

Time commitment: Approximately 7 months

Certificate: Yes

This five-course program is Unity’s official series and is designed to prepare students for the Unity Certified 3D Artist exam. Students will work on two main projects: A Kitchen Configuration application with a realistic look and a 3D video game level with a “stylized science-fantasy” aesthetic. Across both, learners import assets, manipulate materials, create prefabs, add lighting, and more.

This course is best suited for those who have been using Unity for real-time rendering for one or two years and are looking to demonstrate a professional standard.

Complete C# Unity Game Developer 2D

Soumil Kumar/Pexels$13.99 FROM UDEMYOriginally $124.99Save 89%

Time commitment: 34 hours of instruction

Certificate: Yes

Students learn C# from scratch so no programming experience is necessary, though it may be helpful. On top of building a solid foundational understanding, students create playable game projects to use in their portfolios and become adept at using the Unity game engine. Students also develop transferable skills like coding, problem-solving, and applying knowledge from this course to .NET and other languages.  

This course is fitting for everyone from beginners to developers looking to re-skill.

Computer Science for Game Development

Luis Gomes/Pexels$313.20 FROM EDXOriginally $398.00Save 21%

Time commitment: Approximately 6 months

Certificate: Yes

This program (which includes two courses) is designed to build a broad understanding of computer science, programming, and software development, as well as empower students to feel comfortable in the fundamentals of game design and development. 

Students are introduced to concepts like abstraction, algorithms, data structures, encapsulation, resource management, security, software engineering, and web development. Students also work on familiarity with multiple languages such as C, Python, JavaScript, SQL, CSS, and HTML, as well as the principles of 2D and 3D work.

Create Your First Game with Python

Christina Moirllo/Pexels$9.99 FROM COURSERA

Time commitment: 2 hours

Certificate: No

This two-hour project-based course helps students learn the basics of game development with Python using PyGame modules. Students learn concepts like creating a game loop and image display through hands-on experience.

The course is designed for students looking to get started with game development who already have some prior programming experience in Python.

Unreal Engine C++ Developer Course

Hitesh Choudhary/Pexels$13.99 FROM UDEMYOriginally $124.99Save 89%

Time commitment: 31 hours

Certificate:  Yes

This course is designed for students from beginners to developers and existing programmers who are looking to re-skill.

Students learn everything from C++, Git, and programming patterns and best practices to transferable problem-solving skills and vector maths for gameplay and physics calculations. 

Game Design and Development Specialization

Stas Knop/PexelsFREE FROM COURSERA

Time commitment: Approximately 5 months

Certificate: Yes

This specialization (five courses and a capstone project) focuses on both the theoretical and practical foundations of video game production while using the Unity 3D game engine. Its instructors have a reported 50+ years of experience building games and teaching game production.

Lessons cover everything from prototypes to iterations to licensing and marketing. It’s a good fit for those looking to build a foundation that can be applied to roles like gameplay designer, level designer, technical designer/artist, programmer, or producer. 

Students build four complete Unity3D game projects by applying the skills and knowledge they’ve gained throughout the course. In a final capstone project, they build an original market-ready game. 

The online game portal Kongregate is the capstone partner, which provides an avenue for distribution of the project and a pathway for monetization.

Introduction to Game Design

Suludan Diliyaer/PexelsFREE FROM COURSERA

Time commitment: 10 hours

Certificate: Yes

This introductory course requires no prior programming experience and focuses on the conceptual basics of games. Students learn about the primary underpinnings of gaming and how those basics affect the way that users interact with games.  

Story and Narrative Development for Video Games

ThisIsEngineering/PexelsFREE FROM COURSERA

Time commitment: 11 hours

Certificate: Yes

This course focuses on the story and narrative that drives gameplay forward, so students learn how to create a compelling game concept.

Students evaluate and interpret historical and contemporary games to identify different story styles and the themes and procedures that they can use in their own games. Students also explore traditional narrative storytelling processes and how they complement a game’s strategic elements. 

Game Music Composition: Make Music For Games From Scratch

Lulizler/Pexels$14.99 FROM UDEMYOriginally $99.99Save 85%

Time commitment: 20 hours

Certificate: Yes

This course teaches you how to compose original video game music through the lens of music theory, composition, production, and general game music knowledge. 

Complete Blender Creator: Learn 3D Modelling for Beginners

ThisIsEngineering/Pexels$18.98 FROM UDEMYOriginally $149.99Save 87%

Time commitment: 65.5 hours of instructional video

Certificate: Yes

Students learn how to use Blender to create 3D models, including combining CGI with real-life footage, using Blender’s physics engine, and exporting their models to external packages. 

6 Best Free Online Courses for Game Development and Game Design

Offered by Some of the Greatest Universities in the World.

Hi, how are you doing, I hope you’re having an absolutely fantastic day. Today, we are going to talk about the super interesting topic of game designing and game development, and as we all know, good games make us feel happy and relaxed, but it’s not just for entertainment purposes. You’ll be amazed to know that today there are several institutes across the world where young doctors, pilots, drivers and sometimes people, even from the armed forces, use the basics of game designing and game development for their training purposes to improve their reaction time, response time. Obviously, there is a lot of scope in this field.

If you truly love game designing, but you’re not quite sure whether if you want to take this up professionally or not, and you’re looking for a quick trailer for you to understand whether are you enjoying this creative process or not? Well, then this article can definitely help you out because today I’ll be sharing with you five online courses that you can take up at absolutely no cost and the best part is that all of these courses are coming from some of the top universities of the world. So let’s not waste more time, let’s start with course number one on our list.

Course №1

So the first game design course on our list is offered by the University of Arts London. It’s the same place where iconic designers like Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen have got their education. It’s one of the most prestigious arts and design institutions of the world, and if you plan to take up this course, it will not just teach you about the basics of game designing, but also about the process, development and production that is involved in making a successful game possible. There’s also a little bit of programming that’s involved, but you don’t have to be an ace programmer to apply for this course, even beginners can apply for it. Every day if you spend 10 to 15 minutes learning, it will take you four weeks to complete this program. But if it takes you more than six weeks to complete all this course content, or if you also want a verified certificate along with it, then we need to pay an additional amount of $59, but that’s a completely optional step.

Course №2

The second game design course on our list is offered by the California Institute of the Arts and do you know this place was founded by Walt Disney. Probably one of the reasons why some of the top international visual designers, animators, artist graduates from the same institution.

If you plan to take up this game designing course, it will teach you about the theoretical aspect of design. What is game design? What are the different types of game designing? What makes the game engaging? How do you maintain that interest or attention span of your user?

Now, some games are visually very aesthetic, but we are just not motivated enough to complete the game and some games are visually very simple, very humble, but we are just so hooked on to it. We want to get to the next level and the next level, so what’s the psychology behind that? What’s the role of an enemy in the game? Is the enemy important? Is it not important? What’s the importance of a multiplayer game? All of such details will be taught in this course, then you’ll be able to answer all these questions by the end of this course program.

Course №3

Next on our list is the introduction to video game development, and which is offered by the Polytechnic University of Valencia, and this will teach us about the basics of scripting and unity. In case you’re wondering why these two people never heard of them, well, unity is an open-source gaming software, or that means is you can download the legal version of the software without having to pay any money, that’s the coolest part, and you can develop the most intricate-looking game designs with the software. It has so much potential.

Although it can be a little intimidating at first because you have so many tools to play around with, you know, once you get your basics right, you will have so much fun. Once you have designed your game and let’s say you have a character in the game and you want this character to run when you hit R on the keyboard or you want your character to keep hopping or touch fire and lose a life. If you want all of these characteristics to happen, then you need to tell Unity to perform these functions and for that, we need to write a technical code, and that code is known as scripting. So we will get to learn all of these basics with this course. Every day if you spend half an hour learning, it will take you six weeks to complete this entire program and as I mentioned, you don’t have to pay any money to access this course content.

Course №4

Next on our list is digital platforms and storytelling, and this is offered by the University of Cambridge. Whether you’re a writer preparing a script for a play video or a radio show or podcast. Either way, you are telling a story to your audience, or even if you’re designing your own game, we use a combination of light, sound, space to create this new world altogether so that we can connect with our audience, and this course is just about that, how do you enhance your storytelling skills and how do you engage the audience? How do you maintain that attention span? All of these details will be taught in this course and every day if you spend 1–1½ hr learning, it will take you about four weeks to complete the entire course, and you don’t have to pay any money to access the course content. However, if you want a verified certificate from the University of Cambridge, then we need to pay around $200, but that’s a completely optional step number.

Course №5

Next on our list is called creating video games, and this is offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which again needs no introduction and as the name suggests, this course is all about game designing, game development, and this exact same course was taught back in 2014 as part of the undergraduate program at the institute. Back then, all the video lectures were recorded, and today all of these lectures are available in the public domain so we can access all the course content, material, video lectures without having to pay any money for that. Every week if you watch two lectures, it will take you four months to complete this program and if you follow along with all these lectures, it’s very much likely that you will be able to develop your own simple game and if your project looks cool, you can add that to your portfolio. However, there’s one thing we need to keep in mind is that even if you come up with an excellent project and you complete this course on time, we will not be able to get a verified certificate. This course is simply for knowledge.

Course №6

There is a course on game development which is offered by Harvard University, the same place where Ratan Tata and Barak Obama got their education. It’s one of the most prestigious universities in the world. If you have a computer science background and you have an intermediate knowledge of programming, but you want to do something in the field of game design, then you will love this course, this is just meant for you. If you study every day, if you learn for 1–1½ hr, it will take you three months to complete this course. By the end, you will easily be able to develop your own 2D, 3D game, which is a very cool thing and you can also add that game to your portfolio.

If you want a verified certificate from Harvard University, then you need to pay $199 for that. Well, that’s a completely optional step. If you don’t want that, you can access all the cost content without having to pay any money, and you’ll get to learn so many new things.

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