Under the Library's lifelong learning initiative, Verso University, Introduction to Video Game Design is a course to learn how to design and develop a video game from the ground up! Throughout the course, you will learn the basics of level design, character design, interactions, animation, and more. By the end of the course, you will have a game you can share and play with your friends! Plus, you will be fully equipped with the tools, know-how, and resources to create your own game.
This will be a small team-based, collaborative learning experience, limited to 10 students ages 14+ (yes, adults are absolutely welcome!). No prior knowledge of game design necessary. Helpful to bring a laptop if you have one, but not necessary. Only requirements are curiosity, creativity, collaborative energy, and a love for games!
The class meets for six sessions, each 90 minutes, from 6:30 to 8 pm, November 1 through December 13 (no class November 22). The course will meet in The Library's McCall Conference Room, on the upper level.
(While Verso University courses are free, there is a $50 registration fee for this course.)
What the course will cover:
Week 1: Introduction to Unity, AI, and the Game Concept
- Introduction to Unity: Interface, capabilities, and uses.
- Introduction to AI tools: Overview of AI text-to-image, GPT, and their use cases.
- Brainstorming session: Deciding on the game's theme, basic mechanics, and style using AI text-to-image for concept visualization.
Week 2: Creating the Game Environment
- Introduction to Unity's terrain tools and Game Objects.
- Utilizing AI text-to-image to create custom textures or environment assets.
- Building a simple level: Creating platforms and structures for the player to traverse.
Week 3: Player Character and Movement
- Importing and placing a basic player model.
- Making the character move: A simple guide to scripts for player movement.
- Using GPT-based AI for generating game dialogue or character backstory.
Week 4: Interactions
- Adding interactable objects: Creating simple collectibles for the player to pick up.
- Introduction to Unity's Physics system: Creating basic enemies that can move and be defeated by the player.
- Using AI text-to-image to enhance visual elements of the game, like collectibles or enemy designs.
Week 5: Level & Scene Building
- Creating more levels: Replicating and modifying the first level to create a new scene.
- Navigating through the game: Adding portals or triggers to move between levels.
- Using AI tools for procedural level generation
Week 6: Adding the Final Touches
- Adding sound and music: An easy guide to implementing audio in your game.
- Polishing your game: Adding UI elements like a start screen, and tips to improve the look and feel of the game.
- Finishing the course: Building your game so it can be played on different platforms.
About the Instructor:
Dan Sheils is an experienced multimedia artist, specializing in sound design and interactive art forms. His portfolio features an eclectic range of work that spans records, video games, augmented reality experiences, and more. Dan remains constantly on the hunt for whatever’s next, ready to embrace the creative unknown, and eager to share what he learns along the way.
Verso University programs are made possible by the generous support of the Nancy J. Beard Lifelong Learning and Education Fund.