Will WrightTeaches Game Design and Theory

Will WrightTeaches Game Design and Theory

Explore the Possibility Space

Learn the art and science of game design with Will Wright, the mind behind SimCity and The Sims. In this game design class, Will teaches you how to create games that empower players and unleash their imagination. You’ll develop a tool set for understanding player psychology, as well as learn Will’s approach to generating and pitching ideas, prototyping, playtesting, and building a community.

21 Lessons

The Sims creator Will Wright teaches you his personal strategies to design fascinating games that engage players and enable their creativity.

CLASS WORKBOOK

A downloadable workbook accompanies the class with an exclusive Game Design Document template to use in your own work.

ANYTIME, ANYWHERE

Learn on your own terms, at your own pace on mobile, desktop, or Apple TV.

Lesson Plan

  • 01

    The Fundamentals of Game Design

    Meet your new instructor: Will Wright, visionary game designer behind The Sims. In your first lesson, you’ll learn the core tenets of Will’s multidisciplinary game design process.

  • 02

    Generating Game Concepts

    For Will, the natural and social worlds are a rich source of material. Learn what inspired the creation of The Sims and Spore, and how to find and hone your own ideas through wide-ranging research.

  • 03

    Early Prototyping

    Rapid prototyping is a central component of Will’s game design process. Explore various types of prototyping and learn how to “find the fun” in the early stages of the design process.

  • Show all 21 Lessons

    • 04

      The Relationship Between Story and Games

      Games are capable of producing emotions that other media cannot, since they allow players to create their own stories. Will teaches you how to create a sense of agency and responsibility in your players and offer them expressive tools.

    • 05

      Exploring Player Psychology

      Will believes game development is as much about programming a player’s brain as it is about programming the game itself. Learn Will’s strategies for creating compelling games that take player psychology into account.

    • 06

      Design Player-Centered Experiences

      Will believes that failure is critical to helping players learn, and making failure fun is a key part of game design. Learn how Will keeps players entertained throughout their experience.

    • 07

      Develop a Game Language

      Games use a system of signs and symbols to communicate meaning to the player. Will teaches how to create and use your own “game language” to educate players about the rules of your game world.

    • 08

      Designing a Visual Aesthetic

      Your visual aesthetic helps define your game language and impacts your overall design. Will shares tips for discovering your own aesthetic and collaborating with art directors and illustrators to achieve your vision.

    • 09

      Game Mechanics

      Game mechanics govern the interactions within your game system. Will teaches you how to identify mechanics in other games, and how to choose the game mechanics that will enhance your player experiences.

    • 10

      Game Demo: Morey

      Watch while Will shares his insights and perspectives with an aspiring game designer as they review her latest prototype and he gives her suggestions for areas of focus and iteration.

    • 11

      Iteration and Scoping

      An iterative process can continually improve your design. Learn Will’s strategies for scoping and iterating, including his helpful “feature triage” method.

    • 12

      Prototyping Case Study: Proxi

      Will and his programmer reveal and iterate on prototypes they are developing for their new game, Proxi. Witness how collaboration and prototyping can influence design decisions.

    • 13

      Playtesting

      Player feedback is your most valuable resource as a designer, and the playtest is your first chance to get inside your player’s mind. Will teaches you to use playtesting to identify your audience, interpret feedback, and more.

    • 14

      Designing a Sound Aesthetic

      Great sound can improve the experience of your game exponentially. Learn how to utilize music and sound design to expand your player’s imagination and heighten their emotional experience.

    • 15

      Pitching Ideas

      When it comes to pitching ideas, one size does not fit all. Will shares tips for structuring your initial pitch and modifying your message to connect with diverse audiences.

    • 16

      Game Demo: Flooded Market

      Will provides feedback and advice to a game designer who is in the late stages of the game design process.

    • 17

      Choosing and Understanding Your Platform

      When deciding what platform your game will use, you’re also deciding which audiences it will reach. Will teaches you what to consider—such as independence, monetization, and hardware—when making this choice.

    • 18

      System Design

      Understanding the fundamentals of system design will help you build more robust interactions in your game. Will shares his tips for what to take into account when designing an interactive system for your players.

    • 19

      Leadership and Collaboration

      The lead designer sets the tone for the rest of the team and helps ensure a smooth production process. Learn Will’s leadership techniques and why he believes that creating a collaborative environment is so important.

    • 20

      The Future of Game Design

      What’s next? Will speculates on the future and advises game designers to stay open-minded in the wake of technological advancements.

  • 21

    Final Thoughts

    Will ends his class encouraging you to use your new toolset, outlook, and approach to create something innovative and surprising.

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Will Wright

Teaches Game Design and Theory

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