The Game Design Masterclass is a condensed, high-speed, high-energy introduction to the art and science of creating board games and card games. It also teaches the general principles of how games work, and why people enjoy them, and can be applied to game design in wider fields, specifically video games. Created and taught by professional games designers, it has been running for over ten years.

During the session you’ll learn and practice the following abilities:

  • Understanding what games are, how they work and what makes them engaging
  • Learning the critical vocabulary of games
  • Creating a game concept
  • Turning a concept into a working prototype
  • Playtesting and evaluating a design
  • Using playtest data to revise a prototype
  • Taking a design through multiple iterations

Once you can design a board game, you’ll understand how to design any kind of game. You’ll also learn how to build a team, allocate roles and resources, and manage a fast-changing project on the fly. Game design is a great tool for learning how to undertake any creative project, understanding the process by experiencing it, and discovering the pitfalls and how to avoid them. Plus at the end you’ll have a board game to play and take away with you.

Three Levels of Class

We run three kinds of Masterclass. The most common are the fun Masterclasses: public-facing, ticketed events that usually happen at games conventions, games cafes, arts venues or museums. These run for three hours: a fifty-minute presentation by the Masterclass tutor, and then two hours of creating and workshopping games designs under their watchful eye. These events are open to everyone, (although depending on the venue there may be a minimum age), and are listed on our Future Classes page.

The second type are private Masterclasses, where we come to you and run a game-design session for a group of up to thirty people – maybe friends, workmates, or students. These can be tailored to your needs, such as paper-prototyping for video-game designers, or teaching or evaluating team-building and/or project management skills. We’ve run these for charities, universities, training schemes, NGOs, clubs, and groups of games enthusiasts.

The third type are bespoke events. We will work with you to create a half-day, full day or even two-day event focused on your particular needs and interests. Game design will be at the heart of it, but our tutors have huge experience of the breadth and depth of the games business and hobby, from gamification and running Kickstarter campaigns to setting up a company, and are happy to share their wisdom. These work well for media agencies, games companies, businesses that want to find new ways to engage a wide audience, and large organisations looking for ways to incorporate games learning, games thinking, gamification techniques, and game-based systems and processes into what they do, to help them do it better.

Click any of the links above for more information.