Game Development Specialization: Master the Theory and Practice

Open University Game Development Specialization 2021

Develop a deep understanding of both the theory and practice of game development. This revised 2021 specialization takes learners from initial concept to the first playable prototype.

Build meaningful experiences in the simulation, edutainment, training and visualization landscapes. This graduate program prepares students for careers in a wide range of industries.

Course structure

You’ll learn to create and program video games and build skills in programming, design, art, and sound. You’ll also develop an understanding of the history and theory of video game development. At the end of the course, you’ll create a full-scale 2D or 3D game using a framework like LOVE2D and Unity. You’ll also have the option of creating a multiplayer title that you can share with friends.

The OU is different from other universities in that it uses open degrees, which allow students to choose the courses they want to study. This allows them to customize their degree and tailor it to their specific needs. Moreover, the OU remains a firm believer in traditional learning materials, which it has been producing in-house since 1971 and include in your course fees. You’ll receive UK-stamped packages containing textbooks, USB flash drives, and, in some cases, special equipment, such as a programmable board used to introduce students to the basics of computer programming.

Course content

Students work on games and playful experiences of varying form and focus, completing projects and producing design documents and portfolios of art assets, code and sound design. They are also required to deliver pitches, conduct UX sessions and collaborate on industry showcase events.

This course focuses on the theory and practice of video game creation and uses the latest in the Unity 2020 game engine to help learners develop an original video game from a concept up to its first playable prototype. Learners will investigate gaming theory, and explore game mechanics, narrative, character/environmental style, UI/HUD and scoring systems.

Students will have access to cutting-edge technology – including motion capture green screen VR and augmented reality – and will complete hands-on lab-based projects with industry mentors. The programme offers a choice of modules that allow students to tailor their studies to their interests and career aspirations. These include advanced courses in design, programming and games entrepreneurship.

Teaching methods

The course introduces students to the methodologies used in creating digital games. It is a hands-on class with a focus on practical learning. Students create two digital prototypes of their own, using the lessons learned from these to produce a polished final game. The class also introduces the theory of digital gaming, including various theoretical and critical perspectives on the medium.

This interdisciplinary program gives you all the skills you need to become an original video game designer. You will follow player-centered design processes while collaborating on multidisciplinary teams in a three-semester sequence of courses. This culminates in a game project that will be commercialized in RIT’s state-of-the-art MAGIC Center and released on major platforms. In addition, you’ll complete two blocks of co-op education.

Our curriculum incorporates a core computing education and advanced studies in engine, system and graphics programming and animation. This breadth of knowledge prepares you for career paths in the game, simulation, training and modeling industries.


Serious games encourage the acquisition of complex problem-solving skills, but assessment has remained rather scarce in this context. To address this challenge, this article proposes a method for assessing content validity in game-based assessment. This method focuses on mapping learning activities in a game scenario onto performance indicators and outputs (as derived from formal attainment levels). This methodology was applied to an assessment game for the qualification of ICT manager and eight assessors were interviewed about their experience with this new form of assessment.

For four of the work processes in this assessment game, it was possible to map all performance indicators fully on the assessment activity in the game scenario. For the fifth work process, however, it was not clear how this could be done within the game environment. This resulted in the decision to include this element in the entire assessment procedure, beyond the computer program. This proved to be more effective for students and teachers.

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