Unpacking the Design Process for Game Programming

Unpacking the Design Process for Game Programming

Working through the design process for creating video games in 5 online modules

Designing and building video games is a strong motivation for students to learn a programming language. In order to program a video game, students need to understand the design process behind building a game. Concepts and processes used in designing a video game can be generalised to other design projects.

In these 5 online modules, participants will be introduced to design thinking and use it to analyse, modify and craft video games to meet design requirements. Teachers will gain the tools, frameworks and confidence to facilitate the development of a design mindset in their students by applying it to the game design process. Industry standard vocabulary and skills will be unpacked and there is an emphasis on learning through making. A range of tools for collaboration, ideation and creation will be used.

“Game making has often been used to encourage students to study programming whereas opportunities to learn content through designing games have been missed.”

– Falkner, 2014

Audience: Secondary teachers.

Keywords: Online, Design Thinking, Creativity, STEAM, STEM, Coding, Critical Thinking.

This course is delivered in five self-paced online modules. You can do just one module, or all five.

Module 1: Understanding the Formal Elements

  • analysing, modifying and play-testing games by changing their formal elements.

Module 2: Game Design Documentation

  • overview of good game design with examples
  • demonstration of different software for collaborative documentation
  • collaboratively reverse engineer an existing game into a GDD template

Module 3: Understanding Fun

  • breaking down ‘What is fun?’ and fun-testing a variety of games
  • ideation activities to generate game ideas to meet players’ needs.

Module 4: Physical Prototyping

  • using physical and digital resources from paper and pencil to Movie Maker to make a representation of your game.

Module 5: Digital Prototyping and Play-testing

  • using a rapid prototyping language (e.g. Microsoft Kodu Game Lab or Scratch) to implement aspects of your game
  • run short play-testing using the templates provided.


Evan Bonser

Evan Bonser

Developer & Facilitator

Evan is one of our game design facilitators and is working as an ICT Integrator in Sydney. He began his university training in robotics before changing to complete a Bachelor of Education (Primary) from the University of Western Sydney. Evan has taught in a variety of educational environments ranging from mainstream settings in both the public and private sectors to Special Needs and Hospital Schools where he taught K-12 across the curriculum. He has found that where ever he teaches he sees the same enthusiasm for learning through making and uses that to inspire his students. He has a passion for developing a ‘growth mindset’ in his students to help them see failure as an integral part of the learning process; and sees it as the beginning of deep personal development that will last a lifetime.


Unfortunately there are no plans to run this course again. Apologies for any inconvenience.


How do I enrol?
Enrolment is through the MyPL system. Click on the Event ID provided and it will take you to the enrolment page. NSW Department of Education (DoE) teachers can log in using their credentials. Non-DoE participants need to sign up for a MyPL account in order to enrol. Click here for instructions, and click here for more information about MyPL for non-DoE participants.
How is payment taken?
If you are from a NSW DoE school, payment will be via direct debit and appear on your school's Sundry Tax Invoice Statement. Non-DoE schools and individuals will be invoiced. Please contact us to confirm your billing details.
How do I get there and do I need to bring anything?
There are many transport options. See our Contact page for more information. We will send out an email to all participants with parking information two days before the event. Please look out for this email and read the instructions carefully. All equipment will be provided unless otherwise advised.
What if I cancel or don't show up?

You can delete your own enrolment through MyPL, however keep in mind any cancellations made within 2 days of the event or no-shows will incur the full cost, charged to your school. Please contact us if there are any issues with your attendance.

What's a follow-on component?

Some of our courses include a follow-on component to be completed by the participant in their school context with the aim of transferring the new practice to their teaching and learning repertoire. These deliverables are included as part of the course hours and are designed to engage teachers in real ‘learning through doing’ leading to improvement in the skills and capabilities of teachers. This is an opportunity for you to have some time to take what you learned during the workshop and apply it to your own context and your own students. Details of the follow-on will be emailed out to all participants. The deliverables must meet the following Criteria:

  1. Product (this may refer to lesson plan, unit of work or other digital product)
    1. evidence of creativity;
    2. planning and/or design;
    3. incorporation of key ideas in the course;
    4. integration of technology; and
    5. a published/shared product that is appropriate to audience, purpose and context.
  2. Online Interaction
    1. peer feedback; and
    2. community building.
  3. Personal Written Reflection (200 words):
    1. Reflect on the learning experience gained by participating in this course, including the deliverables, OR reflect on your classroom practice (including a description of the pedagogical approach, delivery and implications for the future); AND
    2. Reflect on how you achieved one or more of the specified professional learning standards.
More questions? Contact us.

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