The University of Newcastle, Australia

Course handbook


Introduces the techniques of designing computer games for the digital entertainment industry. With a focus on the conceptual component of games design, students will analyze key game design elements including game genres, concepts, virtual worlds, storytelling, character, user interface design, and core technologies. Via a series of written and practical projects, students will assimilate and expand upon the key theories and practices associated with computer games design.

Availability2020 Course Timetables


  • Trimester 2 - 2020

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate an informed knowledge of concepts fundamental to computer games design

2. Communicate using the terminology specific to computer games design

3. Describe emerging trends within the computer games industry

4. Demonstrate an awareness of the ethical dimensions relevant to computer game design

5. Demonstrate an informed knowledge of screen based interactivity

6. Critically evaluate using the key concepts involved in computer games design

7. Describe the processes involved in the production cycle of computer games

8. Produce industry standard documentation towards a computer game concept proposal

9. Produce a visual presentation towards a computer game concept proposal.


Topics may include:

  • Fundamentals of computer games
  • Historic context of the Computer Games industry
  • Game genres and themes
  • Narrative and character development
  • Generating computer imagery
  • Interactivity
  • Virtual worlds
  • Game concept documentation
  • Computer games production cycle
  • Physical simulations
  • Game engines


This course replaces DESN6430. If you have successfully completed DESN6430 you cannot enrol in this course.

Assumed knowledge

Students are expected to have at least a basic level of computer literacy commensurate with a Postgraduate level of study. This will include basic competency with the use of 'Office' style applications (word processing, presentation and spreadsheet) and internet/web browsers.

Assessment items

Report: Assignment 1 - Game Concept Report

Journal: Learning Journal

Report: Assignment 2 - Game Script Report

Contact hours


Online Activity

Online 4 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks starting in week 1

Number of contact hours/week is a minimum recommendation. Primary mode of contact is via discussion boards and email correspondence. There is the possibility of live chat sessions depending on interest and availability. See UoNline for more information.

Self-Directed Learning

Self-Directed 4 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks starting in week 1