Professional Certificate in Game Design

Unlock future-ready skills to build a career in game design

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Course Dates

STARTS ON

February 22, 2023

Course Duration

DURATION

6 months, online
15–20 hours per week

Course Fee

PROGRAM FEE

US$7,450 US$6,332 or get US$745 off with a referral

Course Information Flexible payment available
Course Fee

For Your Team

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Unlock Your Potential

Invest in yourself and realize your potential. Emeritus is partnering with MIT xPRO to bring you an opportunity to unlock career growth. Enroll before , and get up to US$1,118 early registration benefit to set yourself up for professional success.

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US$7,450 US$6,332

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Team-Based Learning Options

  • Enroll as a team or group and learn with your peers

  • Receive support and services

  • Inquire about special team/group pricing

  • ENROLL YOUR TEAM

    Emeritus works with leading companies to close critical skills gaps


    Our partners include

    JP Morgan
    Amazon
    AB in Bev

Prerequisites: Participants should have experience with basic coding concepts. Some assignments require the use of the Unity game engine (C#). Links to tutorials in Unity are provided.

Elevate Your Approach to Game Design

The worldwide games market is poised for growth on all fronts. With smartphones making games more accessible and innovative applications emerging in fields such as education and training, the global gaming market is projected to reach $340 billion by 2027. Tabletop games are enjoying a renaissance of their own, with the market expected to reach $30.93 billion by 2028 — more than twice its current value.

With this growth comes a demand for game design professionals who have a more sophisticated understanding of the field. Today’s designers must not only be able to design, develop, and launch games that foster connection and resonate with a diverse audience — they must also know how to scope projects, manage products, and work effectively with teams.

If you are looking to break into game design or advance in the field, the Professional Certificate in Game Design from MIT xPRO will give you the knowledge and skills you need to navigate the challenges of today’s game industry and prepare you to create games for the future.

$340 billion

The value of the global gaming market by 2027

Source: Mordor Intelligence

$93,926

The average salary for lead game designers in the U.S.

Source: Payscale

Who Is This Program For?

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Recent graduates or postgraduates

in fields such as information technology (IT), information technology-enabled services (ITeS), technology, or game development who are aiming to start a career in game design by demonstrating their capabilities through a program designed by renowned faculty from the MIT Game Lab

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Early career game professionals

looking to expand their career opportunities by gaining exposure to game design as a way to advance in a fast-growing field

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Creative professionals

such as graphic or UX designers, sound engineers, production artists, or art directors who have a passion for games of any type and wish to build upon their creative backgrounds to break into the game design industry

Program Highlights

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Distinguish yourself with a certificate from MIT xPRO, and earn 36 continuing education units (CEUs)

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Gain insights from MIT Game Lab instructors and industry experts

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Compile a Game Diary, a portfolio of your work you can share with potential employers

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Complete a capstone project by applying your knowledge and skills to develop a functional game

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Receive one-on-one career support from Emeritus and introductions to hiring partners for eligible participants

Key Takeaways

  • Understand the intricacies of game design by gaining in-depth knowledge of every stage
  • Learn how to communicate effectively with a game design team by clearly outlining your vision and correctly scoping projects
  • Future-proof your career by learning how to design games of tomorrow that are culturally responsive and accessible to all
  • Demonstrate your skills to potential employers by creating a Game Diary, a portfolio that highlights your expertise
  • Learn from MIT expert instructors who actively practice game design and conduct research in MIT's Game Lab

Program Topics

This program is organized into four parts, all focused on the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in today’s game design market.

Part 1:

The Foundations of Game Design

Learn the fundamentals of game design, learn how to analyze game mechanics and complex game systems, and re-create a game prototype in Tabletopia.

  • The Territory of Game Design
  • Games, Rules, and Players
  • Play Communities
  • Building Blocks of Game Design
  • Modes of Interaction
  • Emergent Behavior

Part 2:

Tabletop and Low Fidelity Prototyping

Explore the intricacies of game design, including ideation methodologies, playtesting cycles, and prototyping, and learn how to design a game for impact.

  • Choice and Chance
  • Ideation and Concepts
  • Fundamentals of Prototyping
  • Playtesting and Iteration
  • Usability
  • Cultural Responsibility

Part 3:

Using a Game Engine

Learn strategies for navigating the nuances of today’s market. Then, discover industry best practices that will help you confront common design challenges.

  • Inclusivity and Accessibility
  • Digital Prototyping in Teams
  • Development Practices
  • Game Feel
  • Project Scoping
  • Opening the Black Box

Part 4:

Putting It All Together

Hear industry perspectives on starting a business, game development, and sound design. Then, prepare a pitch and put your learning into practice by designing a game in a final capstone project.

  • Demonstrating Game Ideas
  • Business of Games
  • Industry Voices I
  • Industry Voices II
  • Designing a Game I
  • Designing a Game II

Part 1:

The Foundations of Game Design

Learn the fundamentals of game design, learn how to analyze game mechanics and complex game systems, and re-create a game prototype in Tabletopia.

  • The Territory of Game Design
  • Games, Rules, and Players
  • Play Communities
  • Building Blocks of Game Design
  • Modes of Interaction
  • Emergent Behavior

Part 3:

Using a Game Engine

Learn strategies for navigating the nuances of today’s market. Then, discover industry best practices that will help you confront common design challenges.

  • Inclusivity and Accessibility
  • Digital Prototyping in Teams
  • Development Practices
  • Game Feel
  • Project Scoping
  • Opening the Black Box

Part 2:

Tabletop and Low Fidelity Prototyping

Explore the intricacies of game design, including ideation methodologies, playtesting cycles, and prototyping, and learn how to design a game for impact.

  • Choice and Chance
  • Ideation and Concepts
  • Fundamentals of Prototyping
  • Playtesting and Iteration
  • Usability
  • Cultural Responsibility

Part 4:

Putting It All Together

Hear industry perspectives on starting a business, game development, and sound design. Then, prepare a pitch and put your learning into practice by designing a game in a final capstone project.

  • Demonstrating Game Ideas
  • Business of Games
  • Industry Voices I
  • Industry Voices II
  • Designing a Game I
  • Designing a Game II
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Career Preparation and Guidance

Game designers or those in a related role need both hard and soft skills to succeed. This program offers you guidance for navigating your career path, from crafting your elevator pitch to perfecting your interview skills. These services are provided by Emeritus, our learning collaborator for this program. The program support team includes program leaders who will help you reach your learning goals. The primary goal is to give you the skills necessary to be prepared for a job in this field; however, job placement is not guaranteed.

Career guidance in this program includes:

  • Navigating your job search
  • Preparing for interviews
  • Negotiating your salary
  • Crafting your elevator pitch
  • Optimizing your LinkedIn profile
  • Writing resumes and cover letters

Exercises specific to building your game design career include:

  • Building your personal brand and promoting your skills
  • Understanding the roles and workflow of game design
  • Job searching and interviewing for game design or related positions
  • Communicating game design concepts through a capstone project
  • Reflecting on your skills to determine how to solve problems and become an efficient leader

Program Instructors

Profile picture of Program Instructors, Philip Tan

Philip Tan

Research Scientist, MIT Game Lab

Philip Tan teaches courses in game design and production at MIT. His research translates the joy of expert challenge in scientific, professional, and competitive fields into playful forms that are accessible to anyone... More info

Profile picture of Program Instructors, Mikael Jakobsson

Mikael Jakobsson

Research Scientist, MIT Game Lab

Mikael Jakobsson’s interest in game development began in the 1980s, the age of early home computers. With a Bachelor’s in Computer Science and a Master’s in Informatics, he went on to write his dissertation on social interaction design in virtual worlds... More info

Guest Speakers

Profile picture of Guest Speakers, Heather Albano

Heather Albano

Senior Narrative Designer, Deep Silver Volition, Freelance Fiction Writer

Profile picture of Guest Speakers, Eitan Glinert

Eitan Glinert

Founder and President, Fire Hose Games

Profile picture of Guest Speakers, Richard Ludlow

Richard Ludlow

Audio Director and Cofounder, Hexany Audio

Profile picture of Guest Speakers, Jessica “Jynnie” Tang

Jessica “Jynnie” Tang

Product Manager and Game Developer, Multiverse

Certificate

Example image of certificate of participation that will be awarded upon completetion of the program

Certificate

Get recognized! Upon successful completion of this program, MIT xPRO grants a certificate of completion to participants and 36 CEUs. This program is graded as pass or fail. Participants must receive 75% to pass and obtain the certificate of completion.

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Financing Options

We offer flexible and transparent payment options through our partner Climb Credit. Schedule a call with a Program Advisor to learn more.

Registration for this program is done through Emeritus. You can contact us at mit@emeritus.org or schedule a call with an advisor.

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Early registrations are encouraged. Seats fill up quickly!

Flexible payment options available. Learn more.