What’s URF Academy?
Welcome to the URF Academy, a free resource for educators who seek to encourage and inspire the next generation of game designers.
Our Game Design Curriculum is our way to share our love for and knowledge of games to students everywhere. We designed it with accessibility top of mind—any teacher with access to the internet and a printer should be able to teach students how to design a fun game.
In our six-module curriculum, we outline the principles of game design using a simple framework and explore concepts through engaging workshops and activities. Students will learn about the language and theory necessary to engage deeply with games and ultimately collaborate in groups to design a paper prototype of a multiplayer game.
An overview of the URF Online Curriculum. It contains a teacher’s overview, additional context, and a glossary of terms.
Riot Games’ Game Design Curriculum is an entry-level course that teaches high school students the fundamental elements of game design using a framework and interactive workshops created by our own game designers. Students will ultimately utilize their newfound knowledge of core game design concepts like goals, types of fun, opposition, rules, interaction, and balance to create a paper prototype of a multiplayer game.
Our curriculum is adapted from a college-level curriculum designed by Stone Librande, a Senior Game Designer at Riot Games.
“Game Feeling & 8 Kinds of Fun” focuses on the player portion of the Game Design Framework. In this module we discuss the holistic gameplay experience that games should always deliver, framed from the player perspective.
We want students to walk away understanding that games are created to evoke emotions in players, and that the same game can evoke different kinds of emotions in different players. We also delve into the eight different types of fun:
“Goals & Pacing” focuses on the goals portion of the Game Design Framework. In this module we discuss the benefit that different goals bring. Goals and subgoals bring pacing to games and give players purpose.
We want students to walk away understanding how goals impact gameplay, pacing, and player satisfaction; what makes a good goal; and the impact bad goals have on players and the game overall.
“Meaningful Decisions & Opposition” focuses on the opposition portion of the Game Design Framework and how it impacts decisions.
In this module we discuss the necessity of opposition and how it gives players meaningful decision-making. Opposition in games manifests in both player and designer created opposition.
We want students to walk away understanding that fast problem-solving iteration cycles are essential when designing games, what good “flow states” look like in games, and how “core game loops” increase immersion for players.
“Rules, Thematics, & Complexity” focuses on the rules and thematics portion of the Game Design Framework and how they create complexity in a game.
In this module we discuss the elements of a game’s rules and how they operate as the guidelines for how a game is created and played.
We want students to walk away understanding that a game’s thematics allow mechanics and rules to be easily understood while deepening a player’s immersion.
“Interaction” focuses on the interaction portion of the Game Design Framework.
In this module we discuss the interaction (gameplay) between players, rules, and each other.
We want students to walk away understanding mechanics—particularly how designers use mechanics to create meaningful decisions and deep gameplay—and how gameplay sustains the interest of players over time.
“Final Project” is where we use all of our learnings from the previous modules to create a paper prototype game!
We want students to walk away feeling like they’ve learned enough of the basics of game design to create a game of their own. We want them to have a passion and desire to learn and create games that lasts a lifetime.
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