TPD4168 - Game Design


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Work
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Work 100/100 1 semesters

Course content

The course provides an introduction to game design focusing on the mechanics, balancing, storytelling, sound and the gameplay experience. Game development methodology, documentation, and the game engine Unity3D are used in project work. Applications of games in learning, interactive literature, and gamification of applications are discussed. A critical discussion of player culture and ethics is addressed in the context of game genres.

Learning outcome


After completing the course the student will have basic knowledge of:

  • Characteristics that distinguish games from other products and services.
  • Understanding of games as a rule-based system consisting of mechanics, balancing techniques and winning conditions.
  • Analyze the design, feedback, flow, narrative, sound with consideration to the experience the game creates with the player.
  • Game design methodology and theoretical perspectives about games, players and games as media.


After completing the course, the student will have basic skills in

  • Sketching and prototyping games on paper
  • Creating a simple and engaging game
  • Using key parts of the Unity3D game engine
  • Writing game design documentation

General competence:

Analyze how games work and are built up. Being able to evaluate the quality of games. Consider whether games are the right solution to a communication or learning needs.

Learning methods and activities

Lectures, exercises, a project assignment. Introductory exercises in board game design focus on mechanics, balancing and winning conditions. A mandatory graded project is carried out in groups of three people. The project involves the development of a casual game level with the Unity3D game engine. A game design document is written as documentation and included in the evaluation. There will be an oral presentation of the results and an exhibition.

Further on evaluation

For a re-take of an examination, all assessments during the course must be re-taken.

Required previous knowledge

The course is reserved for students in the study programme 5 years Master in Industrial Design with specialization interaction design. The course is an elective course for students in 2 year Master in Industrial design in 3rd semester. Students in Master and Bachelor in Music Technology, Master of Science in Informatics within the programme option Interaction Design, Game and Learning Technology can be assigned access to the course in August (second admission).

Prerequisites by study program: Industrial design presupposes IT2805 Web technologies and TPD4134 User Interface Design. Music Technology presupposes MUST2060 Sound for multimedia (master students prioritized). Informatics requires admission to the Interaction Design, Game and Learning technologies specialization. Registration deadline in student web is June 1st for all students.

Course materials

Jesse Schell, "The Art of Game Design" 2.edition.

Further texts will be provided during the course.

More on the course

Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2022
Extraordinary deadline for course registration: 2022-06-01

Language of instruction: English, Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Interaction Design
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Design


Examination arrangement: Work

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Work 100/100
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring UTS Work 100/100
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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