CS 325: Introduction to Game Design

Instructor: Yotam Gingold

Teaching Assistants


Game design, in various electronic entertainment technologies, involves a diverse set of skills and backgrounds from narrative and art to computer programming. This course surveys the technical aspects of the field, with an emphasis on programming innovative game design.

We will be using Javascript and Phaser for programming assignments.

Textbook: Game Design Workshop by Tracy Fullerton

Video Series: Double Fine Adventure


  1. Principles of Game Design
  2. The Structure of Games
  3. Formal and Dramatic Elements
  4. System Dynamics
  5. Prototyping
  6. Playtesting
  7. Teams
  8. Development


Course Outcomes:

  1. An ability to employ a variety of data structures in a game development and design context.
  2. An ability to identify the issues involved in the core mechanics and design of a game and how to solve them with appropriate techniques.
  3. An ability to design and implement simple games from the ground up.

Honor Code:

GMU is an Honor Code university; please see the Office for Academic Integrity for a full description of the code and the honor committee process, and the Computer Science Department’s Honor Code Policies regarding programming assignments. The principle of academic integrity is taken very seriously and violations are treated gravely. What does academic integrity mean in this course? Essentially this: when you are responsible for a task, you will perform that task. When you rely on someone else’s work in an aspect of the performance of that task, you will give full credit in the proper, accepted form. Another aspect of academic integrity is the free play of ideas. Vigorous discussion and debate are encouraged in this course, with the firm expectation that all aspects of the class will be conducted with civility and respect for differing ideas, perspectives, and traditions. When in doubt (of any kind) please ask for guidance and clarification.

Accommodations for Disabilities:

If you have a documented learning disability or other condition that may affect academic performance you should: 1) make sure this documentation is on file with Disability Services (SUB I Suite 2500; 703-993-2474;http://ds.gmu.edu) to determine the accommodations you need; and 2) talk with me to discuss your accommodation needs.


Students must use their MasonLIVE email account to receive important University information, including messages related to this class. See http://masonlive.gmu.edu for more information.

Other useful campus resources: