Game Production

Coming in Spring 2021

Game Production One-Week Intensive Course

Industry Connections

Our program was built in collaboration with Alberta gamers, professional associations and industry partners as well as with leading game companies from around the globe. As part of every program we offer you will create and present your work and receive feedback from industry experts from leading producers.

Real World Experience

We make games. Working in the game sector is dynamic, fast-paced and highly integrated. When you work with us your classroom operates as a game studio so that you gain the experience of working in a game studio while learning the skills you need.

Expert Instructors

Your instructors both have more than 25 years of experience training people for the games, interactive and digital media sectors. With experience in game creation, strategy and public policy and studio-based education, your instructors have the training, experience and networks to help you achieve your goals.

The University of Calgary’s one week intensive course in game design is intended for university graduates with a desire to transfer their skills to the dynamic world of gaming, offering students a real sense of what it is like to work in the games industry.

In this team-based studio class, you will develop and pitch a product, identify your personal strengths in areas of specialization, and collaborate across disciplines in a production studio model. Examine and activate your previous education in the context of four core areas: code, story, media and practice. Experience what it's like to work at the forefront of the digital revolution, learn the language of the games studio, and find your fit.

Game design requires you to think in new ways about your work. In this course, you will learn to blend equal parts of arts, science, and business thinking as you journey through a week-long intensive that will require you to collaborate, pitch, plan, implement, and demonstrate your work to industry professionals who can help you fine tune your work and portfolio for your next steps in your career path.

Be an engine of change and drive your career to the next level.

What do I need to apply?

  • A bachelor’s degree, or equivalent experience
  • A letter outlining your interest in the program
  • A portfolio of work
  • An area of focus in mind

What other details do I need to know?

  • Format: One-week intensive course
  • Dates: Late April or early May 2021 (TBC)
  • Times: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Tuition: $1,998

Who should I contact for more information?

We make games. We learn by doing. We get better.

Our one-week intensive course uses an integrated approach to the four key pillars of game design: Code, Story, Content, and Practice. These four pillars operate in harmony to produce the quality players demand. Students in this program will work through two game-jam sessions; one at the start and one at the end of the course. The instructors, along with industry experts, will assess each participant and provide a skill development plan, including a model for personal portfolios required when applying for work in the industry.

The shortened timeframe for this intensive means participants are expected to enter the program with an area of focus in mind, and a desire to align their existing skills with the team-based approach of the profession. Growth in the profession often involves the expansion of skillsets, but careers are built by working from strength to strength and not from generalization.


Admissions: interested parties should submit a letter explaining their interest in the program, and a portfolio of relevant work. Those selected for consideration will be interviewed by the instructors. All interviewees will receive a skills diagnostic from the instructors. Admission is competitive. 


Focus Areas

(areas may be combined depending on each team’s experience)

  • Intermediate Programming: i.e. Unity’s implementation of C# and/or Unreal Engine’s Blueprint (with a solid foundation in C++);
  • Game Environment Design: assembling and modifying existing 3D models for all aspects of a game level;
  • Scripting/Writing: adapting existing scripts to fit game level requirements;
  • Media Production: manage digital audio, user interface design.


Course Level Learning Outcomes

By completion of this course, and depending on pre-existing skills, participants will be able to:

  • Chart a skills-based plan for a career in the games industry;
  • Join a production team in a game design studio;
  • Create an independent game production;
  • Plan, pitch, and implement a game design (game industry professionals will participate in the final presentations and provide feedback the instructors will curate for each participant)


Topics of Instruction (The Four Pillars of Game Design)

  • Code: game engine architecture; code design patterns; game logic and mechanics; troubleshooting; styles of programming for game engines
  • Story: narrative forms (branched; lore-based), character and place; story flow for games; creating and maintaining player engagement through level design
  • Content: 3D objects; Mesh Optimization; Textures; Shaders; 3D Audio; Environments; Particle Systems; Procedural Textures
  • Practice: game design documentation; managing team communications; Agile strategies for project management.



Admission based on portfolio review and interview with instructors.