Prof. Carlos Vaz de Carvalho, Martin Sillaots, Joze Rugelj, Olivier Heidmann, and Paula Escudeiro

Serious Game Design and Development

  • FREE
  • English
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Certificate included

What is the course about?

Course Summary

The course addresses the design and development of Serious Games. Serious Games are games that do not have entertainment as the main purpose but rather an educational, awareness raising, training, advertisement or other “serious” purpose that benefits from the engaging context that games provide to motivate the users. Serious Games have been typically used in education, training, health, defense and other sectors.

MOOC students will go through all the steps of the development of a Serious Educational Game from selecting the idea and binding it with learning goals to the development and testing of the game prototype in an environment that does not require programming skills. The programme of study will allow students to understand the process of idealizing, designing, developing, testing and delivering a game. At the same time, students will benefit from a hands-on experience, working in intercultural and interdisciplinary teams, exploiting the expertise of an international team of participating teachers and industry experts.

What do I learn?

The course objective is to allow students understand the process of idealizing, designing, developing, testing and delivering a serious game.

In the end, students will be able to...

  • Understand and comment the main concepts of game culture and digital game theory
  • Analyze game taxonomies and identify the specific characteristics of each game type
  • Carry out analyses and user tests to understand users’ demands and needs and convert them into serious game requisites (including learning objectives for game-based learning)
  • Understand and apply serious game methodologies
  • Understand the concepts related to game play, game flow, interactive narratives, storytelling and apply them in practice to develop an addictive game
  • List the main tools (game editors) available to develop games and to identify the best one for a specific purpose
  • Use a specific game editor to develop a serious game
  • Idealize, design, develop, test and deliver a serious game

What do I need to know?

Basic computer and internet skills


Approximately 5 hours per week for watching video lectures, taking quizzes and completing homework assignments.

Course instructors