If you haven’t heard, Central Michigan University, in cooperation with Gen Con, started offering classes focusing on Applied Game Design. These six-week online courses make it easy to learn new game design techniques and pursue a new gaming passion, learning from RPG Industry Experts of all stripes.
The next and newest class begins on January 17, 2023, called Intermediate RPG Design: From Alpha to Beta to Published Work, our first 201 class that builds on previous knowledge students may already possess or have learned in The Art of Gamecrafting, which broadly covered the basics of game design. Today, I’m giving you 5 Big Reasons to take this new class.
If any of the reasons below speak to you, check out the course in detail and SIGN UP TODAY!
#1 – To Take Steps to Finish Your Game
If you’ve been at it for a while, you know that starting a new game design is easy… but finishing one is incredibly difficult. There are so many pieces to creating an Alpha for your game already, but to bring it from Alpha to Beta or even to full Publishing quality can seem daunting to many. Within the Intermediate RPG Design course, we’ll be taking each piece of what a game ultimately is and breaking down how it works, why it works, what doesn’t work, and then putting it all back together in a form you may not even recognize.
Many students are coming to the class with a “mostly-working” Alpha version of their game with the intent of finishing it off. But Intermediate RPG Design is perfect for those with Beta versions ready for playtesting or even completely finished games where the designer wants to find possible improvements to be released as supplemental material down the line. We go through a lot of material that can level up just about any game.
#2 – To Playtest Your Game
While the focus is on designing your game, there’s really only one way to know if you’re headed in the right direction. During the course of the class, there are opportunities to share your game with the other students in playtest sessions. You may have tested it with your friends or at a local convention, but Intermediate RPG Design offers a safe space to try new things, make mistakes, and get feedback from other designers, which is a useful tool.
In addition to class time devoted to lessons on effectively garnering feedback and new design ideas from playtesting, knowing how to evaluate said feedback is just as crucial a skill. Playtesting your game during class is key to learning exactly where improvements are necessary or tweaks can be made, and this is the perfect place to do so to make your game as good as it can possibly be.
#3 – To Start Building Connections
Not to be understated, but when you have an entire class full of game designers at different levels of expertise and stages of their Game Industry career, attending the Intermediate RPG Design course is a great network opportunity. Each and every student is working on a game, finishing a game, playtesting a game, starting a new venture, or attempting to put their mark on the industry. Individual design journeys often align, connecting participants through their RPG concepts or possible design philosophies, or they just get along and enjoy each other’s company. We’ve seen new writing duos and teams come together during class, with some students gravitating to each other naturally. Your innovative Industry Expert in Eloy Lasanta also keeps an eye on and finds ways to cultivate these interactions. It’s essential to utilize the class in every way possible and building connections that could last for years is just one aspect of why Intermediate RPG Design is just right for you!
#4 – To Learn Publishing Basics
For some, creating the game is the easy part… but learning how to get it out to the public is the real challenge. Luckily, Intermediate RPG Design will also touch on what it takes to package your game to catch the public’s attention and get it into as many hands as possible. This includes the basics of project management, hiring freelancers, planning your release strategy, and budgeting. These skills don’t always come so quickly to those with more creative minds, as we tend to push things like contracting and paying taxes to the bottom of our to-do lists. Attending Intermediate RPG Design, however, should prove to give you a running start and make acclimating to this aspect of design much more accessible if that’s something you’re interested in pursuing.
#5 – To Get a Shiny Certificate
Intermediate RPD Design is but one course offered within Central Michigan University’s Applied Game Design program. Once you’ve completed three courses, you earn a shiny new certification to make your way through the game industry much more straightforward. This can aid in pitching your game to established publishers, adding an air of professionalism to your game and moving it to the top of the submission stack. Your certificate tells others… “I know what I’m talking about”.
Likewise, many freelancers find it difficult to get noticed among the hundreds of applicants hoping to work on the hottest RPGs on the market. If it comes down to you and an equally qualified designer, however, an Applied Game Design certificate may give you an edge, whether applying with a small company or one of the industry giants. There are no guarantees, obviously, but don’t you want any advantage you can get?