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Introduction to Video Game Making


Admission requirements

Not applicable.


Once upon a time, developing computer games required in-depth knowledge of computer hardware — how it works, and how to program for it. While this is still the case for commercial game development, there are now more resources than ever that support newcomers in creating a game project.

In this course you will learn the basic principles of game development and how to deconstruct a game idea into the many challenges that need to be solved to create it. Apart of creating games, this course will give you a better understanding of the ways in which the technological aspects of the medium shape their rhetorical, visual, and narrative dimensions. This will help you to become a well-informed game critic and give you the ability to express your ideas through the medium of video games.

To enjoy this course you should be enthusiastic about creating games and interested in analysing games that you might not usually choose to play. Game development is typically a team effort — as such you should expect to work together with other students on a shared project.

Computer Requirements:
A personal computer or laptop is required to follow this course. MacOS or Windows operating systems are preferred, but all class material will also be compatible with Linux. Note that Linux users need to have a deep understanding of the Linux platform to troubleshoot any issues they might face. A performant computer is recommended, however most Intel or AMD CPUs sold after 2015 should be sufficient. A dedicated GPU can be beneficial but is not required. If in doubt, please contact the lecturer before the beginning of the course.

For students without programming experience:
This course does not cover the basics of programming. While following the course without prior programming experience is very doable, it will require you to be pro-active in learning from tutorials and your peers. Keep this in mind before joining, but do not be afraid to try — some of the best projects in the past came from students that had never programmed before!

For students with prior game development experience:
If you have created a game with Unity, Unreal, or any other 2D / 3D game engine before, this course might be too basic for your needs. If you have created your own game engine in the past, it will definitely be too basic.

Course objectives

  • Understand the basic principles of game development

  • Understand the difference between game development, game design, and many of the individual tasks that go into making a video game

  • Deconstruct the intended functionality of a video game into smaller tasks

  • Creatively solve tasks and make informed decisions in choosing solutions when creating video games

  • Create working video games that are ready to be shared with the world


The most updated version of the timetables can be found on the students' website:

Mode of instruction

Lectures, self study, discussions, and team work.

Assessment method

  • Exam (20%)

  • Individual Project (30%)

  • Group Project (50%)

The exam takes place about 2/3 into the course. The individual project is due half-way through the course. The group project is due at the end of the course.

Students will receive a breakdown of correct answers after the exam, with one lecture dedicated to to reviewing the answers together. For the individual project and the group project, written feedback is provided within two weeks after the respective project deadlines.

The teacher will inform the students how the inspection of and follow-up discussion of the exams will take place.

Reading list

Throughout the course students will receive articles or papers to read and games to play. All essential material is freely available through the University. Additional, non-essential material might be recommended from time to time.


Aanmelding voor vakken verloopt via uSis. Hiervoor is de uSis-code van het vak nodig, die te vinden zijn in de Studiegids. Meer info over het inschrijven voor vakken of tentamens is hier te vinden.


In MyTimetable kun je alle vak- en opleidingsroosters vinden, waarmee jij je persoonlijke rooster kunt samenstellen. Onderwijsactiviteiten waarvoor je in uSis staat ingeschreven, worden automatisch in je rooster getoond. Daarnaast kun je My Timetable gemakkelijk koppelen aan een agenda-app op je telefoon en worden roosterwijzigingen automatisch in je agenda doorgevoerd; bovendien ontvang je desgewenst per e-mail een notificatie van de wijziging.

Vragen? Bekijk de video-instructie, lees de instructie of neem contact op met de ISSC helpdesk.


Inschrijving voor vakken verloopt via uSis. Wanneer je je hier inschrijft voor een bepaald vak krijg je automatisch ook toegang tot de omgeving van dit vak via Brightspace.

Voor meer informatie over Brightspace kun je op deze link klikken om de handleidingen van de universiteit te bekijken. Bij overige vragen of problemen kan contact opgenomen worden met de helpdesk van de universiteit Leiden.

Contact information

Riet Derogee, programme coordinator for the Computer Science Bsc (