7 Best Game Development Courses for Beginners (2024 Updated)

Last Updated on June, 2024

Playing a video game is everyone’s favorite thing to do! 

Some people like me will even play video game(s) 24/7 and later will make it their passion to become a developer or at least to know some basic science behind game designing, developing, and video game(s). 

If you’re someone like me (who loves to know what’s in the heads of game designers), this piece will benefit you without a doubt. 

Keep reading…

Best 7 Game Development Courses

1. Game Design And Development With Unity 2020 Specialization

a screenshot of the Game Design And Development With Unity 2020 Specialization course from Coursera

Platform: Coursera

Instructor: Brian Winn

Course Duration: 2 months at 10 hours a week

Brian Winn is a highly experienced game design professor (who studied computer science) at Michigan State University for over 15 years. He’s your unity instructor for this course, renowned for simplifying complex concepts.

GUESS WHAT? Brain has authored multiple game design and development books, establishing himself as an expert.

In this course, you’ll learn various aspects including:

  • To learn game design theory for character and skill level design. 
  • This online course can enhance your scripting ability with C# programming language. 
  • Craft your own 2D and 3D games using Unity.
  • Integrate artificial intelligence (AI) to create intelligent opponents for challenging gameplay. 
  • Develop a solid foundation in game-making concepts and data structures applicable to your projects.
  • Optimize games for various platforms and devices.

Pros

You can learn from an experienced trainer
Obtain a credible certificate upon completion 
Engage in various projects and assignments for practical learning 
Collaborative learning with peers, receiving feedback on your projects
Comprehensive coverage from game design theory to C# programming

Cons

Requires a significant time commitment due to its comprehensive nature

If you’re interested in designing and developing your games using UNITY, you should definitely try this course! The best part? You can enroll for free.

In short, Through this course, you can gain valuable abilities and experience in game-making/development through this course’s practical approach. You can collaborate with fellow students, receive feedback, and even earn a valuable credential upon completion.


2. CG Spectrum Platform

a screenshot of the CG Spectrum courses from CG Spectrum

Platform: CG Spectrum

Instructor: Troy Dunniway, Firas Hosn, Heath Smith, Bryan Griffiths, and more

Course Duration: That depends on the course you choose

If you’re into video games like Mortal Kombat, Far Cry 6, The Sims 4, and Tomb Raider, you’ve probably heard of CG Spectrum. This platform helps you learn game-making from the experts behind these famous games. 

GUESS WHAT? CG Spectrum offers various game design-making courses for both beginners and those with some experience.

Here, you’ll learn:

  • To know what makes a game addictive.
  • Programming in C++.
  • Create characters and assets.
  • Data structures and problem solving. 
  • Learn software development tools like Maya, Substance Painter, and Unreal Engine.

Pros

Flexible schedules, learn at your own pace
Choose between 1-on-1 or group lessons
Get personalized feedback from mentors
Wide range of courses from beginner to intermediate levels
Learn from experienced professionals

Cons

Courses are expensive, but the quality of teaching justifies the cost

This course is for anyone interested in game development. Whether you’re a beginner or have some experience, CG Spectrum has courses to help you build a strong foundation or enhance your skills. 

In short, Choose CG Spectrum if you’re considering a career switch to game-making/development.

The courses are demanding and pricey, but they provide thorough training, making you a professional video game designer with a deep understanding of the industry.


3. C# Programming For Unity Game Development Specialization

a screenshot of the C# Programming For Unity Game Development Specialization course from Coursera

Platform: Coursera

Instructor: Dr. Tim Chamillard

Course Duration: 3 months at 10 hours a week

This is one of my favorite courses led by Dr. Tim Chamillard, an expert in C# computer programming for game making/development using Unity. He has a Ph.D. in Computer Science and over 15 years of software development experience. 

Through this course, you can learn essential abilities for game-making with Unity and C#. This course is by the University of Colorado System. 

Dr. Chamillard’s extensive knowledge makes him an excellent instructor to teach you the basics of C# programming and how it applies to Unity game development.

Here, you’ll learn:

  • To develop interactive gameplay mechanics and user interfaces.
  • Create and manipulate 2D and 3D objects using Unity’s game engine.
  • Basics of C# programming and how to use it in game making with Unity.
  • Understand game physics and animations for a realistic gaming experience. 
  • Publish and distribute games across various platforms, including PC, mobile, and console.
  • Use version control systems like GIT for collaborative game development. 

Pros

Training by a highly qualified instructor with extensive experience in C# programming and Unity game development
Gain access to a supportive community of learners for collaboration and idea-sharing
A credible certificate upon completion
Practical and hands-on projects with valuable experience in Unity and C# game making
Detailed approach suitable for those aiming for a career in the gaming industry

Cons

Hard for those without prior experience in programming as it needs basic understanding of programming concepts
Not suitable for those interested in game making other than Unity

TRUST ME. This specialization is ideal for developers and programmers who want to learn C# programming and game-making with Unity. (You can enroll for free) 

In short, it offers high-quality instruction, an in-detailed approach, practical projects, and a supportive community, making it an excellent choice for those serious about game-making.


4. Unreal Engine: Create An Arcade Classic

a screenshot of the Unreal Engine: Create An Arcade Classic course from Udemy

Platform: Udemy

Instructor: Greg Wondra

Course Duration: 26h 26m total length

Greg Wondra is a seasoned game development expert who shares his vast knowledge and experience in an Udemy course on creating classic arcade games using Unreal Engine. The students love his practical and engaging teaching style. 

Wondra guides students through building their games, enhancing game design skills, and using Blueprint scripting.

In this course, you’ll learn:

  • To make a classic arcade game. 
  • Use blueprint scripting in Unreal Engine. 
  • Publish games on popular platforms. 
  • Develop game design abilities for engaging mechanics with unreal engine(s). 
  • Gain hands-on experience with game engine tools. 
  • Master creating immersive sound effects and music.

Pros

Practical abilities applicable to personal game-making
Comprehensive coverage, including game design, scripting, sound, and publishing
Certificate of completion
No need prior experience to join the course
20+ hours of video content offer excellent value for money

Cons

This course will not suit those seeking different game types or complex mechanics beyond arcade classic games
You’ll have to spend more time to learn to create arcade classic games

This course is suitable for anyone interested in game development, regardless of experience. (Great, right?) The good news is that with $8.54, you can enroll for this course – with a 30-day Money-Back Guarantee!

In short, this is a fun, engaging course with a practical curriculum, accessible teaching, and great value for both beginners and experienced developers.


5. Designing Video Game Soundtracks For Beginners

 a screenshot of the Designing Video Game Soundtracks For Beginners course from Domestika

Platform: Domestika

Instructor: Antonio Teoli

Course Duration: 3 hours and 12 minutes

This course is led by Antonio Teoli, a sound designer with over ten years of experience. He’s passionate about game design and teaching, making this course essential for those wanting to learn video game sound design.

Here, you’ll learn:

  • To use tools and software to make custom sound effects and music.
  • This online course will give tips for integrating sound design into the game-making process. 
  • To create immersive soundscapes for a better player experience.
  • Start a career in professional sound design for video games, including portfolio building.
  • Basics of sound design, using different effects, ambient sounds, and music to convey mood.
  • Best practices for working with game developers, software engineering, and the web development team. 
  • Tips for integrating sound design into the game-making process.

Pros

No prior experience needed
Insights into the overall game development process
Insights into the overall game making process
Learn from an experienced professional who loves teaching
Practical new skills for immediate project application 
Supportive environment with a community connection 

Cons

Only available in Spanish with English subtitles
Not suitable for advanced sound designers seeking specialized techniques

This course is for beginners (introductory course) interested in video game sound design, but it is also beneficial for seasoned pros looking for a new perspective on game development. You can enroll for this course ONLY FOR $13.28.

Note: After your 30-day trial period, $2.90/month (One payment of $34.75). You can cancel at any time.

In short, This course is a fantastic opportunity to explore how soundtracks are made, led by an experienced instructor. The hands-on learning and practical abilities make it ideal for creating engaging audio experiences. 

This course’s supportive environment and community connection enhance its overall value.


6. The Beginner’s Guide To Animation In Unity

a screenshot of the The Beginner’s Guide To Animation In Unity course from Udemy

Platform: Udemy

Instructor: Penny de Byl

Course Duration: 11h 19m total length

In this course about animation in Unity, Penny de Byl, a skilled game developer and teacher, shares her extensive experience.

This introductory course is great for beginners, as Penny’s clear and engaging teaching style makes learning Unity animation accessible and enjoyable.

Here, you’ll learn:

  • To understand the basics of Unity’s animation system, including keyframes and animation curves.
  • This online course will help you create cool animations for your Unity games, even if you’re a complete beginner. 
  • Learn techniques for making games smooth and natural character animations. 
  • Get tips on optimizing your animations for smooth game performance on any device.
  • Learn tricks for seamlessly blending and transitioning between animations. 
  • Use animation events to trigger actions during gameplay, like character attacks or sound effects.

Pros

Beginner-friendly game design to avoid feeling overwhelmed
Gain hands-on experience creating animations, a valuable skill for developers
Can learn from an instructor expertise in animation and unity game engine(s) 
Can develop a solid understanding of Unity’s animation system and the confidence to create your own animations
Well-structured course with plenty of examples and exercise for reinforcement

Cons

The course covers a lot but may not go into as much depth on specific topics, depending on your learning goals
Focused towards beginners, so advanced Unity users may find some content too basic

This course is perfect for anyone wanting to learn animation for Unity games, especially beginners. You can enroll for this course with just $11.07 to gain full-time access. 

In short, Penny’s clear teaching style, hands-on exercises, and practical tips provide a strong foundation for beginners to create quality game animations.

Whether you’re aspiring to be a game developer or want to add animation skills, this course is worth checking out!


7. The Complete Guide To C# Unity 2D Programming

a screenshot of the Complete Guide To C# Unity 2D Programming course from Skillshare

Platform: Skillshare

Instructor: Michael Murr

Course Duration: 22 hours and 42 minutes

This excellent course on Skillshare is taught by an experienced instructor named Michael Murr, who knows a lot about C# Unity 2D programming. He makes learning super easy. In this course, you’ll quickly learn how to make 2D games using C# in Unity.

You’ll learn:

  • To make your player move, jump, and double-jump.
  • Set up a Unity game engine project and add assets, sprites, and animations. 
  • Create smart enemies that patrol and attack. 
  • Use Unity’s physics engine for realistic collisions and interactions. 
  • To build user interfaces and menus to make your game better.
  • To learn graphic design and various aspects of creative writing.

Pros

The projects are fun, keeping you motivated and focused
Michael Murr’s teaching style is easy to follow all the lessons step-by-step 
You’ll learn practical skills you can use right away in your own game projects
You get to make your own 2D games and be creative
There’s a community of learners you can connect with 

Cons

There’s no formal certification when you finish the course
You need to spend time and effort to get the most out of this course. If you want a quick and easy intro, this might not be for you 

This course is for anyone who wants to learn C# Unity 2D programming and make their 2D games, no matter their skill level. You can get started on this beginner-level course for free. 

In short, this course is great for all learners. With a good instructor, lots of topics covered, and hands-on projects, you’ll have the tools to make your 2D games and reach your goals.


Why Learn Game Design?

Learning game design is cool for many reasons. It lets you be super creative, making cool worlds and characters. You also get to solve tricky problems, making your brain think smart. Tech skills like programming and 3D game design become your superpowers.

You learn to work in teams, making awesome game design(s) with friends. The gaming world is big and growing, giving you lots of chances to make interesting stuff.

You even get to tell cool stories in games. Learning game design is like opening the door to a fun world where you can make things and do what you love the most.

How Much Does it Cost?

There are different OPTIONS to learn game development, and they vary in cost and depth of content.

Platforms like Skillshare and Coursera offer subscription-based models. Skillshare is subscription-only, providing access to various courses, including game development. 

Coursera, on the other hand, allows you to buy classes individually and offers a FREE trial period. However, you need to pay for certificates even after completing a free course.

Both platforms give you access to a broad range of courses on various topics, making them potentially good for money.

On platforms like CG Spectrum, you’ll find high-quality classes with experienced instructors and valuable certificates.

These courses are expensive, but they offer personalized feedback and a comprehensive understanding of the industry. The investment includes lifetime access to materials, assignments, and extra resources.

Udemy provides cheaper individual courses. While they may include feedback, they cover less material and focus on the basics of the subject. 

So, the pricing depends on the course and the platform you choose!

Are There Free Game Development Courses?

a boy learning Game Development through Game Development online course

Yes, there are! You can try the following courses for making games for free. (I’ve already discussed some of these classes in detail above.)

  • Game Design And Development With Unity 2020 Specialization:

Coursera offers a 7-day free trial for specializations. It’s a short period, but enough to see what the classes are like. 

However, remember that these specializations are quite long, so you may not finish them during the trial.

  • C# Programming For Unity Game Development Specialization:

Similar to the first one, this specialization on Coursera also has a trial period. You can use this time to get a taste of the content and decide if it’s right for you. 

  • Game Design: Art And Concepts Specialization:

Again, Coursera provides a 7-day trial for specializations. Take advantage of this to explore the course material, including pixel art, and determine if it aligns with your interests.

  • The Complete Guide To C# Unity 2D Programming:

Skillshare is a subscription platform with a month-long free trial (as already mentioned). During this time, not only can you complete the course but also check out other classes that catch your interest.

This way, you can test these classes without any financial commitment and decide which one suits you the BEST! (give it a try, and thank me later)

What to Look Out for in a Game Development Course?

Don’t be careless when picking the best online game development course because it’s ONLINE! There can be scams, too. Tick these before you enroll for a course to make sure you’ve chosen the right course!

  • Instructor: ALWAYS look for a qualified and inspiring teacher with a portfolio you appreciate. Check the instructor’s credentials before enrolling. Consider your learning preferences – whether you prefer a relaxed and informal style or a more academic approach. 

A good instructor can guide you effectively through the course, enhancing your learning experience.

  • Price: Game-making classes vary in cost, ranging from free to expensive. Assess your budget and think about your specific interests within game development – whether it’s programming, game design, physics, artificial intelligence, or 2D/3D development. 

Choose a course that aligns with your goals and fits your budget.

  • Course Content: Evaluate the syllabus and curriculum. Ensure that the course covers the specific aspects of game development you’re interested in and provides a comprehensive understanding of the field.
  • Flexibility And Schedule: Consider the course’s flexibility in terms of schedule. Does it fit well with your other commitments? Look for classes that allow you to learn slowly or offer flexible schedules to accommodate different time zones.
  • Objectives: Clarify your goals before choosing a game development course. Do you want to expand your knowledge or pursue a professional career in game development? Assess your objectives to find a course that meets your specific needs. Look for courses with a solid reputation, practical experience, and opportunities to connect with industry professionals for career advancement. 
  • Certification And Recognition: Consider whether the course offers a certification upon completion and how recognized it is within the game development industry. Some classes provide certifications that can enhance your credibility when seeking employment. 

So, by considering these factors, you can make the correct decision and select a game development course that best aligns with your goals and preferences.

Benefits of Learning Game Development Courses

TRUST ME. Learning these classes online can offer numerous benefits for individuals interested in entering the game development industry as game designer(s) or enhancing their skills.

Here are some key benefits:

  • Online courses give the flexibility to study at your own pace and your schedule. This is great for those who may have other commitments such as work or school. 
  • Accessible to people around the world. You can access high-quality courses and resources from the comfort of your home, eliminating the need to relocate or commute.
  • Cost-effective than traditional education. Many platforms offer affordable classes, and there are no additional expenses for textbooks, commuting, or accommodation. 
  • You can get a variety of digital learning materials, including video lectures, tutorials, interactive assignments, and forums for discussion. 
  • Game-making classes online are frequently updated to reflect the latest industry trends and technologies. This ensures that learners are exposed to current and relevant information, preparing them for the ever-evolving landscape.
  • Offer specialized classes or tracks in specific areas of game development, allowing learners to focus on their areas of interest, such as programming, game design, pixel art, or sound.

And a lot more.

How Long Does it Take to Learn Game Development?

Do you know? Studying game development doesn’t follow a fixed timeline because the field is extensive. If you want to become a game designer, you might spend several months exploring one aspect. So, it’s important to set clear goals before starting. 

If you’re serious about a game-making career, go for longer courses or platforms that cover fundamental principles comprehensively. These classes can last weeks, months, or even years, demanding commitment.

However, if you’re looking to refresh or master specific skills, like game engine programming, shorter and more focused training is enough. These courses are time-efficient yet provide a strong knowledge base.

Other course categories you might like:

Conclusion

Which course took your attention?

My rating is for CG Spectrum’s courses. Because I ALWAYS love to get training from my favorite people who’ve designed some of my favorite games. 

I’ll not tell you to enroll for a specific course. Because that totally depends on your interests and preferences.

However, remember to research the basics well I covered in ‘What to look out for in a game development course’; it’ll help you a lot to make the right decision.

FAQs

The typical duration of game development courses varies, offering both long and short options to fit different learning goals and preferences.

Yes, it’s possible to acquire game development skills from home through online platforms like Coursera, edX, and Udemy, which offer courses for aspiring game designers.

C# and C++ are commonly used in game development due to their speed and efficiency. C# is primarily used with Unity, and C++ is used with Unreal Engine.

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Carlos Eduardo
Author
Carlos Eduardo
Hey there, I’m Carlos Eduardo, the Founder and Author of Scorebeyond. Delving deep into 20+ years of education transformation through innovative e-learning, I’ve poured my expertise into this platform. My enduring legacy continues to drive the path towards a future empowered by knowledge!

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