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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Character Design for Video Games by California Institute of the Arts

4.7
stars
790 ratings
212 reviews

About the Course

In this course you will explore concepts and approaches involved in creating successful character designs that can be applied to video games. Following a first week delving into some foundational concepts for successful character design, each of the remaining three weeks are structured as a master class where you will observe three professional character designers at work in the studio: Andy Ristaino (Adventure Time), Jacky Ke Jiang (Journey), and Robertryan Cory (SpongeBob SquarePants). Each designer will take on two different design challenges on the fly and address the various issues in designing characters for games, such as movement, expression, and technical limitations. At the end of each week you will have an opportunity to try out some of the concepts from that week's lesson on characters of your own design. This is a fun and engaging class especially useful for students interested in animation in film and TV as well as games, and is suitable for students of any drawing ability....

Top reviews

JM
Dec 21, 2016

As I said earlier, I recommend this course for everyone; doctors included (:\n\nI like how this course was treated in a different way. We see people doing the job on there ground, that's interesting.

AM
Nov 5, 2017

Fun and challenging to me. Is not easy to me to create new characters, but with this practice and professional examples, I feel more confident to just do and see what happens. Thank you, very much.

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1 - 25 of 205 Reviews for Character Design for Video Games

By Kalana H

May 15, 2020

Great course! The teaching techniques are extraordinary. With fun facts through the course, it never gets boring. For anyone who need to start something that will benefit your game design in arts, this here is your best choice. My heartfelt appreciation goes to all the tutors who put there time and effort to this. Great work and thank you! You guys are the best!

By A C Q C

Oct 19, 2020

It was an amazing ride, watching such professional designers do their work inspired me to do my best during the course. The activities were also very interesting, because I got to work with objects and concepts that I hadn't tried before. I spent a really good time and would gladly recommend it to all aspiring designers out there.

By Cathe B

Oct 13, 2016

I have an MFA from Calarts in animation- so I can speak from experience- the course here is on par with what I have studied in the past. It's well thought out, offers insight, and gives a chance to hone skills. Very good intro to character design- for comic writers as well!

By Eduardo L

Mar 15, 2016

For the first course, you will only be drawing. You will not learn anything about programming video games. It was nice that they showed famous artists for cartoons, but the videos felt too long, with dialogues that felt like rambling at times.

By Simon W

Jul 26, 2020

I liked the course itself and the assignments but something has to be done about spammers that just give one point and write "good" or "nice" in both the positive and negative feedback box. This really takes away a lot of the fun.

By Ramon M L

Nov 29, 2018

I like the course but missing some basics of character design. As body shapes drawing, personalities, i wanted some basics on how to draw and approach to designing characters.

By Bugra U S

Apr 28, 2020

Good for some inspiration, and homeworks may ignite some excitement to do more specially if you are a beginner in the area.

That said, for a course called Character Design for Video Games, there is not much talk about Designing stuff for Video Games. 3 Guest Artists are doing great, but not much talk about their process or ideas or how the designs will or may be implemented in a game environment which is an important factor. And stretching this into 3 weeks back to back with 15-20 minutes videos just artists drawing, kinda drags it down.

By Francisco N

Jan 29, 2016

The interviews were great, and useful to see a real experienced designer, however the contents in the course were almost nonexistent. The homework was well planed but it depends much more in the student to learn something that the contents exposed in the videos. Tips aren't the same as methodologies and content in character design.

By Michal K

May 30, 2016

Very open way of learning. Few talks with people from the industry, sharing their approach.

Not much of fundamental knowledge.

Generally great motivator to exercise Character Design. Not that great resource to learn from a beginning.

By Danel R

May 29, 2020

The ideas in this course were very interesting and I really enjoyed what the different guest artists had to say, however, it would be nice if the assignments were not only peer reviewed.

By David H

Jan 29, 2016

there was 1 concept taught in the first lesson that of density. then it was loads of videos of other people drawing characters, not actually going through a design process. and then a few assignments designing a few characters . I was hoping to learn more about some of the principles of character design- wasnt blown away by this course wont be taking any more of these

By Cassandra W

Oct 3, 2018

I thought these class could have been elevated with the professor actually teaching. I enjoyed the the animators thought process walk-through, but I didn't think that was sufficient as an actual course.

By Matthew C

Mar 29, 2021

This class is falsely advertised and its assignment requests are outrageous - you absolutely, 100% need above average drawing ability if you actually want to complete the work as outlined, and receive meaningful feedback. This is not a course about the philosophies or ideas behind character design; it's a class meant for artists, and it demands that you create genuine, visual representations of characters from scratch. Not just simple characters, either, but characters of varying complexity, designs, and inspirations. Literally impossible if you cannot draw or expertly use photoshop - that is, unless you consider spending hours uploading stick figures a worthwhile use of your time and subscription money.

By André M

Mar 31, 2016

Feels like a money grabber rather than teaching anything useful, when designing character for video games is also important the skill you have or obtain while doing it and this doesn't place any emphasis into it. So for the price the charge in the certificate it really feels like a money grabber rather than teaching anything useful at all. Other schools like Gnomon WorkShop and DVDs like "Eat3D" and many others out there, which gives e more content for a fraction of the price they charging here! It needs to be deeper and more robust if this course wants to stand out, right now is not.

By Maria K

May 21, 2020

I expected to get some structurized practical knowledge but the course consists simply of the interviews with designers. All the assignments are peer graded so you cannot receive any valuable feedback of the professsional. Such a disappointment.

By Omar J C R

Feb 29, 2016

Great course! Great teacher! Fun, engaging and very useful. I've been using the first four courses from CalArts Game Development Specialization to develop a game idea I've had jotted down some time ago and I've found them to be the best thing I could've done to get my game going on the Narrative and Visual fronts. I've been doing the first four courses in the five course specialization as an unpaid observer, but after taking these courses, I'm signing up for the full specialization. If the quality holds true, the project driven fifth course will be amazing and well worth the money. The teacher in this particular course (Same teacher as in the Introduction to Game design class) is funny and entertaining to watch. Definitely goes the extra mile, doing interviews with great character designers and exploring their unique processes. Highly recommended!

By Christina C

Feb 23, 2016

As a complete beginner to character design (and game design in general), I found this course very easy to understand with many great assignments to reinforce learning! I especially liked watching other designers create characters from scratch - seeing and hearing about the process other designers use to turn their ideas into a character they can use in a game - even animated characters - was particularly helpful. After completing this course, I now have many different character designs I can potentially use in my own games, along with awesome feedback from peers to make my character designs even better! I recommend this course to anyone interested in getting into game design and development.

By Esteban P

Dec 30, 2018

I liked the course, thanks to this I got the interest in learning the basics of drawing since I had never before tried to draw ... "at least as an adult", so I take a long time to face my fears.

But, I think the videos are too long. More than 5 or 8 minutes is already very long and makes you lose attention because it is more to see how a cartoonist, illustrator or character creator works and sometimes expresses something vague in the absence of a specific theme or objective in the idea that wants to transmit.

By B.n A

Aug 31, 2018

There was an extensive flow of activities and assignments that really helped spark the creative process and essentials to brainstorming effective, eye catching characters. Each week I learned how to develop certain areas of the character's traits or story. I loved the community and the peer guidance. It was truly a place where criticism was welcomed, and ideas were shared, and displayed thoughtfully. If I could take this class again, I would. I absolutely enjoyed every minute!

By Hawra F A

Oct 29, 2020

This course was different from the rest of the specialization. This course followed a character designer each week and we watched them complete a creative character drawing challenge while they gave us some tips or told us about their drawing style. The assignments were no joke, they required us to draw characters, but I was able to pass even with my bad drawing skills :P

I'm excited and nervous to complete this specialization with the final game design document course :D

By Carol B

Jul 15, 2017

Very in depth, and it was indeed wonderful to draw my own characters for more of a defining purpose than just for fun! I really appreciated the time to truly figure out what, and who, the characters are. Not only that, but learning how to make them more interesting to someone who knows everything about them, and seem more human. Thanks, Coursera, for the best course ever! (Well, so far. I say that 'cause it has helped tremendously.)

By Kelly

Feb 26, 2016

This was a great course! It was cool to see the perspectives of different artists. I only wish there had been more of them, with more different styles (What about someone who is more realistic? What about someone who is super stylized in a different way?) Really delightful to have the opportunity to hear their perspective on things and have them describe how they think about what they're doing and to see their different processes.

By Breanne C

Sep 7, 2018

Another fantastic course by Fran! He really shines as an instructor in this one, and makes the experience very enjoyable. I suspect he produced this Character Design course after the Game Design one, as all my complaints regarding the latter have been addressed here. I'd really love it if he went back and polished the Game Design one so that it would be on par with this. :)

By Mary A V

Jul 11, 2020

I really enjoyed the Sample studies with Industry artists, and the assignments were well thought out and interesting to work on! The professor is also very fun and energetic to listen to, even if some of the guests were a little hard to follow along with - but hey, talking while in the middle of creative process is hard!

By Ekaterina S

Feb 27, 2018

I loved this course and super recommend it to any one who wants to either boost his own characters designs or who wants to hear inspiring interviews from successful character designers! The course is full of valuable insights about the character design itself and hints on landing the jobs in this field.