About this Course
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Approx. 16 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 hours/week...


Subtitles: English

Skills you will gain

Marketing CommunicationsProduct DevelopmentPlanningNew Product DevelopmentEntrepreneurship

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Approx. 16 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 hours/week...


Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

4 hours to complete

Show Me the Money!

The reality is that making games isn't just about art and creativity, though sometimes some of us wish that were the case. All art has economic considerations. Creative people need food, shelter and safe creative spaces to work within. Thus, one way or another the question of the economics of games is going to prove important. So understanding the flow of money in the game industry, as well as how to protect your own ideas will prove paramount in being able to make the craft of making games an economically justifiable activity.

10 videos (Total 75 min), 4 readings, 4 quizzes
10 videos
The Business of Videogames6m
Funding Models - Part 16m
Funding Models - Part 28m
Where are Games Sold?12m
How do You Make Money?5m
IP - Intellectual Property4m
IP - Copyright11m
IP- Patents and Trade Secrets6m
IP - Protecting Yourself9m
4 readings
Welcome to the Dark Side...10m
The Game Industry and Making Money10m
The IP Conundrum...10m
Template for SWOT Analysis10m
3 practice exercises
Reflecting on Games and Money6m
The Game Industry and Money10m
Intellectual Property10m
4 hours to complete

Games are Made of People

I think one of the most important things to realize about the business of games is that games are made up of people. While I'm borrowing the line from "Soylent Green" to be a bit funny, the reality is that creative people really do live and breath the games that they make and a game can't exist without a good team behind it. In this module, you will explore the fundamentals of game production and teamwork. You will get a foundation in some of the project management tools and techniques that while you may not use them on this project will help you be a better game developer in the long run.

10 videos (Total 65 min), 5 readings, 4 quizzes
10 videos
It's About the People7m
Project Management Techniques6m
Complexity and Iteration6m
Project Management Tools6m
Leadership Qualities6m
Leadership Style7m
Leadership Tasks5m
5 readings
A Game Production Primer10m
Project Management Tools and Techniques10m
SCRUM in 10 Minutes10m
The Foundations of Leadership10m
Production Schedule Template Documents10m
3 practice exercises
Teamwork Fundamentals Quiz10m
Project Management Quiz8m
Leadership Quiz8m
4 hours to complete

Pitching Your Game and Yourself

It may seem a bit cliché, but the idea that perception is reality is perhaps doubly important in games. This doesn't mean that style rules over substance, but that they ultimately both have to exist. That can be a hard thing to hear, that how you present something (including yourself) is as important as what you are saying. This is why in this module we want you to think about presenting yourself or your game and how to best position it or you to get a job or interest people in your project. We're not asking you to write this time, so get ready to pitch!

9 videos (Total 74 min), 5 readings, 2 quizzes
9 videos
Public Speaking - What Works?8m
Effective Visuals5m
How to Demo Your Game7m
Getting a Job...9m
Perfecting the Resume8m
Finding a Game Job9m
Interested People Are Interesting6m
5 readings
Some Notes on Your Personal or Game Pitch10m
Positioning Yourself10m
The Portfolio10m
Going Indy...10m
Pitching Yourself...10m
1 practice exercise
The Art of the Demo10m
4 hours to complete

Entrepreneurship and Starting a Company

Starting a company isn't for everyone. But it is also good to know what goes into starting a company even if you're not the one doing it. Often times, as an employee, it can feel pretty arbitrary why a company makes the decisions it does (and sometimes it is, but for the sake of argument, we'll assume that the person at the helm of the company isn't just making random decisions). But, often there is a logic there and understanding why a company does what it does is often rooted in the logics that we will be discussing here.

7 videos (Total 47 min), 4 readings, 3 quizzes
7 videos
Launching a Business6m
Business Structures8m
Business Planning7m
Client Communication7m
Physical Communication6m
4 readings
Your Friends are NOT a Company10m
Launching a Business10m
Work for Hire and Clients10m
Competitive Analysis Templates and Discussion10m
2 practice exercises
Launching a Business Quiz8m
Work for Hire Communication Quiz6m
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Top reviews from Business of Games and Entrepreneurship

By AAJun 5th 2016

A 'must' for everyone! Entrepreneurship is something unique, is not for everyone but can be reached with some effort. A course that can be applied to all areas. Nice experience.

By RDJan 31st 2017

I am grateful to Coursera and MSU for this great leaning opportunity.Thanks Coursera and MSU for providing me such a great learning opportunity.Rafi Ud Din-Pakistan.



Casey O'Donnell

Associate Professor
Media and Information

About Michigan State University

Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 150 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges....

About the Game Design and Development Specialization

Break into the video game industry with theoretical, technical, and business knowledge from one of the world’s best programs. This Specialization covers the theoretical and practical foundations of video game production using the Unity 3D game engine. The Specialization is taught by faculty at Michigan State University with over fifty years of combined experience building games and teaching game production. Michigan State University is one of the top-rated game design and development programs in North America. You’ll learn to develop a game concept; prototype, test, and iterate on your ideas; and navigate licensing, marketing, and other business considerations. The specialization builds a solid foundation for industry roles as a gameplay designer, level designer, technical designer, technical artist, programmer, or producer. The capstone partner for the specialization is the online game portal Kongregate, which provides an avenue for distribution of the capstone project, as well as a pathway for monetization for aspiring game developers....
Game Design and Development

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you enroll in the course, you get access to all of the courses in the Specialization, and you earn a certificate when you complete the work. Your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

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