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

789 ratings

About the Course

Start creating your world. A game world is not just a backdrop for your game—be it minimal or detailed, contained or part of a much bigger universe, it provides the context for your player. Ultimately, a game world should feel alive and wholly unique to any player who will experience it. In this course, we will explore game worlds in existing games and study the art and influences that inform their themes and styles. We will also investigate key components of environment and level design as well as strategies designers use to define gameplay or advance it. We’ll also look at navigation and the elements that make your world as real (or unreal) as you want it to be. A weekly challenge will prompt you to explore styles and inspirations for possible game worlds, and you’ll learn effective ways to communicate your ideas from concepts to presentation-worthy proofs of concept....

Top reviews


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This is a fantastic course to run your imagination to it's top! You can built your own game world and show it to other students. The learning curve is definitely improving with this course!


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i really loved this course. it inspired me to be more innovative and think out of the box. it changed my mindset a lot. so thanks to my instructor and my peers. your words meant a lot to me.

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151 - 175 of 195 Reviews for World Design for Video Games

By Julian A

Oct 29, 2018

You could improve it a little more making the videos more dynamic.

By Aaron S

Dec 18, 2015

I had good assignments, but less content than I expected.

By Deiverson

Mar 23, 2017

Excelent! But I miss the interaction with the teacher.

By JTB392

Jun 26, 2020

Great course, really helped me shape my game world.

By Petros K

Dec 3, 2015

great and informative course :) really enjoyed it

By Zineb B

Jun 2, 2017

Really valuable and informative course.

By Ahmed E

Jul 20, 2017

it is useful but very very basics

By Muhammad U

Apr 10, 2017

Simply Awesome.

By Rodrigo F C H

Jul 1, 2021

nice course

By mehar s

Apr 22, 2020


By Adrianna ( S

Jul 9, 2022

I found this the most disappointing class by far in the specialization. The instructor rambles on about various video game tropes, laying out every possible option for a world: "maybe there are villains! or maybe not. maybe your world is a spaceship! or, maybe it isn't." This isn't helpful analysis, or guidance on how to creatively bring these ideas in our own worlds—they're just observations of what's already out there, the same kind of observations you could get from any video game fan. If this course is every revisted and re-recorded, I hope the instructor holds off from just introducing ideas, and focuses instead on advice for how we land on them: less "colors affect your game design," because duh, of course they do, and more "here are some different ways to test and play with the colors of your game design"—because yeah, that's something I could work on. The other courses in this specialization are fantastic at this kind of teaching, and I wish this course lived up to their success.

By Julio d O J

Mar 31, 2021

Lectures are a bit on the vague side, and most doesn't dive too deep on the concepts. The tasks however are very thoughtful and guide you towards slowly crafting a coesive world. I think that major problem with the tasks is that, since they are peer reviewd and the reviewers are chosen at random, it becomes increasingly difficult to understand the coesion of the peers worlds, and the feedback on your own tasks also ends up getting increasingly vague with each week. There should be a sense of progression in the tasks, powered by each iteration.

By Piotr K

Apr 5, 2021

I think the course is good overall, and in some way explaining the idea of World Design. I liked the tasks and how they are explained. My rating is 3 as the instructor, unfortunately, didn't have a great way of expressing the excitement about the topic of World Design. In some moments it was hard for me to listen as everything was on one note, no punctuation, no articulation, etc.

By Francois B

Nov 23, 2015

I am all for short videos but here it is a little bit too short... Tehchnically there is about 1h of videos for the 4 weeks of this course and no real documentations to review.

Hence you get few pointers on how to design game wold for video games and really case studies in my opinion... A full review of one or two games would have been a great addition.

By Deborah M M

Dec 10, 2015

Short, simplistic. Could be done in a week. Very much a beginner's course for those who have not mindfully observed the game worlds in which they play. The student may come away with a few new ideas and the greatest value is in having peers review the homework assignments. Worth the time, if you quickly breeze through it.

By David M

Oct 11, 2019

There are are very useful tips and ideas in this class and I appreciated completing the assignments. I have a much better vision of my game world now than I did beforehand. However, the pace and vocabulary of the teacher was at times confusing or redundant, making the process of taking notes much more complicated.

By Travis A

Oct 19, 2016

The content from the instructor is very, very brief. Maybe this is just a simple introduction course but it also seems like the topics are covered in a very vague, abstract way with little exploration on a deeper level. The assignments are really good though, great projects for sparking the creative process.

By Marcus J

Aug 1, 2020

It's adequate for learning world-building concepts, though it doesn't really go into what makes the process different in video games until the last assignment. Be advised: the instructor has a thick accent that makes it hard to understand him at times.

By Kucherov A

Dec 14, 2020

It's not that bad, actually, just don't expect the lectures to be specific, like the ones from the previous courses. I really recommend doing the assignments, finish them first and then write everything you've found important.

By André W L O

Aug 21, 2017

to me, this course was a little obvious... one thing here, other there... it is not a bad course... but I expected a little more...

about the teacher, he is good, I like it (4 stars)... but the content is very "lightweight".

By Chandan B

Jun 11, 2017

The course is good for learning how to organize and visualize, however I was expecting some sketching assignments also. Such kind of assignment which actually helps the learner draw together a world bit by bit.

By Karl A

Jan 12, 2016

Easy to follow and well-packed with good information and tips, but I would like to see some kind of quiz-function along the course to test the knowledge I've been learning.

By Francisco N

Dec 28, 2015

The course is fun but the content is too general. I like to know more methods and technics to develop a game world, considering genres, mechanics and gameplay options.

By Naila W

Jun 2, 2020

The instructure has language barrier and its making hard to understand, but week 2 and 3 and 4 has some really great homeworks and enlightment

By Juan C D M

Dec 24, 2015

The course is ok, but it doesn't give any certificate of completition for free users (something that many other course do give).