About this Specialization

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Stemming from the principles of storytelling and design established in CalArts’ renowned Animation programs, this Specialization lays a primary foundation for experimentation and exploration of video game design, story, character development, and winning gameplay before programming begins. These four courses emphasize the self-reliance and personal expression of the gaming artist, and encourage you to take conceptual risks and develop new modes of expression and form through gaming. In the final Capstone Project, you’ll put your creative skills to work by generating an engaging game design document for a personal game project, outlining the conceptual, narrative and aesthetic elements of your game.
Learner Career Outcomes
67%
Started a new career after completing this specialization.
25%
Got a pay increase or promotion.

Shareable Certificate

Earn a Certificate upon completion

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible Schedule

Set and maintain flexible deadlines.

Beginner Level

Approx. 6 months to complete

Suggested 3 hours/week

English

Subtitles: English, Chinese (Traditional), Ukrainian, Chinese (Simplified), Portuguese (Brazilian), German, Russian, Spanish...
Learner Career Outcomes
67%
Started a new career after completing this specialization.
25%
Got a pay increase or promotion.

Shareable Certificate

Earn a Certificate upon completion

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible Schedule

Set and maintain flexible deadlines.

Beginner Level

Approx. 6 months to complete

Suggested 3 hours/week

English

Subtitles: English, Chinese (Traditional), Ukrainian, Chinese (Simplified), Portuguese (Brazilian), German, Russian, Spanish...

There are 5 Courses in this Specialization

Course1

Course 1

Introduction to Game Design

4.7
stars
1,676 ratings
491 reviews
Course2

Course 2

Story and Narrative Development for Video Games

4.7
stars
788 ratings
191 reviews
Course3

Course 3

World Design for Video Games

4.4
stars
570 ratings
146 reviews
Course4

Course 4

Character Design for Video Games

4.6
stars
655 ratings
179 reviews

Offered by

California Institute of the Arts logo

California Institute of the Arts

Frequently Asked Questions

  • If you subscribed, you get a 7-day free trial during which you can cancel at no penalty. After that, we don’t give refunds, but you can cancel your subscription at any time. See our full refund policy.

  • Yes! To get started, click the course card that interests you and enroll. You can enroll and complete the course to earn a shareable certificate, or you can audit it to view the course materials for free. When you subscribe to a course that is part of a Specialization, you’re automatically subscribed to the full Specialization. Visit your learner dashboard to track your progress.

  • Yes, Coursera provides financial aid to learners who cannot afford the fee. Apply for it by clicking on the Financial Aid link beneath the "Enroll" button on the left. You'll be prompted to complete an application and will be notified if you are approved. You'll need to complete this step for each course in the Specialization, including the Capstone Project. Learn more.

  • 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. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free. If you cannot afford the fee, you can apply for financial aid.

  • This course is completely online, so there’s no need to show up to a classroom in person. You can access your lectures, readings and assignments anytime and anywhere via the web or your mobile device.

  • This Specialization doesn't carry university credit, but some universities may choose to accept Specialization Certificates for credit. Check with your institution to learn more.

  • Time to completion can vary based on your schedule, but most learners are able to complete the Specialization in 6 months.

  • Each course in the Specialization is offered on a regular schedule, with sessions starting about once per month. If you don't complete a course on the first try, you can easily transfer to the next session, and your completed work and grades will carry over.

  • None! This Specialization is appropriate for anyone interested in learning more about video game design, character creation, and storytelling.

  • We recommend taking the courses in the order presented, as each subsequent course will build on material from previous courses.

  • Coursera courses and certificates don't carry university credit, though some universities may choose to accept Specialization Certificates for credit. Check with your institution to learn more.

  • You’ll be able to recognize and articulate foundational game principles; organize, present, and envision story concepts in outline pitches and storyboards; and create character designs. You’ll be equipped to conceptualize, develop, and present thriving worlds for proposed game titles through presentation art and written synopses or pitches.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.