MSU Offers Video Game Certificate on Coursera

GameDev at MSU is offering a specialization in Game Design and Development with Unity 2020, now available on Coursera. In this completely revised 2021 version of the specialization, students will learn both the theory and practice of game making while gaining hands-on experience in how to design and develop video games.

The specialization includes a set of five courses. From a technical standpoint, learners create five game projects in the latest Unity 2020 game engine, including a 2D Shooter, 2D Platformer, First-Person Shooter, 3D Platformer, and a Capstone Project. In the Capstone Project, learners create a completely original game of their own design — from the initial concept up to the first playable prototype.

Offered for the first time in 2015, the set of courses was originally launched by Professor Brian Winn, Director of the Games for Entertainment and Learning (GEL) Lab, and Associate Professor Casey O’Donnell. The specialization has been completely revised and updated to keep pace with changes in technology.

“The Coursera specialization has had a great run because it offers so much value to the learners, providing a great foundation in game making,” said Winn, who works in MSU’s Department of Media & Information. “We have reached 978,150 unique visitors, enrolled well over 200,000 learners, and resulted in nearly 20,000 course completions. We hope the new set of courses are just as successful as the original.”

With the popularity of the program, professors and game designers from GamDev at MSU revamped the course and based course projects in the latest Unity 2020 game engine.

“These courses are based on technology, and technology is always marching forward,” said Winn. “Across the 2020 pandemic, I set up my home studio and worked hard to completely revise, redo, and update all five courses, including recording over 200 videos and creating 5 new hands-on game learning projects, with assistance of my awesome GEL Lab team!”

The specialization allows students to build a solid foundation for industry roles such as game designer, level designer, technical designer, technical artist, programmer or producer. The online courses can be completed any time and usually take about five months to complete. Upon completion, students earn a certificate they can share with prospective employers and their professional network.

The Game Design and Development with Unity 2020 Specialization is just one of many offerings on Coursera from GameDev at MSU. In 2019, Andrew Dennis and Ricardo Guimaraes developed a specialization in Game Art that launched. In 2018, Robby Ratan created an Avatar Psychology for Designers course on Coursera. Jeremy Bond created a specialization with Unity in 2018. Now, O’Donnell is working on a separate set of Games & Culture courses that are slated to launch later this year.

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By Melissa Priebe

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