Introduction to Game Development

An introduction to the principles and concepts of game development. Students will gain a creative and basic technical knowledge of the tools and techniques essential to the development and production of games.

Course code

Qualifications are made up of courses. Some universities call these papers. Each course is numbered using six digits.



The fourth number of the course code shows the level of the course. For example, in course 219206, the fourth number is a 2, so it is a 200-level course (usually studied in the second year of full-time study).



Each course is worth a number of credits. You combine courses (credits) to meet the total number of credits needed for your qualification.



Creative Media Production

Course planning information

Course notes

Game development offers a rich learning experience for students with a passion for creativity and technology. This introductory course is designed to guide students through the multifaceted aspects of game design, providing a hands-on approach where learning is achieved through the active process of making games. From the initial stages of ideation to the final realisation of a game, students will be engaged in a learning environment that fosters creativity and innovation.

Throughout the course, students will be immersed in a collaborative setting, where communication forms the backbone of successful project development. As students navigate through the stages of game development, they will acquire a deep understanding of game design principles, learning to balance the technical aspects with the creative elements to craft engaging gaming experiences.

Skills Learned:
• Ideation: Develop the ability to generate innovative game concepts and narratives.
• Communication: Enhance interpersonal skills, fostering effective dialogue and collaboration.
• Basic Programming: Gain foundational knowledge in programming, learning to navigate and solve problems logically and efficiently.
• Game Design Principles: Acquire an introductory understanding of the principles that govern game design, learning to craft balanced and engaging gaming experiences.
• Finding the Fun: Learn to identify and incorporate elements that elevate the gaming experience, making it enjoyable and fun for users.
• Unreal Engine: Gain hands-on experience with Unreal Engine, a leading software in the gaming industry, learning to navigate its features and tools to develop visually stunning and immersive games.

By the end of this course, students will have a strong foundation in game development, equipped with the skills and knowledge to venture into the world of game design with confidence.

Learning outcomes

What you will learn. Knowledge, skills and attitudes you’ll be able to show as a result of successfully finishing this course.

  • 1 Demonstrate basic principles and competencies required to produce games. (Graduate profile: Virtuosity – Mohio D1)
  • 2 Apply techniques and processes in developing games. (Graduate profile: Virtuosity – Mohio D1)
  • 3 Carry out basic forms of technical investigation for developing production skills. (Graduate profile: Creativity – Toi C3)
  • 4 Exercise skills in managing workloads and meeting deadlines. (Graduate profile: Autonomy – Mana E3)
  • 5 Reflect and discuss own work and work of others in workgroups, discussions, critiques and presentations. (Graduate profile: Understanding – Matauranga C2; Connectedness – Whanaungatanga E1)

Learning outcomes can change before the start of the semester you are studying the course in.


Assessment Learning outcomes assessed Weighting
Creative compositions 1 2 3 4 5 100%

Assessment weightings can change up to the start of the semester the course is delivered in.

You may need to take more assessments depending on where, how, and when you choose to take this course.

Explanation of assessment types

Computer programmes
Computer animation and screening, design, programming, models and other computer work.
Creative compositions
Animations, films, models, textiles, websites, and other compositions.
Exam College or GRS-based (not centrally scheduled)
An exam scheduled by a college or the Graduate Research School (GRS). The exam could be online, oral, field, practical skills, written exams or another format.
Exam (centrally scheduled)
An exam scheduled by Assessment Services (centrally) – you’ll usually be told when and where the exam is through the student portal.
Oral or performance or presentation
Debates, demonstrations, exhibitions, interviews, oral proposals, role play, speech and other performances or presentations.
You may be assessed on your participation in activities such as online fora, laboratories, debates, tutorials, exercises, seminars, and so on.
Creative, learning, online, narrative, photographic, written, and other portfolios.
Practical or placement
Field trips, field work, placements, seminars, workshops, voluntary work, and other activities.
Technology-based or experience-based simulations.
Laboratory, online, multi-choice, short answer, spoken, and other tests – arranged by the school.
Written assignment
Essays, group or individual projects, proposals, reports, reviews, writing exercises, and other written assignments.

Textbooks needed

There are no set texts for this course.