Workshop Meeting Times

Lectures and Open Lab: 9 sessions in total, 3 hours / session


This short course takes place at MIT during the 2017 IAP (Independent Activities Period). It is best for students from any major interested in building videogames as a hobby, creative outlet, or for any other reason. No previous game design or computer programming experience is required. This can serve as a first course in videogame design and creation for those without any previous experience or as a fun refresher for those with some exposure. Advanced students are welcome and will be accommodated with a faster pace and more free time to work on projects.


This is a 9-day hands-on workshop about designing, building, and publishing simple educational videogames. No previous experience with computer programming or videogame design is required, beginning students will be taught everything they need to know and advanced students will be challenged to learn new skills. Participants will work in small teams to design, build, and publish their own videogames that will be shared in a large public exhibition. Team projects are completely open-ended and designed by participants, example projects include: A collection of bouncing balls that can be sped up or slowed down using hand gestures, a virtual reality laboratory where kids can perform experiments, an internet-enabled puzzle that multiple players can contribute to, and crowdsourcing interface for describing scientific graphics for blind students. Participants will complete one guided projects in order to learn the fundamentals and will then break into small teams to complete a one-day short project of their choosing. After the short project, participants will break into new teams that will each have four days to design, plan, and build a custom project of their choice. On the last day of the course, students will present their projects in a public exhibition and have the chance to win a prize for “crowd favorite”. Participants will learn about videogame creation using the Unity game engine, collaborative software development using GitHub, gesture handling using the Microsoft Kinect, 3D digital object creation, videogame design, and small team management.


There are no grades for this course.


The class size is 30 students from varying backgrounds, and the class takes place in a classroom with movable desks or tables so students can form teams.

If you want to use the Microsoft Kinect Controller for your video game, you have to intall the Unity Pacakge first.


1 Survey of GitHub, Arduino, and the basics of software collaboration:

  • 20 minute lecture: An overview of GitHub collaboration
  • 40 minute activity: Creating and contributing to repositories
  • 20 minute lecture: An overview of Unity programming
  • 100 minute activity: Recreating a guided project (roll-a-ball)
2 The basics of design and ideation:

  • 20 minute activity: Using the Microsoft Kinect
  • 40 minute activity: Expand, explore, and personalize the roll-a-ball example
  • 20 minute lecture: Overview of collaborative design process
  • 40 minute activity: Team formation for short project
  • 60 minute activity: Start short project
3 Project design and execution for short projects:

  • 30 minute lecture: Crash course in prototyping and documenting ideas
  • 150 minute activity: Short project
4 Ideation, pitches, team formation, and project selection for short projects:

  • 30 minute discussion: Reflections from yesterday
  • 30 minute lecture: Overview of plan, team structure and expected outcomes
  • 30 minute discussion: Project ideation
  • 30 minute activity: Team formation
  • 60 minute activity: Get started or refine idea
5 Presentation of short projects
6 Project time for long projects: 180 minute open lab time: Meet and create with guidance
7 Project time for long projects: 180 minute open lab time: Meet and create with guidance
8 Project time for long projects: 180 minute open lab time: Meet and create with guidance
9 Presentation of long projects

Course Info

As Taught In
January IAP 2017
Learning Resource Types
Demonstration Videos
Tutorial Videos
Projects with Examples
Lecture Videos
Instructor Insights