Game Design and Development

Course code
Course fee (excl. housing)
Course Level
Advanced Bachelor
This course is closed and you can't apply anymore. Please check our other courses.

The Game Design and Development summer school offers interactive hands-on game design workshops, theoretical game design analysis classes and programming sessions. Practical aspects of the design of games, like levels, characters, art, engines, etc. will be discussed and experienced. The design of new and existing games will be systematically analysed. Programming sessions treat the basics of programming and common elements of game development, such as the game loop, animations, sounds and sprites, and collision handling.

In this summer school, you will learn to think critically about games. You will be introduced to concepts like game design, level design, character design and play design. You will learn about game art, modeling and game engines. You will learn about testing on playability, fun, and/or educational value at an early stage, so that you can steer the experience and appeal of games. We will also discuss the role of multidisciplinary teams since game development requires collaboration of a team of developers with different expertise from different disciplines.

You will learn the basics of game programming, as well as common elements of game development, such as the game loop, animations, sounds and sprites, and collision handling. In small groups you and your fellow students will design and develop a game during the week. You will mostly work on development during the workshop, while expert lectures will be given to illustrate certain game development topics.

At the end of the summer school, each team will present their game to the other teams. During the week, we will also visit Gamestate, a gaming arcade hall in Utrecht. It is important that participants in this course have an affinity with games and game design. Programming skills are useful but are not required for this summer school.

Schedule and Practical Info.pdf
Course director Sander Bakkes


Two assistant Professors from Utrecht University will provide lectures and workshops for this summer school, i.e., Dr. Sander Bakkes and Dr. Julian Frommel. Their expertise is on game design, human-computer interaction, game programming, game artificial intelligence, persuasive technologies, user-experience modelling, and gamification.

In addition, Ph.D. students and student assistants from Utrecht University will be involved in providing support and assistance for the hands-on sessions.

Target audience

The summer school is suitable for advanced bachelor-, master-, and Ph.D. students. High school students are generally discouraged to apply.

A good command of the English language is important, as well as good social skills. Programming skills are not strictly necessary, as we will be offering a workshop in the 'Unity' game development environment. Consider giving the Unity tutorials a try before starting the summer school.

Aim of the course

The aim of the course is to provide you with experience and an understanding of important aspects in the design and development of games. You will obtain hands-on experience in the designing and programming of games.

Study load

There are about eight contact hours per day. These include lectures, workshops, demo's and discussion.


Course fee:
Fee covers
Course + course materials + lunch
Housing fee:
Housing cost
Housing provider:
Utrecht Summer School

Additional information

Due to high demand on student housing we are currently fully booked. 
If you wanted to book housing with us you can contact and be added to a waiting list. However, we cannot guarantee a room will be available and therefore we strongly advise to arrange accommodation yourself. Some suggestions can be found here:

Contact details S.C.J. (Sander) Bakkes | Assistant Professor in Game Technology

Utrecht University, Utrecht Center for Game Research | E: | W: 


Application deadline: 
Registration deadline
13 August 2023