Game Design Masterclass

The Game Design Masterclass is a three-hour lecture and workshop covering the principles and techniques of tabletop game design. Attendees start with little or no knowledge, and by the end have concepted, designed and built a complete game, and have taken it through two rounds of testing and refinement. They’ve also tested two other games created by other teams, given and received feedback on their design and progress, and have a complete physical game in a box to take home with them.

The Masterclass teaches boardgame design, obviously, but also teamwork and project management, delegation, research, timekeeping, the principles of design and delivering a project. It can be refined or run in a particular way to fit the needs of a client who may want a group exercise to reinforce a particular set of project-related skills, or to evaluate a group of teams for their ability to work together on a tricky project.

The Masterclass began when James was asked to run a boardgame-design workshop at the London Games Festival in 2008, which led directly to an offer of employment from Westminster University. He developed the workshop further with his students there and at London South Bank University, and first took it to the public in 2010. The Masterclass has been run for aspiring games designers, videogame companies, corporate bodies, charities, university faculties, at conferences and conventions, in games shops and boardgame cafes, and for the Prince’s Trust. The Masterclass has now been run across the UK and Europe, and at the Gen Con games convention in America, where James was a guest of honour in 2017.

He’s also run it for children as young as eight–there’s a shorter 90-minute version specifically for kids which is designed to run in schools.

As the international profile of the Masterclass has grown, other games designers around the world have started running it in their own countries under James’s guidance and permission. If you are interested in having James or someone else organise a session of the Masterclass for you or your organisation, or running it yourself, then please get in touch.

Future workshops
5th January 2018, at JMC Academy, Sydney, Australia, run by Steve Dee. More information and tickets here.
20th January 2018, at Draughts Boardgame Cafe in London, UK, run by James Wallis. More information and tickets here.