Fall 2021 Course Schedule

Class Schedule

Our next cohort will begin January 3rd, 2023

Classes meet weekly on
Mondays: 3:30pm - 5pm PT
Wednesdays: 3:30pm - 6pm PT

Week 1 - Kickoff

The Three Core Agreements - Learn the Three Agreements IGA students make in every one of our classes and programs that help create an effective and fun culture.

Games as a Motivational Force - Dissect the vision of the Indie Game Academy and build motivation for your own path as a game designer by exploring the concept of Video Games as a Motivational Force in the world. You can change the world with your games!

The Sorting Ceremony - Experience a gamified team building exercise in our very own Sorting Ceremony. Join one of four noble houses and meet your teammates.

Team Vision and Value Setting - Use tried and true business development tools to create a Vision, Mission and Mantra for your Indie Studio.

Form your Indie Studio - Do deep dive interviews meant to set proper team values and create an effective bond between you. Learn the fundamentals of bringing together a team to work on a creative vision.

Week 2 - Ideate

Ideation and Brainstorming - Cover Divergent and Convergent Brainstorming exercises meant to take you and your team from no ideas to way too many ideas.

Industry Review - Work with your team to identify game concepts that fit the scope of a three month program and dissect what seems to work and what doesn’t work.

Filter Listing - Use the simple, tried and true practice of Filter Listing to take your many ideas and reduce them to your best guess at which games have the greatest potential. An age-old technique used by giants like SuperCell!

Test your game with your first user - Finish the week with an assignment to run your very first Playtests and gather feedback individually to come back together in Prototyping Week 2.

Week 3 - Prototype

Game Loops and Design - Not all games are created equal! Enter the basics of Game Design with a lecture on Game Loops and Game Arcs, the primary building blocks of any video game.

Paper Prototyping - You can get started without a single line of code! Paper Prototyping is an effective way to get a high level idea of how much fun a game concept can be.

Playtesting - The one secret to rule them all, Playtesting is simply running your game with an audience and gathering feedback. Test game hypothesis and pivot your game idea as needed.

Narrow your game ideas to 3 choices - Finish the week with the top three games that you will take intro prototype week to test further!

Week 4 - Prototype

Digital Prototyping - Once you have just two games you might want to build, the next step is to invest enough time to build digital prototypes. Simplified working versions of your game concepts, the Digital Prototype is one of your last filters before you pick your final concept!

Market Testing - Split Test your games against each other using marketplace ads to see how your concepts perform out in the wild. Learn how to use Facebook Ads to go premium and Reddit posts to do it for free.

Playtesting Round 2 - Playtesting really is the secret to an excellent game. Any successful game franchise starts with a fun and engaging experience, which you only get by trying your game with many people. Learn the next step to improving your Playtest techniques!

Choose your game - Through your many rounds of filtering you now have all of the information you need to choose which game you and your Indie Studio will build over the next two months!

Week 5 - Produce

Agile and Sprint Planning - Projects that include teammates get disorganized quickly! Learn the basics of Agile and Sprint Planning to effectively plan your game and keep your team productive over the next two months.

Alpha, Beta and Launch - Split your games features into three classic categories to have three chances to go viral with the public!

Ownership and Roadmapping - Teams that do not make it clear who owns what are asking for trouble! Work with your team to give yourself a kick-butt title and area of ownership.

Create your GDD - A classic mainstay of Game Design, the Game Development Document fully outlines your game, who it is intended for, and more.

Week 6 - Produce

Level Design - Use a custom-built Unity project to get your hands dirty making a few levels. Discuss Level Elements and spacing out your game to keep your players interested.

Engagement and Difficulty Curves - Find out what an Engagement and Difficulty curve is, the many different kinds of curves, and how to properly apply them to your game.

Narrative Design - All games include some kind of Narrative Design, however simple. Find out the basic elements of a good game Narrative and how to properly apply them to your game.

Building for WebGL - Web based games make your life simple for testing and sharing your creation easily. Get a quick lecture on building WebGL games in Unity.

Release your Game in Alpha - Your first chance to market your game, reach out to your personal network for a small Alpha release. Get your game tested and get the feedback and followers flowing in.

Week 7 - Produce

Community Building - Did you know that Kickstarter recommends that you bring 60%-70% of your followers to your campaign yourself? New games fail without a community. Start a social media channel to collect an audience and discuss best practices in doing so.

Marketing Plans - Marketing consists of a massive bulk of the work you will be doing as an Indie Developer, and it is one of the areas that Indies almost always forget. Talk about how to get your game noticed the good old fashioned way: elbow grease!

Go-to-Market Planning - A Go-to-Market Plan is a fancy way to say you have planned as much as possible for the final release of your game. Work together with your team to come up with how you will get your game noticed when it's time!

Week 8 - Produce

Tutorialization - Your tutorial is the on-ramp to the luxury highway that is your game. Without a good tutorial or tutorialization, you lose users almost immediately. Learn how to effectively teach your users to play your game, and encourage both Experimental and Modeling learners to play.

B2B Communication and Partnership - Finding partners to help promote your game and offer a wealth of other valuables trades is huge in the Indie world. We often call this good old fashioned Networking! Learn to Network and get your games in front of the right people.

Week 9 - Polish

Monetization - We recommend Monetizing your game, or asking for money, as soon as possible! We will discuss the many ways games are monetized, the benefits and negatives of each, and which type of people these techniques work best for.

Pivoting and Triaging - Finding partners to help promote your game and offer a wealth of other valuables trades is huge in the Indie world. We often call this good old fashioned Networking! Learn to Network and get your games in front of the right people.

Beta Testing - Your Beta Testers are your Super Users. The people who have been with you forever and love your games the most. Learn to communicate and include these people in your decision making.

Release your game in Beta - Beta is your second chance to collect an audience! This time, show your Beta to the public and attempt to keep your community growing.

Week 10 - Polish

Press Releases - A Press Release is a simple tool to attempt to get the press interested in your game. Learn to write an effective one and attract the eyes of bloggers, YouTubers and more.

Creating a One Pager - A One Pager helps you in your Press Release as well as for creating B2B relationships. Create a marketable pamphlet for your game and get it into the public eye!

Digital Cold Calling - A tried and true technique, research and email as many press contracts as you can to attempt to get some write ups about your game!

Week 11 - Polish

Building for Device Testing - No matter what device you are building for, it is important to test on the actual device! Get a quick lesson on building your game to iPhone, Android and any other platforms you hope to release your game on.

Submitting to the App and Google Play Store - Submitting to the App and Google Play Store

Preparing for full release - Get ready to be a published, monetized game developer!

Week 12 - Release

Your game goes live - Pending any major complications from Apple or Google, your game will be live and published in the final week of class!

How to Pitch your Game - Self Advocacy and selling your game is a massive part of making it as an Independent Developer. Learn from a long time speaker on how to pitch and sell your game to others!

Final Game Pitches - Every IGA Level 3 finishes with a friendly pitch contest! Pitch your game with your team to a panel of live industry judges and an audience. Judges will give feedback and choose one game to win the pitch.

Winner of the coveted House Cup announced - The winning team from the pitch will receive 50 House Cup points, whose winner will then be announced! Close down class with a happy hour and Networking session.

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