Design of Gameplay and Core Mechanics
Course code
old course code
Course title in Estonian
Mängu sisemise loogika disain
Course title in English
Design of Gameplay and Core Mechanics
ECTS credits
Assessment form
lecturer of 2023/2024 Spring semester
Not opened for teaching. Click the study programme link below to see the nominal division schedule.
lecturer of 2024/2025 Autumn semester
Not opened for teaching. Click the study programme link below to see the nominal division schedule.
Course aims
Goal of the course is to provide examples and generate ideas for designing gameplay and core mechanics. Course will provide knowledge and skills in designing game logics, rules and interactions.
Brief description of the course
Topics covered:
1. Introduction and big picture of game design
2. Gameplay (game challenge and actions), theoretical framework, analysis of existing games and design workshops
3. Theory, analysis and design of game rules
4. Level design and prototyping
5. Design of game specification

1. Gameplay: Challenges and actions
2. Core mechanics (rules) and Game balancing
3. Level design and prototyping

Analytical Assignments (in pairs):
1. Analyse of challenges of your favourite game
2. Analyse of core mechanics of your favourite game

Design Assignments (in pairs):
1. Design of gameplay for the game of Game Elements
2. Design analog (board/card/RPG) game (rules) based on your favourite game
3. Design game specification for a new educational game (idea, concept, gameplay, core mechanics)
Learning outcomes in the course
Upon completing the course the student:
- can find and analyze game elements that are needed for increasing players’ engagement;
- can achieve skill to design game challenges and activities;
- is able to design game rules and balance them;
- is able to demonstrate gameplay and core mechanics through non-digital prototypes and game documentation.
Martin Sillaots
Additional information
There are no mandatory prerequisted courses but IFI7179.DT - Basics of Game Theory and Design is recommended.

Study will take place in the format of lectures and computer lab workshops. Participation in classes and timely submission of home and classroom assignments are requirements for assessment. It’s compulsory to attend at least in 70% of classes (16 out of 23) and collect more then 70% of points (11 out of 16) for assignments.