Short course


Do you want to design fun and dynamic video games that people want to play? Want to work and learn with like-minded creatives and not sure where to start?

In this practical introductory workshop, you will explore the fundamentals of game creation, and learn critical design principles and ideas, for building fun games. This course explores game design concepts, board game design, player interactions, mechanics, balance, progression and lots more. By the end of this course, you will have worked in a team to create a complete board game that demonstrates solid design principles and tested it in a live environment. 

This course covers: 

  • Course Introduction
  • Design Fundamentals
  • Team Allocation and Discussion
  • Materials and Needs Overview
  • Board Game Construction
  • Design Review
  • Production Scheduling
  • Board Game Play and Testing

This course is led by Alan Thorn who is an expert on leading technical teams for games development. He previously worked at Microsoft, Teesside University, Packt Publishing and Disney. Alan specializes in helping 'tech heads' thrive and flourish in their chosen fields. With 18-years game industry experience, Alan has written 28 books, presented 30 online courses and created 33 games including the award-winning adventure, Baron Wittard: Nemesis of Ragnarok. Alan is dedicated to helping creative people make high-impact experiences. He was Studio Director at Wax Lyrical Games, a Senior Author at Linkedin Learning, and now he currently leads the NFTS MA programme for Games Design and Development.

The course is suitable for newcomers to games design and those wishing to enter the games industry. 

Fees and funding options

Fees for this course are as follows:

Freelance Rate: £260
Corporate Rate: £395

Bursaries, supported by the Scottish Government, are also available for those who are eligible.


If you wish to apply for a bursary to contribute to the costs of your course, please read the bursary guidelines below carefully to confirm your eligibility. Please do not apply to a course unless you are sure you meet the bursary eligibility criteria or are able to pay for the course. 

Once you have submitted your course application, your bursary application should be submitted to

NFTS Scotland Bursary Guidelines

NFTS Scotland Bursary Application Form

If you are not eligible for an NFTS Scotland bursary, please also read our Alternative Funding Avenues document which points you in the direction of a few other places which may be able to help.

How to apply

Application deadline: Register your interest

This course is not currently open for applications. Please register your interest to be advised of future dates as they become available.