Want to find out how to design and build your own video games? Lucky for you, there are classes for kids and teens that cover game programming, character development, world design, multi-level design, Minecraft modding, 3D modeling, and so much more. So today, we're going to explore the best online game design classes for kids.
For each class we'll provide an overview review, the ages it's best for, the price and how to get started. See fun options from learning Unity game engine development, to creating your own Roblox world using Roblox Studio.
Discover the best online game design classes for kids
Game development for kids helps unleash their creativity, while they learn real technical skills they can apply to their future careers. In the following video game design and animation courses, children explore technology in a fun, interactive environment led by an expert instructor based in the US. Check out the best online game development classes for youth and high schoolers, designed by Google, Stanford, and MIT experts, to find the right starting place for your child.
1. Minecraft modding
Using Minecraft as the platform, in this online game design class, students can code to place and break blocks, build structure, spawn animals, develop mini-games, and a lot more. They'll even build their own battle game that fights off zombies and see who is better at the rock, paper, scissors game built by yourself in Minecraft.
Ages: Grades 2-5
Price: $252 for 12 55-minute sessions and a $15 intro
2. Minecraft code to mod
Students will also learn more advanced modding techniques in Minecraft and build both single player and multi-play games. Teens will also learn the most advanced coding concepts that the platform has to offer, such as objects, libraries. Plus, they'll create a Fortnite-like game.
Ages: Grades 5-9
Price: $252 for 12 55-minute sessions and a free intro
3. Minecraft Redstone
If both of those classes seem too advanced for your student, but they love Minecraft, and want to learn how to creatively modify their Minecraft games, join this live online class. With live expert instruction they'll learn how to incorporate more advanced blocks such as redstone, pistons, and observer blocks to build holiday lights, automatic doors, and even flying machines inside Minecraft!
Ages: Grades 2-5
Price: $131 for 6 55-minute sessions
4. Beginner Roblox Game Coding Class
This class is the best way to start learning Roblox game coding! In this fun live virtual class students will learn the foundational coding skills to create their own games in Roblox, the popular gaming platform with over 40 million games. This class is designed for students to become equipped with foundational Roblox coding skills without having to use the standard and very complicated game development tool most commonly used for Roblox, Lua. Instead they can use a simple and fun block-coding system, which makes it easier to learn concepts without worrying about complicated typing. Students will learn important coding concepts such as if/then, loop, and variable in the context of Roblox coding, as well as how to have game elements respond to interactions from players such as clicks, movements, and more! They'll build an awesome dodgeball game, multiplayer games, and even a game modeled after the highly popular infinity run game where players must turn, dodge, and jump to avoid obstacles and gain points.
Ages: Grades 3-8
Price: $310 for 12 75-minute sessions and a free intro
5. Coding with Roblox Studio
In this online game design class, kids learn workspace, objects, and how to configure properties of the objects such as color and texture. Students will also start learning Lua, the text-based scripting language used in Roblox. Students learn how to build multiplayer games as well, so they can invite their friends to play their games together which is fun and motivating.
Ages: Grades 6-12
Price: $310 for 12 70-minute sessions and a free intro
6. Unity game development
Unity is the most popular game engine in the world and is behind popular games such as Angry Birds. In this video game development class, teens will build a 2D platform game where players can control the movement of the sprite and direct its interactions with the environment such as colliding with obstacles and hazards. Some examples of game development components covered include assets, mesh renderer, collider, rigidbody, and animations. Then, students find out how to build their first 3D game in Unity.
Ages: Grades 6-12
Price: $312 for 8 70-minute sessions and a $15 intro
7. 3D Design
3D design is widely used in many areas such as designing cars, robots, animations, and game characters. This class introduces teens to the concepts for 3D design and building 3D models. Students create a couple of models in every class. Even though the class will only touch on basic skills, some students have created amazing projects using what they learned in class. Check out an example here. In addition, you will have the option of turning the 3D model into LEGO building blueprints.
Ages: Grades 4-8
Price: $89.25 for 4 55-minute sessions
8. Animation with Scratch
Students newer to programming can get started with a Scratch coding class that's beginner friendly, and teaches how to create cool animations. Once they learn the coding concepts in this class, kids can create pong games, Pacman, Tic Tac Toe, and many more games.
Ages: Grades 2-5
Price: $315 for 12 55-minute sessions and a free intro
For even more options, explore Game-U, video design camps, and in-person learning with Snapology.
9. Game Building Club
Review and master key concepts such as lists, variables, messages, and cloning, all while understanding how to use them to make an awesome project they love each week. Some examples of weekly games include making a soccer game, creating a virtual pet game, and bringing a dress up game to life - don't miss the action!
Ages: Grades 2-6
Price: $68 for 4 55-minute sessions
10. MakerCode Arcade
MakeCode Arcade is an online program you can use to create fun and unique games! In this class you will use block-style programming (similar to Scratch) to design and create retro arcade games that you can post online and share with others! In this beginner-friendly course you will learn the basics of MakeCode Arcade to create four different styles of games and study different elements of game design. Each session contains instruction of several foundational programming principles like variables, loops, modules, or condition statements.
Ages: Grades 3-10
Price: $00 for 4 60-minute sessions
Can kids design video games?
Yes, kids can design video games because they're incredibly creative and there are many simple tools that exist today to assist in game creation! Usually kids start out by editing existing games they play. There are also many classes that teach them to develop games from scratch. Kids can start as young as age 5 by getting familiar with coding logic. Though most children begin game design in the latter years of elementary school (grades 4 and 5).
Which course is best for game design?
The best course for game design will match the type of development you'd like to do. Try beginning with a game you like playing, such as game design for Minecraft or Roblox, since you already know you'll be interested in the content and familiar with some of the game concepts.
How can I design a video game?
To design a video game, join a class with live online instruction so you can learn quickly with immediate feedback and a structured learning path. Having a class schedule will hold you accountable, and teach you fundamental game coding concepts such as character development, world design, and more. It also ensures you're learning from an expert, and picking up valuable techniques, rather than wasting time sorting for the best tips on YouTube. One fun way lots of children begin, is by learning how to code Minecraft mods.
Get started with the best game design courses for kids
Now you're ready to kickstart your child's game design career, a very cool specialization within coding for kids. Whether your student loves playing esports or just wants to create the next Fortnite, live online classes led by experts and designed by professionals from Apple, Harvard, and MIT, ensure they learn valuable lifelong skills. Explore all of our award-winning free coding classes here. Up next, find out how to make a Pacman game in Scratch coding.