Select Page

Game Design Training



Learn about:

  • Game design and Creative direction
  • System design
  • Motivation design
  • Interaction design


  • Discuss progress and provide guidance
  • Strengthen team, keep project on track
  • Remotely through Skype
  • Regular basis, from weekly to monthly


  • Learn online
  • Videos, articles and exercises
  • Vote on which topic we cover first
  • Be invited to the beta!

Game Design Seminar

The Biology of Game Design

A scientific approach to fun and gameplay

Games are tools we use to train ourselves. Understanding the way our mind and body function is the key to create captivating games that let players grow. Through my career as director of design on games like Assassin’s Creed, FarCry, Splinter Cell and Company of Heroes, I developed a scientific approach to learn and develop as an efficient game designer.

In this seminar, you will learn:
  • Psychology – How to play with the levers of our brain to motivate and reward players
  • Game theory – Shape player’s research of optimal play in your game system
  • Ergonomics – Design interaction based on how our body and mind function
  • Cognitive science – Gameplay as structured uncertainty to provide clear but debatable choices

Developers from these studios took the game design seminar:

This seminar is for you if you are
  • Focused on AAA, social or indie games
  • Anyone involved with gameplay: Designer, programmer, producer or data analyst
  • Senior level, junior or even a student

Next seminar

We don’t have a date set yet, but you can use the form below so we tell you as soon as the next seminar is announced.

Want info on the next seminar? Send us a message so we keep you informed!

    Your Name (required)

    Your Email (required)

    How many people do you want to sign up? (required)

    Do you need the seminar organized elsewhere than Vancouver, BC?

    Your Message


    Generally, the seminar takes place in Vancouver, over a weekend.

    • Saturday and Sunday, from 10am to 4pm
    • At Lighthouse Labs, 300 – 128 W Hastings St, in Gastown, Vancouver
    • Regular price is $399
    • $149 for students


    My 4 modules to learn the science of game design

    Game design and Creative direction

    • Understand the relationship between creative intention and execution through game design
    • Introduction to levels of abstraction
    • Mapping the sub-disciplines of game design, level design and narrative design

    System design

    • Introduction to logic and game theory
    • Optimal strategy as a metric to evaluate design
    • Gameplay as a symbolic system
    • Governing principles of gameplay
    • Understanding core challenge

    Motivation design

    • Actions and behaviours
    • Distinction between pleasure and fun
    • Introduction to psychology applied to game design
    • Notions of cognitive biases
    • Motivation and reward
    • Case study: Bejeweled

    Interaction design

    • Focusing on behaviours to design interfaces
    • Case studies: Burnout, Halo shooting helpers
    • Notions of biomechanics
    • Communicating relevant information
    • Interface and viscerality

    Alex’s workshops have been a major influence in our studio for helping to establish clear design language, goals and objective ways to measure design progress. With over 10 years of game development experience, I have found that the workshop was extremely helpful and instantly improved my design process by more easily identifying the key problems that need to be solved and why.  I would highly recommend Alexandre’s seminars!

    Lara Kehler

    Game Designer, East Side Games

    Alex Mandryka’s game design seminar gave invaluable insight into the various aspects that make up the design of a game, and a much deeper appreciation of the process of defining and crafting a unique and compelling player experience, from conception to implementation, without resorting to the same old tired tropes and clichés. While I would recommend Alex’s seminars to any serious student of game design, anyone involved in game development, regardless of discipline or years of experience, will come away with a much greater understanding of the art and science of creating world-class games.

    Athomas Goldberg

    President, Lifelike & Believable Animation Design, Inc.

    The seminar gave me a framework for how to evaluate my ideas so that features and concepts can reinforce each other. It is more than just game mechanics: it helps to create a vision for the game you are building and making sure that everything you put in works to get you closer to that vision. Over the past 4 years, my indie studio has released multiple games but the design process has been… unrefined. The seminar will help bring future games to the next level.

    Alain-Daniel Bourdages

    Owner, Greencod Apps

    When in class, the content and interaction constantly challenged the notions I took for granted and opened my eyes to details I have always missed. Witnessing Alex explain the complex reasons behind graceful design is like seeing the Matrix. I am humbled and grateful for Alex to share his years of experience with us and recommend his seminar to anyone who loves Game Design.

    Peter Ran Liu

    Production Coordinator, YMC Network

    Attending Alexandre Mandryka’s seminar gave me a whole new way to think about games. Where other designers flail about in a fog of ambiguity, Alexandre teaches a principled approach to the design process. The tools I’ve learned at the seminar will help me for the rest of my design career.

    Alex Vostrov

    Owner, Rocket Bear Games

    We also run seminars at studios, like those below:

    At Gameplay Space in Montreal

    At Virtuos in Shangai

    Want to invite us to your studio? Use this form to send us a message!

      Your Name (required)

      Your Email (required)

      What is your company name?

      Your Message

      Ongoing Coaching

      With Ongoing Coaching, get guidance from a 15 year industry veteran! Online mentoring sessions through Skype let us discuss your current issues, identify action plans and next steps.

      • Determine a specific area of coaching, or your project in general
      • Designed as a low-commitment option
      • Great for game design professionals, students and indie developers
      • Online mentoring through Skype
      • Flexible scheduling on any time zone

      Interested in Ongoing Coaching? Click Here to contact me.

        Your Name (required)

        Your Email (required)

        Your role on the team?

        Team Size

        Your Message

        Alex provided a type of mentorship that I had never previously been exposed to in my 6 years of being in the industry. He has distilled not only the creative process, but also how a team must interface in order to harness the best work from individuals involved in that process.

        Taylor Fales

        Lead Game Designer, Relic, Blackbird

        Alex presents a delightfully meticulous and logical way of designing games that challenges the gut-based approaches so common to the field. He takes design seriously and gives you the tools to do the same.

        Jarret McKenna

        Indie dev, Neptune, have mercy

        I worked with Alex as I made my transition to a large company. With his relaxed style and years of experience, he helped me put my best foot forward in this new culture and succeed in my new role.

        James Karg

        Game Designer, Zynga

        Online Courses

        Can’t attend our physical seminars? What better than Online Courses to learn where and when you want? We are working to get our programs in online form, with videos, articles and exercises. We want to hear from you to know which part you would be more interested in seeing come out first. Please fill the form below and you’ll be invited to the beta!

        Contact me

        Pin It on Pinterest