Course Syllabus

Development and Programming of Serious Games

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Semester & Location:

Summer 2023 Session 1 - DIS Copenhagen

Type & Credits:

Summer Course - 3 credits

Major Disciplines:

Computer Science, Mathematics


One year of computer science and one calculus course at university level. Knowledge of at least one programming language, such as Java, C#, C, C++, or JavaScript.

Faculty Members:

Benno Lüders,  (current students please use the Canvas Inbox)

Program Director:

Natalia Landázuri Sáenz

Time & Place:

Time: please see "course summery" below. Place: Classroom V23-401


Course Description

By applying technology and design theories of game development to non-game context, Serious Games allow us to educate, persuade, advertise, and motivate. They can help us to increase productivity, understand problems or even learn completely new skills. But as promising as it sounds, it is also difficult to accomplish. This course is a hands on approach to the specific programming and design challenges that come with the development of Serious Games.

The course gives a solid overview of game-design theory targeted towards Serious games and the technical challenges of game development. 

We are going to use state of the art web-technologies to develop serious games, this includes learning about web-architecture, client-server communication, Javascript, HTML5, and CSS.

In small groups you will create several small prototypes and a final, complete a project, exposing you to the whole process of developing a game with purpose.  You will hand in the project you developed in groups of 3-4 people at the end of the class. This includes all project files and code as well as a written documentation explaining your thoughts, a reflection and your use of the classes theory.

This course is for you if you are interested in computer science, games in a political, educational or productive environment, or games in general. It will be especially interesting for you if you like front-end and user oriented development or want to improve your web-development skills.

Learning Objectives

After successful completion of the course, you will:

  • Master basic game development (produce, test and present a beta version of a game of your own design)
  • Understand Serious Game theory to analyse other games and be able to apply it to your own projects.
  • Learned the following technologies:
    • Basic Web Architecture
    • Javascript
    • HTML5, CSS
    • Phaser 3


Benno Lüders. M.S (Game Technology, IT University of Copenhagen, 2016). Game enthusiast and Game Development all-rounder with focus on Game Programming. Assistant teacher at the royal academy of fine arts in Copenhagen (2015 - 2016). Tutor and teaching assistant at the IT University of Copenhagen (2015) and Hochschule Fulda (2011 - 2013). Backend Java developer at mobile game company Flaregames in Karlsruhe (2013 - 2014). With DIS since 2016.


Field Studies

Can include: 

  • Visits of local game developers, companies and institutes.
  • The Experimentarium
    • The Experimentarium is a world class science center, located in Hellerup a bit north of Copenhagen, Denmark. They provide families, schools classes, and science lovers in general and in all ages with high quality science exhibitions, where you’re allowed to touch and play and to experience science in an innovative, new way. The Exhibitions use many techniques of serious game theory to make the target learning outcome approachable and enjoyable, especially for kids. We are going to have a close look and analyse them.

Guest Lecturers 

May include:

  • Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen
    • Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen is the CEO and Co-founder of NameSentio Simulations ApS. He has a long history in game development and is a entrepreneur for serious games and simulations.
  • Kenneth Berle
    • Kenneth is the Cofounder and Technical Lead of Fenrir Game Studio. He graduated from Aalborg University in 2013 and worked as a Programmer, Graphical Artist and Game Consultant. As a Technical Artist with Management Experience and a strong Programmer his motto is "Everything is possible".

Approach to Teaching

This course has a very hands on approach and we are going to spend a lot of time programming together. The first sessions will cover the technology and how to use it, then we are going to dive deeper into the theory of Serious Games. In the end you can apply what you learned directly in a big Final Project and even pick an area you want to specialize in, that can go further than what the class covered.


  • Participation, including field studies and homework: 20%
  • Final Project: 80% divided as following:
    • Project planning, idea and setup: 10%
    • Written part on the use of Serious Game Theory in the project: 30%
    • Code quality and complexity: 30%
    • Overall game and mechanics: 30%

Academic Regulations  

Please make sure to read the Academic Regulations on the DIS website. There you will find regulations on:

Course Summary:

Date Details Due